Transformers Season 1 - Region 2 - Released by Metrodome
Released 11th October 2004 by Metrodome, Reviewed 4th October 2004
Season 1 is the fourth Transformers release by UK production company Metrodome, following on from their extremely popular Series 2 pts 1 and 2 and Series 3/4. Series 1 is availble in two forms, regular and limited edition, which comes with a collectors tin. Jane Lawson, from Metrodome's marketing department, kindly arranged for us to get an early sample of their DVD, once again. Thanks a lot Jane we truely are thankful.
Metrodome's website can be found here.
The DVD packaging follows the previous 3 releases with an all silver cover and a Transformers face, this time it's Autobot leader Optimus Prime who's dawns the cover of the DVD.
The series contains 16 episodes and spans 2 disks, withdisks 1 and 2 having the episodes and disk 3 special features.
There was also a set of limited postcards which came with the DVD as well as a panflet written by Darren Jamieson (The Transformers.Net) and Chris McFeely.
You don't seem to skip from one episode to another, which is odd.
Episode Selection Screen.
The episode selection screen goes back to basics again, even more then previous releases. It's colourful with very little text and options (Play All, Episode Select and Sound). The Transformers theme plays in the background before you hear Jazz's Autobot rollcall, which is a nice little suprise. As you change menus you get another "sound-byte" and each menu has another snippet from the TV show.
The menu's are colourflu and look nice, although the angles of the menu text boxes look a little off.
Sound Selection Screen
The Sound selection screen is incredibly simple, alowing you to choose from 5.1 or 2.0. As mentioned by Chris McFeely both soundtracks have problems, which Metrodome where un aware of and are unable to correct before release.
The overall presentation is nice, although I personally prefer one of the menus from one of Metrodome's older TF releases
The image quality of the episodes is average to good, and appears worse then the previous series. This could simply be down to the year and age of the original film. It's still better then VHS quality but not as clear as you would expect from a new cartoon DVD (but it shouldn't get compared to them).
The sound quality is good, although the background tune is too loud compared to the speaking in parts. As pointed out by Chris McFeely on our message board, there are bugs in the 5.1 and 2.0 sound.
Character Profiles - Still quiet short, but you don't really
want them too long. The artwork on these is the best so far, great stuff.
Quiz - Another 20 questions, again mixing comic, cartoon, toy and other Transformers knowledge.
Public Service Annoucement - US ads on how to be a responsible kid. The sound quality is very poor though.
Trailers - 3 post-movie adverts. It's a bit strange they are here though.
Bloopers - taken from Rhino's release, with commentary by US TF Fan Tim Finn.
Interviews - Interviews with Flint Dille, Earl Kress, Buzz Dixon and David Wise - again taken from all the Rhino releases.
Easter Egg - You'll have to find it yourselves :-)
TransformersCon 2004 - Footage from the 2004 Canadian Transformers convention, featuring interviews with Pat Lee (Dreamwave) and David Kaye (V/A BW Megatron, BM Megatron, Armada Megatron, Energon Megatron).
The footage of TransformersCon is very well done, considering it was not done by a professional company. The interviewer is clear, the music good, the image quality good. The interviews with Pat Lee and David Kaye are great. There's segments with the convention organisers as well as a Transformers "Customiser". All good stuff and it's the world premier of this footage as well.
DVD Rom Features
Scripts - Every episode in PDF format from Series 1 as well as Series 2 Part 1 Episodes 16-39
Wallpapers - There are 3 wallpapers for your PC - always good to bulk up the special features.
Post cards - Limited Edition postcards by Lee Sullivan
Tin - Unable to comment on as we do not have one.
Presentation - 9/10 -The presentation is excellent once again,
although the boxes on the Menus are at a strange angle.
Image Quality - 8 to 9/10 - It's nice but still slightly worse than the Region 1 version (as explained in the review). The image is a little grainy in places but still great.
Sound Quality - 5/10 Excellent. The sound quality has problems which really lets this set down
Special Features - 9/10 - I'm giving this a 9 as there are loads of features on the disk but no Fan Art or comic .. I really liked the comic
Overall - 8//10
This is the worst Metrodome TF DVD release so far, purely due to the problems with the sound. Is the set better than Maverik ? Yes, is it better then Rhino .. no, because of the sound. The number of Special Features however make up for it, and if you have the rest get the version with the Tin to keep them in.
Region 1 or Region 2?
It's hard. Region 1 has better sound, Region 2 is cheaper and has more features. Make a decision as you will.