Autobots, transform and roll out!

New Century Weekly 2007.07.11
For a special group of people in China, the influence of the Transformers is quite out of the ordinary.

This group was born between the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Transformer TV cartoon series was irreplaceable entertainment for them in their childhood. As the first generation under the one child policy, they had no brothers or sisters, and most of their spare time was spent sitting in front of a TV set which may have even been black and white.

At that time, Tangram (七巧板) was a typical "mainstream" kids program on CCTV. It taught kids how to do simple paper folding and sing children's songs - all the TV station cared about were the educational aspects of the programming.

Then the Transformers arrived, greeted by surprise and wild enthusiasm. Now, with those kids all grown up, they will take their own children, wives (they were mostly boys), and childhood memories and flock to the cinemas to see the new movie.

That's why the Transformers is much more influential in China than it is in the United States, says New Century Weekly in its cover feature.

There are currently 5 Comments for Autobots, transform and roll out!.

Comments on Autobots, transform and roll out!

Saying it was "more influential" due to kids not having brothers and sisters is greatly overplaying how much siblings like to spend time together.

I was quite happy to forget my little sister existed most of the time, and most definitely while Transformers was on.

Though N. American males of this generation are just as likely to flock to live-action remakes of He-Man, GI Joe or Thundercats as well; and therefore are a bit more subdivided in their nostalgia - I think the New Century Weekly article is a bit too slanted to a Chinese-centric view.

Back in 2004-2006 I taught college students in Tianjin - one day I wore my t-shirt with a Decepticon logo and the male students in my classes all started asking about it. Before that day most of the guys in my classes rarely spoke.

I can't comment on if it was or was not more popular in China vs. US but I have no doubt there are LOTS of young adults in China seriously geeking out right now.

"That's why the Transformers is much more influential in China than it is in the United States, says New Century Weekly in its cover feature."

How is this qualified?

Maybe the Decepticons and their cardboard boazi were more influential but I don't think Transformers were...

Me and Jun, my girlfriend, watched the long-expected film "Transformers" yesterday, and frankly speaking, to my great disappointment, the film was way far from my satisfaction.

I guess the main reason should be that the appearances of the robotic aliens are too complex to recognise. In other words, the modification of the appearance design is extremely significant comparing with their original ones of the cartoon in 1980s. Yes, I do acknowledge that they are pretty cool by dint of the state-of-the-art computer technology, but they fail to activate my memory of transformers, the cartoons and toys I was crazy for in my childhood. Bumble-bee wasn't a Beetle any more, and Magatron turned to be an ugly monster. Are they still my pals in the past? I went to cinema to find the almost-lost memory, but unfortunately, I found nothing.

Further, the plots are...well, too illogic. A complex story has to be compressed in a 135-minute film, therefore, Director Bay might not have other choices but use some bare statements to let the audience know what's goin' on. Although Optimus Prime's word "No sacrifice, no victory" sounds very encouraging, the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons are rather meaningless. The world at stake because of several big guys? Before making such an ambition of destroying the planet earth and human race, why do they ask themselves whether or not they are able to defense our nuclear weapons?

The characters of the robots are not easy to use "good" or "bad" to evaluate. In the cartoon, the autobots are absolutely just, while their enemies decepticons are an unarguable symbol of evil. The character-shaping of the autobots is quite successful and personalised, esp. the sensitive Bumble-bee. But that of the decepticons is of a big failure. You can find them very similar to plenty of evil creatures in other Hollywood films. In the cartoon, Megatron wanted to take control of the whole world and the cunning Starscream had never stopped thinking of filling Megatron's shoes. I wasn't able to see those distinguishing characters in the film, but a gang of brainless robots who destructed the city and military bases.

The only thing impresses me is that the funny leading actor and the hot actress. When I saw Sam, the main actor in the film, left his "last word" when he met the robots, I couldn't help laughing. The actress is really sexy, too.

But everyone grows up, so does the transformers. Maybe they are the same, the only difference is our state-of-mind.

Hi Banyue,

I just blogged about using robots that transform into cars in advertisments by China Lifan Car and Great Wall Car and whether this results in intellectual property rights infringements.

'Protect Or Destroy: Pick Your Choice in Transformers' IPR'.


IP Dragon

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