Transformers: Robots In Disguise – Coming 2015
New Transformers animated show announced for Spring next year!
PLEASE NOTE. THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR TRANSFORMERS ANIMATED AND TRANSFORMERS PRIME. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE YET TO SEE THEM AND INTEND TO.
Hasbro have announced that the name of the next series featuring the Transformers will be “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” and will be airing in spring 2015 on The Hub kids channel. Actors attached include Darren Criss of Glee, Constance Zimmer, Michael Whitfield of TMNT fame and Ted McGinley.
First announced in March, the series will take place many years after the previous series, Transformers Prime. The storyline will see Bumblebee brought back to the Earth to defend it from a new faction of Decepticons, assembling a rogue team of young Autobots to do so. Currently, only Bumblebee, Sideswipe and new character Fixit have been announced but Bumblebees team will come to consist of a ‘rebel bad boy bot’ (quite like Sideswipe), an elite guard cadet (who will replace Bumblebee in this role), a bombastic Dinobot (my money would be on Grimlock but they may yet pull off an homage to Beast Wars and have it literally be THE Dinobot) and a hyperactive Mini-con (potentially the role Fixit will serve).
Its interesting to note that neither Optimus Prime nor Megatron, the two leaders of the Transformer factions and the most noticeable names are absent from any information. This represents quite a bold move for Hasbro, the big two have never been absent from a series, even Transformers Animated, which opted to have Megatron as a disembodied head for a good portion of the show, still included him. That isn’t to say they may not feature at a later date but all information indicates that Bumblebee is running this show. And as its Prime Bumblebee, I personally am quite excited at that prospect. In the previous and much loved Transformers Prime show, Bumblebee is a far cry from his prior, silly incarnations, fighting viciously and holding the highest bodycount in the show (he even kills Megatron at one point!”. If he shows even a fraction of the moxie he did in Prime, I’ll be happy to watch.
The art style is essentially a fusion of transformers animated and Prime, with Prime being completely CGI animated. Its unsure what tone the show is going to take, Transformers Prime had some decidedly dark moments and was no stranger to killing off main characters in particularly gruesome manners. Even Transformers Animated which had a much lighter tone was no stranger to taking dark turns (one story arc revolves around a fugitive Decepticon ambushing bumblebee AND TAKING HIS FACE). As a point of contention that’s not been addressed yet, there has been no mention of humans, no mention as to whether Miiko, Jack and Raph from Transformers Prime will return as this new series IS set in that universe. The human counterparts played a big part in Prime, but were a definite downside to many fans.
The show will revolve around Bumblebee bringing this team of Autobots who have little experience of working in a team and uniting them against the new Decepticon threat. Depending on how closely the show follows Prime, this may not be so hard to follow as Optimus Prime himself claims several times that he has the qualities a Prime must possess.
I’m personally quite optimistic. If the show offers Primes level of story telling and character development with the sense of fun Animated showed, we could be on the verge of something special!