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 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.
What's the story?
TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE is set years after Transformers: Prime, at a time when Earth has been invaded by Decepticon prisoners who escaped after their ship crashed. On a distant planet, Bumblebee (voiced by Will Friedle) receives a vision of Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), who tasks him with keeping the humans safe from the notorious criminals. Bumblebee begrudgingly takes the lead on the rescue mission, flanked by Strongarm (Constance Zimmer), Sideswipe (Darren Criss), a Minicon named Fixit (Mitchell Whitfield), a Decepticon defector named Grimlock (Khary Payton), and eventually humans Denny (Ted McGinley) and Russell (Stuart Allan).
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what drives another addition to the Transformers story. Kids: If you're familiar with the preceding shows, do you think this one adds anything significant to the franchise? If not, what might the creators' motivation be in producing it?
If you weren't able to hear what was being said on this show, would you be able to tell which characters were good and which were bad? What traits help you decipher that? Do any of the characters blend good and bad? How does that affect their abilities to be good team members?
Kids: Is any one Transformer more valuable than the others, or is each one necessary to the team's success? How does Fixit prove that size isn't a factor in value?
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.