Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Weird Al? In MY Transformers? It's more likely than you think.

Just the other day I had found out that 2 of my loves in life, "Weird Al" Yankovic and Transformers, have once again teamed up to do something awesome.

20 Years ago during the original animated Movie, there is a random scene that takes place on the Planet of Junk where our Autobot heroes find a species of bizarre transformers called Junkions, who speak the language of TV (ie, inserting weird, random slogans in place of pronouns and such).

They're lead by this guy, Wreck-Gar:

He was voiced by Eric Idle to boot!

What I'm trying to say here is at one point during this scene, Weird Al's song "Dare To Be Stupid" plays over a weird dancing sequence for no real reason. And that was the last time the two had intersected with each other.

Or so I thought. Last year, a new Transformers cartoon, Transformers Animated, finally hit the airwaves. At first it seemed like a double-edged sword. First of all, the good parts were that it's a new Transformers series, its the first once since Beast Machines that was produced in the US (the last 4 series were all Japanese animes). With an American production crew, we got American Voice Actors, with a few from the original G1 series (most notable being Corey Burton). Not only G1 voice actors, but its alleged that the series takes place a good 50 years after G1 takes place, where we have cameos from very familar bots (the Constructicons, The Dinobots, Sentinel Prime, Soundwave, Ultra Magnus, Blurr, etc), as well as starring roles for Transformers Staples including Bumblebee, Prowl, Ratchet (a veteran of a past Great War, assumed to not be G1 as the original is long dead), Blitzwing, Starscream and the usual Megatron & Optimus Prime. It's also a good sign when the series itself opens up with footage from the original G1 Show.

The bad end, besides the usual hardcore Geekery that only I and 6 readers will understand, are the VO choices (which turned out to be an Irrational theory, every actor is much better than anticipated, including Corey Burton's Megatron), the existence of Non-Decepticon villains (they're mostly around to make the Decepticons seem much more menacing & dangerous than they already are), and the Animation Style.

God god, first it was the Anime fad, and now we're in the Pseudo-Anime Teen Titans style of character design. Just when the Autobots are fighting Starscream, in comes Ben 10 & The Titans wondering why there are giant robots fighting.

Back on target, with all the Classic Bot Cameos, in an episode that aired a few weeks ago, we have a storyline devoted to a familiar face:

Wreck-Gar! And guess who voiced him this time? Yep, "Weird Al"! There are only a few minor differences in this version besides the voice, and it's mostly his Alt Mode, which is a fitting Garbage Truck in place of a motorcycle. I thought the episode he appears in was pretty good, and he was hilarious (I mean actually funny, not just funny by Kids Show standards). He also gave several throwbacks to G1: He throws his motorcycle Alt-mode at one point, giving the "Universal Greeting" at one point, as well as his very existence (his design is right up there in terms of "Most Faithful To The Original")

Here's a video highlighting the good parts of his appearance:

Awesome. Yes, he did drop a "Dare To Be Stupid" reference. Try to look for the cameo of an adult Spike & Carly at the end of the video!


Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does it look like all the Transformers have cat and dog faces?

Dan said...

Bah Weep Grana Weep Ninibong! Sorry you brought it up so I had to throw it in somewhere! I have to admit I watched this episode but missed him throwing his original alt form. Guess I should pay better attention next time.