The 1996 American update of the 1985 Japanese Transformers series is based on a computer game and a line of toys from Hasbro. Like Voltron: The Third Dimension (1998), which it resembles, Beast Wars reveals just how quickly computer graphics evolved. The weightless characters move in simple, repeated cycles and never come in contact with the ground when they walk or run. The pseudo-Valley Dude dialogue ("Cool your circuits!") and the way the filmmakers trot out every toy in every episode (to remind potential buyers of their existence) recall the bad old days of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Fans of video games and/or toys will enjoy the screaming battles between familiar characters in their organic and robotic forms; others will quickly weary of the repetitive story and over-the-top vocal performances. Unrated; suitable for ages 8 and up: Violence. --Charles Solomon
Well, sir, the roadwheel's cracked. Kaminski drank our brakes. We're low on petrol. The battery's low. We're losing oil. If the engine heats up it's gonna seize. The terrain, obviously against us. We have no rations. The Mujas behind us don't seem to run on rations, petrol, or anything we know of. And they have an RPG. Their aim is getting better. Sir.
You know, I read your dossier, Mr. Intellectual. What do you think it says about you?
That I think for myself.
You think for yourself. When I was eight years old, defending Stalingrad, I didn't 'think for myself.' When the Motherland asked for our lives, we GAVE. My mother didn't think of herself, she GAVE! My father didn't think of himself, he GAVE. My brother didn't think of himself, he GAVE. My comrades tied a rope around my waist and lowered me on top of Nazi tanks. I stuffed molotovs under turrets and cannon, and they pulled me back up again. Eight years old! I took a lot of Nazi tanks. A lot. And over the years I've learned to smell a traitor.