Transformers Prime (TV Series 2010– ) Poster

(2010– )


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Peter Cullen and Frank Welker reprise their roles of Optimus Prime and Megatron in the first weekly Transformers TV series since the 1980s.
Originally, Ironhide was to star in the show instead of Bulkhead, but after the writers realized his portrayal would be better suited for Bulkhead, they replaced the character.
This is the second time in all of Transformers history that Optimus Prime has both swords and guns as weapons. He first had them in the live action Transformers movies.
The concept of Bumblebee being mute was directly taken from Transformers (2007). It is in stark contrast with his loudmouth portrayal from Transformers: Animated (2007), where it would be unusual for him to be silent.
The creators of the show expressed their love towards Transformers: Animated (2007), and brought over a couple of its traits. The character of Bulkhead, who first appeared in Animated, is a regular in this series.
As soon as José López was announced as the character designer for the series, some fans were quick to inform him to brace for a difficult relationship with the Transformers fans, since they are notoriously aggressive and hard to please, especially when it comes to visual representations of their favorite characters.
The character designers ditched Arcee's classic pink and white color scheme because they thought it would be "too girly" for the cartoon. So they made her blue instead.
One of the few Transformers continuities in which Cliffjumper isn't simply a slightly tweaked and red-colored Bumblebee lookalike, but has his own, very distinct design.
The design of Starscream was heavily influenced by the way his namesake appeared in Transformers: Animated (2007), with his sleek outline, sharp fingers, and long, narrow face with a big chin.
The appearance of a handful of characters was based on how their live-action counterparts looked in the Transformers movies directed by Michael Bay, yet stylistic elements from Transformers: Animated (2007) are also apparent.
Ratchet's grumpy personality is a heritage from Transformers: Animated (2007).
Raw Energon takes on the form of cubes, similar to the crystals seen in Beast Wars: Transformers (1996).
As in most Transformers shows, the robots noticeably change size when they transform; this is especially apparent in Arcee's case, who turns from a nearly human-sized motorbike into a circa 15 feet tall robot. The issue hasn't been addressed in the cartoon, but it doesn't count as an error, because mass shifting is a very common means of taking artistic license with the characters.
The producers discussed the idea of incorporating the classic Transformers theme song into the show's intro theme, but decided against it, claiming that they are aiming for a more "epic" and "cinematic" feel with the series. They instead opted for an orchestral version of the "More Than Meets The Eye" tune, sans vocals.
Starscream's torso resembles the head of his live-action counterpart. The two red spots on his sides represent the eyes, his upper chest is similar to the helmet design, his yellow midsection looks like the latter's complex mouth mechanism, while his crotch piece has a similarity to the lower jaw. According to his designer, this is, however, a coincidence.
Arcee seems to have variations to her CGI animation model that inconsistently vary between episodes. She has her regular appearance, as well as an alternate color scheme, where pink stripes decorate some of her otherwise entirely blue bits, most noticeably her breast-plates. It is unknown what the reason for this is.
Airachnid is a sadistic trophy hunter who wants to capture and kill Jack for blowing up her spaceship, and to add him to her collection of alien species. However in the more jovial Japanese dub of the show, she instead wants to keep the teenager as part of her harem of boys, and her teasing of him is much more "romantic" in nature. She is less of a vengeful sadist and more of a creepy stalker in Japan.
The figures Miko wears on her belt were originally meant to be tiny Decepticon spies. This idea never came up in the finished cartoon.
The second Transformers cartoon Frank Welker plays Megatron in, since the original The Transformers (1984).
According to the character designers, the Transformers of this show don't feature noses because they are robots, hence wouldn't need to breathe. On the flip-side, some have remarked that this, along with their strange, lipless mouths make them look rather uncanny. To make up for their alien look, some of them were given big, pronounced eyebrows, so that they can express emotion better.
The Dark Energon seems to have the same effect on lifeless machines as the All Spark in the live action Transformers movies - it grants them life.
According to producer Jeff Kline the Japanese computer animators are so fond of Miko (who is also Japanese) that they animate her doing unscripted actions, out of fun.
The Decepticon troopers were originally referred to as Eradicons in promotional material. However later the show's creators re-branded them as Vehicons. "Vehicon" is actually not a new term: the enemy drones from Beast Machines: Transformers (1999) were the first bearers of the name. Another similarity, besides the name, is that the new troopers also come in a variety of forms, such as ground-based and flying vehicles. But they are different in that the new Vehicons are individuals, rather than mindless drones lead by a small group of living Vehicon generals.
This is the second time in Transformers history for Megatron to have a Cybertronian jet mode, and a fusion cannon and sword as weapons. He was also a Cybertronian jet in the first live action Transformers movie, but had a different alternate mode in the sequel and had a gun arm with a sword. Megatron also was a Cybertronian jet at first along with a fusion cannon and a twin swords in Transformers Animated.
Season 3 carries the subtitle "Beast Hunters". This was originally the working title of Beast Machines: Transformers (1999).
A handful of episodes got censored upon syndication and when airing in different countries. Some of the more graphic shots (for example of the robots "bleeding" Energon) and a few bits of questionable dialog have been removed.
Not much effort went into the design of Jack's mom June Darby because the character designers originally didn't know whether she would be a major character or not.
Cliffjumper's design was made to look heftier when the designers were told that Dwayne Johnson would be voicing him.
Airachnid's head design was deliberately based on Maleficient from Sleeping Beauty (1959).
According to the Art of Prime artbook, the Vehicons' car forms were based on the Batmobile.
MECH was originally to be a steampunk-styled organization.
The series features generic Decepticon drones or troopers (called Vehicons), which is a rarely used concept in most other Transformers shows.
The word 'scrap' is apparently a Transformer cuss word. Prior to this series, the most common Transformer profanity was 'slag'.
During an on-line chat with a Transformers fan, Neil Kaplan, who voiced the Autobot commander Optimus Prime in Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2001), revealed that he would be like to have at least a cameo role in the series as the voice of someone.
Sumalee Montano (as the voice of Arcee) is the only actor to appear in all 26 episodes of season 1.
The Insecticons mostly communicate in bestial growls or cries, and rarely ever speak. In the Japanese dub, however, they constantly chatter in a comedic, buzzing tone, even if their mouth is closed. In fact, they are voiced by the Japanese voice actor of Waspinator from Beast Wars: Transformers (1996) and Transformers: Animated (2007).
At one time Fowler refers to a squadron he is leading as Sky Strikers. The Sky Striker was the primary jet used by the GI Joe forces during the first season of the 1980's cartoon series. Both franchises are owned by Hasbro.
When choosing a new alt form in Beast Hunters, Fowler tells Optimus Prime that the vehicle is from their MASK division. MASK was another popular toy line put out by Hasbro in the 1980's that ran alongside TF.
Miko was made a Japanese exchange student because the writers originally wanted to produce an episode in which she, along with her Autobot partner Bulkhead, travel back to Japan. As this episode idea was scrapped, the importance of her being of Japanese origin never comes up in the finished series, only for one short scene where she briefly talks to Jack about her life in Japan. The fact that she would have to go back to Japan once the school-year's over isn't touched upon, despite her eagerness to stay with her newfound friends being a very important part of the story.
Originally imagined as spanning three seasons, the creators' original story plans were all used up by the half-point of the second season. In interviews, they have expressed their surprise that they had managed to, in their words, "burn through" all their ideas so quickly. Hence the sudden shift from shorter stories and standalone episodes to multi-episode storylines in the second half of season 2, as the writers quickly made up more story material for the remainder of the series.
Megatron's original, scrapped design would have made him look like a tragic, tortured individual with many metal bits protruding out of his body.
The Autobot headquarter was the first set to be designed.
There have been countless arguments among the fans about the cartoon's relationship to the popular video game Transformers: War for Cybertron (2010). At first, Hasbro stated that the cartoon is a sequel to the video game, then it was said that it is actually a continuation of the Transformers novel 'Exodus', which was loosely based on the aforementioned game, and (according to its description) details the "true" events that happened on the planet Cybertron. However it is clear that there are many continuity errors between these two media (and the novel also contradicted itself several times), which leads to some people believing that Hasbro merely tried to shoehorn the cartoon's continuity into that of the novel. It seems plausible that the two stories are in fact connected, merely represent two separate "branches" within the same universe.
Episodes 21 to 23 aired first in Canada, over a month before their US debuts, while episodes 24 to 26 arrived to Singapore first a couple of weeks earlier than to the US.
As revealed by concept sketches made public on the DVD, Soundwave was originally designed with four legs, akin to a centaur.
The transformations are fast and instantaneous due to Hasbro's requests. The writers were specifically asked not to include any "half-transformations", for example a robot arm coming out of the side of a car or a robot's feet turning into wheels.
The Vehicon troopers don't have a mouth because they were originally envisioned as mindless drones that don't talk.
Optimus Prime new design in season 3 is similar to that of his Transformers Revenge of the Fallen design at the end of the film.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When the show was still in production, the creators would often tease the fans with various bits of planned storylines during convention appearances and in interviews. These included a supposedly chilling story-arc for Starscream, a flashback story with Bumblebee, the appearance of a combiner group of Transformers, a character who would have a similar story and personality to Dinobot from Beast Wars: Transformers (1996) and Seaspray appearing as a vengeance-fueled Batman-type supporting character. None of these really materialized, and it is unclear whether these ideas were even actually considered during the series's writing or if they were simply made up by the creators to tease the fans and create hype.
One aspect of the series that has continuously been stressed by its creators is that if they kill a character, then it stays dead. To make a point, Cliffjumper, who has been promoted as a seemingly major character by early marketing material, is killed off in the first few minutes of the very first episode, then brought back as a zombie and killed again. However, this "rule" was in fact broken several times by the end of the series: Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and Megatron are all clearly shown being killed at points, yet are brought back to life shortly afterwards.
Makeshift was originally supposed to survive his introductory episode, but the creators felt that his special power, namely ability to take on the shape of other robots, would have given him too much of an edge over the other characters. As such, he first appears and dies within the same episode.
Optimus Prime was originally meant to kill Predaking in the final episode, sort of symbolizing the classical image of the knight defeating the dragon. The idea was abandoned when the writers realized that the show won't be over and will instead be followed by the movie Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising (2013).
The role of Cliffjumper was originally to be filled in by Smokescreen. He would also have died at the hands of Megatron in the later parts of season 1.
Introducing the concept of the Beast Hunters was a last-minute addition to the show's third season, under the orders of the Hasbro toy company. The writers originally intended to keep focusing on the story that they had already planned ahead, but as Hasbro insisted on promoting their new Beast Hunters toy products, the season had to be drastically rewritten under a very short time. This is the reason why, at the end of the season, the Beast Hunter concept is abruptly pushed aside in favor of the originally planned series ending. Some of the dangling plot-threads were then wrapped up in the Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising (2013) movie.
This is the first animated Transformers medium in half a decade to depict the evil Unicron as an existing force, and also the very first time that it is shown being one with Earth, rather than a separate entity.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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