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Friday, May 11, 2007

Transformers -- ugh!

Optimus Prime (movie)Megatron (movie)
Optimus Prime (cartoon/toy)Megatron (cartoon/toy)
I can't keep it inside me any longer. The robot designs for the upcoming Transformers movie are gross!

Michael Bay, the director, released eight images of the Transformers. These look nothing like the Transformers I know! Compare the live-action design with Optimus Prime's classic cartoon depiction. Or Megatron's cartoon look. Why would anyone want to mess with these familiar designs???

When news of the movie were first announced, I wasn't sure how the robots would appear in what was supposed to be a realistic film. Transforming sentient robots, in themselves, already require a great leap of imagination.

Then, the first pictures of these insect-like, spindly mechanical creatures were released, and I was utterly creeped out. They looked like pieces of shrapnel stuck together. Where were the graceful forms? Where were the vehicular parts that made up the bodies?

Even the Autobots (the good guys) looked terrifying to me! Yuck, yuck, yuck!

I guess I'll still watch the movie when it hits the big screen, mostly because it'd be a blast from the past. But as of now, I'd much prefer enjoying the animated movie, especially since I bought the 20th anniversary special edition of "The Transformers: The Movie", heh.

The other depicted Transformers: Bumblebee, Jazz, Ironhide, Starscream, Blackout, Frenzy



Von Rojas said...

I wasn't fussed on the changes they have made to the Transformers compared to their original looks, However, I am starting to see the need for the change (such as aiming the movie towards a new generation as well as us 'g1 lovers' and the whole expressing the alien aspect of the transformers that Bay is hoping to achive)
However, Changing the look of Optimus Prime has to be somwhere in a bible of some sort as a direct path to artists hell. It is just a complete no no, He is iconic, like a tree at christmas and eggs at easter.
Well be it, Optimus is probily still the closest of all the new designs to remain true to his original design, But i still think it was wrong.


Yuhui said...

Hey Von,

I'm actually surprised that there isn't so much outcry from fans. The general feeling I get is that they actually don't mind the new designs, which seems strange to me.

But yeah, changing Optimus Prime's look was a very bad idea. I heard even his mouthplate slides open when he talks!

Von Rojas said...

Hiya Yuhui

As I have mentioned, I am not 100% bothered by the change ( I would have prefered the original G1 designs) However, I can be easy going that way, I would have thought that there would have been a huge outcry from the more hardcore G1 fans, But I was wrong, Could this mean that people just don't care about the wars and storys of the Autobots and Decepticons?
I doubt it, but it is a daunting though no less.

And as for te whole retracting mouth plate thing, DAMN IT TO HELL, I mean, WTF.
For that alone I hope Mr. Bays concept artists will find a nice home in the pits of hell, lol

Yuhui said...

Hey Von,

Well, if fans don't care, then I think that's a very sad sign of the Transformers franchise.

So far, from what I've read, the biggest outcry is over Megatron's design. 2nd place goes to the flame design on Optimus Prime's body.

In a video interview on Yahoo, Michael Bay said that he put in the flame designs because he liked 'em. *grr* And he said the cartoon designs were dated, so he wanted to "update" them. *grr grr*

Von Rojas said...

Grrr, It angers me so much, Why update a classic design

I could understand it if the transformers was a semi popular show that the director personaly loved and wanted to bring back, But Mr. Bay forgets that transfomers reached an iconic level nearly overnight and some things shouldn't be changed.

Ok, So hasbro want to sell toys, so redesigns are going to happen. I do not mind. I do mind however when it goes to far as to completely change one iconic character (Megatron) and give the other (optimus) a new paint job 'far the sake of updating'

And what the hell is this about Soundwave (the coolest decepticon in my opinion) Not being in the film because of 'shapeshifting is cheating'?
Hello, Maybe it is cheating from an earth point of view, But these guys are talking robots from cybertron, Where shapeshifting is the norm.
But I noticed they still managed to stick in a mini robot that turns into an i pod *cough rip off cough*
I wonder how many pennys Mr. Bays bosses got for that little dozey?

I hope they dont completly wreck this movie for the masses, It deserves a good review, I wait and hope


Yuhui said...

Unfortunately, unless we fan boys become the filmmakers, we'll have to be saddled with "visions" from such directors and studios.

matt d said...

Three reasons why I think the designs had to change. Firstly, the orginal designs were made to look cool in the 80's, the new designs are (questionably) made to look cool in the '07.

Secondly, since the original was a cartoon, it was lacking in lot of fine detail. If you scaled these sketchy robots up to cinema sized screens in a non-cartoon format it would start to look like a violent version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Thirdly, the robots have to be able transform seamlessly. To do this with life-like CGI requires a lot of complex mechanics to make it look just right. Having boxy, primitive designs would inhibit the slickness of the transformation and make the movie look, er, rubbish.

Yuhui said...

Hi matt, I don't think sticking to the old "boxy" designs would have made the film any worse. They could be boxy but still stylish. It can be done.

Anonymous said...

The new toy designs aren't that great..

Transformer Toys

The original ones were brilliant, i wonder how much they will be selling on ebay for now??

Yuhui said...

Well, only one way to find out - go to eBay!

Anonymous said...

Just die y'all! The ones who complain are obsolute. I love G1, but since the realistic versions, I'll stick to them. And Prime revealing his mouth is truly a disappointment. Nice and realistic statement Matt D.

Yuhui said...

Thanks for sharing, Matt

PORTALite Studios said...

I am going to watch the movie for the robots. I am a painter so I can appreciate the effort needed to draw the robot (THERE ARE SO MANY LINES!), animating them is much harder. I still have a transformer toy of the deceptacon leader!!!

Eugene ^_^

Yuhui said...

Eugene: I can appreciate the complexity involved in illustrating and animating the robots. But I find it hard to accept them, when compared to the simple yet efficient art from the cartoons.

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