"That garbage scow is no longer on its usual coordinates!"--Cyclonus
Mini-Synopsis: It's Daniel Witwicky's birthday, but after Ultra Magnus behaves so heroically in saving the shuttles needed for the upcoming peace conference from a Decepticon attack, Daniel and Wheelie agree he deserves to have a party in his honor as well. After a fruitless search on Cybertron, they borrow a garbage scow to travel to the lost Autobot storage asteroid, where the history of the Autobots and possibly the date of Ultra Magnus' creation may be found. The Decepticons notice the errant garbage scow and Cyclonus follows it, commandeering the asteroid and programming it to crash into Cybertron to ruin the peace conference. Ultra Magnus takes Sky Lynx to the asteroid and holds off Cyclonus, until Wheelie activates the asteroid's self-destruct.
- How old is Daniel Witwicky by this point in the series?
- How long was the recess during the peace conference?
- This is probably my least favorite third-season episode of all time. I realize that Daniel served much the same purpose that Spike did; he was supposed to give kids someone to relate to, and enable them to experience the Autobot-Decepticon war through his eyes. The problem is that Daniel is probably the most juvenile element in the entire show, aimed at a much younger target audience, during a time when fans who had been watching the show since its inception were getting older, and Transformers was entering what would be its most mature season. Speaking for myself, by the time Daniel was introduced, I was already too old to be able to relate to him on any level.
So, it's bad enough that they wrote an entire episode around this kid, but once you throw Wheelie into the mix with his non-personality and pointless dialogue, add some laughable Decepticon plot, and fix it so we never even find out Ultra Magnus' birthday, completely nullifying the entire point of the episode... well, I'm just immensely not fond of this episode. That's all.
- I'm not sure which is more bizarre--the fact that the information at the Autobot Hall of Records is stored in book format, or that the books are positively tiny by Transformer standards (human-sized, actually).
- Wheelie really is a little troublemaker, isn't he? It wouldn't have been particularly difficult to ask Sky Lynx or Cosmos or somebody to fly them to this asteroid. Ultra Magnus could have his party, and the Autobots would get their ancient records back. Instead of making it a legitimate endeavour, though, Wheelie has to practically twist Daniel's arm to convince him to help steal the garbage scow (which ended up being destroyed) and venture out into space on their own without any way of defending themselves. First of all, it strikes me that Wheelie couldn't possibly have survived on his own all this time on Quintessa if he were this terminally stupid. Second, if I were Rodimus Prime, I would have booted the little orange twerp from the Autobot forces after this little incident.
- I can't believe how low the Decepticons have sunk; they've been reduced to laughable cartoon villains in this episode. For starters, Cyclonus apparently spends his spare time monitoring the flight paths of garbage scows. Okay, it's not the most strategic use of his time that I can think of, but I guess everybody's got to have a hobby. What completely baffles me is that he thinks that the garbage scow veering off course is important enough to report to Galvatron. What totally dumbfounds me is that Galvatron orders him to pursue it because, in his words, "this could be the opportunity we need!" Opportunity for what, exactly? One-upping the Junkions by offering quality refuse at wholesale prices? I. Don't. Get it.
Dialogue and Sound Effects:
- Those weird metal-eating worms that live on the storage asteroid are making Insecticon noises. Specifically, it's that very distinctive "howm, howm" sound Shrapnel was making in "A Plague of Insecticons" when he was chowing down near the beginning of the episode. Apparently, somebody thought that would make a neat archive sound, so they saved it and it ended up being used here.
- After Daniel and Wheelie enter the cave on the asteroid, there's a scene bumper, but it's missing the usual music that accompanies it.
- When Spike runs into the Autobot communications room and says, "I got here as fast as I could," Blaster starts moving his mouth to Spike's words.
- As Sky Lynx is waiting outside and comments that Ultra Magnus has been gone too long, Wheelie's mouth is moving along to the words.
Animation and Continuity:
- During Daniel's party, when the Autobots step out of the shadows to reveal themselves, Groove's head is colored white instead of black, and his eyes are blue. (Yes, this is a mistake. According to his color model they should be orange, like the rest of his face.)
- During the Combaticons' assault on the shuttle bay, Swindle appears in jeep mode but he's colored like Hound.
- When the Combaticons end the attack, Bruticus can be seen retreating instead of Onslaught. (I'm guessing whoever was inking the rough breakdowns saw the dual cannons, and matched that up with the wrong character.)
- There's something weird about the shadow Daniel is casting when he's in the Hall of Records. It's perfectly square-shaped.
- After Daniel and Wheelie manage to crash into the storage asteroid, there's a shot of the wrecked shuttle in which the foreground is shifting around, like somebody kept shifting the animation cel a bit during filming.
- When Spike is asking Ultra Magnus about Daniel, the top panel on Ultra Magnus' chest is colored blue instead of red. In the next scene, the front parts of Magnus' helmet are colored white when they should be blue.
- When Blaster's sitting at the monitor in the comm room, there's a scene where his entire helmet is colored grey, instead of just the front part. Later, in a scene with Spike, Blaster's arm is visible on the side of the screen, but he's colored like Cyclonus.
- In a long shot of the peace conference hall, there are two Rodimus Primes awaiting the arrival of the delegates. (Well, I suppose one could be Rodimus and the other is Hot Rod.)
- I don't normally comment on the size discrepancies of Transformers, but it seems like Sky Lynx is a lot smaller than normal after arriving on the asteroid and Ultra Magnus jumps out. It looks like there was barely enough room for Magnus in there. Compare this to "Chaos," when five Autobots plus at least two slave robots could ride comfortably in the forward part of the shuttle.
- When Sky Lynx transforms from shuttle mode to lynx mode, the shuttle module actually disappears into the transport module. Last time I checked, only the transport section turns into the lynx.
- When Ultra Magnus is shooting the insecti-worms off Sky Lynx's back, Sky Lynx has a very prominent Decepticon symbol. (This tends to happen a lot with Sky Lynx throughout the series. I strongly suspect that the character was originally conceived as a Decepticon, but some of his older model sheets were still floating around the studio even after his allegiance switch.)
- As Wheelie transforms to re-enter the cave and set the self-destruct, Sky Lynx can be seen behind him, and in one scene he's colored entirely white, and in the next he's entirely red.
- During the fight between Ultra Magnus and Cyclonus, keep your eye on Ultra Magnus' shoulder-mounted missile launchers. They keep disappearing and reappearing.
- "Any landing you can walk away from is a good one!"--this quote has popped up in lots of cartoons, and was originally said by Gerald R. Massie, U.S. Army Air Forces photographer. He wrote this in 1944 not too long after crash-landing his B-17.
- The movie script says that he's 12 years old, so this is most likely his 13th birthday.
- 20 minutes. Because, as we all know, every alien race everywhere uses Earth time increments.
This Page Created 12/11/2002
Last Update: 1/1/2002
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