A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Nothing academic, but there are positive takeaway messages about caring for others and standing up for what's right.
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.
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Products & Purchases
The series is linked to an extensive marketing line of toys, games, clothing, and accessories for kids.
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.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.