As always, we don't get the real scoop on what went on behind the scenes until it is too late. Fans of the Transformers have been clamoring for something remotely decent since Hollywood got their hooks into the franchise in 2007. At just about at every turn we have seen our beloved robots teased, baited, and switched out for sophomoric teen stories that are boring and pedestrian at best. What's most aggravating is to see the designs begin with really good ideas, but what ends up on the screen is a disaster trying to appeal to everyone at the same time.
The recent post on the Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) site showing the Bumblebee designs confirms the rumors that the Cyberton sequences were added at the last minute when previews were panned by viewers. It also shows us that these people can produce what the fans want, but for reasons unknown are vehemently reluctant to embrace the Transformers lineage we all know and love. Showing us intricate designs and other details that were very briefly touched on in a formal Bumblebee film is painfully patronizing, and erodes faith that these producers even understand the properties they are presenting. "What could have been" seems to be the echoing response to every Transformers film so far, and Bumblebee in many ways feels it is more a shell game than an epic story for fans to engage with.
That said, ILM can deliver stunning work and its not hard to see that its the producers who are the weakest link in these films as the art and design is top-notch on the drawing board. The various designs of Cybertron and the classic G1 characters brings them into the present day without distracting from the three decades of development that fans are keenly connected with. There will never be a good answer for why the most important elements that fans are drawn to are marginalized to up-sell sugar coated stories of teen angst and locker room comedy. Fortunately, we have the comics and toys to collect and engage in a pure fantasy that is so much more satisfying than settling for what comes out of Hollywood.
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