Dr. Toon: Dark (Side) of the Moon: The Lost Transformers
On assignment for Animation World Network
One of the best assignments I've had over my past thirteen years with Animation World Network is the one I just completed: Paramount Pictures and AWN teamed up to send your Dr. Toon on an all-expenses paid trip to the planet Cybertron to interview members of the Transformers, now the popular stars of three CGI animated films. Since the CGI sequences are of particular interest to our readers, I was to record new images of the shape-changing star-bots for use in Transformers 4, 5, and 6 and capture the nuances of their personalities.
What I found was completely unexpected. Among the fantastic structures of Cybertron exists a run-down rust belt of slums unknown to even the most ardent fans of the comic books, animated shows, and CGI films. Living there are the "lost" Transformers, disowned by Optimus Prime and totally unsuited for any type of combat against the Decepticons. Or even action figures of them. Or anything else for that matter.
"Hell, I don't know if Couch Potato can even change into anything else anymore. He's been in front of that TV for so long I can't remember him in any other configuration." The Transformer who calls himself Beer Can shook his tab-shaped head, pointing to the metallic Barcalounger whose pillows seemed to swell and rise. I heard a gentle snoring sound that competed with the Jerry Mainspringer show playing on the TV set.
"What does his wife have to say about that?" I asked.
"Aw, hell she trucked out of here years ago. Now Couch Potato's solo-noid. All he's got left nowadays is his son, Console."
"He ain't my son," the Barcalounger rumbled.
"Sorry, Tater, thought you was asleep." Beer Can turned to me with a whisper. "He thinks his wife configurated with Honky Tonk. That was one of the Transformers who hung around at the Steel-a-Dream bar. He could transform into any steel guitar, bass, or fiddle you could name. Had a great amplifier, too. Ladies loved him, but Tater's wife had nothin' to do with him. Try tellin' him that, though."
Beer Can gave a sad shake of his tab ring. "Not that Console's a big deal anyway. All he ever did was skip instruction so he could stay home and play video games. His favorite was Saint's Row. He'd transform into the vehicles and run wild, raisin' holy hell all over Cybertron."
"He's nothin' but a lazy tool." Couch Potato grumbled. "Hey, Beer Can, set me up, willya?"
Beer Can reconfigured himself into a tall, metallic bottle and hopped over to his friend. Tipping his head and neck, he poured a cold stream of beer into the mounds of metal resembling pillows.
"Man, that's good. I owe ya one, Can."
Beer Can reconfigured into his cylindrical shape. "Don't ever tell Tater this, but Console got his girlfriend Tube Top installed. They got one under construction that oughta be here by October. Wait till Tater finds out; that'll get him away from the flat screen. Come on, Dr, Toon. Let's meet some of the other Transformers that live around here."
We went out into the street, which was a cacophony of strange-looking muscle cars and garishly painted female Transformers leaning against streetlights manufactured out of their own parts. "Pump your piston, skin boy?" one of them hummed as I passed. Young, low-slung robots sporting weapons out of multiple gun ports rolled by. Several of them scanned me with menacing beams as we walked by. At the end of the street stood what seemed to be an enormous trailer.