TOTAL NUMBER OF BLOOPERS: 134
GREAT LINES: There is one that I include mainly because a friend of mine found it amusing:
"Welcome to the wonderful world of suspended animation!"--Megatron, after immobilizing Prime. I almost used this as the tag line for my episode synopsis since it does describe the animated aspect of this episode quite accurately, but... that would be uncalled for.
CHEESY LINES: Oh, there's a boatload of them. Most notably:
"It's that nosey no-good-nicon, Laserbeak! He'll blab our plans to Megatron!"--Sideswipe, doing his Boris Badenoff impression. (At this point I'll just note that if you don't want to be discovered, you don't water-ski into New York Harbor in plain sight...)
"This alligator is big and heavy!"--Mirage? Mirage and Ratchet? Mirage doing a Reflector impression? Well, it's somebody stating the bloody obvious. See DIALOGUE AND SOUND EFFECTS below.
"Starscream, we're damaged!"--Thundercracker, after the Decepticons jets rather stupidly fly right into the Empire State Building and back out again.
"Gee, I didn't know Decepticons had uncles!"--Sideswipe again, a moment after he threatens Starscream with, "Say 'uncle,' or I'll shove your nose in your afterburner!"
- What graffiti were written on the walls in the subway?
- What were the destinations of the train that the Autobots sent the alligaticon off in, according to Hound?
- I hereby nominate this episode as the single worst installment in the entire Transformers series. Yes, that includes "Five Faces of Darkness." Yes, that even includes "Carnage in C-Minor." The premise is positively laughable--Megatron decides that building his new base right in the middle of a human city is a Really Good Idea. With all the materials they needed to recreate the buildings in order to make them livable for Decepticons, why bother to start with the human buildings at all? That is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg in the Land of Silly Plot Devices...
- And then there's the animation. It goes without saying that an entirely different animation studio handled this episode--the guys over at Akom, to be precise, over in Korea. Remember the Japanese-drawn, anime-style Transformers episodes? Throw that out the window, because you've just entered the Twilight Zone version of the series, Hanna-Barbera style. Characters routinely stand around doing nothing for entire scenes at a stretch, even when their lives are at stake--presumably because it's easier to copy the character model sheets than come up with animation of characters actually doing something. The color models the animators are working from aren't even correct to begin with, in fact. We will address this and many other points below...
- I'll just point out that I threw in a lot of digs at various parts of the episode without actually bothering to tally them up as bloopers in their own right. There's a lot of stuff in this episode that may not actually contradict a previous plot point, but it's just plain stupid.
- That said, there is one bit that I rather like. When the Constructicons begin combining into Devastator, Wheeljack stumbles onto the scene in the middle of their transformation, and he just stops... and stares. Keep in mind that this is only Devastator's second episode, so he's still a fairly intimidating opponent--and the Wheeljack scene does a good job of conveying this.
PLOT OVERSIGHTS: (25)
- At the beginning, Laserbeak enters the Decepticon base through a manhole cover. Is this the only way to get to their base? How did the other Decepticons get in there in the first place? Laserbeak could barely fit, himself. (I'm also confused as to whether Laserbeak activated some sort of remote-control on the manhole cover, or whether he just magnetized it or something with his guns. The reason I ask is that it's still glowing even after he stops shooting it and flies through the manhole, and closes by itself.)
- After Hook notes that he's finished the hard part of the operation, Scrapper responds, "Wrong, as usual, Hook." That seems like an odd thing to say, given Hook's reputation for high precision.
- When Bonecrusher orders Long Haul to carry off some of the debris from the construction, he complains that "I didn't join this outfit to be a dump truck!" This is the first of many contradictions regarding the Constructicons; according to "Heavy Metal War," the Constructicons were built on Earth. Maybe this is simply an infrequently-used definition of the word, in a "the first robots who came to Cybertron" sort of way?
- After the Decepticons ambush the Autobots in Central Park, Soundwave blasts Bumblebee. Then Optimus orders the others to transform, and they start fighting the 'Cons. Why doesn't anybody check to see if Bumblebee is okay?
- Also during this battle, we learn that Frenzy has pile-driver arms, just like Rumble! It's not an isolated incident, of course (it happens again in The Transformers: the Movie), but this does contradict what we know about the characters based on their toy tech specs. Supposedly, Rumble was the guy who made earthquakes, and Frenzy could produce a high-pitched noise that disrupted robots' circuitry.
- This episode is great at alluding to things which sound like they're going to be mighty important, but in fact they're terminally dim. For example: Underground, Megatron tells Scavenger and Long Haul that their "special talents" will be required, and they proceed to find Optimus Prime and dig up the ground from beneath him. Scavenger's got sensors in his shovel to help accomplish this task, but Long Haul's "special talent" is, apparently, catching things in his truck bed. Isn't he talented? Let's give him a hand, folks!
- Megatron contradicts himself rather badly just before the refurbished Empire State Building emerges. He announces, "I want you all to see my new headquarters: the reborn Decepticon city of New Cybertron!" How does a single building constitute an entire city in his little world?
- So, let me get this straight. In the absence of Optimus Prime, Spike has taken it upon himself to start barking orders? Is anyone else getting the feeling that the Autobots really need to sort out their command structure at some point? Also, consider the following exchange:
SPIKE: Don't worry, we'll get the Decepticons out of New York somehow.
HOUND: Not while Megatron's got Optimus Prime! If we attack, Prime's had it!
SPIKE: Maybe not! Bumblebee, take a left. I've got an idea!
This suggests that Spike's got some clever idea, but later on it becomes clear that the plan is... to go get Prime. Well, thank goodness the Autobots have got Spike on their side, or it never would have occurred to them to rescue their leader.
- After Megatron has Prime disassembled, Prime somehow radio-commands his dismembered arms to fly into the air and grab Megatron's legs. Would someone please explain this to me? Prime's got independently self-motivating body parts? Which somehow have the strength to knock Megatron over? I am no less confused by Prime's boots, which as we'll see later, have the power to magically fly across the room by Prime's command. (And I suppose now as as good a time to ask as any: What happens to Prime's trailer while all this is going on?)
- Right before Spike and Bumblebee enter the sewer system, Spike is sitting on Bumblebee's head, which is submerged until Spike announces that he's spotted the drain pipe opening. Then Bumblebee pops up and walks toward it. Could Bumblebee really hear Spike while he was underwater? (I also question the fact that the water is apparently around ten feet deep if it's only up to Bumblebee's shoulders when he stand up. Isn't that a bit shallow for the very large ship that they were standing right next to?)
- I have to ask: what are Wheeljack and the others doing all this time while Bumblebee and Ratchet and Hound are trouncing around through the sewers? Did they actually evacuate like Megatron wanted, and just sat around playing gin rummy until Hound's group managed to get Prime back?
- At one point during the construction of New Cybertron, Skywarp loads an automobile into Mixmaster's mixing drum, and a few seconds later he spits out a few steel girders. I think that's cool--they got that from his tech specs, actually. However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that these girders would make rather poor building materials, given that the car's most likely composed of a fiberglass chassis, rubber tires, glass windows, a leather interior... you get the idea. (Neat, isn't it? The car is painted red, so naturally, the girders come out red too!)
- So, the Autobots are looking for Optimus Prime--a red, grey and blue Autobot with an Autobot symbol on his shoulder. Just ignore that red, grey and blue alligator with the Autobot symbol on his shoulder, though--I'm sure he's got nothing to do with Prime's disappearance. (I'm sorry... the Autobots really are complete idiots in this episode.)
- Okay, so Hound is using his sensors to track down Prime, but unbeknownst to him, he's really picking up the alligaticon, because the Constructicons built it out of Prime's body. Makes sense so far, right? Later, though, Hound says, "My sensors indicate that Prime is now within ten mechano-meters," just before bursting through a door and finding Prime's head. Assuming that a mechano-meter is more or less the same as a meter, this seems to indicate that Hound started tracking down Prime's head at some point instead of his body. At this point, Hound still doesn't know that the alligaticon is really Prime's body. So why the switch?
- Here's another bit of foreshadowing that pretty much bites itself in the bum later on. Scrapper says something about "using Optimus Prime's remnants most creatively," and as far as the alligaticon goes, I'll give him that much. Very cute. Quite ironic. Megatron would approve. What isn't readily evident, though, is that they apparently used Prime's legs to hold up their coffee table. Yeah, that's about as creative as a mud fence, Scrapper.
- When Hound finally realizes that Optimus Prime was, in fact, the monster the Autobots encountered earlier, Bumblebee and Spike announce in unison, "The alligaticon!" It's one thing to coin a dorky neologism like that, but for Spike and Bumblebee to both come up with it at the same time? Do they share one brain or something?
- The dialogue the Autobots exchange when they capture the alligaticon is positively excruciating. Mirage (I think) comments, "This alligator is big and heavy!" I can almost accept that he would make such a stupefyingly obvious remark; people do it all the time ("you're very tall," "so this is it, we're going to die," etc.) What completely baffles me is Prime's positively mystifying, cryptic, completely non sequitur response: "From the looks of it, I'd say a little of both." Yes, Mirage or whoever you are, the alligator is quite big. And not only that, but as you previously noted, it is also rather heavy. So, to recap, it is both big and heavy. Oh... Primus on a pogo stick, just shoot me now.
- So, since we've already demonstrated that Prime has mystical flying arms and legs, as well as a direct influence over the alligaticon... why doesn't it occur to him to just take control of his arm instead of standing there like a total git and letting it shoot at him? (Along the same lines, it sure is a good thing that Prime finally ordered the Autobots to scatter, since it looks like they would have all just stood around all day if he hadn't.)
- Is there any particular reason why Hound's sensors don't notice the incredibly large HOLE in the road that he just drives right into? Never mind the sensors--why doesn't he SEE the darned thing?
- Spike notes, "More Constructicon handiwork dead ahead," and Megatron, observing the Autobots on his monitor inside the Decepticon-Empire State Building, chimes in, "Right you are, human!" I just find it amazing that he can hear Spike from inside Bumblebee, is all.
- In order to elude the battle taxis, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, and Sunstreaker... uh... jump over them all. In car mode. What, did Wheeljack install a Turbo Boost feature in all of them after watching an episode of Knight Rider or something?
- After dealing with the Decepti-cabs, Prime comes up to Ironhide and spouts out yet another non sequitur, "That's the way to cool it, Ironhide!" I assume that this is some reference to Ironhide using his liquid nitrogen on something, but there's no evidence that Ironhide was doing anything of the sort beyond Prime's remark.
- Spike and Bumblebee have decided to infiltrate Megatron's headquarters. Okay, either they're very brave or very stupid. What's funny here is that they apparently ride the elevator all the way to the top floor, the doors slide open with a Star Trek-style hissing noise, but Soundwave doesn't realize that there are intruders in the base until Spike announces, "Now, Bumblebee!" (On a related note, it sure is a good thing Mega-klutz has such lousy aim in this episode. I mean, Spike and Bumblebee were obviously counting on his inability to shoot a moving target, otherwise their "plan" would never have worked.)
- At the end, when Megatron emerges from the building, he mutters, "The Autobots may have destroyed my city of New Cybertron, but I have not been defeated." Huh? All the Autobots did was smash up the Constructicons' gun emplacements and knock a hole through a couple floors in the Empire State Building. How does that translate to the whole city being destroyed? (At least it's consistent with his assertion earlier that his new building somehow constituted an entire city... sort of).
- Rob Powers points out, quite correctly, that Optimus apparently stood around the entire time with no arm while the Autobots restored New York, and then Ratchet finally got around to reattaching it.1 (On the other hand, maybe he just commanded the arm to float around and fix things...)
DIALOGUE AND SOUND EFFECTS: (18)
- Mixmaster's voice has changed a bit since "Heavy Metal War." It's still Frank Welker performing him, but his voice is a higher pitch now... and he's gone positively nutty. I wonder if the lava bath he took at the end of the aforementioned episode didn't fry his circuits a bit? I would also be remiss if I didn't point out that this is the only episode in which the character repeats syllables in triplicate: "Right right right, Mega Mega Megatron!"
- When Rumble says to the Autobots, "Don't you tourists know that hanging out in Central Park..." Frenzy continues with "...can be hazardous..." but doesn't move his mouth.
- After Soundwave announces, "Scrapper is ready, Mighty Megatron," Megatron responds, "Excellent, Scrapper! Activate the lift!" So, Megatron thinks that Scrapper usually refers to himself in the third person, and has a voice just like Soundwave's? I think that either somebody misplaced a comma in the script, or Frank Welker delivered the line with the wrong emphasis. It would make much more sense if the line were, "Excellent! Scrapper, activate the lift."
- There is a bad musical edit right before the first commercial when Long Haul drags Prime away. It's always sounded to me like the guys who laid in the music tracks didn't realize there was a commercial break coming up, so they quickly threw in the instruments trilling at the end to make up for it. There's just no logical progression at all, from a musical standpoint.
- After Prime is disassembled, as Megatron is clutching Prime's head, Megatron's entire arm is vibrating, apparently to serve as a visual cue that Prime is speaking. Was there any particular reason they couldn't have just, maybe, I don't know... made Prime's face plate move when he talks, like in every other episode? His face plate doesn't bother to move for most of the time that his head is separated from his body, actually.
- There is no sound effect when Megatron yanks the wires out of Prime's head, apparently deactivating him again. Considering that the scene isn't really animated well enough to convey that this is what's happening (Megatron's movement is too subtle, and the scene cuts away too quickly), this would have helped the flow of the scene. I didn't realize this is what he was doing until I watched the scene in slow-mo.
- The same thing happens when Hound apparently switches on his sensors to keep tabs on Mirage. He turns a little knob on his chest-mounted engine, but without any corresponding noise, once again it's not readily evident this is what he's doing.
- Scrapper's face plate isn't moving when he talks during the entire scene when the Constructicons are carrying Optimus Prime's arm around (and digging for elementary vocabulary words like "damage").
- When Hound says that they can't fight the alligaticon because "the noise will alert the Decepticons! But I've got a plan..." he rips off the rear door frame from an old abandoned train in preparation of trapping the alligaticon inside. The problem is that his voice is strained on the word "plan," as though this was the point at which he was tearing the train apart, even though he's already finished doing so by this point. He just sounds constipated. (See "Call of the Primitives" for a bit more on this.)
- Scrapper seems to be channeling Sideswipe's life force about midway through the episode. Michael Bell performs both characters, and he apparently got a bit sidetracked as to what Scrapper was supposed to sound like. What really gets me, though, is the cheerful, good-natured laugh he adds when he delivers the line, "If the Autobots ever drive down this road, they'll be riding down their own grave! Ha ha!"
- Skywarp's mouth doesn't move when he delivers the line, "See what you can do with this, Mixmaster!"
- After Ratchet and Hound find Prime's head, the head is moving around in Ratchet's hands when it talks. Again, the animators are going out of their way to provide a visual cue that Prime's talking, but it's a completely unnecessary one! (Then again, his body parts can apparently fly, so I suppose there's no reason why his head couldn't levitate...)
- When Mirage says, "This alligator is big and heavy!" his voice is strangely flanged. It sounds layered over top itself, like they usually do with Reflector's voice. (Either that, or Ratchet is delivering the same line simultaneously, which is itself a disturbing notion.)
- When Frenzy apparently tries to run the Autobots over with the subway train, Scrapper's voice (which is back to normal, incidentally) can be heard saying, "You're just in time to take the A-train!" The problem here is that Scrapper is nowhere to be found during this scene.
- As Sunstreaker and Sideswipe are being bullied by the Decepticabs, Sunstreaker notes, "Things are looking bad," and Sideswipe adds, "Bu they're starting to sound good! Hear that?" At this point, Prime appears on the scene and makes quick work of the evil taxis. I assume there was supposed to be some diesel truck sound effect before Sideswipe delivers his line, but it's conspicuously absent.
- When Soundwave ejects Laserbeak and Buzzsaw to deal with Spike and Bumblebee, only half a transformation sound effect is heard, and that's before either of them is finished transforming.
- It seems to me that Megatron's voice should be muffled a bit during the scene when Ratchet and Ironhide are eavesdropping on him, given that they're apparently hearing him from the next floor up.
- After Ratchet finishes fixing Prime's arm and asks how it feels, Prime responds, "Just as it always was," but when he flexes his arm it makes a horrible metallic grinding sound. What a guy, that Op, trying to spare Ratchet's feelings.
ANIMATION AND CONTINUITY: (91)
Hoo boy. Here we go.
- As Laserbeak flies past several buildings at the beginning of the episode (including a building that's almost entirely pink... strange) there are no symbols on the bottom of his wings.
- Once in the sewers, Laserbeak's eye beams activate some sort of remote-controlled double doors. As we cut to a slightly closer shot, the doors and the eye beams are still present, but Laserbeak has disappeared.
- As I said above, Akom ended up with different color models for several characters, and these alternate color schemes will appear in any episode that these guys animate (including "The Autobot Run," "The Core," "Five Faces of Darkness," "Dark Awakening," and "The Rebirth"). The first of these is Soundwave, who's got a grey backpack and grey, uh, butt panels. They should be blue, actually.
- When Laserbeak transforms to tape mode, his cassette form is actually facing backwards (if you're familiar with the toy, you can tell because of where his head ends up when he's transformed).
- Then, when Laserbeak enters Soundwave, the cassette door opens without Soundwave ever hitting his eject button. Also in this scene, Soundwave's eject button is blue instead of grey, and the side of his upper arm grey instead of blue. Finally, when Laserbeak enters Soundwave, he is significantly smaller than the cassette door itself, and he disappears into Soundwave's chest instead of sliding into the cassette door like usual.
- Nitpicky, perhaps, but Scavenger seems to be driving awfully fast for a steal shovel--and yet he's able to stop on a dime on that ramp. Also in this scene, the top of Hook's head is green instead of black.
- When Hook raises the ramp, Scavenger's cockpit window is green instead of purple.
- When Megatron arrives on the scene, Scrapper is missing the red panel on his upper chest.
- Speaking of Megs... he, too, is showing off his new color model in this episode... and it's rather hideous. He's painted a dull grey most of the time, with a black cannon on his back. (I find the black cannon interesting; while it's true that this forms his gun barrel in weapons mode, Megatron's got a separate extension barrel for that. I guess he keeps it in subspace.)
- After Megatron orders Scavenger to dig away at the foundation of the Empire State Building, Scavenger proceeds to whack it good and hard several times with the back of his shovel. Does Scavenger have any clue what that thing is even for? Thankfully, though, the foundation of the building is made of gingerbread, and crumbles away easily.
- Bonecrusher is doing some odd construction-vehicle things, too. I guess there's no real reason that his bulldozer shovel can't extend to three times his height so he can dump some stuff in Long Haul's truck bed, but it looks weird to me. Scrapper's the front loader; wouldn't this be his job?
- When Starscream first appears (out of nowhere, mind you), the panels on his feet are light grey instead of dark grey.
- I have to admit that I'm impressed with Mixmaster's pinpoint accuracy. He manages to spray a stream of acid several hundred feet into the cavern ceiling, and yet it still fits through the tiny crack between the foundation of the Empire State Building and the surrounding area. (Also, when Scavenger whacked the foundation, it fell apart, but when Mixmaster sprays it, it's reappeared again.)
- Scavenger's transformation is a bit messed up when he returns to robot mode--his robot head and shoulders should form the back of his steam shovel mode, not the front.
- When Megatron orders, "Scrapper, lower away!" he, along with Soundwave behind him, are drawn precisely like their cartoon model sheets. (If you compare this scene to their portraits in the TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE comics, you'll see what I mean.) This happens quite a lot with this particular animation studio; I always thought the model sheets were meant to serve as a reference guide for the artists, but apparently the guys at Akom had other ideas.
- When we first see Autobot Headquarters, the Ark is incorrectly level, with respect to the ground. (It's pointing slightly up, actually.)
- Inside the Autobot base, when all those Autobots are standing around, Bumblebee's Autobot symbol is colored yellow instead of red, and one of his forearms is black instead of yellow.
- When Prime concludes that the Empire State Building's disappearance must be "Megatron's work," the drawing is a reproduction of his model sheet. I have to admit that this practice really bothers me; are the animators so devoid of talent that they can't even be bothered to produce original drawings? (Don't answer that.)
- As Sparkplug stays behind, he doesn't look nearly heavy enough to me. I'm wondering if that's not Spike's character model, actually. Also, the lights and doodads on Teletraan 1 look rather juvenile to me--they're oversized and colorful, in a preschool kind of way.
- When Bumblebee transforms to car mode, his fists are light grey instead of black. Then when he drives off, his tail lights are black. (They're actually yellow, according to his normal character model.)
- The sense of perspective is all wonky in both shots when the Autobots pass by the Statue of Liberty. There's nothing wrong with the backdrop itself, but the Autobots are drawn far too large with respect to it, making the Statue of Liberty look like it's around 20 feet tall.
- At first, there are five Autobots approaching the harbor, all in a row--Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, Mirage, Hound. Right before they spot Laserbeak, Mirage and Hound are now just a bit ahead of the rest of the group. After they notice Laserbeak, however, suddenly Sunstreaker and Hound are several feet behind the others and are catching up with the rest of the group.
- In the pointless scene of Prime and the other Autobots not having arrived yet, Bumblebee's rear fender is black instead of yellow. Also, Trailbreaker was with them when they left headquarters, but he's disappeared by this scene.
- When Optimus approaches the camera during this scene, his front bumper is red instead of white, the Autobot symbols on his cab are white, and the stripes on his side are grey--even though this corresponds with the toy, the stripes are actually red in his truck mode, as far as the cartoon goes. (I'd also just like to point out that Prime issues the order to increase speed... and then the Autobots hit a sharp curve in the road.)
- In the Decepticon underground facility, there is a building or something with a large number "5" on the top. Why would the Decepticons be using arabic numerals as identification?
- I don't get the Laserbeak-squawking scene at all. First, Laserbeak (with a black beak instead of grey) chirps, and Megatron looks over at him. At this point, Laserbeak is either on Soundwave's right shoulder, or his head is attached to the top of Soundwave's helmet. Cut to a scene of another bird, or the same one, on Soundwave's left shoulder this time (and also with a black beak). He's at a different camera angle, and squawking at a different pitch, though. Is Laserbeak talking to Buzzsaw? Did he leap over onto Soundwave's other shoulder when we weren't looking? Like I said, I don't get it.
- When Megatron summons Scavenger and Long Haul, Soundwave's shoulder cannon is entirely red (it should be blue with a red stripe) and Scavenger's treads are green instead of purple. Also in this scene, Soundwave and Megatron are once again in their model sheet poses. Megatron's face is dark grey, though.
- When the Autobots finally arrive in New York, Bluestreak's hood is grey. It's supposed to be dark blue. Also, the Autobots are pretty much taking up the entire road. Thankfully, though, New York is completely devoid of traffic except for the Autobots, so it's okay.
- When Spike climbs out of Bumblebee, there's a red Autobot with a black bumper in the upper corner of the screen. I'm not sure who it's supposed to be (it looks kind of like Bluestreak's bumper, actually) but in any event, it's wrong.
- When the Autobots transform, Prime's gun is in his left hand, but in the next scene, it's in his right. Also, Ironhide, is carrying, for the first time, the gun that comes with his toy. (He goes through a variety of guns in the series, possibly because his character model wasn't supplied with an official one.) Overshadowing that, though, is the fact that Ironhide and Ratchet are tiny compared to Optimus in this scene--Optimus is kneeling, and the other two still only come up to his waist. That would make them roughly the size of Bumblebee. Bluestreak is even smaller than that--about Spike-sized. (I'm guessing that Bluestreak was supposed to be behind them and that Prime was supposed to be in front of the others, but that's not how it worked out.)
- Rumble's arms don't transform into pile drivers in this episode like they usually do--they just extend from his wrists. Also, Rumble and Frenzy pound the ground for a bit, then stop, and then Ironhide spontaneously falls over on his side.
- When Scavenger "digs" for Optimus Prime, the cracks in the cavern ceiling overlap his shovel.
- Topside, Bumblebee (who was apparently unaffected by Soundwave's concussion blast... how nice for him!) is fighting Frenzy, and Ratchet is fighting Rumble, and they're all the same height.
- When Prime falls through the ground, we see something colored Constructicon-green breaking through the surface to scoop him up. Then, Prime falls what looks like several hundred feet into Long Haul's specially talented truck bed, with Scavenger sitting nearby. Is Scavenger's shovel really capable of reaching that far?
- Megatron, incidentally, is standing right next to Long Haul when Prime lands. So why does he have to take seven or eight steps to reach Prime and short out his motor relays?
- Incidentally, that thing between Prime's legs (be quiet, people) is white instead of blue, right after Megatron zaps him.
- When Soundwave announces that Scrapper is ready, he presses his eject button (colored blue) to contact Megatron. It even makes an ejecting noise (but of course his cassette door doesn't open). You may have noticed that this is Soundwave's model sheet pose, too.
- When Megatron says to Soundwave, "Excellent, Scrapper!" the same scene with the large "5" on the building is reused. The problem here is that, despite what Soundwave claims, the building is still incomplete (you can see bits of the original Empire State Building sticking out the top of the new, Decepticon-purple shell). Also, there are still three figures standing to the right of the building which I think were supposed to be Megatron, Soundwave, and Reflector (if the Laserbeak-squawking scene above is any indication), but that can't be Megs or Soundwave since they are above ground by this point in the episode.
- Megatron and Starscream are once again in their model sheet poses when Megatron announces, "I want you all to see my new headquarters."
- When the new base prepares to emerge, the smoke or dust or whatever surrounding it is frozen. Then the building emerges from the hole. In the next scene, the building's crawled back into the hole again, and the smoke has once again stopped moving.
- As Megs looks back toward the Autobots and warns, "And if you interfere one minicon..." (which translates, I guess, as a "little bit"), Ironhide's upper body is red instead of dark grey.
- When Long Haul drives off and Optimus turns his head (y'know, suspended animation and all), part of his helmet flashes from blue to grey.
- When we first spot the Autobots on the bridge, Trailbreaker is back with the group (he disappears shortly afterwards again, though) and Bumblebee is missing the Autobot symbol on his hood.
- In the next shot, Ratchet is colored entirely dark blue. (At least, I think it's Ratchet. It could be Ironhide. I'll just add here that I'm not sure whether the Autobots are coming or going. Wheeljack laments "If only we'd been able to join the others in time," and yet they obviously did meet up with the other group, since Bumblebee and Spike are there.)
- Why does Spike lean over and hold the CB radio up to his mouth in order to talk to Bumblebee... when he's riding inside Bumblebee?
- When Spike assumes command of the Autobots and orders Bumblebee to take a left turn, all the Autobots drive off an off-ramp to the right.
- As the Decepticons are all standing around Prime, Mixmaster is colored like Bumblebee. (He kind of looks like Generation 2 Mixmaster, actually.)
- When Megs is standing over Prime and gloating, Prime's body is in the foreground, but at one point Megatron's arm overlaps the smokestack on Prime's shoulder, making Megatron look very small.
- As Megatron realizes, "Even immobilized, you worry me..." Prime's in that slaggin' TFU pose again. That's a pretty neat trick, since he's supposedly laying down in Long Haul's truck bed at the time. (Wait... they did actually tilt his body at the torso. Slightly.)
- Hook's transformation is off-model after Megs orders him to disassemble Prime. The top of his crane mode forms his back in robot mode, not his chest. Also, after he transforms, he assumes... wait for it... his model sheet pose!
- Grungy nitpicking time. As Prime's parts tumble out of Long Haul's truck bed, only one of his upper legs is present, and there are two smallish grey blocks that don't seem to correspond to any part of Prime's anatomy.
- When Megatron activates Prime's head to taunt him, there's a matte painting where some of Prime's parts can be seen in the background, but they're all colored Decepticon-purple.
- In the following scene, Prime's backpack section is colored red. This is technically correct, but I'm including it as an error since it's grey according to the color model the animators used for this episode.
- When Megatron tells the Constructicons to ditch Prime's parts, and adds "But the head is mine," Prime's antennae are inexplicably bent all out of shape.
- There's some bizarre camera work going on in the next scene... We start out with a shot of the harbor with a few boats docked, then close in on the bow of one of the ships... so naturally, something's happening on board this ship, right? Well, not really, since the camera suddenly jerks down to the water, where Spike can be found. Huh? Why did we close in on the ship in the first place?
- Bumblebee is another character who's got an alternate color model for this episode. The "spare tire" on his back is colored black, instead of yellow like the rest of him. (This panel is actually black on the toy, incidentally. The way these guys color it makes it look like a tire for his vehicle mode, though.)
- As the Autobots are trekking through the sewers, the camera angle changes from a mostly-frontal view to a mostly-side view of the background, and yet we see Ratchet from the front for pretty much the entire shot. In other words, Ratchet starts walking sideways just so the animators don't have to draw him from another angle.
- When Scrapper says that it's time to join the others, the cheek guard on Hook's helmet are green, and they don't move with the rest of his helmet when he turns his head.
- When Hound shuts off his orange glowing sensor doodad, the little square component on his chest that's projecting the beam disappears along with it.
- As Hound does a take when he spots the alligaticon, one of his headlights flashes from white to green. (I would also just like to point out that it takes Spike several seconds longer to notice the same alligaticon, even though he's apparently looking in the same direction as Hound and the alligaticon is making all sorts of vicious growly noises. Kid's a bit slow on the uptake, eh?)
- When Mirage is shooting at the alligaticon to give the other Autobots time to get away from it, they just sort of... saunter off in the other direction. Take your time, guys, I'm sure Mirage has got plenty of ammo.
- The alligaticon's design bothers me. It's obviously inspired by the design of Optimus Prime, but some of its components couldn't possibly have been made from Prime. The alligator head, for instance (which has blue eyes, incidentally). The tail is entirely blue, suggesting that it's made of Prime's lower legs... but as we'll find out later, those weren't incorporated into its design at all. Also, both of the gator's front claws are blue and it's got a smokestack on either side of its tail, even though only one of Prime's arms was used to build it. What, did the Constructicons go out of their way to make it look like Prime?
- When Bumblebee announces, "We'll have to fight him here," the drawing is lifted directly from his model sheet.
- As Ratchet is fiddling with the train's controls, Mirage, Bumblebee and Spike are just standing there as the alligaticon approaches. Mirage, incidentally, is in his model sheet pose before it finally occurs to him to move out of the way before the thing messily devours him.
- Back in New Cybertron, Starscream only has a Decepticon symbol on one of his wings, and it's incorrectly right-side up. (As an aside, why does Megatron act like Prime's arm is the only weapon he's got in the entire city? What about the big honkin' gun Screamer is manning in this scene?)
- Also during this scene, Reflector's head is colored grey, instead of purple, when he's riding the lift.
- Prime's head seems far too small when Bumblebee is holding it. Bumblebee's own head is pretty much the same size as Prime's, which can't be right considering how large Prime's legs are compared to Bumblebee.
- Here's an odd one. When Prime's mental control beams make contact with the alligaticon, the background responds by shifting slightly, and actually changing color from a greenish-grey to a more purplish-grey.
- Ratchet seems to have left several pieces out, even after Prime is supposedly reassembled. Okay, I'll buy the alligator's head not being part of the original package, but among the other discarded parts appears to be half of Prime's chest!
- When Soundwave is targeting the group of Autobots, the background on his monitor isn't moving at all, but the Autobots themselves are.
- From atop the refurnished Empire State Building, Prime's arm starts blasting away at the Autobots, and what do they do? Yep, you guessed it! They just stand there!
- In the control room, Soundwave just keeps tapping that button... over and over and over. Doesn't he have to, I don't know, aim or something? Also, Prime's finger isn't pulling the trigger of the gun at any point.
- When Prime finally orders, "Scatter... and transform!" Jazz inexplicably pops up for this one scene. It's his only appearance in the episode.
- Bluestreak is off-model when he transforms. Instead of his entire waist rotating, his lower legs rotate individually, and his rear vehicle-mode wheels are on the insides of his feet. Also, it looks like his rifle folds up into a panel in his forearm.
- When Frenzy first appears on the train to try to mow down Hound and Bluestreak, he's colored like Rumble at first. Then, as Bluestreak and Hound open fire, Frenzy just stands there as the blasts hit the train, grinning like an idiot.
- When Optimus Prime first transforms, his headlight section, part of his rear cab, and smokestack are all missing in his vehicle mode to reflect the fact that his arm is still missing. Kudos to the animators for getting this right. Unfortunately, in every subsequent scene of Prime in truck mode, he's drawn normally, and they just color his right headlight red.
- After Prime takes care of the Decepticabs, when Sideswipe and Sunstreaker revert to robot mode, they both assume their model sheet poses.
- In the "that's the way to cool it, Ironhide!" scene, Ironhide can't be using his liquid nitrogen... since he's actually carrying Sideswipe's gun.
- When Prime and the others start scaling the Empire State Building, Prime only uses one arm to climb because, well, he's only got one at the moment. Likewise, Ironhide's only using one arm because he launched the grappling rope out of the other arm. So what's Ratchet's excuse? Is he just using one arm so as not to make the others feel bad?
- This is incredibly nitpicky, but Megatron presses the little blue button on his torso to contact the Decepticon jets. Previously, he used the large blue button to activate his communicator. (And, on a related note... it sure is a good thing all three jets were just standing around waiting for Megatron to call, eh? Those are their model sheet poses, you know.)
- Speaking of the Decepticon jets, they also seem to have a different color model in this episode. Starscream's nosecone has a blue tip, like the toy, instead of an entirely grey nose; Thundercracker's got a nose cone with a black tip instead of being entirely blue.
- None of the Constructicons transforms accurately in this episode. Most notably, when Long Haul transforms, his robot head actually forms the front grill for his dump truck mode!
- When Devastator tries to stomp Wheeljack, he's missing Mixmaster's front windshield on his left foot.
- Also, Devastator's eyes seem to be fluctuating between separate optics and a connected visor. My guess is that the close-up of his head on his model sheet was drawn differently than his full-body shot (Bruticus was the same way), so the animators drew him differently depending on which model they were referring to.
- When Laserbeak and Buzzsaw eject, Buzzsaw's got red panels on him in tape mode, like Laserbeak. In the next scene, right before he transforms, he's got the properly-colored gold bits.
- Prime's feet are grey instead of blue when Devastator grabs him.
- I find it terribly convenient that Laserbeak and Buzzsaw went out of their way to fly right into the path of Prime's arm, so that it could slap the bolts out of them.
- I find it even more convenient that Devastator actually takes the time to go out of his way and climb around to the other side of the Empire State Building--you know, the side with the gun on it--so it can blast him right off the building.
- The establishing shot of New York from earlier (the one where the Statue of Liberty is 20 feet tall) is recycled when Prime affirms that the city is back to normal.
- When the Autobots transform in the final scene, it looks like Ratchet's knees form the front bumper of his ambulance mode. Do I really need to qualify how silly this is?
- There are plenty of references in this episode to famous New Yorkisms, from the myth about alligators in the sewers to the dangers of Central Park, right down to Bumblebee's "INY" bumper sticker at the end. By far the most blatant of these, however, is Devastator's re-enactment of the Empire State Building scene from King Kong, complete with Optimus Prime as Fay Wray. What really bothers me about the scene is the unbelievably clunky, awkward way Wheeljack sets it up: "I saw this once when I linked my databank to an Earth television transmission," he says, producing a remote-control and somehow assuming command of two helicopters that just happen to be nearby. "I think it was called King Kong, and Devastator reminds me of that big baboon!" Smooth segueway there, Wheeljack. Real smooth.
- WAR. PEACE. LOVE. Because graffiti artists in New York don't use profanity, don't you know.
- Madison Avenue, Park Avenue, Lexington Avenue, and... the river!
This Page Created 10/4/2000
Last Update: 12/27/2000
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