As a kid that grew up with Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERS and was there in 1984 when it all began, I don’t recall Bumblebee being a big deal. Back then, he was a HERBIE-like Volkswagen Beetle – one of the smallest Autobots of the bunch, and although a fun toy, it was characters like Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus and Jetfire that really grabbed me. Fast-forward thirty years, and Bumblebee is big deal – a fan-favorite for a whole new generation of kids (and some grownups, too) who dig the lighthearted “scout” ‘bot in his current form – that of a Chevrolet Camaro (in the live-action films), or the similarly-designed, though completely fictional, “Urbana 500” as he appeared in the recent series, TRANSFORMERS PRIME.
Celebrating the heroics displayed in the latter, Shout! Factory in association with Hasbro Studios, has released a compilation of four, fan-favorite episodes of The Hub Network series as a bargain-priced DVD, TRANSFORMERS PRIME: ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE, a copy of which arrived here for review last month.
Preview: Check out four clips from ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE:
The 88-minute collection is perfect for families looking for some fast, kid-centric, Bumblebee-loaded TRANSFORMERS action, with the episodes Masters and Students, Operation Bumblebee Parts I & II, and Deadlock all included. There’s some choice moments here, from the reveal of the Urbana 500 commercial to the return of Bumblebee’s voice, but it’s the lessons of bravery, sacrifice and friendship that ring most important.
With TRANSFORMERS PRIME containing the right elements for hitting the sweet spot between the Generation 1 (G1) TRANSFORMERS that grownup kids like me (now parents) so cherish, along with enough “new” (slick CG-animation) to grab a contemporary audience, it’s worth checking out – and ULTIMATE BUMBLEBEE is a great jumping-off point.
The Rock Father Rating: 4/5 Stars
Want even more TRANSFORMERS PRIME? Check out the selection from Amazon: