Transformers Prime

Common Sense Media says

Action, violence don't overshadow worthy messages for kids.

Age(i)

2
3
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5
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8
9
10
11
12
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Positive messages about compassion and charity can be drawn from the Autobots’ unselfish protection of humans. Good and evil are clearly defined, and good doesn’t always triumph over evil in this show, giving some aspect of reality to the storyline.

Positive role models

The Autobots’ goal is to protect humans from the Decepticons, who will ravage the planet and its inhabitants in their search for the Energon. The Autobots risk their lives to save humankind, especially the three kids who know of their existence. Optimus Prime leads the heroes with thoughtful care, weighing the pros and cons of each course of action.

Violence & scariness

Violent clashes between the Autobots and the Decepticions are central to the show’s plot, as they engage in an ongoing battle for domination of Earth. Guns, explosions, violent impacts, etc. are common, and a main character dies at the hands of the Decepticons in the first episode. A few humans are threatened in the exchanges. 

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The series is linked to an extensive marketing line of toys, games, clothing, and accessories for kids.  

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that violence is the main concern in this latest addition to the Transformers franchise, which goes by the name Transformers Prime and Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters. Clashes between the Decepticons and the Autobots are explosive and include gunfire, crashes, and dismemberment (of robots, that is), and a few humans are involved enough that their lives are in danger. A main character dies early in the series, and the loss of their teammate motivates the Autobots even more. Expect kids’ interest in the show to encourage their desire for the multitude of products that also sport the Transformers name. That said, as action series go, there's a fair amount of positive content here related to the Autobots’ unselfish willingness to put themselves in harm’s way to protect humankind.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

It’s been years since the evil Megatron (voiced by Frank Welker) has set foot on Earth, but a desperate quest for the energy source Dark Energon has brought him back to join his fellow Decepticons. Their presence spells disaster for humans, but fortunately Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), Ratchet (Jeffrey Combs), Bulkhead (Kevin Michael Richardson), and the rest of the Autobots are poised for battle and ready to protect the humans from the unwelcome guests. Together with Jack (Josh Keaton), Miko (Tania Gunadi), and Raf (Andy Pessoa) -- three kids who know about the Autobots’ existence -- the team must unravel the Decepticons’ plans before they secure the Energon and control the planet.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

TRANSFORMERS PRIME exists separately from the original 1980s series, as well as later incarnations and movies, but it does borrow characters and major plot points from them. The main storyline of good vs. evil remains intact, of course, but the story here centers on the Decepticons’ thirst for the Energon after they depleted their home planet of energy. Kids who are new to the Transformers characters will have no problem acclimating to the story and will likely enjoy the action-packed show.

Parents’ main issue will be the show’s violent content, which isn’t extensive but does involve guns and hand-to-hand combat. The good news is that humans aren’t a major part of the action, although the three kids who befriend the Autobots are usually bystanders to it. The show isn’t a good choice for kids who can’t identify it as fantasy, but older kids and tweens who can will like it. What’s more, if the commercial aspect of the heavily marketed characters doesn’t bother parents, they’ll be happy knowing that the show does attempt to show compassion in action through the selfless Autobots, who put themselves in danger for their human friends.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about friendship. How do the Autobots exemplify their compassion for their human neighbors? In what ways are their actions selfless? When has a friend shown selfless affection for you? Have you had the opportunity to do the same?

  • Kids: Does watching this show encourage your desire for Transformers products like toys and games? How do TV shows and movies affect our likes and dislikes? What other shows have you seen that have ties to a product line?

  • What did you think of the violence in this show? How did it compare to what you’ve seen in other cartoons? Did any of it seem realistic to you? Do you think the show would be more or less entertaining without the characters’ battles? 

TV details

Cast:Frank Welker, Kevin Michael Richardson, Peter Cullen
Network:The Hub
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Cars and trucks, Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Robots, Space and aliens
TV rating:TV-Y7-FV
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Transformers Prime was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old Written bykkkarkarsis December 11, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Epicly awesome xD

THIS my friend, is WAY BETTER then any of the TF shows..
I LOVE Transformers Prime. I thought I wouldn't really like it (And like, I don't know why..) I watched it one day, and just completely became hooked, I watch it everyday, and I can't stop.
I love how they look so detailed, Starscream and Knockout are like the awesomest D-Cons EVER xD Optimus is (As usual) Wise, and a good role model. This show is the best.one.yet!

What other families should know
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old Written byMasterLuke December 17, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Humans suck in transformers

Better than armada at least but the humans suck!

What other families should know
Great role models
Adult Written bySanctimonious Ape December 12, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

NOT for the younger set, and LOUSY writing to boot...

Far too influenced by the style of the Michael Bay films for my tastes. Even allowing for major suspension of disbelief, the writing is pretty poor and has minimal believability or humor (which can make up for the former to some extent) -- trading quality storytelling for way over-developed dramatics and preachiness (you don't need to constantly drone about doing the right thing, but instead just lead by example.- as the great band "Rush" once sang "SHOW, DON'T TELL.").

It's okay for older kids to watch, but I'm personally not impressed and my son's interest was barely held as well (and we were BOTH excited by the ads in the weeks before the airdate). It's a shame as it could have been so much more. Definitely not for younger kids, though - death and the undead/zombies feature significantly in the storyline.

NOT for the younger set, and LOUSY writing to boot...

What other families should know
Too much violence

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