by: Austin Welch source: press release
You’ve heard of nerd rage? Well, you’re reading a post by one enraged nerd. Today comes word from Hasbro, maker of fine plastic robots, that they are honoring both Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg by inducting them into the Transformers Hall Of Fame ceremony at this year’s BotCon, in about three weeks. Announced via their Facebook page, Hasbro decided to include the director and executive producer of the three recent live-action Transformers films, alongside characters Ironhide, Ratchet, Soundwave, and a fourth to be determined by fan vote. Each year, a selection of characters and real-world creative persons from the franchise’s history are to be inducted.
And now for the rage part. Are you fucking kidding me? After inducting Bob Budiansky (original Marvel comic writer), Peter Cullen (classic/current voice of Optimus Prime), and toy designers Hideaki Yoki and Kojin Ono (created many of the original toys which the initial 80s Transformers were based on) at last year’s inaugural event, Hasbro has chosen to forego inducting any number of people much more deserving of the honor in favor of some timely ass-kissing. Just off the top of my head:
Frank Welker – hello???
Michael Bell – do the names Prowl, Swoop, or Sideswipe ring a bell (get it)?
Dan Gilvezan – remember when Bumblebee actually spoke?
Corey Burton – perhaps the man behind Spike, Brawn, Shockwave, and Sunstreaker would come out of hiding to collect a novelty statuette?
Gregg Berger – Grimlock mad!
Chris Latta – aka Chris Collins, a posthumous honor would be nice
John Stephenson – honoring the voice of many classic characters (and I’m not just talking about TFs!) before it’s posthumous would be even nicer
Casey Kasem – make nice again with the guy who left the show in anger after voicing Cliffjumper, Bluestreak, and Teletraan1
Susan Blu – original voice of Arcee, as well as being involved in production on later series Beast Wars, Animated, and Prime!
Animation production personnel:
Flint Dille – writer producer for the show and the original movie
David Wise – the most prolific writer of episodes, and arguably the best
Wally Burr – voice director extraordinaire
Nelson Shin – producer on the original show and directed the movie!
Paul Davids – producer and writer on the show
Simon Furman – the greatest Transformers comics writer!
Nel Yomtov – colored every single Marvel Transformers issue, including all spin-off series
Andrew Wildman – a fan-favorite artist
Geoff Senior – another well-liked artist
Don Figueroa – a more recent artist who also designed merchandise packaging, and a few toys
Some of you may be wondering, “There are many deserving names throughout the franchise’s history. Why is he focusing merely on ‘classic’ people?” Because frankly, with a franchise approaching thirty years in the making, you have to build a foundation by inducting those that were there (more or less) in the beginning. Do you think the baseball Hall Of Fame inducted then-current players upon its inception? No. People have to prove themselves worthy over a period of time.
Michael Bay – who will be on hand at the convention to accept his sham award, and show a completed print of Dark Of The Moon – has not done that. In fact, he is a controversial figure within the fan community. Since the outset of the live-action film franchise, there has been a divide – a new divide, you might say – between old-school Transformers fans (sometimes derisively referred to as “geewunners”) who disapprove of the direction Hasbro has allowed Bay and his accomplices to take the beloved franchise, and the bandwagon-jumpers who somehow qualify dog/robot leg-humping, wrecking ball testicles, and arbitrary character name/design/personality alterations as “filmmaking”. It is argued by some folks that any number of semi-competent directors in Hollywood could have interspersed tight shots of robot carnage with footage of hot girls in tight clothes, and sold a lot of tickets, and in turn, a lot of toys. To suggest that Bay has been a boon to the franchise is a stretch, to say the least. And Spielberg? Love the man, but he has been only tangentially involved in the films, acting as he did in the ever-nebulous “executive producer” role.
No, my fine friends, this whole affair smacks as merely one big wet, sloppy blow job by Hasbro to the two men that they feel made them A LOT of money. In just its second year, the Transformers Hall Of Fame has become a farce. It was fun while it lasted.
You can read the full press release below.
THE TRANSFORMERS HALL OF FAME
Bay to attend ceremony at TRANSFORMERS “BOTCON” Fan Convention in Pasadena, California, on June 4
Pawtucket, R.I. (MAY 18, 2011) — Earlier today on its official TRANSFORMERS Facebook page, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) announced the induction of film industry legends Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg—the director and executive producer of the blockbuster TRANSFORMERS film franchise—into its TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame. The second annual TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame ceremony, which celebrates more than 25 years of “MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE” action, will take place during the 2011 TRANSFORMERS “BOTCON” fan convention in Pasadena, California, and will feature TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON director Michael Bay in person to accept his honor and share some special surprises with the audience.
Founded in 2010 to honor those influential in creating and building the iconic TRANSFORMERS franchise, as well as actual “ROBOTS IN DISGUISE,” the 2011 TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame will induct the two legendary filmmakers who were instrumental in launching the live-action film franchise that brought the TRANSFORMERS brand to more fans than ever before. Bay and Spielberg will join previous honorees Bob Budiansky, Peter Cullen, Yoke Hideaki and Kojin Ohno in the TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame.
Michael Bay: For the last sixteen years, Michael Bay has been one of the world’s boldest filmmakers as both director and producer. His films have grossed over $4 billion worldwide. Since his 1995 breakout Bad Boys, Bay has directed a succession of international hits that have redefined the action genre, including The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys 2, The Island, and three Transformers films. The third movie in the franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, will hit theaters July 1; it is Bay’s first live-action film shot in 3D. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Art Center College of Design, Bay began his career as a distinguished commercial and music video director. He has won virtually every major award in the commercial industry, including Cannes’ Golden Lion, the Grand Prix Clio, and the Directors Guild of America’s Commercial Director of the Year award. His “Got Milk?” campaign resides in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Bay is also co-owner of production company Platinum Dunes and owner of Digital Domain, one of the entertainment industry’s premier special effects companies.
Steven Spielberg: One of the industry’s most successful and influential filmmakers, Steven Spielberg has directed some of the top-grossing films of all time, including Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, and four Indiana Jones films, including the most recent, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Among his myriad honors, he is a three-time Academy Award® winner, earning two Oscars® for Best Director and Best Picture for Schindler’s List, and a third Oscar® for Best Director for Saving Private Ryan. He has been awarded the Academy’s prestigious Thalberg Award. He earned his first Directors Guild Award for The Color Purple and has been nominated by the DGA a record ten times. He has received the Kennedy Center Honor for his body of work. Last year he served as an executive producer on the Academy Award nominated film True Grit, which was directed by the Coen brothers. A principal partner of DreamWorks Studios, he is also the producer of Super 8, directed by J.J. Abrams, an executive producer on TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, directed by Michael Bay and Cowboys & Aliens, directed by Jon Favreau, all of which will be released this summer.
Hasbro will also induct four more iconic robot characters into the TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame. Heroic AUTOBOTS RATCHET and IRONHIDE, as well as evil DECEPTICON SOUNDWAVE will join 2010’s class of five robots, as chosen by Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERSHall of Fame internal panel of judges. In addition, TRANSFORMERS fans around the world voted on Transformers.com for a fourth robot to receive the 2011 “Fans’ Choice” honor. The winner, from among the nominees GRIMLOCK, SHOCKWAVE, ERECTOR, WASPINATOR and JAZZ, will be revealed for the first time at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at “BOTCON” on June 4, 2011.
First introduced in 1984 by Hasbro and Takara as a toy line, the TRANSFORMERS brand has provided kids with hours of MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE fun with their action figures that convert from robot to vehicles and back again. Legions of boys around the world grew up creating fantastic adventures and battles set on both the planet CYBERTRON and Earth that featured the “good-guy” AUTOBOTS and the “bad-guy” DECEPTICONS. Since then, more than 7500 robots have been introduced in countless animated TV series, comic books and two live-action feature films. A third film, TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, will be released on July 1, 2011, as the first 3D film in the franchise.
For further information visit the official TRANSFORMERS Facebook page at Transformers.com/facebook.