I’ve never liked Beast Wars, the future of Transformers wherein the titular robots convert into a variety of insects, beasts, birds and other assorted creatures. It was just such a stretch to imagine that the future of Transformers, after the saga of Megatron and Optimus Prime, the Headmasters, Pretenders and Micromasters, was one where the toys were reinvented into smaller, more organic-like toys. A cheetah, an ape, a big purple dinosaur.
And I despised the cartoon, or whatever it was, not because the idea per se of organic Transformers repulsed me, but because it was so cheap-looking. Instead of a traditional cel-shaded cartoon we got….CGI without shadows, because shadows were too expensive to render back then. So everything looked flat and blocky, and without much differentiation. Shadows make things look real. A cartoon shadow beats a CGI no-shadow any day.
So I never cared for Beast Wars, and yet somehow, I still think there’s a great movie or two in the property, if done right. But I’m in perhaps short company, because at least one producer of the Transformers films disagrees.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura talked to Comicbook.com about Beast Wars and admitted he is puzzled by the whole concept of replacing vehicle Transformers with animals:
“I’m probably not the one to be asking that question to because I don’t get Beast Wars, but you know, thankfully I’m not the only vote on it. I’ve never quite understood, they kind of feel like incompatible to me, you have animals, robots, we’re used to cars.”
I think he’s being rather silly here. After all, the original Transformers, what people refer to as G1, featured several Dinobots and nearly ten Insecticons. Granted, they were metallic and not organic, but they fit well within the framework of cars, planes and assorted equipment, like radios and microscopes.
So why couldn’t they work? I think they could. If you can do a LEGO movie, if you can do a LEGO Batman movie, you can do Beast Wars.
So in my opinion Bonaventura is either just not open to the idea, or he’s toying with the interviewer’s questions. Personally I feel it’s the former, because at his age, it’s probably taken all the imagination he can muster to accept the regular Transformers. Beast Wars just might a space bridge too far for him.