Thursday, June 04, 2009

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More Than Meets The Eye
By Robert V Aldrich

Looking back, the mid-80s was a great time for cartoons; a veritable golden age. There were so many zany ideas that made it to air. It turned Saturday morning into a sheer smorgasbord of awesome. You had dinosaurs, you had video game characters, you had elite military units. And you had robots. You had robots that looked alien and you had robots that looked like humans. You had robots who were actually holograms and you had robots that looked like tiny, cartoon knights. And then you had robots in disguise.

When Transformers came on the air, it was like nothing we had ever seen before. It was a noticeably more complex and intense show than much of the animated fare around it. It had more unique and interesting characters, it had more action, it had a more developed premise. It was everything a person, child or adult, could want in a show.

In the twenty-five years since Transformers first appeared, its popularity and fandom have only grown. Countless websites are devoted to Transformers. Multiple conventions exist solely around Transformers. Parodied and mocked, celebrated and admired, Transformers has endured and it’s endured because of its fans.

For a show that started out as little more than a thirty-minute commercial for a toy line, it’s earned a loyal fanbase. New fans are discovering it, and old fans are coming together to rediscover it. It’s a part of our childhood and a part of our lives. Whether your a diehard geek with your own Transformers collection at home and a raging debate over G1 Optimus Prime versus the live-action movie Optimus Prime, or just a casual fan who, with a smile, remembers watching the show after school, Transformers has a place in all our hearts. So sit back, know you are amongst friends, and smile as you reconnect with the show that transformed your life.

And don’t feel bad if you get a little weepy when Optimus dies. He comes back in season three.

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NOTE: Robert Aldrich s a published novelist, but more importantly, he's an old friend who could very well be the nation's leading scholar in all things Transformers. I'm hosting a round of trivia at tonight's screening of Transformers: The Movie, and some of the questions that were prepared for me are very, very hard. That said, I guarantee that Robert could answer every single question.

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