Sunday, April 17, 2011

Top 10 Transformers G1 Cartoon Moments

One shall stand...one shall fall
Back in the '80s Transformers not only ruled the toy shelves, it ruled the airwaves. Transformers, first premiering in 1984, has managed to do something a select few cartoons have ever accomplished: it has stood the test of time. Even with the various comic book series, Michael Bay films, Japanese/American cartoon spinoffs, and video games - the original Generation One series is still looked back at with a fond remembrance that is unparalleled in Transformers fandom.

Today we'll be taking a look back at the G1 Transformers cartoon and selecting the Top 10 Moments from the original 98 episodes that aired between 1984 to 1987. For purposes of this article, we will not be looking at the 1986 Transformers animated movie, since, let's face it, an entire list of Top Moments could be compiled simply from that film alone.


10. 
All of the 'primitive' Transformers vs. Tornadron
Episode: CALL OF THE PRIMITIVES 
Tornadron, a being of pure energy, takes shape
As always, the Autobots and Decepticons are in the midst of a massive battle, however, the tables are turned on both factions when a mysterious energy whisks away all of the primitive 'animal' Transformers in mid-combat. 

Grimlock comes up with a new strategy
Moments later, Sky Lynx, Trypticon, the Dinobots, the Predacons, the Terrorcons, and the animal-form cassettes are rounded up and told by Primacron (the creator of Unicron) that they are the universe's last hope in stopping the energy-sucking monster, Tornadron. 

Putting aside their allegiances, the primitive Transformers put up a short-lived battle against Tornadron - and what a battle it is! It helps that Call Of The Primitives features some of the best animation in the entire G1 series, comparable even with '86 Transformers animated movie.
The Terrorcons 'terrorize'
One-by-one, each group of primitive Transformers from the Predacons to the Dinobots throw all they have against Tornadron, only to be easily defeated. Yet, it reflects back on a recurring theme in Transformers history: how two warring sides must often put away their differences if they are to defeat a greater threat.

9.
Cobra Commander cameo
Episode: ONLY HUMAN
Guess who?
It's always been a topic of debate amongst fans of the original Transformers and G.I. JOE cartoons in regard to how (and if) both series fit into some sort of continuity. The Transformers episode Only Human, lends credence to the fact that both do in fact take place in the same universe. 

The actual plot for the episode borders on the ludicrous, with a criminal's plan to turn four of the Autobots human, so that he can procure their vehicle bodies as high-tech weaponry. The criminal in question, one Victor Drath, seeks the help of Ol' Snake (a thinly disguised Cobra Commander) to accomplish his nefarious goal.  

Leader of a ruthless terrorist organization?
'Top Moment #9' occurs at the very end of the episode. At this point Drath has been defeated, but Ol' Snake, still on the loose, walks into the sunset, proudly declaring, "They simply don't make terrorists like they used to!" After a brief moment Ol' Snake lets loose a defiant, "COOOOOBRA-ha-hackcoughcough..." before hacking up a storm. Of course, Cobra Commande--uh, Ol' Snake was dubbed by the late Chris Latta who voiced both Starscream in Transformers and Cobra Commander in G.I. JOE. Bonus points and a pat-on-the-back if you also noted that Mr. Latta voiced Decompose in the Inhumanoids...



8.
Blaster vs. Soundwave
Episode: AUTO-BOP
Blaster and Soundwave kick out the jams
The Decepticons create a dance club, aptly named Dancitron, with the intention of using sound frequencies to hypnotize the patrons. All goes according to plan until a chain of events leads the Autobot's resident sound-master, Blaster, into finding out the Decepticon's evil plot. In retaliation, Soundwave confronts blaster in a one-on-one battle. 
Falling out of harmony
This episode features the only time Blaster and Soundwave really faced off against one another, which is ironic, considering both would seem like natural recurring foes. After all, one changed into a boom-boxe and the other changed into a tape deck, not to mention both utilized mini-cassette 'cons that ejected from their chests.

The fight began in Soundwave's favor, but the tide swiftly turned when Blaster augmented his own 'soundblasts' with fallen amplifiers, effectively blasting Soundwave away.   

Blaster brings down the house
It is worth noting that in the Japanese Transformers animated series, Headmasters, Blaster and Soundwave would confront each other in one final battle. Unfortunately, it didn't end well for either combatant.
Soundwave falls to pieces in Transformers: Headmasters
7.
Dinobots confront the Decepticons for the first time
Episode: S.O.S. DINOBOTS

Three more toys!
Grimlock munch metal!
The Autobots unearth dinosaur bones near the Ark. Naturally intrigued, Wheeljack decides to create three Transformers modeled after these ancient fossils, dubbing them 'Dinobots'. And so, Grimlock, Slag, and Sludge are born (Snarl and Swoop would appear two episodes later in War of the Dinobots).

It turns out that the Dinobots are unruly and uncontrollable, facts that Megatron uses to his advantage and turns the newly operational Dinobots against the Autobots. By the episode's climax, the Dinobots see the error of their ways and turn full-force against the combined might of the Decepticons. Together the trio of Dinobots nearly demolish Megatron's army. 

This ending scene effectively shows the Dinobots nigh unstoppable power. In reality, at this point in the series, the Dinobots would be ranked as 'the most powerful' Transformers - although this would change with the advent of the combiner Transformers yet to come, as we will soon see:

6.
Dinobots meet Devastator
Episode: HEAVY METAL WAR
"Dinobots, destroy Devastator!"
'Top Moment #6' is yet another moment featuring the ever-popular Dinobots. In the last episode of the first season, Megatron creates the Constructicons, a six-member combiner group that can assemble into one of the most powerful Decepticons ever: Devastator. 

Constructicons don't need any union
Alone the Autobots stand little chance of victory. However, the Dinobots are more than formidable enough to take on this new threat. What followed was an impressive battle in which the collective might of the Dinobots were enough to 'devastate' Devastator. Of course, the rematch would occur in Transformers: The Movie, where the outcome of the battle is far less decisive. 

5.
Optimus Prime & Megatron vs. the Insecticons
Episode: THE INSECTICON SYNDROME
A can of raid isn't going to work on these guys
The Insecticons may wear the Decepticon insignia, but don't be fooled - they hold no allegiance to any faction, only to their own twisted goals. 

After the Insecticons begin feeding on an unstable power source, they start to grow. Soon, they are endowed with new strength and abilities - yet, all is not as it seems. This power source will eventually cause the Insecticons to explode - making them hazardous to humans, Autobots, and Decepticons alike. 

Left with no other choice, Megatron teams up with Optimus Prime in an effort to defeat their mutual foes. The 'Top Moment' of the episode occurs when Prime has to manually transform Megatron's unconscious body into 'gun mode' to fire an antidote at each of the Insecticons.

4.
Starscream finally defeats Megatron
Episode: STARSCREAM'S BRIGADE

This is one coronation that didn't get disrupted
Treachery is synonymous with the name Starscream. In nearly every episode Starscream tries to usurp command of the Decepticons over Megatron. In some episodes this occurs when Megatron simply falls down (Starscream gets a bit overzealous), while in others it actually seems that Megatron has been destroyed. Nevertheless, Starscream failed at every turn - until he created the Combaticons, who, when merged, form the absurdly powerful Bruticus. 

Bruticus' conscience (Starscream) tells him to destroy Decepticons
The crowning moment here is when Starscream downs the Decepticons and has Megatron at his mercy. For a brief, fleeting moment, Starscream is triumphant. If not for the Stunticons intervening at the last possible instant, Starscream would have become the leader of the Decepticons.

3.
Megatron supreme!
Episode: MICROBOTS

He's got a different kind of 'touch'
Megatron uncovers the fallen Decepticon starship, Nemesis, in an effort to obtain the 'Heart of Cybertron' a small crystal that grants the user awesome power. 

Way over the legal limit of energon consumption
This episode contains several great moments, one of which is when the Decepticons declare an early victory and get drunk on energon, leaving Megatron to tackle the entire Autobot force by himself. Not that it's much of a problem, thanks to his newfound power. 

What follows is a spectacular battle as Megatron whittles down the Autobots. It appears as if Megatron is  going to be victorious, until Perceptor, Brawl, and Bumblebee (who have shrunk down to micro-size) disable the 'Heart of Cybertron', ending the powered-up Megatron's onslaught. 

2.
Galvatron's respect
Episode: THE RETURN OF OPTIMUS PRIME - PART II
Side-by-side for the first time
The Return of Optimus Prime plotline reinstated the ever-popular Autobot leader to the limelight to confront the Hate Plague, a hatred-fueling virus that makes the infected organism, well...hate. To stop the onset of violence, Optimus Prime is revived (perhaps more to bolster ratings than save the universe). Galvatron, seeing the futility of battling the Autobots in this situation, joins up with Prime. Together, the two are able to stop the Hate Plague (though Galvatron does make an attempt to destroy Prime at one point). 

After using the Matrix of Leadership to wipe out the plague, Galvatron shakes Optimus Prime's hand, proclaiming that Prime has, "earned Galvatron's respect" and that there will be no war today. 

Once in a lifetime...or twenty million years for Transformers
1.
All out war - Optimus Prime vs. Megatron
Episode: HEAVY METAL WAR
"I have the power!"
 Optimus Prime vs. Megatron. Autobot vs. Decepticon. Good vs. Evil. Anytime these two titans go at it in battle, it's a top moment in G1 Transformers cartoon history, but none more so (except for the '86 movie) than in the Heavy Metal War. Megatron challenges Prime to a one-on-one fight, where the loser must vacate planet Earth - forever. Of course, Megatron has a few tricks up his circuits and cheats (gasp!). Even so, it is a striking battle between Decepticon and Autobot leaders. Although outmatched by Megatron's new powers, Optimus Prime throws everything he has, and then some, at the Decepticon commander.

"Why throw your life away so recklessly?"
Prime loses the initial battle, but after finding out that Megatron cheated, the Autobots win the day.

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