Demo Reels from the Japan Computer Graphics Lab (1983-1985)

In the 1980s, computer graphics were an acquired taste for some. I would try and explain to people why they were so magical. Half of them got it, the other half would complain they looked nothing like Disney. The work, especially in the early 1980s was still coming into its own, so when I had the opportunity to watch demo reels, I would. Usually over and over again. With graphics like this, who could blame me?

Here are three examples of drool-worthy graphics from the Japan Computer Lab from 1983, 1984 and 1985. 1983 doesn’t have any sound, but it is worth watching, just put on a cool sountrack while you watch it.

1983

1984

1985

Beast Wars: Transformers – The Complete Series on DVD

I was a fan of the original Transformers animated everything. If it was on the screen, I watched it. Then the 1980s ended and with it, went my passion for the Transforming robots. So a half a decade passes and I am started to get more into computer programming and spending every waking second on my computer. It was at this point where I developed a habit that still follows me to this day. I will have a TV on next to whatever computer I am working on and will have it silently running. It was during one of these silent runs that I happened upon a new show Beast Wars: Transformers. I saw the title pup up on the screen and stopped what I was doing.

Transformers you say? I am interested. Computer graphics? I am very interested. Tell me about it please….

When the descendants of the treacherous Decepticons — now known as Predacons — land on a mysterious planet in search of the powerful crystal fuel Energon, it’s up to Optimus Primal and the heroic Maximals to stop them before they conquer the universe!

I began watching it and what would follow would be an on again off again romance with the show as it continued its 3 season run. Some months I would get really involved with the show, it was more complex than the Transformers I grew up with. Often having multi-layered plots that spanned episodes. Plus as I mentioned, the whole series was computer animated, which I was very excited about at the time. The problem I had with the show is that it wasn’t the original Transformers. So actually the problem was me.

Yes it had characters with similar and in some instances identical names, but it was different in ways that branded it very 1990s, including this need to make the characters “shout out” before Transforming. I will say this my constant craving for nostalgia while watching the show would eventually be rewarded with a few appearances by original characters.

Now 15 years has passed since the show’s run and I have had the opportunity to watch the show almost right after watching the original Transformers and I have to give the show the credit it deserves. Yes it is silly and derivative, but the writing on the show was solid for a kid’s show and I am really impressed with how much respect the writers gave to the kids that watched it — giving them longer running plots and complex characters who develop across multiple episodes.

Shout! Factory as always continues to impress with their releases. The series transfer looks and sounds great and has dome great extras including:

– Retrospective featurettes
– Art galleries
– New interviews
– 12-pg Collectible booklet

So if you are craving The Beast Wars you can now get them and enjoy! I certainly have. If you are a fan of the classic, give these a chance. Yes, the computer animation is a bit dated and it can be hard to hear those names thrown about in reference to the weird looking animals, but pay attention to the stories, you will not regret it.

Order Transformers – Beast Wars: Complete Series on DVD from Shout! Factory (comes with a free 24 page comic book as a bonus)

ReBoot the First 2 Seasons is Now on DVD

Welcome to Mainframe. Home to Guardian Bob, formatted to mend and defend. Join the fast-paced action and adventure as Bob and his friends — Dot, her brother Enzo and his trusty dog Frisket — fend off attacks from the superviruses known as Megabyte and Hexadecimal in their relentless pursuit of chaos and the destruction of Mainframe.

Known as the very first completely computer-animated half-hour TV series, ReBoot debuted in the United States on ABC’s Saturday-morning block in 1994 and has captured the hearts and imaginations of kids and gamers ever since!

reboot

ReBoot ran for a total of 4 seasons and during its original run and syndication airings it picked up a great number of fans (including me). Then in 2001 it finished a solid run on the Cartoon Network and was not show again on TV again. So fans of the show traded tapes or attempted to find mixed quality bootlegs. Fans were crying out for a hero to give them a solid title release. Enter Shout! Factory, which release ReBoot on DVD this week. They are putting out the show in two flavors. A smaller first 2 seasons release and a full fledged Definitive collection. I picked up the smaller 2 season release (now I thinking maybe I needed the definitive collection.) Not that I am unhappy with this, but I marathoned through Season 1 & 2 and I am ready for more already.

The show looks and sounds great and you get All 23 episodes from the first and second seasons on this 4-DVD set. Plus you get all new audio commentary by producer Christopher Brough, designer and storyboard artist Blair Peters and animator Zeke Norton. Not bat at all…This is high 90s animated fun, that I hope picks up a new fan. So if you like ReBoot. Order yourself a copy, sit back and ride that CGI wave of 1990 animated nostalgia..

ReBoot Seasons 1 & 2 Finally Coming to DVD

Great news CGI fans, the much asked for series ReBoot is finally coming out on DVD. Not only will Seasons 1 and 2 be released and fully remastered, but a special edition is also on the horizon. The release is being spearheaded by Shout! Factory and here is what they have to say about it.

Since early 1990s, DOT MATRIX, ENZO, GUARDIAN BOB and thousands of BINOMES from REBOOT have thrust into battles with corrupt forces of MEGABYTES and HEXADECIMAL to stop their relentless pursuit of chaos and destruction of the high-tech city MAINFRAME. REBOOT made history for being the first fully computer-generated animated TV series when it debuted on U.S and Canadian television in 1994. The series ran four successful seasons and was seen in over 70 countries around the world, boasting a large fan base of loyal followers in kids and adult gamers alike. The show’s unique setting inside a computer allows the characters and storylines to mine the references to computers and video games for all they’re worth, giving the show its humorous edge. The innovative animation, insider humor and high octane action combine to give viewers a lot of binary bang for their buck.

Now you can relive the fast-paced animated action adventures when Shout! Factory, in association with Rainmaker Entertainment, Inc., will debut the long-awaited REBOOT: SEASONS 1 & 2 DVD set on March 1, 2011. This collectible 4-DVD set features all 23 episodes from the first and second seasons, along with special commentary by producer Christopher Brough, designer and storyboard artist Blair Peters and animator Zeke Norton. REBOOT: SEASONS 1 & 2 DVD set is priced at $29.93 SRP.

And for those who really can’t get enough of REBOOT, Shout! Factory, along with Rainmaker Entertainment, are set to unleash REBOOT: THE DEFINITIVE MAINFRAME EDITION Complete Series DVD box. Brimming with over 18 hours of content, including the entire animated series and a bounty of extras, this must-have 9-DVD box set also features a special 24-page collectible book and a limited-edition lenticular collectors card of Dot’s diner.

reboot set

REBOOT: THE DEFINITIVE MAINFRAME EDITION arrives exclusively to Shout Factory’s official online store ShoutFactoryStore.com and the official fan site ReBoot.com on March 2011, months before this 9-DVD box set hits the retail shelves nationwide later this year. Loyal fans can now preorder REBOOT: THE DEFINITIVE MAINFRAME EDITION Complete Series DVD set today at shoutfactorystore.com or at ReBoot.com.