Transformers: Beast Wars
|Cartoon Network (Toonami)|
|Mar. 9, 1998 - Mar. 13, 1998|
|52 (List of Episodes)|
Transformers: Beast Wars is a 52 episode CGI animated television series that debuted in 1996, serving as the flagship of the Beast Wars franchise which also included Transformers: Beast Machines. The series was set in the future of the original Transformers universe as a sequel to the first Transformers series.
The Beast Wars TV series was produced by Mainframe Entertainment of Canada; its story editors were Bob Forward and Larry DiTillio.
Transformers: Beast Wars premiered on Toonami in 1998 replacing The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest for just one week. Only the last five episodes of Season 2 were shown. These five episodes had never been shown on any American cable channel before this event.
Beast Wars opens at an unspecified time and place, where two warring factions of robots have crashed on a strange planet populated by animals like those on Earth. The planet abounds in mystery, with vast deposits of raw energon and evidence of alien activity. The Energon forces the newly arrived Transformers to take on protective beast forms to shield themselves from the ambient Energon radiation. And so begin the Beast Wars…
Over the course of the series certain transformers were fuzed together forming Fuzors (i.e. Tigatron + Airazor = Tigerhawk). Also over the course of the series certain transformers changed into different animals, for example Megatron started out as a T-Rex, but later on changed to a dragon.
- Optimus Primal — Silverback Gorilla
- Rhinox — Rhinoceros
- Rattrap — Rat
- Cheetor — Cheetah
- Tigatron — White Tiger
- Airazor — Peregrine Falcon
- Tigerhawk — White Tiger/Peregrine Falcon
- Depth Charge — Manta Ray
- Silverbolt — Wolf/Eagle
- Dinobot — Velociraptor
- Megatron — T-Rex — Dragon
- Scorponok — Scorpion
- Blackarachnia — Black Widow
- Tarantulas — Tarantula
- Terrorsaur — Pteradactyl
- Waspinator — Wasp
- Inferno — Fire Ant
- Ravage — Panther
- Rampage — Crab
- Quickstrike — Scorpion/Snake
- Dinobot II (Dinobot Clone) — Velociraptor
Transformers: Beast Wars was produced by Mainframe Entertainment of Canada. The show's CGI, though somewhat primitive by today's standards, was revolutionary by television standards of the time (and puts some later shows to shame). Mainframe's animators took pains to ensure their characters gestured and emoted in great detail, and the "camera" work often took creative advantage of the format's flexibility.
Though at first the show seemed to be in an entirely separate continuity, by the end of the first season's 26 episodes, viewers had been treated to a number of classical Transformers references, such as Unicron and even the reappearance of Starscream, last seen as a ghost in the third season of the original cartoon. These ties to the original story increased as the second season progressed and the planet was revealed as prehistoric Earth, the characters having been thrown back in time. The third season was entirely structured around the Maximals defending their dormant Autobot ancestors aboard the ancient crashed Ark.
Beast Wars premiered on Cartoon Network's Toonami block in 1998 replacing The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest for just one week. Only the last 5 episodes of Season two aired from March 9 - 13, 1998.
All episodes of Beast Wars have been released on VHS and DVD. Most recently as "Transformers - Beast Wars: The Complete Series" which was released by Shout! Factory in 2011.