Transformers: War for Cybertron: Kingdom (Review)
Netflix/Entertainment One/Rooster Teeth
Directed by Takashi Kamei
Written by F. J. DeSanto, George Krstic, Brandon Easton, Gavin Hignight, and Tim Sheridan
Starting: Jake Foushee, Frank Todaro, Jason Marnocha, & Linsay Rousseau
The end is near for the Autobots and Decepticons. After the events from Earthrise, we catch up with both groups crash landing on an unknown primitive planet after escaping Deseeus. Looking for the AllSpark, they discover that the planet they crashed on has some unique new allies and foes.
We finally get to the highly desired and demanded crossover with the Maximals and Predacons from Beast Wars and the Gen 1 Transformers. The Autobots and Decepticons learn from their future generation that with the AllSpark gone, it would cause the collapse of Cybertron and fall into ruin. The Maximals and Predacons have been searching the galaxy and suffering many losses along the way. To be the last Transformers stuck on a primitive-looking Earth forever battling each other.
As the last part of the War for Cybertron Trilogy, we see more of the mythos and history of Cybertron and the connection between Optimus and Megatron. This dive into connection shows the never-ending conflict between the two fractions. Including the Beast Wars, we see a unique look at how they and others viewed the conflict and actions taken by Optimus Prime and Megatron.
Polygon Pictures has been the animation studio for the whole trilogy. One theme that has been consistent is the bleak or foggy background with a lot of close-ups. In Kingdom, it takes place on an Earth with trees and lush backgrounds are abundant, but not explored or shown. It doesn’t take away from the story just an observation of the trilogy as a whole.
The character designs showed that they had challenges when they had to incorporate the Beast Wars transformers. In animal form, they didn’t move as naturally or smoothly like they do in robot form. Fight scenes are where this obvious flaw is on display. The fights were the weakest part of the whole series. Some of the physics used asked too much of the viewers to not notice or pay it any attention.
One area of the series that is neither good nor bad and middle of the road is the voice acting. This isn’t in reference to Frank Welker and Peter Cullen but more how the introduction of new characters affected the chemistry. Since most of them have been regulars on the series, when they interact with the Maximals or Predicons it comes off more forced than natural.
Kingdom is a good ending to the Trilogy. Most of the conflict is resolved and allows for more stories in the future. It isn’t a stand-alone series and needs to be watched altogether to understand how everything leads up to it.
Overall the final chapter, like most trilogies, wraps everything up with situations happening in the perfect order. It had great fan service by including the Transformers from Beast Wars but a massively missed opportunity with the fan favorites such as Dino Bots. If the fights were a little more polished and the voice actors had more time to bond with the new crew, the series would be able to overlook the rushed ending.