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Transformers: Animated
Transformers Animated Autobots.jpg
Show poster, displaying the five main Autobots in robot and vehicle modes
Genre
Created by
  • Sam Register
  • Matt Youngberg
  • Derrick J. Wyatt
Based on Transformers, by Hasbro
Developed by Marty Isenberg
Directed by Matt Youngberg
Voices of
Theme music composer Andy Sturmer
Opening theme "Transformers: Main Theme"
Ending theme "Transformers: Main Theme" (Instrumental)
Composer(s) Sebastian Evans II
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 42 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Sam Register (seasons 1 and 2)
  • Brian A. Miller (for Cartoon Network Studios)
  • Tramm Wigzell and Brian E.S. Jones (season 3) (for Cartoon Network)
Producer(s)
  • Vincent Aniceto
  • Matt Youngberg (supervising producer)
Running time 22–23 minutes
Production company(s) Cartoon Network Studios
Hasbro
Distributor Hasbro (United States)
Entertainment Rights Distribution(International)
Release
Original network Cartoon Network
Original release December 26, 2007 (2007-12-26) – May 23, 2009 (2009-05-23)

Transformers: Animated is an American animated television series based on the Transformers toy line. It was produced by Cartoon Network Studios and Hasbro and animated by The Answer Studio, Mook Animation, and Studio 4°C (shorts). The series debuted on Cartoon Network on December 26, 2007, and ended on May 23, 2009. In Japan, the show debuted on April 3, 2010, on both TV Aichi and TV Tokyo.

The series has 42 episodes (two sets of three interrelated episodes make up two 90-minute made for TV movies) across three seasons, with many fanservice references to other Transformers shows.

The show's continuity is separate from any other previous Transformers continuities, despite using footage from the first series (The Transformers) in its first episode as a historical film, and having many references to the other Transformers continuities in the Transformers franchise. The Japanese version of the cartoon was slightly rewritten to tie into Michael Bay's Transformers film series. Despite being a Cartoon Network original series, the show was aired on Nicktoons in the UK since February 2008, Jetix/Disney XD in the rest of Europe from September 10, 2008, and, finally, back in the U.S. on The Hub, now known as Discovery Family in high definition until 2014.

Synopsis

Pilot episodes

The series began with a pilot called "Transform and Roll Out!". Stellar-cycles (years) after the Autobots won the great war for Cybertron against the Decepticons, an Autobot maintenance crew led by Optimus Prime and consisting of Ratchet, Bulkhead, Prowl, and Bumblebee discover the legendary Allspark buried on an asteroid. The Autobots take the Allspark back to their ship, but are soon confronted by a crew of Decepticons led by the notorious warlord Megatron and consisting of Blitzwing, Lugnut, Blackarachnia, and Starscream. Megatron attacks the Autobot ship and tries to retrieve the Allspark, but when an explosive planted on Megatron by the treacherous Starscream detonates, the ship crashes on Earth. The Autobots go into stasis to survive the crash, while the scattered remains of Megatron are discovered by a human scientist named Isaac Sumdac.

In the futuristic year of 2050, Professor Issac Sumdac is the CEO of a robotics company known as Sumdac Systems, which is based in a futuristic version of Detroit. Optimus Prime and the Autobots awaken from stasis and defend the people of Detroit from a monster, resulting in them becoming local celebrities. They befriend Professor Sumdac's young daughter Sari, who teaches them about Earth customs, and whose security card is transformed into a supercharged key which possesses a fraction of the AllSpark's vast power. At the end of the pilot episodes, Starscream arrives on Earth and tries to take the all-powerful AllSpark for himself, but the Autobots successfully stop him and save the Earth once again.

Season one

The Autobots settle into their new home and learn about Earth culture and customs, all of the while defending Detroit from various threats. Megatron's disembodied head, which has been in Professor Sumdac's laboratory since the ship crashed, comes back online and manipulates Sumdac into building him a new body, pretending that he is an Autobot. Blitzwing and Lugnut arrive on Earth searching for Megatron, while Blackarachnia targets Optimus Prime, blaming him for her techno-organic mutation. New Transformers introduced in the first season include the Autobot Arcee (who only appears in Ratchet's flashbacks), the Decepticon Soundwave, the bounty-hunter Lockdown, and the Dinobots Grimlock, Snarl, and Swoop. Several human villains are also introduced, including Nanosec (who can run at extreme speeds), the Headmaster (who pilots a machine that attaches to and controls large robots) and Meltdown (who is covered in a toxic and corrosive substance). The season ends with Megatron returning with a new body (built by the all-powerful AllSpark from his old body), and the AllSpark exploding into many fragments that scatter across Detroit.

Season two

The Autobot Elite Guard members Ultra Magnus, Sentinel Prime, and Jazz arrive on Earth to retrieve the Allspark, only to learn of its destruction in the Season One finale. While Sentinel completely disbelieves Optimus's claims, Optimus and his team are eventually able to convince Magnus of Decepticon activity on Earth. The main theme for Season Two is the discovery of small fragments of the Allspark littered across the city (and possibly, the entire planet), while the Decepticons work on building a space bridge back to Cybertron with the help of Issac Sumdac, who was kidnapped by Megatron in the previous season's finale. This is part of Megatron's plan to invade Cybertron from within, without the Autobots' awareness. New characters introduced in season 2 include the Autobots Omega Supreme (who was revealed to be Optimus Prime's team's spaceship), Wreck-Gar, Wasp and Blurr, the Decepticons Shockwave, Swindle, Mixmaster and Scrapper, the human villain Slo-Mo (who is able to slow down time using a watch with an AllSpark fragment), and Starscream's army of clones Thundercracker, Ramjet, Skywarp, Sunstorm, and Slipstream (none of the clones are openly referred to by name in the series, the names listed come from the toy-line, while Slipstream was retroactively given her name by Hasbro). At the end of the season, the Decepticon Space Bridge is destroyed, but Megatron, Starscream, and Omega Supreme are sucked through and lost in deep space. Sari meanwhile, notices an injury that exposes mechanical components under her skin, revealing that she is not completely human.

Season three

Sari is shocked and distraught over the revelation that she is a robot, and instantly assumes that her "father" had actually built her, refusing to believe Sumdac's claim that he discovered her as a small liquid metal body. Upon examining Sari, Ratchet discovers something quite jarring; Sari is essentially human, but also part Cybertronian. Prowl does some research and discovers that Professor Sumdac was in fact telling the truth, and deduces that Sari is a Cybertronian protoform (the early development stage of all Cybertronians) that came into contact with Sumdac's genetic information. Sari later uses the great power from her Key to upgrade herself into an armored techno-organic teenage form that is far taller and much stronger; equipped with several weapons and superhuman abilities.

Meanwhile, on Cybertron, Shockwave (disguised as the Autobot Longarm Prime) sabotages several Elite Guard operations in preparation for Megatron's return, unaware that Megatron and Starscream are lost in deep space, trying to gain control of Omega Supreme. Suspecting that the double-agent may be the escaped convict Wasp, Ultra Magnus sends Sentinel and Jazz back to Earth to find and apprehend Wasp, who has found his way to Earth to exact revenge on Bumblebee for framing him. Soundwave and Arcee reappear, with Soundwave being accompanied by minions Laserbeak and Ratbat. New characters introduced in season 3 include the Constructicon Dirt Boss, the Autobot scientist Perceptor, Prowl's mentor Yoketron (who only appears in Prowl's memory flashes), and the flying Elite Guard members Jetstorm and Jetfire.

In the two-part season finale, Jazz joins Optimus Prime's team on Earth, while Megatron and Starscream also find their way back to Earth, using information stored deep within Arcee's subconscious mind to create an army of Omega Supreme-sized robots in Lugnut's likeness. Optimus defeats Megatron with the aid of Ultra Magnus' Magnus Hammer and a "Wingblade" jetpack built by Professor Sumdac, Ratchet, and Sari while Prowl sacrifices his own vital Spark to reassemble most of the AllSpark, killing Starscream in the process, and destroy the "Lugnut Supremes". The Autobots return to Cybertron with the apprehended Decepticons, and are hailed as heroes upon arriving on their home world.

Cancelled fourth season

A fourth season was initially planned for, but was ultimately cancelled. According to The AllSpark Almanac II, The Complete AllSpark Almanac, and issue #71 of the Transformers Collectors' Club magazine, season four's main theme would have been the discovery of Energon deposits left by the Allspark across Detroit. Various ideas planned for the cancelled fourth season include:

  • Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz and Ratchet returning to Earth along with new team member Ironhide, who would scan a pick-up truck vehicle mode resembling the live-action film version of the character while retaining elements from his Generation 1 counterpart.
  • Sari remaining on Cybertron to discover more about her unique origins and the Cybertronian species while being educated by Arcee, and training in the Autobot boot camp under Kup alongside Nightbeat, an aspiring detective sharing Arcee's body-type; Hosehead, a Canadian-accented Autobot sharing Sentinel's body-type; and Siren, a sonic-mouthed Autobot who wears the common body-type employed by Bumblebee. These three young Autobots previously appeared in the follow-up story "The Return of Blurr", in which they helped Sari and Arcee with stopping an ancient Decepticon weapon named Kremzeek and restoring Blurr, who was compacted into a cube by Shockwave in the third season.
  • Bulkhead also remaining in Cybertron to defend Energon farms from Decepticons such Strika's Team Chaar, who would acquire four new members: Mindwipe, a hypnotist capable of interacting with deceased Decepticons; Blot, who would turn from a monster-motif robot based on his Generation 1 Terrorcon counterpart's beast mode into a Cybertronian ground vehicle; Sky-Byte, a poet inspired by the Predacon from the 2001 Robots in Disguise anime who shares a body-type with Lugnut; and Dr. Scalpel, Oil Slick's partner who is heavily inspired by his Live-action counterpart from Revenge of the Fallen.
  • Megatron reformatting into a new Triple-Changer body, with his new vehicle modes being a Cybertronian fighter jet and tank. An action figure was designed for Megatron's new body under the name "Marauder Megatron", but only a prototype exists. He would also have broken out of Trypticon Prison on Cybertron and relocate the city of Kaon to Earth, using the Energon deposits to build machinations that could threaten all life on the planet.
  • Hot Shot, who made minor appearances in the third season, acquiring an Earth mode of a sports car. Like Megatron's Marauder body, an action figure was designed for Hot Shot's new body, but only a prototype exists.
  • Optimus reformatting into a new "Powermaster" body in which he can combine with his trailer to be of equal power and stature to Megatron. Concept art for an action figure of this body mas been made, which also includes a Mini-Con that would plug into him.
  • Blackarachnia returning with an army of Predacons, including Waspinator, new recruits Inferno and Antagony, and a failed clone experiment named Primal Major. She would also adopt a new color scheme heavily based on her Beast Wars counterpart. A flashback episode would reveal the circumstances of her siding with the Decepticons.
  • Starscream would have been revived by Slipstream.
  • Bulkhead and Sari entering a parallel universe with evil Autobots and heroic Decepticons (a homage to the Shattered Glass comic).
  • Minicons from Kaon disabling all the machinery in Detroit (a homage to the film Gremlins), with Ratchet and Captain Fanzone being the ones to stop them.
  • The Autobot Cosmos, who made minor appearances in the third season, playing a major role as a messenger for Optimus and scanning a prop flying saucer from the set of a B-Movie.
  • Slipstream leading her own team of Decepticons on Earth before ultimately becoming an ally to the Autobots.
  • Lugnut, Blitzwing, Shockwave, Sunstorm, Ramjet, and the Stunticons, who were captured by Sideswipe and Cheetor in the follow-up comic "The Stunti-Con Job", would all take part in a spectacular prison break. Thundercracker, Skywarp, Soundwave, Laserbeak, and Meltdown would all return as well.
  • Mixmaster and Dirt Boss returning, reuniting with Scrapper. Dirt Boss would put Scrapper, Mixmaster, and Skipjack-a new Constructicon cloned from the Autobot Erector-to work on a project called "Devastator". They would also battle the other Decepticons over control of the Energon deposits on Earth.
  • The Decepticon Bludgeon appearing as a skeletal pirate-motif robot rather than having a skeletal samurai-motif.
  • Sentinel creating the Powermaster weapon while fighting for his Magnus status and attempting to vanquish Megatron using the AllSpark.
  • Prowl's ghost inhabiting AllSpark-powered Cybertronians-such as Wreck-Gar, Slipstream, and the Constructicons-and warning Optimus of the consequences of Sentinel's actions.
  • A new group of human villains called S.T.E.A.M. (short for Saving The Earth And Mankind), who are against modern technology and use Steampunk-style weaponry.
  • Bumblebee solving a mystery which sees himself, Bulkhead, Ironhide, and Sentinel, as well as Waspinator and Shockwave, being targeted.
  • Rattletrap being targeted by Autobots and Decepticons alike while being stranded on Earth.

Return to The Hub

The Hub started airing reruns of the show on July 9, 2012, in its original HD format until mid-2014.

Characters

The main Autobots are Optimus Prime, Prowl, Ratchet, Bulkhead, and Bumblebee. The main Decepticon cast is made up of Megatron, Starscream, Blitzwing, Lugnut, and Blackarachnia. The main humans, or as the Transformers call them, "organics", are Professor Isaac Sumdac, Sari Sumdac, and Captain Fanzone.

Comic adaptation

Transformers Animated was adapted into comics and published by IDW Publishing in 2008. The book used cartoon screen captures arranged in comic book style panels. In Japan, a manga adaptation titled Transformers Animated: The Cool (トランスフォーマー アニメイテッド ザ・クール Toransufōmā Animeiteddo: Za Kūru) was created by Naoto Tsushima and serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Kerokero Ace magazine from March 26, 2010 to March 26, 2011.

Locations

  • Detroit: A futuristic city located in the state of Michigan. It is the main setting of the show and is where the Autobots live and fight crime.
    • Sumdac Tower: The largest tower in Detroit where Isaac Sumdac designs and tests his robot creations, which was also the resting place of Megatron's severed head before he was revived. Its appearance is that of a giant spark plug.
    • Abandoned Automobile Plant: The current headquarters of the Autobots. According to Sari, Isaac acquired the plant from a merger several years ago, and he was not aware of the plant itself being part of the merger.
    • Dino Drive: A theme park in 22nd-century Detroit that features displays of animatronic Dinosaurs, namely the Dinobots before the events of the episode, Blast from the Past.
    • Fossil Fuels: The city's oil refinery. Its logo is an parody of Sludge.
    • Wyatt Toy: A toy store. Its name is derived from the show's character designer, Derrick J. Wyatt.
    • Burger Bot: A fast food restaurant frequented by Sari and, later on, the Autobots. The restaurant's name is a parody of Burger King with the emphasis of it being run by robots. Unfortunately, it got destroyed by the Headmaster when he was battling Optimus in Starscream's body.
    • Tigatron Stadium: The city's baseball stadium where Prowl faces Lockdown in the episode "Five Servos of Doom". The stadium is a parody of the Beast Wars character Tigatron and is also a parody of the now-demolished Tiger Stadium.
    • Michigan Central Station
  • Dinobot Island: Small isolated island in middle of Lake Erie where the Dinobots are living. It is also the location of Meltdown's laboratory.
  • Carbon Mines: The site far from Detroit where Megatron's body ended up. During Season 2, Megatron uses it as his base of operation because the carbon protects him and his forces from detection. The Mines are later destroyed during the "A Bridge Too Close" 2-parter.
  • Orion: the Autobots' ship, Orion, crippled by the Decepticon's attack and crash-landed in Lake Erie. Its main computer system has a female-voiced persona known as Teletraan I, which is the same name of the Autobot computer system in Generation 1 (G1). When Blitzwing and Lugnut arrived on Earth to search for Megatron and the Allspark, Ratchet and Sari used its (previously deactivated) weapon systems to battle the Decepticons. In part two of "Megatron Rising", the ship flew again, only to be shot down and crash into the crater mountainside of Dinobot Island (similar to the crash of the Autobot ship in G1). The emergency shuttle stored inside the ship was destroyed by Starscream in the episode "A Fistful of Energon". In "A Bridge Too Close, Part 2", it was revealed to be the vehicle form of Omega Supreme.
  • The Nemesis, the Decepticons' Warship: Megatron's flagship, which dwarfs the Autobot ship in size and carried the stolen protoforms. On the verge of destruction, it was abandoned by all of the Decepticons except Starscream. He managed to survive and pilot its remains for fifty years until he eventually homed in on the Allspark on Earth. The ship later crash-landed on the moon. It still remained there, acting as Starscream's base of operations and holding his decoy army, until Megatron had parts of it torn down to build his Omega Supreme clones.
  • Death's Head, Lockdown's Ship: A ship that is outfitted with hologram projectors to disguise it, and very powerful scanners. Lockdown travels the galaxy in this ship, and he stores many of his hunting trophies on board. It is named after the Transformers comic character Death's Head.
  • The Steelhaven, the Cybertron Elite Guard's Ship: It is similar to the ship of Optimus Prime's crew, such as both being Omega Supremes, but this one is larger and light blue in color, Ultra Magnus and his team landed with this ship in Detroit. As of "Mission Accomplished", the ship and its crew has returned to space again to aid the other Autobots across the galaxy. There is a special prison module for the captive Decepticons in this ship. Ultra Magnus had put Starscream in this module when the latter had been arrested by Optimus Prime on Earth; but during the trip to Cybertron, Starscream managed to break out of prison.
  • Cybertron: the home planet of the Transformers. In the first two seasons, it was seen in flashbacks but it is seen in more depth during Season 3.
    • The Metroplex: The Autobots' central headquarters on Cybertron, and the chambers to the Autobot High Council.
    • Fortress Maximus: the Elite Guard's base on Cybertron.

Cast

Main cast

  • Jeff Bennett – Prowl, Ultra Magnus, Soundwave, Mixmaster, Grandus, Captain Fanzone, Angry Archer
  • Corey Burton - Ratchet, Megatron, Shockwave, Ironhide, Spike Witwicky, Cyrus "The Colossus" Rhodes, Cyclonus, Brawn
  • Bill Fagerbakke – Bulkhead, Hotshot, Master Disaster
  • David Kaye – Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Lugnut, Highbrow, Cliffjumper, Warpath, Sparkplug Witwicky (Season 2)
  • Tom KennyStarscream, Scrapper, Wasp/Waspinator, Jetfire, Skywarp, Sunstorm, Thundercracker, Ramjet, Rattletrap, Professor Isaac Sumdac, Tutor Bot
  • Bumper Robinson – Bumblebee, Blitzwing, Blackout, Porter C. Powell, Sparkplug Witwicky (Season 1)
  • Tara Strong – Sari Sumdac, Red Alert, Strika, Slipstream, Teletraan I, Mayor Edsel's Aide, Daniel, Carly, Slo-Mo, Receptionist Bot
  • Cree Summer – Blackarachnia/Elita One

Additional voices

Crew

  • Susan Blu – Casting Director and Recording Director
  • Marty Isenberg – Story Editor
  • Matt Youngberg – Supervising Producer
  • Sebastian Evans – Composer

Episodes

List of Transformers: Animated episodes

Video game

This is the first (and only) Transformers Animated game. Released for the Nintendo DS platform in October 2008.

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