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, in robot form, each Transformer has some sort of built-in weapon, and shooting wars are commonplace. It's often difficult to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys, since they're all robots, and they change to and from various vehicles. The series is very much male-dominated -- the only recurring female role is Lori, one of the kids who befriend the Autobots.
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What's the story?
TRANSFORMERS: CYBERTRON follows in the footsteps of Transformers: Armada and Transformers: Energon. Like its predecessors, it's both a TV show and a line of action figures by Hasbro and Japanese toy company Takara. Unlike the others, however, Transformers: Cybertron takes viewers to the final frontier with plotlines that revolve around space travel. A black hole in space has threatened the existence of Transformers from the planet Cybertron, so they emigrate to Earth to seek refuge. There they befriend brothers Coby (voiced by Sam Vincent) and Bud (Ryan Hirakida) and their friend Lori (Sarah Edmondson), who help the mechanical newbies navigate their new home. The only way the gang can stop the spread of the black hole is to collect four Cyber Planet Keys, which are hidden on four different planets: Earth, Velocitron, Jungle Planet, and Gigantrion. The mission would be simple but for the fact that the Transformers' nemeses, the Decepticons, are also after the Keys for their own goal of domination. The race is on, and it leads to a galaxy-wide scavenger hunt as the characters work to identify the disguised Keys.
Is it any good?
Transformers: Cybertron features a decipherable plot, dynamic graphics, and multi-dimensional characters. As the three kids teach the Autobots about life on Earth, viewers see undertones of principles and lessons. In one episode, for example, Bud begs Autobot Scattershot (Richard Ian Cox) to bend the rules and take him into space. Once there, an accident sends them off-course and threatens Bud's oxygen supply, and it's only some quick-thinking help from another Transformer that gets them back to Earth. Bud learns that rules exist for a reason, and Scattershot finds that responsibility can come with a price if you're not ready for it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the Transformers use their individual abilities. What's unique about each of them? What are their special powers? What are some of kids' own abilities that make them proud?
If you could choose one thing to become at will, what would it be? Would you have any special powers? How would you use them to help others?
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