As much of the same cast has worked on the fan-favorite Transformers show Transformers: Animated (2007), including art director and big-time Transformers nut Derrick Wyatt, this cartoon contains a number of hidden references or "easter-eggs" to that series. For example in one of the episodes, Grimlock's sword and Lockdown's hook-hand appear in Khyber's trophy-room. One of the villain henchmen from the series pilot was meanwhile based on a character from Challenge of the GoBots (1984). See more »
The original Ben 10 series was very good, Alien Force taking on a more mature tone was even better and Ultimate Alien was just as good. But it is here with Omniverse where things really took a nosedive, and not just slightly. We're talking about to the extent that- apart from Gwen and Kevin's brief surprise return in "Many Happy Returns" and the ending of "So Long and Thanks for All the Smoothies", which is the closest Ben 10: Omniverse gets to recalling the tones of its franchise predecessors- has little to make it watchable. It's not quite bad enough to be one of the worst animated shows of all time but it is definitely one of the most disappointing. The animation is done in a style that isn't that appealing, the colours are flat, the backgrounds are lacking in detail and the character designs are far too over-stylised(Ben's overly-large eyes are hugely distracting, in fact some characters don't have pupils or sometimes even eye-sockets). The theme song is one of the cheesiest ones for any animated show seen recently and musically nothing is memorable or well-suited to the moods of each episode/scene.
There is nothing intelligent about the dialogue either, it is rather goofy in tone and is far too dumbed down generally. The story lines are predictable and simplistic rather than interesting and lack any sense of danger or fun, often too over-reliant on action and comedy hi-jinks and has nowhere near enough character development. Ben is not a likable character at all in this show, and along with the writing and story lines one of the main reasons why the show doesn't work. Here he is annoying, acting like a spoilt brat who always wants to get his way. Another mistake is to do with his character development, here he does a lot of fighting the bad guys but very little else, the previous series in the franchise actually spent time with him and the other characters which was one of their many strengths. Rook is a little easier to like, but at the same time the writing doesn't develop him very well at all and he is too much of an excuse to be a contrast to Ben.
Gwen and Kevin(apart from one episode) are written out, thus removing any kind of heart and depth that was present before. The bad guys don't pose much of a threat either, which diminishes any sense of conflict, they also don't that much personality which makes them bland and forgettable as well. The action is not exciting, doesn't have that much energy and can be choppily choreographed/animated, considering that Omniverse is more comedy and action oriented rather than developing the characters that is a big problem. There is a very talented voice cast involved but the voice actors are not used very well, some are made to do annoying voices and some sound uninterested, for a voice cast of this calibre to hear a going-through-the-motions quality creeping in was sad and rather wasteful. To conclude, Omniverse is incredibly disappointing, with two bright spots(that are not enough really), but for the Ben 10 franchise it is a huge step backwards. 2/10 Bethany Cox
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