Transformers Rescue Bots

 
(i)

 

Feel-good Autobots story teaches teamwork to younger crowd.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids get to see the roles played by the different rescue vehicles and specialized personnel. The show offers numerous take-away messages in cooperation, selflessness, and strength of character.

Positive messages

Recurring themes in the stories include standing up for what's right, relating to people who are different from you, seeing past first impressions, and working as a team. The characters must combine their individual strengths to become a powerful unit, and each member has something unique to contribute to the group.

Positive role models

The humans and the Autobots must set aside their preconceptions about each other to focus on their common goal. They're not always models of humility, as individual egos do threaten their success, but they acknowledge that they're stronger as a team than they are alone. As heroes go, few can top these guys for courage and determination. Women are underrepresented (only one main character out of nine is a girl), but the one who is there holds her own with the guys.

Violence & scariness

The series is much less violent than other Transformers movies and shows, focusing on characters who are equipped to rescue people from disasters rather than those with the firepower to eliminate an oppressive threat. There are no weapons or fighting sequences, but there are some perilous moments when people are threatened by fire, falling objects, etc.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The series is tied to a marketing line of action figures and other toys, not to mention that it's the latest in a decades-strong Transformers franchise that boasts live-action and animated movies, TV series, clothing, accessories, games, and just about everything else that can bear a logo.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this kinder, gentler version of the classic Autobots story is geared toward young kids, reflected in both its simple animation style and its feel-good content. Notably absent is any violence aimed at people or machines, which has been replaced by a main cast of four Transformers who masquerade as rescue vehicles to help local heroes fight a series of natural and manmade disasters. Both human and robotic characters demonstrate a willingness to look past their own needs and work toward a common goal, and their actions remind kids that relationships take work but allow both parties to reap benefits in the end. Parents' only issue with this show may be the fact that, like the rest of its franchise siblings, it boasts a line of toys and accessories sure to catch kids' eyes in the store.

What's the story?

After the destruction of the Autobots' home of Cybertron, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) sends out a plea to any remaining Autobots to join him on Earth. The message reaches Boulder (Imari Williams), Heatwave (Steve Blum), Chase (D.C. Douglas), and Blades (Parvesh Cheena), who rush to the aid of their leader, who tasks them with posing as rescue vehicles in a technologically advanced town called Griffin Rock to help local officials ensure the safety of their citizens. There the Rescue Bots join forces with Chief Charlie Burns (Maurice LaMarche) and his team of specialists, including his young son, Cody (Elan Garfias), who makes it his duty to help the new arrivals master their new roles to protect their true identities.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Transformers franchise has saturated the entertainment market with animated TV shows and live-action movies that appeal to grade-schoolers, adults, and nearly every age group in between. TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS marks an attempt to tap into those younger kids who aren't quite ready for the violence in the classic cartoons but who still want to get in on the action. The good news is that what could have become a mere marketing ploy actually has a lot of standalone merit for youngsters, who will recognize the characters' efforts to look past their differences to find similarities that can help them become a stronger team.

Everything from the vibrant animation to the young human hero, Cody, reflects this show's determination to draw in a young crowd, and although there's still some peril involved in the team's rescues, none of it will frighten these youngsters. Instead they'll notice a spirit of cooperation, the dynamics of a team, and the positive rewards of bridging gaps to create positive relationships in unlikely places.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about friendships. Have you ever started a relationship with someone who is very different from you? How did you identify something in common? What were some of the surprising benefits of this friendship?

  • Kids: Who are some of your heroes? What heroes exist in your community? Do role models always make good choices? How would it feel if one of your heroes made a mistake?

  • Have you seen any other Transformers shows or movies? Do you like the Autobot characters? Which are your favorites? How does liking a TV character affect your desires for toys or games that bear their image? 

TV details

Cast:Maurice LaMarche, Peter Cullen, Steve Blum
Network:Discovery Family Channel
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Cars and trucks, Superheroes
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Transformers Rescue Bots was written by

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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; OK 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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Parent of a 1 and 4 year old Written byMeredithLopez76 March 6, 2013
 

Great For Younger Kids Who Want "Big Kid" Shows

My son got into Transformers when my husband showed him the original 80s series from our childhood. We discovered Rescue Bots as a recommendation from Netflix, and I'm glad we did; my 4-year old is currently on his third viewing of the entire series. This show is definitely geared at a younger audience, with bright colors, lots of action, and positive themes. I like that there aren't really bad guys, just bad situations. I also like that when I have to leave the room to deal with my little one, I can leave this on and know my 4YO won't get scared or upset. Like another reviewer said, the 4YO is at an age where he is now less interested in "baby" shows and wants to watch "big kid" shows, but emotionally he can't yet handle or understand some of the darker themes and scary situations of real "big kid" shows. This one bridges the gap perfectly.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of an infant and 3 year old Written byiclaes88 March 12, 2014
 

Well Made

My 3.5 year old son watches this show on occasion and I will actually sit right down and watch it with him. The characters in the show all work together to solve problems that arise in their city/island and it gives good messages. There are a couple situations that arise in the show that may be a little scary, but the Rescue Bots (Heatwave, Boulder, Chase, and Blades) and their human allies (Chief/Dad, Cody, Dani, Kade, and Graham) work together to save the day. My son has a couple little toys from the series and will occasionally run around and call each one in our family one of the Rescue Bots. All in all, it's a fun show that provides a great message.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of an infant and 3 year old Written byTara L. February 19, 2013
 

Boys like it and so do i

My son is 3 and a half, and this is his new favorite show. It is a very tuned down form of transformers, and I actually enjoy it. My son has taken up an interest in heros (I call them helpers), and destroyers, and this show satisfies that interest without being violent. Lately when he helps me out with something he is 'being a rescue bot'. It has a good overall message of finding a way to help out and overcoming differences.
What other families should know
Great messages

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