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Challenge of the Gobots: The Series - Volume 1
Challenge of the Gobots: The Series - Volume 1 is a three-disc DVD collection from the Warner Archive collection. This release contains the first 30 episodes of the series 60 episode run. The show picks up where the original five episode mini-series run left off by continuing the adventures that were seen in those earlier episodes with core characters and GoBots. The series is based upon the toy-line by Tonka Toys and is an interesting piece in the Hanna-Barbera collection.
The show essentially revolves around the idea of a group of GoBots that battle the evil-doer robots known as the Renegades. The GoBots team consists of Cy-Kill, Leader-1, Cop-Tur, Turbo, Crasher, and Scooter and each member of the team brings their own robotic skills towards saving the world each and every time. The Renegades, on the other hand, are an incredibly bumbling group mainly led by the super-villain Dr. Braxis, who seems to be determined that the Renegades take over the entire world.
There are also humans from team UNECOM who are also participating with the GoBots mission and who participate in helping them to save the day. Each episode of Challenge of the GoBots has a different kind of scenario that involves the GoBots facing off the Renegades and things becoming complicated before the world is saved. Things unfold on the series with diabolical plans by Dr. Braxis: sometimes it's time-traveling, underwater escapades to Atlantis, or giant equipment which can help the Renegades with their plans... until the awesome GoBots team steps in with all of their robotic pizzazz.
Animation can yield a lot of interesting ideas and ways of telling stories that one simply cannot find as easily replicated with a live-action medium of filmmaking. One of the ways animation delivers something entirely unique is in the form of giant-robot animated series. For decades, nothing like this was even remotely possible in live-action and with American titles like the popularized Transformers series and this series - Challenge of the GoBots - animators were tackling interesting and inventive concepts with lower budgets and a lot of enthusiasm that carried the series to success.
Even with the Transformers films and other giant-robot filmmaking taking on a live-action/CGI hybrid form, the root of "giant robot" filmmaking exists because animators found a way to make something work that seemed otherwise impossible. This continues to be a fascinating element of these types of series and is part of the reason why something like Challenge of the GoBots can be such an enjoyable thing to behold.
The animation is quirky, offbeat, and enjoyable in a way that perfectly meshes with 80's styles. It certainly fits the time-frame of when it was made splendidly, and it makes the show all the more entertaining because of this aspect. The animators did a good job with realizing these character designs following the toy creations. It helps make this a more creative and energized series. It certainly adds charm.
The Challenge of the GoBots is not an animated series to take too seriously given it's comedic storytelling and a generally lighthearted approach to action-adventure. This is a series meant to entertain viewers first and foremost. For those who grew up watching Challenge of the GoBots, or for animation fans who can appreciate either Hanna-Barbera series or Mecha (perhaps both!) this is a show worthy of checking out for its goofy characters, thrills, and silly humor blended together with good 80's animation.
The Challenge of the GoBots series has received a surprisingly nice video overhaul for its DVD release. While there are still some relatively minor instances of print wear or specks of dust and dirt on the transfers, for the most part viewers will be pleased to discover that the series has been released by Warner Archive with transfers that were remastered from the original film elements. This is a wonderful element of the set as the episodes have a clean, vibrant, and effective look. In terms of achieving color accuracy and delivering a proper presentation of the animation, Warner Bros Archive program has succeed. Hanna-Barbera fans and animation buffs will be left feeling pleased. The series is presented in its original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (full frame).
The Dolby Digital mono audio is clean and easy to understand. It's a proficient element of the release. There is no qualms with understanding the dialogue and for a mono presentation this certainly sounds decent given the age of the elements.
Please Note: Copies of this set ordered from WBShop.com come with pressed discs (at least during the initial limited print-run) and in clear plastic casing. Orders from Amazon.com and future printings of the set ordered from WBShop.com will yield DVD-R made on demand discs and a more standard black case packaging.
There are no extras on this set at all.
Challenge of the GoBots is a fun, entertaining children's program from Hanna-Barbera which mixed action, adventure, and comedy in equal measure. This newly released collection features the first half of the series run (minus the original 5 episode mini-series, which is available on a separate release). These episodes have been remastered and for dedicated fans of the series its certainly going to please those wanting to revisit the series to see the episodes with such good quality. Fans of Hanna-Barbera cartoons in general will also find something worthwhile here.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.