Judge Patrick Naugle's nickname is Optimus Sub-Prime.
Robots in disguise…as diapers.
If, like me, you were a rough and tumble boy growing up in the 1980s, you were a fan of Hasbro's Transformers toy line and its requisite animated TV show. The Autobots were alien robots who came to Earth, assuming the form of automobiles and aircraft, and battled the evil Decepticons. It was, in a word, awesome! In fact, thirty years later, the Transformers are still pretty cool. With the release of Michael Bay's live-action blockbuster movies, the Transformers found new life on the big screen, the small screen, and at retailers everywhere.
One of the offshoots of the new Transformers boom was the creation of Transformers Rescue Bots, which is essentially Transformers-lite for the tyke set. Instead of having the Autobots clash with the Decepticons, this group of inexperienced Autobots spend their days working in Griffin Rock, Maine, among humans (per Optimus Prime's orders) in order to learn about Earth's inhabitants. The humans are led by Griffin Rock's Chief of Police (Maurice LaMarche) and his precocious teenage son Cody (Elan Garfias). The heroic Autobots include Chase (a police car), Heatwave (a fire engine), Blades (a helicopter), and Boulder (a bulldozer).
Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes to the Scene features five 22-minute episodes from Season One ("The Lost Bell," "You've Been Squilshed," "Little White Lies," "Shake Up," and "Rescue Boy"). Needless to say, these episodes are geared solely towards little children. Anyone above the age of 12 isn't going to find this series very riveting. However, as a show made for kids, I found these episodes to be mildly amusing, if a bit blandly written and animated. The humans are all standard kids show cartoon characters; a curious blond haired boy, a gruff but lovable father, etc. The Autobots are a lot more interesting, especially the oft-confused Blades, who offers up the most levity.
Most of the plots are fairly light with all loose ends wrapped up by the end of the episode. The challenges the Transformers and humans must face include being stranded on a dessert island, dealing with a forgotten birthday, and trying to capture a giant green alien blob bent on eating everything in its path. Because this is a show for children, parents don't have to worry about any excessive violence or language; most of what the Rescue Bots do is keep humans out of harms way or save them when they're in danger. Without the Decepticons around, the show's villains are few and far between.
Each of these episodes are presented in standard def 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The animation (computer based, leaning towards classic animation) is sharp and clean, the imagery appropriately colorful and bright. The Dolby 5.1 Surround track does what is needed, and little else. The biggest boost comes from the theme song and background effects. No alternate subtitles or language are provided, and there are no bonus features.
Young ones will eat up Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes on the Scene. Parents may not find it half as exciting as the kids, but take solace in the fact there is far more grating programming out there.
It'll make your little ones drool lugnuts.
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