A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than educate.
Kids see a team of disparate characters come together for a common goal and fight to protect the safety of others. Good and evil are clearly defined with little crossover. Other positive themes include honor, loyalty, self-sacrifice, courage, and the fact that size isn't indicative of a person's (or an Autobot's) value.
Positive Role Models
Bumblebee's humility and quiet confidence is invaluable in leading his team. Some of the good guys display negative qualities such as hotheadedness and impatience, but they also show they're willing to learn and change.
Violence & Scariness
Transformers use weapons that look like guns as well as swords. Some can emit an electric shock. Explosions, fistfights, and threats.
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Products & Purchases
The show is another addition to a well-established marketing line with action figures, games, clothing, and more.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Transformers: Robots in Disguise is similar to the series that preceded it, blending action and adventure with some violent exchanges between the robotic characters and a few humans. The characters use weapons such as guns and swords, and some have abilities that inflict pain, such as an electric shock. There also are explosions, collapses, and general destruction in the wake of the fighting. Villains are sneaky and underhanded, but the Transformers (with few exceptions) hold themselves to higher standards. Teamwork, critical thinking, loyalty, and self-sacrifice are some of the positive traits the heroes display. Given the Transformers brand's longevity, it should be no surprise that this show doubles as a lengthy commercial for its many related toys and products.
Is It Any Good?
This continuation of the prolific Transformers saga is hardly more than meets the eye; it's merely more of the same good-vs.-evil action-adventure that's won over fans for decades. The content is never boring, and the characters' unique personalities always encourage kids to pick favorites and keep coming back for more. What's more, this series is kind of a can't-lose proposition -- if your kids have seen one or more of its predecessors, then they will enjoy seeing which characters return for this one; if not, they'll get up to speed in no time (it's a pretty simple concept, after all) and find new favorites right off the bat.
Positive messages about teamwork, friendship, and fighting the good fight are present. Of course, just like the franchise's many previous TV and movie incarnations, Robots in Disguise boasts its own line of action figures, accessories, and other kid-geared products. It may not be a deal breaker for you, but if your kids are susceptible to this kind of advertising, then weigh the pros and cons before giving this one the OK.
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.