Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Cartoon Series: G.I. Joe & Transformers

So this morning I was watching Teletoon. They aired the first episodes of the new G.I. Joe: Renegade and Transformers: Prime series. They are both good, but the Joe series is far better than the Transformers show which is a bit cliched version of the previous Transformer shows.

So beginning with the lesser of these two shows, Transformers: Prime is a computer animated show  that has some decent animation sequences. The new character designs look nice, and I particularly like the soft metal looking faces; works well for depicting facial expressions. The first episode features a drawn out chase sequence and the introduction of three human characters along with a few of the autobots and decepticons. The plot is the same as always, where the autobots befriend a few humans as they are caught between the eternal fight between autobots and decepticons. Nonetheless, the story was interesting enough and even had one surprising mention of the movie 'Fight Club', which was assuredly not expected.

G.I. Joe: Renegade is a better show than the latest Transformers in that it is a great re-imagination of the original cartoon where the battle between Cobra and Joe has been situated in a modern context. It is interesting enough to engage an adult while easy enough to understand to do the same for a younger audience. The plot for the first episode is that Cobra is a multi-national company that deals in pharmaceuticals, communications, weapons, and etc. Beneath the business suit exterior is a snake's head (nice pun eh?). Some within the government know that Cobra is dealing in black market arm sales and other nefarious deeds. The character of Scarlet recruits a few of the American military's best to infiltrate and obtain proof of Cobra's secrets. This does not turn out well for the Joes and they are framed as terrorists in their own country. Great re-imagination of the show right?

The art in G.I. Joe: Renegade is not bad either! It is a cross between the Anime seen in Cowboy Bebop and what Marvel has been producing in shows like the Avengers; many of the characters have angular designs and faces. The character movement is not too stilted and the general facial expressions are passible, especially for a cartoon of this calibre. The backgrounds are also nicely rendered with ample detail and often with stylized shading. In comparison to the new Transformers show, the artists on Joe have put in a lot more effort.

Can I hear a Yo' Joe for this new show?

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