The Movie Pool finds more than meets the eye to the Transformers Rescue Bots: Roll to the Rescue DVD!
A band of Transformers with rescue abilities is assigned by Optimus Prime to protect the town of Griffin Rock. From the HUB TV network show.
A kinder, gentler version of Transformers geared towards younger kids, Rescue Bots is a well-done, entertaining cartoon that is perfect for the 7 to 12-year-olds it aims for.
The new show focuses on a new group of Transformers called Rescue Bots, who come to Earth after getting the signal sent out by Optimus Prime. With skills made for rescue operations, Prime assigns them to work undercover as rescue vehicles in the town of Griffin Rock. Chase, Heatwave, Blades, and Boulder are the led characters here, although Optimus Prime does show up in cameos.
The animation is surprisingly well done, and doesn't appear cheap like so many current cartoons. It manages to pull off a stylized look with a colorful retro feel that reminds me of the old Fleischer Superman cartoons. The art direction is quite good, and while the town and Transformers sport more of a Fisher Price Little People look, than the anime look we are used to, it all works here.
The voice acting includes Levar Burton as the town "Doc Brown" of sorts, and Lacey Chabert plays the daughter of the fire chief. Transformers fans will be excited to hear Peter Cullen voicing Optimus Prime, although he is not a series regular.
The DVD includes six of the series first seven episodes. Strangely, episode 6 ("Cody on Patrol") is skipped over, and episode 7 ("Four Bots and a Baby") is included instead.
A fun series with excellent animation and a decent message about respecting the first responders in our community, Rescue Bots is an excellent introduction for young kids to the Transformers universe. The Transformers movies, with its profanity, violence, and sexual innuendo, aren't exactly kid friendly. This is a nice substitute. With Transformers Prime producer Jeff Kline also in charge of this show, the quality of the shows are top-notch.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
For a standard definition DVD, the image is excellent, with an incredibly sharp picture. Colors are vivid and the animation is smooth, thanks to a high-quality transfer that looks to have come from a digital master. The audio is a surprisingly good Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, with a 2.0 mix included as well.
The pilot episode ("Family of Heroes") is listed on the package as a special feature, but it is included with the rest of the episodes, so they can be watched in order. Several coloring sheets are also included, which can be printed when the DVD is placed in a computer drive.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BUY IT OR REDBOX IT?
Ratings (1-10 scale)
Overall grade: 7
Transformers: Rescue Bots is an excellent show for kids, and even hardcore Transformers fans will be amused, who will be giddy over the inclusion of Peter Cullen voicing Optimus Prime, who pops in from time to time. Featuring entertaining stories with a moral for kids to learn, this is not just a 30 minute commercial to sell toys. With a retail price under $15, this is priced to buy, and we recommend it for parents looking to give their young kids a Transformer fix without exposing them to the violence and sexual innuendo of the movies.
Release date: October 2, 2012
Running time: 130 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0
Special features: Bonus episode ("Family of Heroes" pilot episode), Coloring sheets