A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Beast Machines: Transformers has lengthy violent sequences, and the characters face frequent peril from enemies. There's a lot of shooting, many explosions, and some scary beings in this ongoing struggle between coercion and peace. This series is different from many Transformers stories -- but similar to its predecessor, Beast Wars -- in that the characters are animals rather than robots, which makes them and their plight more sympathetic. As with any Transformers series, commercial tie-ins are a major consideration here thanks to the toys, accessories, and other products modeled after the characters.
What's the story?
Following the epic clashes between Maximals and Predacons chronicled in Beast Wars: Transformers, the Maximals awaken to discover they're back on their home planet of Cybertron with little memory and infected with a virus that threatens their very survival. With the timely help of a computerized being called the Oracle, the Maximals -- Optimus Primal (voiced by Gary Chalk), Cheetor (Ian James Corlett), Rattrap (Scott McNeil), and Blackarachnia (Venus Terzo) -- are transformed into powerful hybrids of machines and animals who set out to destroy Megatron (David Kaye) and his resident Vehicons. Along the way, they befriend others battling the Vehicons, including Nightscream (Alessandro Juliani) and Botanica (Kathleen Barr).
Is it any good?
This visually captivating addition to the Transformers franchise continues in epic fashion the tug-of-war between good and evil that spans Cybertron and Earth. Now focused on Maximals and Vehicons, the story otherwise leans heavily on the kind of content that's long made Transformers a household name: strong heroes, exciting battle sequences, and intricately animated adaptable characters. BEAST MACHINES: TRANSFORMERS might surprise viewers who haven't seen the characters as animals yet, but it doesn't take long to settle into this engaging plot.
That said, Beast Machines is rather violent, and some of the characters are downright imposing on-screen, so it's not a sure fit even for kids who have seen other Transformers stories. The fact that the protagonists are variations of animals rather than of robots bolsters sympathy for them and their plight as well. Ultimately this is a know-your-kid situation; if yours can handle the tense content, then they'll enjoy both the story and the action.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this series presents good and evil, right and wrong. Are they easily defined? Do the Maximals ever cross the line and act in a way that you would consider evil? Is bad behavior always forgivable?
What makes a character heroic? Who are your favorite TV or movie heroes? Have you ever been disappointed by someone you've admired?
If you've seen other Transformers movies and/or series, how does this one compare? Do you like that the characters are animals rather than robots? How does it affect how you see their emotions?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.