Beast Wars Volume 1 DVD
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The 1996 American update of the 1985 Japanese Transformers series is based on a computer game and a line of toys from Hasbro. Like Voltron: The Third Dimension (1998), which it resembles, Beast Wars reveals just how quickly computer graphics evolved. The weightless characters move in simple, repeated cycles and never come in contact with the ground when they walk or run. The pseudo-Valley Dude dialogue ("Cool your circuits!") and the way the filmmakers trot out every toy in every episode (to remind potential buyers of their existence) recall the bad old days of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Fans of video games and/or toys will enjoy the screaming battles between familiar characters in their organic and robotic forms; others will quickly weary of the repetitive story and over-the-top vocal performances. Unrated; suitable for ages 8 and up: Violence. --Charles Solomon