DVD REVIEW: Transformers Prime - One Shall Stand
Story Highlights the Core Conflict Between Optimus Prime and Megatron...
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We at Figures.com are big fans of Transformers Prime, one of the flagship shows on Hasbro’s HUB network. A worthy successor to the best Transformers animated series that have come before it, Prime tells the usual story of Autobots and Decepticons battling on Earth but adds a completely new look and feel as well as a sophisticated tone that makes the show enjoyable for adults as well as children. The all CG show began airing in late 2010 with a mini-series before launching into its full first season. Fast forward to summer of 2012 and the show is now in its second season, with new episodes coming in August after a hiatus. On the home video front, it’ll be a while until we get season two. But, Shout! Factory has a new DVD presentation that will keep fans occupied, One Shall Stand!
On sale now, One Shall Stand is a unique DVD set that includes a new presentation of seven episodes from the first two seasons of Prime edited together seamlessly to create a motion picture-like feel. “One” starts off at the end of season one with “One Shall Fall” and the three-part finale “One Shall Rise.” Moving into season two we continue with the first three episodes, the arc called “Orion Pax.” These episodes together focus on the core rivalry between Optimus Prime and Megatron, with lots of interesting backstory on Cybertron, the history of the main conflict there, and Unicron!
Starting off on Earth, One Shall Stand opens with the Autobots and Decepticons at odds while an arcane prophecy calls for ruination. Optimus realizes that his constant quest for a peaceful end to the fighting is naive and sets off to meet Megatron head to head. Soon after, it is revealed that the immensely powerful Unicron is actually dormant at the center of Earth... and he has awakened! Megatron tries to ally himself with the Chaos-Bringer, only to switch sides and join the Autobots in protecting Earth from Unicron’s awakening. A tumultuous final battle in Unicron’s spark chamber ends “One Shall Rise,” and then “Orion Pax” sees Prime working for Megatron after losing his memory. He has reverted to his identity before taking on the Matrix of Leadership, Orion Pax the Cybertronian clerk. Of course, Megatron and the Decepticons can’t keep the truth hidden for long, and at the same time the Autobots are hot on the trail of their lost leader. Jack and Arcee take the ultimate risk and travel to Cybertron itself to access the Vector Sigma database to “cure” Optimus.
This new DVD set comes in a standard slipcase package emblazoned with the Transformers Prime title logo at the top. The compilation name “One Shall Stand” appears at the bottom, while the central portion is dominated by a scowling Unicron above the visages of Optimus Prime and Megatron. On the back panel of the slipcase (and the DVD case itself) is a lengthy description of the set along with some stills.
While the seven episodes in “One” are drawn from across two seasons, they’re in chronological order with nothing missing so they flow very well together. It’s especially cool to watch the transition from “One Shall Rise” to “Orion Pax” without having to wait to see what happens after the conclusion of the Unicron battle. Fans of Prime (and Megatron) will really enjoy this DVD, especially as it delves so far into the mythology of Cybertron and the history of the two leaders. For the most part the other Autobots and their human friends are sidelined during these episodes, though they play big roles in “Orion Pax” and the race to reinstate Prime’s memories. This is also a perfect jumping off point if you haven’t seen the second season yet.
One of the best things about Transformers Prime is its voice cast. Full of old favorites as well as current voiceover stars, the show features the original Optimus Prime and Megatron, Peter Cullen and Frank Welker. Also on board are Arcee (Sumalee Montano), Ratchet (Jeffrey Combs), Bulkhead (Kevin Michael Richardson), Starscream (Steven Blum), Jack Darby (Josh Keaton), Miko Nakadai (Tania Gunadi), Raf Esquivel (Andy Pessoa), Special Agent Bill Fowler (Ernie Hudson), and June Darby (Markie Post). This DVD, the “One Shall Rise” arc specifically, also features the impressive voice talent of John Noble (Fringe) as Unicron!
As Transformers Prime nears the end of its second season, it continues to satisfy fans with complex, interesting stories, well-developed characters, and lots of great action. In previous reviews we’ve talked about the quality of the CG on Prime, and it doesn’t get any better than the episodes on “One Shall Stand.” The fights between Optimus Prime and Megatron, Optimus and Unicron clones, and then Megatron against the Unicrons are visually stunning. The show shifts smoothly into more cerebral stories as well with Orion Pax trying to decipher the Cybertronian code and Jack’s journey to the mechanical planet to unlock Vector Sigma.
“One Shall Stand” focuses on the action and the seven-part story, though it still does include a couple special features. “A Look Back At One Shall Stand with Jeff Kline, Duane Capizzi and Steven Melching” and some really cool animatics to show you how they put the show together. Transformers Prime One Shall Stand is a really good standalone story that works as a feature-length presentation or as individual episodes. And with a list price of only $14.97 it’s an affordable way to get your Transformers Prime fix while we wait for the remainder of season two. Get One Shall Stand everywhere DVDs are sold now.
Review by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of Shout! Factory
Last edited by JeffSaylor; 08-06-2012 at 07:41 PM.