Bring Back Body Horror Transformations

  • For example, this Frankenstrike transformation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDc7qIOisM8) is
    and this Gravattack transformation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIjN-4GM0z4) are examples of Omniverse's better transformations which are very well animated and involve the body horror somewhat to make it look like Ben is actually morphing.

    I think that budget is also a factor which discouraged them from making these sorts of transformations. Take a look at the comparison of these transformations from the original series and UAF:

    Heatblast OS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk9pXu8_JCs
    Heatblast UAF (young Ben): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ0s6gHmjFc

    Wildmutt OS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0FFfhSErto
    Wildmutt UAF:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_COGWQtFyHA

    There is a pretty noticeable drop in quality in the UAF transformations compared to the original ones. I believe that the budget provided for the animation of the series was probably reduced by AF meaning that they couldn't get too creative with the transformations. Which sucks because as @Tactical-Ochoa said, the sequences were one of the best parts of the original series and are worth the money.

    I'm not really fond of UAFs transformation sequences with the green filter on Ben's skeleton changing shape (with this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4br928FPllQ being one of the exceptions) and they got really repetitive. Even as a young kid growing up with UAF I felt that they were boring.

  • @coreofthesun Yeah, like I said, the reboot show seems to be more guilty of the transformations looking as if Ben's just putting on a suit. I do recall some of Omniverse's transformation sequences being better than others.

    Sure, budget could be a factor and I get it. Cartoon Network wants to save money. Like I said though, it's just not worth the diminish in quality. I could be wrong here but I feel like budget shouldn't really be as big of a factor as many make it out to be though. There are plenty of low budget projects that were made that turned out to be freakin incredible in quality. John Carpenter's The Thing had a budget of $15 million yet it has some of the best practical effects ever while also just being one of the best horror films ever as well. Hazbin Hotel and Helluva Boss are independently made cartoons and they have really good quality to them (which reminds me, I need to catch up on Helluva Boss). Admittedly though, I don't know what the exact budget of those shows are and Hazbin Hotel is being supported by a network so expectedly, it would have a bigger budget. I don't think that's the case with Helluva Boss though because that's a web series that's not supported by the same network. In fact, there's a lot of independently made animations that I've seen on YouTube that are just so incredibly good.

  • @Tactical-Ochoa Or perhaps it was a creative choice, the idea behind AF was to make it a darker tone both in terms of themes and aesthetically so they may have changed the transformations because of that. But they never had the excitement factor of the original ones. In fact a lot of the times the "seqences" were simplified down to Ben's ribcage expanding which was just lazy (now that I remember, Swampfire's first sequences consisted of this. This was meant to be the first ever sequence of Alien Force and that's what they come up with?)

    I really think that UAF could've worked with the non-skeletal transformation sequences. UAF Cannonbolt (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWP4tYLQyUM) and Rath (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A33EqlCD3fM) showed the potential for these sorts of transformations (even though they both have the green filter on) and it's a shame that they didn't go with more like these.

    Also, I find it weird how in the UA episode "Fused" they show an AmpFibian transformation which is completely different to the usual sequences (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8cqhnC-QL4) and despite it being a relatively average sequence I still found it way more appealing to watch than the standard sequences.

    I guess that there's also the concern that younger kids watching the show may get freaked out by the transformation sequences, particularly ones like Four Arms and Ripjaws (personally I used to get unnerved by the latter but now I find it really cool) hence why they simplified them or else made them look more like Ben was putting on a costume rather than morphing. Though Ben 10 was never meant to be a show just for kids, I do see the rationale in this kind of argument.

  • @coreofthesun I pretty much don't see that rationale. One, the Original Series was an incredibly popular show. In fact, one of Cartoon Network's most popular shows ever. People, including kids, liked it. I have a feeling that at least most kids that watched the show weren't freaked out at all over the transformation sequences. Two, Alien Force and Ultimate Alien have a lot of dark moments that I would argue are more scary than the OS transformation sequences. I mean, there were people that were straight up dying in those shows.

    If this is a concern that came from Cartoon Network's publishing executives, I'm quite hesitant to buy into that as well. There have just been WAY too many moments that I've seen of publishing executives showing how stupid and out-of-touch they really are. How studio interferences more often diminished the quality of the projects that were being made. It's really hard for me to trust what publishing executives suggest what should be done for a project and why.

  • @Tactical-Ochoa I mean that is one of the only reasons which I can think of as to why they ditched the original style. I mean, personally the only one which made me uneasy was Ripjaws but only slightly, and I loved the others.

    But obviously as you said that argument would directly clash with just how dark AF and UA were. I mean, there's an episode of UA called "Catch a Falling Star" where:

    • Jennifer Nocturne is explicitly suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.
    • Ben suffers an actual injury by his arm being broken.
    • Ben comes very close to death twice had it not been for Gwen saving him both times.
    • Nesmith goes on a killing spree with the bodies actually shown on screen, including when Ben and Gwen find that he left his plastic surgeon to die in a freezer.
    • A bunch of other unsettling smaller plot details

    So I'll admit, Ripjaws' transformation did not freak younger me out nearly as much as this episode did as a kid and that's before I understood half of what was being portrayed. If they were willing to go that far with dark plotlines then the transformations shouldn't have been an issue.

    Or maybe the simplest explanation was that the network were being greedy and wanted to squeeze every penny out of the sequel shows hence why the transformations weren't as good. Though I can still buy into the aesthetic side of it with the sequences attempting to fit into the tone of Alien Force, even if it did not work.

  • @coreofthesun Fitting the tone of Alien Force and Ultimate Alien sounds like a better reason for why the transformations look the way they do. The transformations themselves just didn't work out as well as the OS transformations did. Well, granted, Alien Force and Ultimate Alien's tone didn't work out well for Ben 10 either, as I have already explained before as to why.

    Ripjaws' transformation sequence in the Original Series was certainly one transformation that stood out a lot. Usually, I expect for Ghostfreak's transformation to be the one that would creep people out the most. I don't recall ever being freaked out by any of the transformations myself when I first saw the Original Series. I turned 11-years-old a month after the show first premiered.

  • @Tactical-Ochoa It's just that the Ripjaws one looked especially painful to me, but given that I was something like 6 years old when I first saw it ...it makes sense why I got slightly creeped out, but nearly 11 years down the line I really like it. Ghostfreak's transformation was creepy but I think they nailed the subtle creepy vibe in the transformation without making it too horrifying. Although I am so grateful that I didn't see "Last Laugh" as a kid, only watching it fully when I did a rewatch of the entire franchise recently.

    My personal favourite transformation sequence is Wildvine's but I have a lot of love for all of the original sequences, except maybe Cannonbolt's, it was ok but could've done with a bit more detail than Ben swelling like a balloon and then being fully transformed in the next frame. All of them were distinct and although there were some reused parts as npzman mentioned (such as the XLR8 transformation where Ben's arm muscles expands like they do for Four Arms despite XLR8 being opposite in build), they still all felt different enough.

  • @coreofthesun Speaking of Last Laugh, I was about to mention that the Original Series also had many dark moments as well and again, it's one of Cartoon Network's most popular shows. There were also a fair share of other shows during that time that also had plenty of dark moments and scary imagery yet they turned out to be really good and really popular. I mean, look at Courage the Cowardly Dog as an example. It's a horror comedy and it's filled to the brim with horror elements and scary imagery. Kids can handle dark moments, mature themes, and scary imagery. Therefore, maintaining the body horror transformations from the Original Series shouldn't be a problem.

  • I love the original sequences so much but one thing I really appreciate about Omniverse is that when they didn’t do full detailed sequences, they always animated Ben morphing in real time rather than enveloping him in a green flash like in OS and UAF. I really appreciate the animators for putting in the effort to do that.

  • @KineceleranGirl I really like the effort put into the Omniverse real-time morphing as well, and it makes the fast paced action scenes much better.

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