|File:Transformers Animated Autobots.jpg
Show poster, displaying the five main Autobots in robot and vehicle modes
|Written by||Todd Casey
Marsha F. Griffin
|Directed by||Chris Berkeley
|Voices of||Jeff Bennett
|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
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||42 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Sam Register
Matt Youngberg (supervising producer)
|Running time||22–23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||The Answerstudio Co., Ltd.
Cartoon Network Studios
Activision Blizzard Studios
(worldwide TV, except North America/Japan)
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Original release||December 26, 2007– May 23, 2009|
Transformers Animated (トランスフォーマー アニメイテッド Toransufōmā Animeiteddo?) is a Japanese/American animated television series based on the Transformers toy line. It is produced by Cartoon Network Studios and animated by The Answer Studio, MOOK DLE., and Studio 4°C. 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 show's continuity is separate from any other previous Transformers series, despite using footage from the first series (The Transformers) in its first episode as a historical film. 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 Discovery Family in high definition until 2014.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Characters
- 3 Comic/manga adaptation
- 4 Locations
- 5 Production
- 6 Cast
- 7 Crew
- 8 Home video releases
- 9 Video game
- 10 Channels
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The series began with a three-part pilot called "Transform and Roll Out!". Stellar cycles (centuries) 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.
Fifty years later, Professor 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 Sumdac's young daughter Sari, who teaches them about Earth customs. At the end of the pilot episodes, Starscream arrives on Earth and tries to take the Allspark for himself, but the Autobots successfully stop him and save the city once again.
In the first season, 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 Allspark from his old body), and the Allspark exploding into fragments that scatter across Detroit.
In the second season, 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), 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 parts under her skin, revealing that she is not completely human.
Following the events of the two-part second season finale, Sari is shocked and distraught over the revelation that she is a robot, and instantly assumes that her "father" had built her, refusing to believe Sumdac's claim that he discovered her as a small liquid metal body. 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 an Autobot and Decepticon) that scanned Professor Sumdac's genetic information. Sari later uses the power from her AllSpark-powered key to upgrade herself into an armored techno-organic teenage form that is far taller and much stronger equipped with numerous weapons and special 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 in season 3, 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 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 winin 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 himself to re-assemble the Allspark 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.
A fourth season was initially planned and intended, but was cancelled. According to Transformers Animated: The AllSpark Almanac II, season four's main theme would have been the discovery of Energon deposits left by the Allspark across Detroit. Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz and Ratchet would have returned 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 Bulkhead and Sari would have remained on Cybertron, with Sari discovering more about her unique origins and Cybertronian species, and Bulkhead defending Cybertron's energon farms from the Decepticons. Megatron would also reformat into a new, Triple-Changer body, with his new vehicle modes being a fighter jet and a tank, both of which would be Cybertronian. An action figure was designed for Megatron's new body (along with figures for Powermaster Optimus Prime and Hot Shot's earth mode), but was never mass-produced or released at retail. Megatron would 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.
Other ideas planned for the cancelled fourth season include Blackarachnia returning with an army of Predacons, Bulkhead and Sari entering a parallel universe with evil Autobots and heroic Decepticons (an homage to the Shattered Glass comic), Minicons from Kaon disabling all the machinery in Detroit (an homage to the film Gremlins), the introductions of the Autobot Cosmos (who would have scanned a prop flying saucer from the set of a B-Movie) and the Decepticon Bludgeon (who would have been a pirate), and 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.
Return to The Hub
The Hub started airing reruns of the show on July 9, 2012, in its original HD format until mid-2014.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Formerly known by the working title Transformers: Heroes, its new simplified title was designed to specifically distinguish it from the live-action film released in July 2007, months before the first episode aired. The series is distributed internationally by Entertainment Rights.
The show's supervising director is Matt Youngberg (Teen Titans, The Batman), with Cartoon Network vice-president Sam Register as an executive producer and Vincent Aniceto as a line producer. Additionally, Beast Machines writer Marty Isenberg returned as the head writer for this series. Art director and lead character designer Derrick J. Wyatt (Teen Titans, Ben 10: Omniverse, and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated) created the controversial "brand new look" that this series introduces.
The first episode was due to be screened in full on November 3–4, 2007, at the NTFA Mini-Con, a Transformers convention in Arlöv, Sweden, but US toymaker Hasbro pulled their approval of the screening of the full episode, despite it being green-lighted by Hasbro Nordic at first. The episode had to be cut down to the first 11 minutes.
After the series' normal run began in January 2008, the first two seasons were aired nearly back-to-back, creating nearly a year-long delay in between the second and third seasons. The long-awaited final season finally premiered in North America on March 14, 2009, with a 90-minute (three episode) special. After a lack of communication and much speculation, it was officially announced at BotCon 2009 that the series was over, at least in a televised format.
During the production of the show, voice actor David Kaye (Optimus Prime) was living in Vancouver, Canada and flying to California once a week for nine months straight. This led him to a decision to move to California permanently.
A guidebook for the show, The Allspark Almanac, was released in 2009 and covers the first two seasons of the show. A second guidebook, The Allspark Almanac II, was released in the following year and covers the third and final season of the show. In March 2015, a compilation of the two almanacs, titled The Complete Allspark Almanac, was released. It contains all information from the previous almanacs, along with some differences and additions.
While Transformers Animated had aired and completed its run in many other territories, the release of the series in Japan had been delayed. However, on December 18, 2009, it was announced through the launch of the official website that Takara Tomy would be bringing the series to Japan come Spring 2010. Later, TV Aichi confirmed the exact date of broadcast, which was April 3, 2010, at 8:00AM on the TV Tokyo Network. The website had launched with very little content available, with a trailer and wallpaper of Optimus Prime, later with adding Bumblebee media.
As with the movie when released in Japan, Takara Tomy is not renaming Optimus to Convoy as they have done in past properties. However, in a solicitation preview of the key chains, Bulkhead was renamed as Ironhide in toy version. The name change was done because this version the series has been rewritten to flow with the live-action Transformers film series, with Bulkhead being portrayed into a younger version of Ironhide while the show's Ironhide is renamed Armorhide. Human characters are also renamed like Nanosec into Speed King in the Japanese version. In addition, some of the episodes have been reordered, or removed, to fit with the change in story. Notably, the episodes focusing on the Constructicons have been omitted, likely due to the lack of toys based on the characters (though the last Constructicon-focused episode was aired anyway). Despite all these edits, little actually suggests a tie-in to the films, as the dub is mostly faithful to the original American broadcast; the only mention of Bulkhead's new identity as Ironhide is a toy biography stating that he is a weapons specialist.
- 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 Kenny – Starscream, 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
- Susan Blu – Arcee, Flareup
- Townsend Coleman – Sentinel Prime, Tracks
- Lance Henriksen – Lockdown
- Phil LaMarr – Jazz, Oil Slick, Omega Supreme (Season 3), Jetstorm, Alpha Trion
- John Mariano – Dirt Boss, Sparkplug Witwicky (Season 3)
- John Moschitta, Jr. – Blurr
- Judd Nelson – Rodimus Prime
- Alexander Polinsky – Henry Masterson/Headmaster
- Brian Posehn – Nino Sexton/Nanosec
- Kevin Michael Richardson – Omega Supreme (Season 2)
- Kath Soucie – Professor Princess, Trisha
- Peter Stormare – Prometheus Black/Meltdown
- George Takei – Yoketron
- Fred Willard – Swindle
- "Weird Al" Yankovic – Wreck-Gar
- Susan Blu – Voice Director
- Marty Isenberg - Story Editor
- Matt Youngberg - Supervising Producer
- Sebastian Evans II - Composer
Home video releases
The North American releases feature full-screen video and stereo sound in both English and Spanish (except Season Three and The Complete Series (both feature widescreen video and stereo sound in only English)).
- Transform and Roll Out (DVD, June 22, 2008)
- A single DVD containing the feature-length premiere "Transform and Roll Out".
- Also includes the first two unaired shorts, "Career Day" and "Evel Knievel Jump".
- A Target exclusive version came with a second disc containing the follow-up episode "Home Is Where the Spark Is".
- Season One (DVD, August 19, 2008)
- A two-disc set containing the complete first season, from "Home Is Where the Spark Is" to "Megatron Rising Part II".
- Also includes a season 2 "sneak peek" photo gallery.
- Season Two (DVD, January 6, 2009)
- A two-disc set containing the complete second season, from "The Elite Guard" to "A Bridge to Close Part II", with audio commentary on selected episodes.
- Also includes the shorts "Starscream Heckles Megatron" and "Explosive Punch" and a photo gallery.
- Season Three and The Complete Series (DVD, June 10, 2014)
- Shout! Factory released the third season on DVD on June 10 as well as the complete series afterwards.
Whereas in North America the series was released in complete seasons, the UK instead got several single-disc "volumes" containing four episodes each, also featuring full-screen video, but with audio and subtitles in English and German.
- Transform and Roll Out (DVD, August 4, 2008)
- Contains the feature-length premiere "Transform and Roll Out" and the shorts "Career Day" and "Evel Knievel Jump".
- Volume One: Blast from the Past (DVD, October 20, 2008)
- Contains episodes 4 Home Is Where the Spark Is, 5 Total Meltdown, 6 Blast From the Past and 7 Thrill of the Hunt
- Volume Two: Lost and Found (DVD, June 15, 2009)
- Contains episodes 8 Nanosac, 9 Along Came a Spider, 10 Sound and Fury, 11 Lost and Found
- Volume Three: Megatron Rising (DVD, June 15, 2009)
- Contains episodes 12 Survival of the Fittest, 13 Headmaster, 14 Nature Calls 15 Megatron Rising Part 1 and 16 Megatron Rising Part 2
- Volume Four: Mission Accomplished (DVD, June 15, 2009)
- Contains episodes 17 The Elite Guard, 18 Return of the Headmaster, 19 Mission Accomplished and 20 Garbage In, Garbage Out
- Volume Five: Fistful of Energon (DVD, September 3, 2009)
- Contains episodes 21 Velocity, 22 Rise of the Constructicons, 23 A Fistful of Energon and 24 S.U.V - Society of Ultimate Villany
- Volume Six: Black Friday (DVD, November 5, 2009)
- Contains episodes 25 Autoboot Camp, 26 Black Friday, 27 Sari, No One's Home, 28 A Bridge Too Close, Part 1 and 29 A Bridge Too Close, Part 2
Germany saw the same releases as the UK.
- Transformieren und Abfahrt (English: Transform and Roll Out) (DVD, September 10, 2008)
- Contains the feature-length premiere "Transform and Roll Out" and the shorts "Career Day" and "Evel Knievel Jump".
- Volume Eins: Drachenkämpfer (English: Dragon fighter(s)) (DVD, October 13, 2008)
- Contains the episodes "Home Is Where the Spark Is" through to "The Thrill of the Hunt".
- Volume Zwei: Die alten Waffen (English: The old weapons) (DVD, March 12, 2009)
- Contains the episodes "Nanosec" through to "Lost and Found".
- Volume Drei: Megatrons Auferstehung (English: Megatron's Resurrection) (DVD, June 4, 2009)
- Contains the episodes "Survival of the Fittest" through to "Megatron Rising - Part 2"
- Volume Vier: Mission erfüllt (English: Mission Accomplished) (DVD, August 20, 2009)
- Contains the episodes "The Elite Guard" through to "Garbage In, Garbage Out"
- Volume Fünf: Der doppelte Starscream (English: The double Starscream) (DVD, October 15, 2009)
- Contains the episodes "Velocity" through to "SUV: Society of Ultimate Villainy"
- Volume Sechs: Schwarzer Freitag (English: Black Friday) (DVD, TBA 2009)
- Contains the episodes "Autoboot Camp" through to "A Bridge Too Close, Part II"
This is the first (and only) Transformers Animated game. Released for the Nintendo DS platform in October 2008.
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