Thursday, January 27, 2011

Transformers Feature: Animated Sentinel Prime

Last year, after it was confirmed that the theme for BotCon 2010 would be related to Generation Two, I did a short series of blog posts and tweets featuring Generation Two toys. Yesterday, they confirmed that BotCon 2011 would feature the Transformers: Animated line in some way. Now, exactly how Animated will be used is not yet entirely clear. While it is all but certain that molds from the Animated toyline will be used, which molds will be utilized, the exact characters to be featured, and what kind of story the convention comic will tell are all questions that will have to be answered in the coming weeks and months. Anyway, in honor of this year’s BotCon theme, I’ll show off some Animated toys that I’ve yet to feature here on the blog.

The name “Sentinel Prime” is one that has a long history within the Transformers franchise, often as the name of the Autobot leader who preceded Optimus Prime. So when it was discovered that Animated would feature a “Sentinel Prime” character (the first to ultimately be given an actual toy!), fans were understandably intrigued. However, the Animated character turned out to be something rather unexpected. For one thing, since Animated is somewhat unusual among Transformers franchises in that Optimus Prime is not the supreme leader of the Autobots (I’ll deal with the character who was in a future post), it would hardly have made sense to have Sentinel Prime be Optimus’ predecessor. So, in Animated, the writers determined that “Prime” was a rank given to Autobots. One could argue that “Prime” after an Autobot’s name is similar to “Captain” before a human being’s. Thus, Animated Sentinel Prime was characterized as equal to Optimus Prime in rank.

Not to hear Sentinel Prime tell it, of course.

This version of Sentinel Prime considers himself the next supreme leader of the Autobots, and has an ego to match these ambitions. He’s certainly capable enough, but he isn’t exactly the most charismatic leader. Most of the time when he and Optimus Prime are together, he spends the bulk of his time dealing out insults to the peer he clearly feels is his inferior.

In the cartoon, Sentinel Prime was voiced by Townsend Coleman, who is perhaps better known for being the voice of The Tick. Once the casting decision was made, the designers decided to take advantage of Coleman’s “Tick” notoriety by designing Sentinel Prime with “Tick-like” attributes. Compare Sentinel Prime’s face here with this picture of the Tick, for example. Evildoers, you face Sentinel Prime!

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