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Mr. Beaks Rolls Out An Interview With Optimus Prime Himself, Peter Cullen!

Though Michael Bay didn't exactly go out of his way to placate the TransFans during the production of the first TRANSFORMERS, he did make one very wise concession: he brought back the inimitable Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime. Regardless of what Bay and his team did to the design of the character (I had no qualms with any of their alterations), it would've been wrong to hear anything but Cullen's baritone rumbling forth from the leader of the Autobots. I didn't get to chat with Cullen prior to the theatrical release of TRANSFORMERS last year, so it's nice to catch up with the veteran voice actor as he makes the press rounds in support of the Blu-ray (which hits shelves on September 2nd). Cullen's got a reputation as one of the nicer guys you'll ever interview, and he certainly lived up to it as he spoke warmly and enthusiastically of the fans' tireless support, the enduring appeal of the animated show, and what we might be able to expect from the second film. Though Cullen's enjoyed a long, successful career as a voice actor (stretching back to his days as an the announcer on THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR), he's especially proud of his work as Optimus Prime. The fans are lucky to have a class act like Cullen. Here's the MVP of the TRANSFORMERS universe...

Beaks: The fans played a huge part in getting you in the film. Are you still sensing an appreciation from them now that the film has been made?

Peter Cullen: Oh, absolutely! To tell you the truth, Jeremy, I was knocked out by it. It gave me a whole new perspective on the work that we all did. I tried to let that fan base know that I was extremely grateful for their lobbying efforts, and that I didn't want to disappoint them or have them be disappointed in any way.

Beaks: It's very rare that a voice actor gets to feel that kind of connection with their audience. You do your work in relative isolation, and it goes out into the world, and you know it connects with people in one way or another. But this is kind of unprecedented.

Cullen: It took me by surprise, I must admit. Of the conventions that I have been to, the amount of people is another surprise; to think that anyone can muster that from the voiceover world... it's strange and wonderful.

Beaks: Have you ever had a moment where you're... I don't know, ordering a coffee or something, and someone recognizes your voice?

No, not really. (Laughs) But I have had serious reactions from some people who've been told in my company, "Oh, he does Optimus Prime." They'll do a double-take, and, and because I know what's taking place, I'll immediately respond (in Optimus's voice), "Cool it!"

Beaks: (Laughing) That's great.

Cullen: I'll give them a look, and say (as Optimus again), "Calm down! Not here! Not now!" And they'll go, "Oh, my god! That's so great!" That is a real gift. If you can receive anything in your life that's bigger than that, I couldn't conceive it. That kind of feeling that you get from people appreciating something you've done is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Beaks: As a working voice actor, I can't imagine that you know, one show to the next, whether your work is going to make a deep imprint in the popular culture. Was there any inkling when you took on the role of Optimus Prime that this character was going to leave a deeper groove than the others?

Cullen: I think so. When I saw the character breakdown, I said, "This is indeed a real hero. This is not like any hero we've ever seen before." He penetrated different zones. There was a sense of him. He wasn't just muscle and strength. He went beyond that. There was dignity and courage, and a soft spoken honor and integrity about him. Very well written. So to apply those traits... they weren't necessarily implicated in the script; I just did an impression of my brother Larry, who served in the Marine Corps, and lowered the voice. I think we nailed it. The scripts were wonderfully written, and there was so much to absorb in a half-hour. Don't forget, Jeremy, that was how many years ago? 1984? '85? Gee whiz, I was just a child! (Laughs)

Beaks: I was in grade school at the time. Transformers hit right at the right time for me. The toys and the cartoon came out when I was in fourth grade, and the animated movie was released in the summer of '86. That was right before I entered junior high, so it was the perfect sendoff. You couldn't have toys or be watching cartoons like that in 7th grade.

Cullen: In this day and age, with the electronic stuff you can get off of DVDs and the internet. And now the Blu-ray. Have you heard about that?

Beaks: Oh, yeah.

Cullen: Oh, yeah! I went down and saw it, and it's incredible. You don't have to buy toys anymore. Just buy the Blu-ray, and there's about a hundred toys right there on your screen.

I think about all of the options that kids have available to them now. If I would've had some bells-and-whistles Blu-ray when I was twelve, I probably would've never left the house.

Cullen: It's huge.

Beaks: And the Blu-ray is only going to stoke more anticipation for TRANSFORMERS 2, which is shooting right now. Have you had the opportunity to visit the set, see any footage or chat with Michael Bay?

Cullen: I've had one work day with Michael. We did the opening. But I didn't have the opportunity to see any real footage - until I was leaving. I hate to use the word over and over "knocked out", but I was stopped in my tracks. "Whoa! Can I see that again!?!?" It's going to be huge.

Beaks: Just when you thought they couldn't top the spectacle of the first movie?

Cullen: No question. He's excited, too. Bay is really excited. He's animated. He's such a creative guy and a perfectionist. He's got a high energy level that's really cool.

Beaks: He gets a bit like a little kid when he's working.

Cullen: You can see his brain working. What goes on in that head of his is indescribable. (Laughs) He's amazing.

Beaks: How much of a connection have you been able to form with the human actors? Now that the first film was a hit and you know you'll be making more, have you had the opportunity to interact with Shia or Megan?

Cullen: Nope. None of the above. I have not met anyone. I know Charlie Adler [the voice of Starscream], but aside from the voiceover people... I didn't even meet Hugo Weaving. I admired his work, but... I haven't had an opportunity to be with the real actors. During this year, I'm sure there will be a time where I'll be able to go to the studio and see some of that. I'm looking forward to that.

Beaks: It's amusing how you can go from the epitome of a strong leader in Optimus Prime to doing the voice of Eeyore. That's a compliment to your range as an actor, I would say.

Cullen: (Laughs) Well, thank god they're in the same vocal area. I just apply the baritone. Eeyore requires a lot more air; he's actually deeper in another way. It's a chest resonance more than anything else. He never yells, and he doesn't laugh. Neither one of them laughs. Optimus doesn't laugh. They chuckle, but they don't laugh.

Beaks: But I watching TRANSFORMERS over the weekend on HBO, and I was noticing how you subtly changed your vocal performance from the cartoon. You gave Optimus a little more lightness. We get to see a funnier side.

Cullen: Right. I think you'll see more of that. His relationship with humans demands that he be more human. When he's one-on-one with Sam or the other characters, there's an opportunity for more humor and sensitivity, not just stone-cold metal. Coming into that human element... it's different; it's a little challenging because you have to be more conversational without stepping out of his character or losing any of his ingredients. We'll see more of that, I think. I don't want to speculate, but it seems to be going that way.

Beaks: Well, I don't need Michael Bay's ninjas breaking my windows again, so let's not talk about things that we're not supposed to talk about.

And there ya have it! You'll be able to show off your home theater setup with the Blu-ray of TRANSFORMERS starting September 2nd. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:38 p.m. CST

    More than meets the eye

    by mrfan

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Love the voice

    by mrfan

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:44 p.m. CST


    by Aiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee!!!


  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:44 p.m. CST


    by Aiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee!!!


  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:44 p.m. CST

    A shiny silver coin

    by peagreenboy

    In a puddle of shit, unfortunately

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Cross my fingers

    by Aiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee!!!

    The best thing about Transformer if you ask me, I hope to God they get sound waves Voice RIGHT........

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST

    It's pathetic the editors here love this film

    by IndustryKiller!

    Terrible film. Boring pointless first half with nonsensical characters and then robots with no personality at all, which DEFEATS THE WHOLE POINT OF TRANSFORMERS!! Not to mention the horribly directed action from Michael Bay, a man who wouldnt know good camera placement if it kicked him in the nuts. this film also spawned one of the dumbest arguments in the history of internet film debate. That being "It's based on a stoopid cartoon derr! All it needs to be good is giant robots and explosions derrr!" It's been dismantled time and time again but complete idiots still use it.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Peter Cullen is still amazing though

    by IndustryKiller!

    too bad they completely misused him in TINO.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Fuck Bayformers

    by photoboy

    Poor Peter Cullen has got to eat so he can't criticise Bay, but Beaks could have been a bit more honest about how shit those robot designs were and how crap the script was. Fuck TINO.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Do we call the next one

    by peagreenboy

    T2NO ? Jus' wondering

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:54 p.m. CST

    The toys are great, and so are the commercials

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    This is all good. You shouldn't develop a complex over a program length commercial that allows awesome robot toys to be made available to kids. Thank you Mr. Cullen for the great work.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 6:58 p.m. CST


    by Flipao

    Derka Derr!!!

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Fart Fuckers

    by Harold-Sherbort

    It seemed like they were trying to strike some kind of balance between making a kids movie, and a bad ass, violent, sexually charged, profanity laced epic. None of that happened of course. It was shit.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:03 p.m. CST

    I would so use that voice in the bedroom

    by samurai sark

    Nothing gets the ladies ready for the Samurai like robotic sex-banter. 11001, 10001, 00011, 01001, 00000, 00000, 00000, O!

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:06 p.m. CST

    My favorite part of the movie

    by samurai sark

    was the peeing. I mean c'mon! It's a robot... peeing! That was awesome! And the way they called "Lubricating" instead of peeing, woah. THAT is some clever shit! HAHAHHAHAHA, he PEEED on him! Oh Michael Bay, you make me glad I pay money for film!

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:12 p.m. CST

    people are funny

    by Bouncy X

    they claim to hate the first movie and thats its shit or whatever, but the second it gets an article or a mention...they cant come on and talk about their "hate" fast enough. internet kids are cute sometimes. :P

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Beaks

    by Heckles

    Nice interview. Transformers wouldn't have been the same without him, oddly enough. So many things could have been different and the film still would have worked. No Cullen, no f'n way I buy the Blu Ray.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:14 p.m. CST

    cullen is just a class act...but i'm confused -

    by jason baum

    shouldn't he be a primary part of the press junkets? i find it weird - and a little insulting - that the actors haven't gone out of their way to meet him. but overall, the fact that their paths haven't crossed in the junkets doesn't make sense. anybody know what's up with that? either way, in every single interview, cullen's humilty shines. i believe because of cullen, that optimus prime could literally be a leading character, and i hope that's the case from here on out.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Aw, thanks Bouncy

    by peagreenboy

    I am cute. Nah, I'm just bored; it's half one here and I can't decide if I should wait up for Obama's speech. Time for CHANGE people! Or sleep, I can't remember

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:24 p.m. CST

    'the blu-ray"

    by HoboCode

    what is he talking about when he refers to toys on the screen?

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Did he transform into a truck for you??

    by picardsucks

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CST

    I basically heard Optimus when I read every line there

    by TallBoy66

    It would be sweet if he did just do entire interviews in his Optimus Voice. Bring back Frank Welker for Megatron in the sequel! (even though Weaving did okay ie. "I'll let you live as my pet.")

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:34 p.m. CST

    I did a Transformers impersonation once...

    by mrfan

    in the bedroom for my girlfriend. She liked it<p>a lot.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:40 p.m. CST

    welker for Soundwave, at least

    by gnortsmra

    Since it's pretty much a given that Hugo Weaving will voice megatron, at least get Welker for Soundwave or any of the other 'bots and 'cons. Oh, and Beaks, which wheels need to be greased to get audio of the interview included here, huh?

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Love Cullen

    by Phategod2

    Actually tried to watch thatmovie last night at least the last action scene I swear The cinematography was making me sick. I can't see how people watched that.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Did you guysknow he also

    by Phategod2

    Did the Voice of K.A.R.R.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:54 p.m. CST


    by NiceGuyEddie19


  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:55 p.m. CST


    by NiceGuyEddie19

    THANK YOU MICHAEL BAY! I don't get enough chances to say it. Fuck the hater cocksuckers.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Who cares?

    by TooWhippy

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:07 p.m. CST


    by NiceGuyEddie19

    Transformers fans who are not narrow minded.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Fuck the haters.

    by xevoid

    Here come the pitiful haters. A decent director gives them Giant Robots Fighting and Blowing Shit Up. It looks good. Hot chicks. Great cinematography. and, did I mention, GIANT ROBOTS FIGHTING. <br><br>And yet all the basement-dwelling mouthbreathing fanboys here still can't get over flames on fucking Optimus Prime. The movie rocked. I saw it three times in the theaters. I can't wait until the next one, actually, and more importantly I am not shrubbery in any form. I liked the movie, I respect Bay's movie directing skills and I had a blast. So all the haters, who come wriggling out from under their DAMN YOU MICHAEL BAY-like posts can go fuck themselves.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:21 p.m. CST


    by Phategod2

    make you narrowminded?

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:28 p.m. CST

    I do not employ keys...Can you direct me to the nearst chicken?

    by WIBoomer1

    I hope that they are able to lure Peter into doing KARR's voice for the new Ford commerical called Knight Rider...

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Nice job, Beaks. Cullen rocks.

    by Mr. Nice Gaius


  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Xevoid: Awesome. Phategod2...

    by NiceGuyEddie19

    If you'd explain what in the fuck you're talking about, maybe I could respond. I suppose what you mean by "taste", with no explanation, is making Megatron a fucking Walther P38 and not putting flames on Optimus. If you mean "less humans" by that then your existence and your post warrant no value. I need more specifics.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:35 p.m. CST

    I enjoyed Transformers...

    by Banzai Rootskibango're not going to get the "perfect" Transformers movie because no studio would ever make it. <P> I'm glad they gave it to Bay who can handle action and make it look stylish and fantastic over some hack like Paul W.S. Anderson. <P> It was not perfect but I felt like a 7yr. old watching it and that's what I was hoping for. Bring on the sequel.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:43 p.m. CST

    I wants me some more STARSCREAM!

    by Banzai Rootskibango

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:45 p.m. CST

    cullen is the man

    by ironic_name

    why no sound-o-vision-text??

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Go ahead fatties, start the Bayhate!

    by dr sauch

    I liked Transformers, I like Mike Bay, I will pay to see the next one.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 8:50 p.m. CST

    It's simple

    by Phategod2

    It means keeping the Fucking Camera still while you shoot a scene it's showing the action going on instead of cutting away. It's Hiring Hugo Weaving over Frank Welker and still not being able to tell who's doing the fucking voice. It Piss poor acting from Tyrese, the guy From All my Children and the worst acting performance John Tuturro has ever done. It's uninspired plot, Characters, Score, and soundtrack. Its recognizing garbage and not being fooled by the fratboy Humor and shiny PS3 graphics.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 9:04 p.m. CST


    by xevoid

    Not alla ction scenes have to be done with the camera standing still I don't mind a moving camera, as long as I can figure out what is going on. I could figure out what was going on. There were all sorts of little easter eggs thrown all over the place; lots of cool action scenes. Was it too fast for your Bay-hatin' brain matter to take in? <br><br>I hate super jerky cameras like the ones in the Bourne Identity (that nearly made me vomit) but the Transformers was by no means to that level. I didn't need to see the fuck CAD-designed transformer stand still to know it was an engineering marvel and was cool as hell.<br><br>Yes, John Tuturro was bad. I concur. But Randy Quaid was horrible in Independence day, and that didn't sink the film. It's one of my favorites DESPITE Quaid, and the Transformers was fine and fun DESPITE tuturro.<br><br>I liked the Fratboy humor. I hate fratboys. I liked the PS3 Graphics. I have a PS3. The plot was fine, for a story about FUCKING TRANSFORMING BOTS FROM SPACE. Yer just another hater, and I'll be thinking of you when I see the new one and I'm having a blast.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 9:14 p.m. CST

    It's too bad there wasn't much room for robots

    by Dingbatty

    in your so called "story about fucking transforming bots from space." Or much room for the iconic characters, voice actors, and plotlines. So what if the original toon wasn't sophisticated enough for adults, or "just commercial for toys" -- the original concept, story and aesthetic, is strong and iconic enough to be properly adapted, enriched, and fleshed out.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Should use Welker, but, if not, DR SMOOV

    by Dingbatty

    does an uncanny impression of many of those characters. "The Rude Awakening of Optimus Prime":

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 9:23 p.m. CST

    DR Smoov Voice acting is priceless

    by Phategod2

    I been a fan of his for a while.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST

    wow....AICN interviews voice actors

    by Loosejerk

    next thing you know they'll have a dumb brunette with floppy tits reading news about script sales.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Tits haters

    by xevoid

    First there's Giant Robot Fighting haters that spew all over the boards here, and now there are tits haters spewing god knows what all over the place. I feel like I'm in some sort of alternate universe. Everytime a fanboy talks here I think god kills a kitten.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 9:45 p.m. CST

    "I shall call you shitbug"

    by ironic_name

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 9:48 p.m. CST

    I thought it was S--- Piece

    by Phategod2

    Kupp's new name.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 9:52 p.m. CST

    The (original) voice of MONTEREY JACK!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Too right, luv!

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 10:09 p.m. CST

    ~~~VITOR! STARFIRE CHAMPION! (of analingus)~~~

    by The Marquis de Side 3

    Peter Cullen worked on the first cartoon for young budding homosexuals: "VITOR: STARFIRE CHAMPION"! Guy with long hair and bandanna in torn shirt with sweaty muscles and a big metal ring on a necklace around his neck... yep. Champion of the "starfire"? Come on... yep, Peter's worked on some historic shows, including this little ass-eater. =0p

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Yes, bring Welker into the movie!!!

    by tvspace

    We need Frank.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Fuck Michael Bay!!!!

    by Han Cholo

    Can't stress that enough.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Cullen is further proof

    by Adelai Niska

    that the best people at doing everything are Canadian. At least in the world of entertainment.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 10:58 p.m. CST

    My 3 cents

    by johnnykool

    Peter CUllen is the sole reason I truly enjoyed the movie and bought the DVD. His work is phenomenal! How often do you find an actor who can bring life to inanimate objects? <p>I could listen to him reading the phone book as Optimus.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Re: Real Actors

    by m0reta

    Cullen:"I didn't even meet Hugo Weaving. I admired his work, but... I haven't had an opportunity to be with the real actors." Don't say that Mr. Cullen! You are just as much an actor as Hugo. We just can't see your face when you work. :-D Spymunk 13: OP served as a stand-in dad for me too. WWOPD!

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Continually amazed...

    by Galva

    ... by the love this mouth-breathing 4 hour long commercial. Yes, the score is shit (where it doesn't rip from Brad Fiedel, or turn into generic shitty rock music, it sounds like every single score from every single bay movie). Yes, the story was written in crayon. ("it's just a sequel about two robots traveling back in time, the script doesn't have to be Citizen Kane!" "It's just a movie about some kid that gets bitten by a super-spider, the script doesn't have to be Casablanca!" "It's just a movie about a future detective that kills androids, it doesn't have to be Hamlet!" "It's just a movie about a robot cop, the script doesn't have to be The Godfather!"). And yes, anyone who loves it is a God Damned retard.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 11:26 p.m. CST

    I am a tit hater

    by Loosejerk

    damn birds.

  • Aug. 28, 2008, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Cullen is good...

    by DarthFloyd

    Mr. Beaks, excellent interview. Bernie Mac's performance (RIP Bernie) and Peter Cullen returning to the role of Prime were the bright spots of the film.<p>I also agree with the other posters on this thread that Welker needs to come back as Megatron.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 12:17 a.m. CST

    What I wanna fuckin know is...

    by conspiracy

    is these are sentient robots... why the fuck are those two bad actors getting frisky on the hood of one of them? Wouldn't that kinda be kinda a technoroboticerotic threesome? Do ya think Bumble Bee "Lubricated" a load when LeBeefs Character Donkey Punched Megan Fox in the back seat? Really...just a fucking silly piss poor thought out movie from beginning to end. However, Cullen did fine working with what was thrown at him, the guy is a good voice actor...."My Bad" indeed.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Peter Cullen...

    by Optimus Prime're my hero!

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 12:39 a.m. CST

    I saw all the action in Transformers

    by bottombrick

    It just happened to consist of blurry spinning pipes. When it wasn't being scenery for the LaBeef romance/hijinx movie I got suckered into paying for. All hate for this movie is warranted.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 12:42 a.m. CST

    re: m0reta

    by Chief Joseph

    Bay once said that Peter Cullen wasn't an actor, just "a voice actor.<br> Blame that cokehead Bay for Cullen's complex.<br> And yeah, bring back Welker. In addition to the other problems listed, the voices... Every single Transformer had "deep, gravelly, distorted voice". They might as well have had Peter Cullen play everybody; they all sounded the same due to over-processing.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Howabout this for a twist?

    by DOGSOUP

    I hated the first one, but I'll give the second one a chance. Perhaps everything I hated about the first one will be fixed. Shit, it IS about the Transformers version of Satan after all....Also if they bring in Soundwave I dont give a fuck how big he is or what he transforms into as long as he has that Iconic monotone voice and somehow ejects smaller badass robots. Fuck, he could be a PSP and Ravage could be GTA: Liberty City Stories for all I care. Just less people and more robots and I'll be aiight.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Pure crap

    by fight the new world order

    I am sorry if I offended fans of the film, but I have to say what I feel. Transformers was horrible. The characters were lame. That is important because for some reason the human charaters were the focus of the film, not the transformers. Even the flawed 1986 movie which I still love for sentimental reasons, had enough sense to make the transformers the film's focus. The great Michael Bay decided it should be about a high school kid and his low cut shirt crush. Also, I am not a fanboy. I am a film student who can't understand why people like Michael Bay and Paul W Anderson keep getting work.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 1:18 a.m. CST


    by syn_flood

    IndustryKiller is a douchefag

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 1:32 a.m. CST

    TBers united in their hatred for Michael Bay...

    by one_crazy_nagger

    Say what you want about his lack of character development, plot device, story structure, or editing. But, that SOB knows confusing, unnecessary special effects... And, any version of Transformers without Peter Cullen is crap.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 1:41 a.m. CST

    This is not like any hero we've ever seen before.

    by Irina Spanko

    This one turns into a truck. I also liked the "Bay the perfectionist" comment and the promise of more humor from Optimus Prime. I was hoping for the promise of more DDR fat hacker kids, but this is good too.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 2:18 a.m. CST

    fuck yeah this hero turns into a truck

    by SlickyVonBoner

    He does all the other things heroes do.... AND turns into a truck that runs over shit and honks his massive air horn. Way cooler than most heroes. And he's jewish!!!

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 2:37 a.m. CST

    agreed, transformers was crap

    by Shadow Warrior

    and i wasn't even bitching about the shallow stuff. I could accept the flames on optimus, or even the focus on humans instead of the robots, heck i could accept it if it was transformers in name only if the story was at least good, but it wasn't. Some of the juvenile humor was just embarassing, the pissing, john turturro's overacting, berni mac's humor, gawd.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Pixar wins again in 2009!

    by Thylacine

    Another fantastic Pixar movie comes out in 2009. My money will go to that film- my butt will be in a theater playing Transformers 2. (Will my butt actually play Transformers 2 while "in" the chair?). I urge anyone who wants to kinda see what sort of train wreck Transformers 2 will be, to donate their funds to Pixar (a good cause) and then sneak into another screen and watch the shit movie.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 3:34 a.m. CST


    by Acne Scarface

    normally at this time of night, i'd be gettin' my sleep on, but the visiting little sister just HAD to check her myspace/facebook/worship-me pages for several thousand hours, so now i find myself wide awake enough to drop my 2 yen regarding voice actors, of which mr. cullen is most certainly a proper o.g.<p>way too many voice actors that excel at their craft like cullen don't get the love & appreciation they deserve, esp. when most of the higher-profile work they could have in animation is usually reserved for celebs or comics that are basically playing themselves, instead of creating something unique & suitable for the characters they're offered. i know the studios want the bigger names for higher box-office receipts, but i wonder how much richer the vocal performances in animation would be if there were more lead roles offered to the just-as-capable (if not more so) obscure talent usually stuck with the bit parts.<p>animation is one of my biggest loves. though i certainly don't have the level of insight & appreciation about the medium that most others possess, i welcome these spotlights on its lesser-known artisans.<p>props...*ahem*

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 4:14 a.m. CST

    crybaby fucks, the first movie rocked, total popcorn flick

    by bongo123

    and made a ton of money and i bet you all went and seen it and no matter how much you cry again about the sequel, you'll all be first in line again.. Bay cant direct shit? tell that to the money men counting the beans from the the first one....

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 5:38 a.m. CST

    Only a blind loser fuck has no qualms with those designs

    by quantize

    hideously messy and stupid...impossible to grasp what the fuck was going on from one second to the next the movie was OK at best..

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Cullen is a GOD.

    by CountdeCeredigion

    Transformers, however, isn't a great film by any stretch on the imagination. I've always seen Bay films as like rollercoaster rides - you enjoy them whilst you're on them but the moment the ride stops you wish you'd spent your money on something else. The movie is almost like the characters' personalities were pulled from a hat. Prime, a general who has been at war for milleniums, states "my bad"? The transformeing, warrior robots that have been at, yes, war for milleniums hide in the back yard of a kid so his parents don't tell him off? Terrible, terrible, terrible. If this happened on an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch I could forgive it but not on a high budgeted movie that had the blessing of Lord Spielberg. I mean did anyone check that script before it got greenlit?

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 5:51 a.m. CST

    It just goes to show you guys...

    by Its a LION

    ...nobody's ever really disabled as long as they have courage!

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 5:51 a.m. CST

    and FUCK the 'fuck the hater' haters

    by quantize

    dont blame us because we have some fuckin taste..

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay


    Damn You Michael Bay

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Real Transformers fans only

    by Dazzler69 Watch entire vid.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Vengeor and Voltron

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Next to Optimus, these are my favorites. Okay, so he had no main characters in Voltron, but to hear that intro every day after school...Besides from having great talent, Cullen is a class act.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST


    by saddael

    i know i'll get shit for this, but i enjoyed, although oddly less once the transformers showed up. the thing that bugged me is that they didn't want to use megatron's original voice actor citing the fact that he wasn't evil enough! i mean ,come on, in generation 1 he has the most evil voice imaginable. colour me perplexed

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 8:05 a.m. CST

    the thing bugs me

    by saddael

    is his surname, how dare he share it with wes and pt

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 8:05 a.m. CST

    It's over Prime

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    How many times did we hear Frank Welker/Megatron/Freddy Jones say that. It should have been Welker.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 8:07 a.m. CST

    yes binks

    by saddael

    i've never heard such a sneering voice

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Seriously there would be much less hate on

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Bay if he had Welker. Weaving as Megatron was okay. I love Weaving. But there is no way he did it better than Welker could have. I know this is an old debate, and it's over and done with, but still.....

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 8:17 a.m. CST

    its the rationale

    by saddael

    ...behind it that bugs me. Not evil enough? you. have. got . to . be. kidding.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Loved the 1st movie

    by Slippy

    And I can't wait for Soundwave and the 2nd installment. Peter Cullen seems like a real class act. Great interview Beaks!

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 8:50 a.m. CST


    by barrignite

    ...TRANSFORMERS was like a shot of heroin to a body with severe withdrawl symptoms, only it wasn't heroin, it was GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS FIGHTING. I was waiting for a dealer to come knocking for 20 years and when i asked him where he had been he gave me a bullshit story. I let that shit slide though, because he unravelled a clear plastic bag and inside, just for me, was 20kg of pure GIANT FUCKING ROBOTS FIGHTING.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 9 a.m. CST

    Just Re-Watched TRANSFORMERS The Other Day

    by LaserPants

    And you know, aside from the super-cool effects and action set-pieces (and Megan Fox, of course) BAYFORMERS is a really terrible movie. I admit I totally succumbed to the hype. I do honestly like the effects and action set-pieces though. Like that part where Bonecrusher (I think) transforms on the highway, skates on said highway, blows up the bus, and pushes Optimus over the side is really friggin' cool. Hopefully someday someone will take these kinds of efx and use them to make a GOOD giant robot movie, rather than an OK-to-AWFUL one.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST

    met him at BotCon 07

    by VAwitch

    And he seems to genuinely be humbled by the response of the fans to his work, especially as Prime & Eeyore. He also did Venger in the D&D cartoon in the 80's - and while he said it was interesting, he dislikes being a villain. <BR> He was very much a gentleman, and a real treat for the fans. Luckily, unlike some fandoms, since a lot of his fanbase is "older" (late 20-30+) vs. the TF:Animated fandom, the fans seem to quite respect him in return, when asking questions & being around him. And he respects us back. <BR> I hope he is brought back for BC09, since it will be both TF2, and the 25th anniversary of Transformers :)

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 9:28 a.m. CST

    To loserguy3000

    by VAwitch

    I totally agree about Welker's Megatron in the TF:game. I too, was amongst the voices saying "Welker for Megatron!" Then I saw the movie - then played the game. And as much as it pains me to give Bay much credit for the Bayformers ;), he did right by not having Welker do the G1 Megatron voice. That voice just didn't work for the new visual of Megatron. On the other hand, much to-do about nothing was made using Weaving - *no one* I know recognized him, so why pay that kind of $? Use it for more TF-time on screen, possibly WITH dialogue. <br><br> That said, I do hope they figure out a way to use him (Welker)for another character, such as Soundwave.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Oh good, that

    by TheContinentalOp

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 10:13 a.m. CST

    's what Transformers 2 needs...

    by TheContinentalOp

    More humor. Because two separate urination jokes were not enough.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 11:11 a.m. CST

    It was a movie

    by GiveMeAnFinBreak

    based on a cartoon created to sell toys. Of course it was going to suck. What the fuck were you fanboys expecting? Lord of the Rings? Come on, now.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 11:20 a.m. CST

    D.Vader that was a copout by Bay as

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Welker was good enough for the videogame.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 11:47 a.m. CST

    We need a phantom menace re-edit...

    by Darth Macchio

    Remember that fan-cut version of Phantom Menace that showed that even in that steaming pile of ass there was a decent movie at it's core? I think the same could be done for this movie...the exception is there wouldn't be much left. Drop say 50% to 75% of the Shia/family/crazy-drunk-mom scenes, drop all of Anthony Anderson's 'screaming every line of dialogue" scenes (can that GET more annoying?), drop all the pretentious hacker scenes (NSA recruiting out of high school? In America? Recruiting for what exactly? And a blonde Aussie califronia-girl hacker? Possible? Yes. Probable? Not a chance in any hell anywhere, ever.). Drop any modern vernacular from the Transformer speech. No "My bad" or "This looks like a cool place to kick it" (with appropriate hip-hop og idiot pose). Drop the zany antics of the spy Decepticon (the radio guy, only Decepticon with blue eyes, etc) and keep him as pure menace like a metal version of Fluffy from Creepshow (as in you see him, your dead...when he walks out of AF1 and mock salutes, I fear my eyes will roll out of their sockets).<p>Keep all the action set pieces but ease up on the hyper-quick cuts. It's fine for a bit but creates too much tension if you do it for too long. That tension does not get relieved when a robot pisses on Turturo either. Get rid of John Voight...he's hamming it up badly, just like the usually excellent Turturo and it was a distraction that took me out of any sense of suspension of disbelief every time they're on screen.<p>Cullen's work was excellent as expected but he was given a few cheesy lines ("My bad"? ugh). Shia's manic antics worked somewhat I think but some of it didn't...hit or miss there. Most of the ending is good and should be kept. Camera angles are meh on some scenes but good on others; the one where (i think) an Autobot does a flip over that girl in slo-mo and she's watching and screaming is pretty kewl. The product placement was definitely noticeable but not as bad as other Bay movies. There are other nitpick things but for the most part, it's a fun movie but not quite a *good* movie. It could be better, even for Bay, with some judicious and thoughtful editing and cutting of all of the fluff and somewhat pointlessly frenetic action. Even with all of the design changes (some good and some really bad and not necessarily blue flames, etc), I think they did a lot that ended up being good. Megatron slapping his arms together and making a huge ass canon was awesome but its shown from far away for like 2 seconds in 2 scenes. Why? The highway scenes were really good but it took a couple viewings to understand that Optimus had just totally fucked that one Decepticon up with a extendable sword no less!!

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Somebody finally mentioned Venger!

    by Turingtestee

    My 5 year old son loves to watch the old Transformer and Dungeons and Dragons cartoons, the other day he was asking me what Venger did with Optimus. Set up a sort of dissonance I guess.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Arcee design. Sorry if this has been posted.

    by HoboCode

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Jetfire design: SR-71 Blackbird

    by HoboCode

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 12:40 p.m. CST

    +1 for Welker

    by topaz4206

    Check him out on YouTube, search for Transformers Game Welker, and you'll see he still OWNS as Megatron!

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST

    wow an interview with Peter Cullen

    by ArcadianDS

    and you didn't bother to ask him what M-O-O-N spells?<p> It spells lame interview. this sucks.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Peter Cullen's BEST performance

    by Sithdan

    was as Venger in the animated Dungeons & Dragons, NOT Optimus Prime.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 1:24 p.m. CST


    by fight the new world order

    Dude you called me kid wow thanks. I am 32 years old so it's been a while since some one called me a kid. Michael Bay movies do not make money because of Michael Bay they make money in spite of his poor character development. As to why I am 32 years old and in film school lets just say I didn't have any drive intill I got married 3 years ago.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Cullen rocks, apologists suck.

    by Chief Joseph

    Peter Cullen rocks. But I bet if that hack Bay had cast someone else as Prime for the first one, the apologist sheep would now be dissing Cullen and praising the new guy.<br> Welker is the most versatile VA out there and could have played any form of Megatron Bay desired. Instead, Bay & Murphy pissed on him (and the real fans) just like Bumblebee pissed on Tuturro.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 2:50 p.m. CST

    How can adults have this conversation?

    by Klytus_I.m_Bored

    I mean what the fuck? Wasn't this ultimately based on a line of toys for god's sake? I mean, this isn't Ibsen. Did you think the film was going to be good when you bought tickets? THAT'S the problem. Yes, this was a loud, puzzling festival of machismo and auto-erotica (fetishizing of cars). Did you think it was going to be nuanced, compelling, challenging... or adult?

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 2:55 p.m. CST

    "phantom edit"

    by Chief Joseph

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    "phantom edit"

    by Chief Joseph

    I know at least one person made a phantom edit of Bayformers; it was up on thepiratebay. But I think it only ended up being 45. I didn't download it, so I don't know if it's any good or coherent.<br> As for "my bad", that should line should have gone to Jazz. It would have made sense to have him say it.<br> And to the alleged G1 fan up there. Strawman. NO ONE has said we wanted remakes of "The Woman[sic] Who Loved Powerglide" or any of the (few) bad G1 episodes. And Optimus only said "lay it on me, man" because he was talking to Jazz.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 3:27 p.m. CST

    I'm tired of people complaining about Welker in the shitty game.

    by Its a LION

    It's pretty fucking obvious the creators of the game didn't give two shits about the voicework. They most likely recorded Frank in an airport bathroom. They couldn't even be bothered to match Cullen's pitch from the movie. (Listen to both openings, he sounds quite different.)

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 3:41 p.m. CST it's either...

    by Darth Macchio

    Complete and utter shit or fucking Citizen Kane? I don't think for one second anybody was expecting the greatest movie ever. But I'd be willing to be they wanted to be entertained? But that's not enough eh? They want Aliens! or Godfather 2!! It just CANT be a fun popcorn movie that kicks ass AND is enjoyable right? It's either "out of the box suck" so you're a dick for thinking that it might be more or what?<p>Also...look around dude...not just here...look around your city/town...your state..TV..the world. Look closely and you will see: there is NO such thing as adulthood. Period. Thanks!!

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Darth Macchio

    by Klytus_I.m_Bored

    Uh, what is your argument?

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 4:24 p.m. CST

    My most hated Hollywood Term:

    by Phategod2

    Pop Corn flick. I hate this term It's like giving a movie a pass for being total bullshit. Its like going to the superbowl losing and saying they where popcorn team they wheren't suppose to win just look good playing. If people start settling for bullshit all your going to get is bullshit. Then I promis in about 60 years we'll be living in that world from Mike Judge's Idiocracy.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Average cartoon, average film...

    by BiggusDickus

    ...but a lovely interview and a real joy to 'meet' the guy behind the CGI. Thanks, Beaks, I enjoyed that immensely!<p>Am actually looking forward to the next installment...

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Bayformers and stupid people

    by youhatestarwars

    Bayformers made stupid people feel good about the fact that they're stupid. It was a mainstream group celebration of stupidity. When intelligent people call the movie stupid, it riles stupid people because it meant so much to them. It's not often that stupid people get to enjoy being stupid.

  • Aug. 29, 2008, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Wait, Cullen never met the other Stars?

    by BetaSword

    That's pretty mean, 'cause his OptimusPrime-Voice is an essence of the Movie. Oh, and that poster from Aug 29th, 2008 04:52:12 PM, his Name implements most probably his wishes, and that he's having the opposite. As for TF2, I really like to get the Same Optimus-Voice(Cullen for engl.) again, and also the impressive transformation-sequences(I was really enjoying Primes 1st Transformation in front of Sam).

  • Aug. 30, 2008, 7:31 a.m. CST


    by spencey7

    ...has hit the nail squarely on the head.<BR><BR> Fuck Michael Bay. I suppose we can only look forward to a proper Transformers movie with a series "reboot" in 15-20 years time.

  • Aug. 30, 2008, 9:20 a.m. CST

    It was a BAD popcorn movie

    by PacmanFever

    Not a disgrace to old toy commercials or whatever. Not too lowbrow. It just failed on the level it was attempting to work on, and there can be no BS excuses for that. It's not as bad as Armageddon, and I never saw Pearl Harbor, but it's worse than any of Bay's other films.

  • Aug. 31, 2008, 12:02 a.m. CST


    by critch

    The only people that hated "Bayformers" are here on the internet, a bunch of children that never grew up. Your 20 year old toy commercial was never any good, deal with it, and it's a miracle that anyone was able to salvage a plot. Here's the plot of EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of the original transformers. Energy source that will never run out and is free and cheap is located. Autobots fight for it for Earth. Decepticons try and stop them. Autobots win, Megatron shakes his fist at Starscream, and episode ends. Same damn thing every time. Why is anyone surprised that the same thing takes place in the movie? Movie was awesome, the numbers back that up. Too bad that your chosen crap flopped.

  • Aug. 31, 2008, 11:02 a.m. CST


    by PacmanFever

    That's actually a better plot than the movie though.

  • Sept. 1, 2008, 12:07 a.m. CST

    He was Eeyore?

    by Series7

    Thats fucking nuts? He's never meet anyone else who worked on the movie? Thats weird to? I bet Bay probably doesn't realize how nice of a guy this guy is. Being a voice actor would be a fucking sweet job. If you look there really are only like 20 - 50 people who do all the voices for everything, then throw in a couple of "IT" famous people. Add Keith David/Tony Todd/Micheal Clark Ducan, and you've got the whole voice over universe.