- This is about the original Transformers show. For other Transformers shows, see Transformers franchise
The Transformers cartoon series was created as a promotional tie-in for Hasbro's toyline of the same name. The series was developed by Marvel Productions, who had at the time just finished developing G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Marvel Productions produced the show under contract from Sunbow Productions, the television arm of Hasbro's advertising firm, Griffin Bacal. Voice work was done at Wally Burr Recording.
The series began with a three episode miniseries titled "More Than Meets The Eye", much as G.I. Joe had begun as a miniseries. Shortly, productions of Transformers went into full gear and the series ran for three full seasons, plus a three-episode fourth "season". Some episodes were later repackaged with live-action introductions and bumpers; this set of episodes is sometimes referred to by fans as "season five".
The series deals with extraterrestrial robots -- "Transformers" -- who, in the first episode, stranded on Earth. These robots come from a planet called Cybertron, and have the amazing ability to reconfigure their body parts into two or more different shapes or "modes". For example, many of the characters have a humanoid mode and can also transform to look like cars or airplanes. The Transformers are divided into two factions: the "Autobots", who wish to live peacefully with other lifeforms, and the "Decepticons" who wish to conquer other worlds and acquire large reserves of energy and other resources for their own use. Naturally, this puts the factions into conflict and most episodes of the cartoon deal with the Autobots trying to stop the Decepticons from stealing energy, harming humans, and the like.
Between seasons two and three, in the summer of 1986, a feature film called Transformers: The Movie was released. In this film most of the major characters from the first two seasons were killed, and a new cast of characters was introduced. Season three of the cartoon deals with these new characters, although there were some holdovers from the first two years.
When the Transformers franchise began, it and this cartoon were simply called Transformers. In 1993, Hasbro revived the Transformers franchise under the name Transformers: Generation Two. Immediately, fans began to refer to the original series as "Generation One" or "G1" in order to differentiate the two. Eventually, this fan-created term began appearing in some materials produced by Hasbro and Takara (the Japanese toy company with which Hasbro co-creates Transformers).
|Peter Cullen||Optimus Prime||1||2||3||4|
|Corey Burton||Spike Witwicky||1||2||3||4|
|John Moschitta, Jr.|
|David Mendenhall||Daniel Witwicky||3||4|
|Season One||September 17, 1984||December 29, 1984||16|
|Season Two||September 23, 1985||January 9, 1986||49|
|Season Three||September 15, 1986||February 25, 1987||30|
|Season Four||November 9, 1987||November 11, 1987||3|
|Transformers: The Movie||July 11, 1986|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
|The Complete Series|| July 23, 2009 (Comic-Con)
October 20, 2009 (General)
|Season Sets - Rhino|
|The Complete First Season||April 23, 2002||4|
|Season 2 Part 1||November 26, 2002||4|
|Season 2 Part 2||April 22, 2003||4|
|Season 3 Part 1||October 14, 2003||4|
|Season 3 Part 2 & Season 4||March 9, 2004||3|
|Season Sets - Shout Factory|
|The Complete First Season||June 16, 2009||3|
|Season Two, Volume One||September 15, 2009||4|
|Season Two, Volume Two||January 12, 2010||4|
|Seasons Three and Four||April 20, 2010||4|
|More than Meets the Eye||September 1, 2009||1|