Transformers: Robots in Disguise is an American animated robot superhero television series for children produced by Hasbro Studios and Darby Pop Productions in the United States, and animated by Polygon Pictures in Japan. It is the stand-alone sequel to Transformers: Prime, featuring characters and storylines mostly self-contained from the events of its predecessor as well as an overall more lighthearted tone. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (the executive producers of Prime) did not return to the new series. In the United States, the series ran on Cartoon Network from March 14, 2015 to November 11, 2017.
The show's second season, featuring guest appearances from some returning Transformers: Prime characters, premiered on February 20, 2016. A six-episode mini-series centered on the return of Starscream premiered in Canada on September 10, 2016, before debuting on U.S television the following month. The third and final season, subtitled Combiner Force, aired from April 29, 2017 to November 11, 2017. It was the only Transformers series to feature Bumblebee as the main protagonist rather than Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots and the main protagonist in most of the series.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Episodes
- 3 Cast and Characters
- 4 Awards and nominations
- 5 Crew Members
- 6 Comic Series
- 7 Gallery
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Trailer
Years after the Great War, the Autobot prison ship Alchemor crashes on Earth near Crown City, sparking a mass Decepticon jailbreak. Meanwhile, on a rebuilt Cybertron, war veteran Bumblebee is now working as a street cop, mentoring Cadet Strongarm. Bumblebee is alerted to the danger on Earth by a vision of a ghostly Optimus Prime, who directs them to a nearby space bridge.
Bumblebee unwillingly finds himself accompanied to Earth by Strongarm, and the delinquent Sideswipe, where they encounter Fixit, sole caretaker of the former prison ship. They're joined by the ex-Decepticon prisoner Grimlock, human scrapyard owner Denny Clay and his son Russell. Although he's not confident in his leadership abilities, Bumblebee nevertheless pledges to round up the inmates of the Alchemor. Chief among the Decepticon threat is the charismatic Steeljaw, who seeks to organize the escaped prisoners into an effective cabal to conquer the planet.
The first season had a "villain of the week" approach, in which most episodes would follow a pattern: it would feature a new Decepticon foe, usually with an animal-motif, that would prove to be a threat to the Bee Team, only to be taken down by the end of the episode and be placed back into a stasis pod. Most Decepticons featured, barring those who became part of Steeljaw's Pack, had little-to-nothing to do with each other besides being Alchemor immates. Early episodes rarely deviated from this pattern, but this theme was effectively toned down in later seasons when larger, overaching threats came into play.
Most episodes also featured recurring subplots and running-gags focusing on certain characters: Bumblebee's trouble coming up with a rallying cry and trouble leading his team in general, Strongarm and Sideswipe's rivalry with each other, Grimlock's difficulty finding an appropriate Earth disguise (because being a giant metal dinosaur would attract a lot of attention) and Fixit's glitching problem. These smaller stories would often affect the main plot, causing Bee's Team to face additional obstacles in several episodes.
Over the course of the first season, new Autobots bolster the ranks of the team, including the bounty hunter Drift, his two Mini-Cons Jetstorm and Slipstream, the mysterious Windblade, and finally Optimus Prime himself, returned to life by the Thirteen to defeat Megatronus.
Season 2 sees Bumblebee's team split into two groups: an "away team" to search the world for far-ranging Decepticons while Bumblebee, Strongarm, Grimlock, and Fixit hold down the fort near Crown City. Still recovering from his humiliating rout at the hands of Megatronus, Steeljaw allies with a mysterious group of Decepticons led by Saberhorn, Glowstrike and Scorponok, operating out of the crashed Alchemor, which they call "Decepticon Island". True to form, Steeljaw plots to rise through the ranks of this new army and seize control of the group for himself.
The second season features more frequent references to predecessor series Prime in an effort to forge a stronger sense of continuity between the two. Coinciding with this, the season sees the return of multiple regulars from Prime in special guest appearances: Ratchet, now partnered with a silent Mini-Con named Undertone, and Soundwave, still accompanied by Laserbeak. This season also begins to drop the "villain of the week" theme, though it is still present, in favor of having a larger overarching threat in the form of Decepticon Island.
This season was also very toy-driven in that it featured several returning Decepticons from the first season, as well as new Mini-Con and Deployer characters, who had newly received toys. As such, Mini-Cons were also a big focus of this season, with at least one appearing in every episode. Following the Season 2 proper, this trend would continue into a "mini-series" of sorts, referred to as "Season 3" by several official sources before the announcement of a full third season. This six-episode run sees the return of Starscream, who seeks the mysterious Mini-Con Weaponizers, who have reluctantly partnered with a group of Decepticon Scavengers searching Earth for abandoned Cybertronian relics.
The actual Season 3 is titled "Combiner Force". Bumblebee and his crew must harness the power of combination and form Ultra Bee in order to defeat the Stunticons. At the same time, Soundwave has sent a group of Minicons to steal the Bee Team's Decepticon Hunters, with this subplot playing a small background role until the Stunticons are captured and returned to Cybertron by the end of the first half of the season. In order to keep the "Con of the Week" theme present after the Alchemor's departure, caches set up by Windblade after her arrival on Earth contain Decepticons who end up getting free and require recapture. Some filler episodes feature Decepticons who managed to escape the Alchemor before it left Earth. Others feature Decepticons or others coming to Earth due to connections to members of the Bee Team or other reasons, the one exception being Flamesnort who was left on Earth during the Great War. This season also does a first and ties in with the Rescue Bots series by featuring the Rescue Bot Blurr for a few episodes.
Corruption on Cybertron, which had been building up conflict in the background for the entire series and has generally served as a way introduce new characters, seems to finally take the center stage during the second half of the season where mysterious benefactors on Cybertron free Steeljaw and his pack and grant them full pardons. They are sent back to Earth, where they ally with Soundwave and are tasked with capturing the Autobots. Steeljaw and the others make a grand return to Earth by nearly destroying the Scrapyard and forcing the Autobots and Clays to find a new base. By this point, the "villain of the week" approach is only used a few more times, but is otherwise abandoned in favor of having the Autobots face off against recurring teams of enemies such as the Stunticons and then Steeljaw's Pack. The tail end of the season also features the return of Bulkhead from Prime as a temporary ally to the Bee Team.
The two-part series finale features the Bee Team returning to Cybertron to fight Steeljaw's benefactors, the new corrupt High Council, who are revealed to be a group of Decepticons disguised as Autobots, led by Cyclonus. The Autobots once again form Ultra Bee to take down the Council's combined form, finally freeing Cybertron. Optimus decides not to lead Cybertron into this new era as he "is a leader of warriors", and decides to leave Ratchet in charge of the new temporary High Council, which is now to be composed of Bulkhead, Windblade and Jazz, while the Bee Team returns to Earth as "ambassadors" to the planet.
- "Pilot (Part 1)"
- "Pilot (Part 2)"
- "Trust Exercises"
- "More than Meets the Eye"
- "As the Kospego Commands!"
- "Collect 'Em All"
- "True Colors"
- "Rumble in the Jungle"
- "Can You Dig It?"
- "Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting!"
- "Hunting Season"
- "Out of Focus"
- "Even Robots Have Nightmares"
- "Some Body, Any Body"
- "One of Our Mini-Cons Is Missing"
- "Deep Trouble"
- "The Champ"
- "The Trouble with Fixit"
- "Similarly Different"
- "The Buzz on Windblade"
- "Ghosts and Impostors"
- "Battlegrounds, Part 1"
- "Battlegrounds, Part 2"
- "Overloaded, Part 1"
- "Overloaded, Part 2"
- "Metal Meltdown"
- "Cover Me"
- "Bumblebee's Night Off"
- "Graduation Exercises"
- "Decepticon Island (Part 1)"
- "Decepticon Island (Part 2)"
- "History Lessons"
- "Strongarm's Big Score"
- "Pretzel Logic"
- "Mighty Big Trouble"
- "Mini-Con Madness"
- King of the Hill (Part 1)
- King of the Hill (Part 2)
- Sphere of Influence
- Bee Cool
- The Great Divide
- Get a Clue
- Out of the Shadows
- Disordered Personalities
- Guilty as Charged
- The Golden Knight
- The Fastest Bot Alive!
- Railroad Rage
- Combine and Conquer
- Moon Breaker
- Breathing Room
- Prepare for Departure
- Prisoner Principles
- Collateral Damage
- Something He Ate
- Sick as a Bot
- Five Fugitives
- Enemy of My Enemy
- Freedom Fighters
- "Fixit Jam"
- "To Catch a Phrase"
- "Sticky Situation"
- "Knock, Knock"
- "The Power of Dibs"
- "Back and Forth"
- "The Tragedy of Slipstream"
- "A Level Playing Field"
- "Two Plus Two Equals More"
Cast and Characters
- Will Friedle as Bumblebee/Butch
- Darren Criss as Sideswipe
- Mitchell Whitfield as Fixit/Toolbox/Cinch/Major Mayhem
- Constance Zimmer as Strongarm/Filch/Wingcode
- Khary Payton as Grimlock/Bisk/Divebomb
- Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime
- Stuart Allen as Russell Clay
- Ted McGinley as Denny Clay
- Liam O'Brien as Underbite/Kickback
- David Kaye as Hammerstrike/Slashmark
- Bailey Gambertoglio as Henrietta "Hank"
- Troy Baker as Steeljaw/Vector Prime
- John Katovsich as Larry LaRue
- Kevin Pollak as Fracture
- Frank Stallone as Thunderhoof
- Eric Bauza as Drift/Headlock/Pseudo/Silverhound/Back/Forth/Major Mayhem
- Arif S. Kinchen as Jazz
- Roger Craig Smith as Slipstream/Jetstorm/Airazor/Blastwave/Major Mayhem
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Bulkhead/Terrashock
- David Hunt as Chop Shop
- John Steven Rocha as Springload
- Jim Cummings as Clampdown/Thermidor/Vehicon
- Andy Milder as Quillfire
- Eddie Deezen as Ped
- Jonathan Adams as Razorpaw
- Adrian Pasdar as Micronus Prime
- Daniel Roebuck as Malodor
- Tom Kenny as Nightstrike
- Charlie Schlatter as Vertebreak
- Ted Biaselli as Octopunch
- John DiMaggio as Groundpounder
- Mark Hildreth as Scowl
- Jackée Harry as Zizza
- Gil Gerard as Megatronus
- Kristy Wu as Windblade (seasons 1-2)
- Erica Lindbeck as Windblade (season 3)
- Raymond Stein as a policeman in "Collect 'Em All"
- Kath Soucie as a tour guide in "Ghosts and Impostors"
- Kate Bond as Crasher Casey
- Dave Fennoy as Overload
- Fred Tatasciore as Saberhorn/Vehicon
- Victor Brandt as Scorponok
- Grey Griffin as Glowstrike
- Robbie Rist as Swelter/Tricerashot
- Yuri Lowenthal as Glacius
- Matthew Yang King as Simacore
- Jeff Bennett as Axiom/Theorem
- Dee Bradley Baker as Bludgeon/Clout
- Carlos Alazraqui as Anvil/Hammer
- Gregg Berger as Stockade/Major Mayhem
- Jeffrey Combs as Ratchet
- Jason Spisak as Paralon
- Rick Pasqualone as Buzzstrike
- Crispin Freeman as Sawtooth
- Robin Weigert as Scatterspike
- Steve Blum as Ransack/Backtrack/Polarclaw/Starscream/Aerobolt
- Frank Welker as Soundwave
- Travis Willingham as Motormaster/Menasor
- Max Mittelman as Blurr
- Robin Atkin Downes as Jacknab/Pilfer/Flamesnort
- Ian James Corlett as Shadow Raker
- Harry Lennix as Cyclonus/Galvatronus
- Brooke Goldner as Cyberwarp
- David Sheinkopf as Dropforge
Awards and nominations
2016 Daytime Emmy Awards
- Outstanding Special Class Animated Program
- Jeff Kline - Executive Producer
- Adam Beechen - Producer
- Steven Melching - Story Editor
- Mairghread Scott - Script Coordinator/Writer's Assistant
- Kevin Manthei and Kevin Kiner - Series Composers
- Jose Lopez - Art Director
- The first episode aired on December 31, 2014 in mainland China, but not Hong Kong. The episodes were also made available in Chinese on website 1905.com, with five-minute previews being free and the whole episodes available for a price.
- The series shares its name with another Transformers series that premiered in 2001.
- Many of the Decepticons in the Series had beast modes.
- The crew recycled their CGI assets even more here- many of the Autobots, Decepticons and Mini-cons have similar body types.
- Backtrack and Ransack look similar to the Cyclones which appeared in Out Of Focus.
- Strongarm uses the same body type, as well as vehicle mode as Nightra.
- Malodor looks exactly like Zorillor, the Skunkticon from Sphere Of Influence.
- Airazor uses the same body type as Torpor, the cyclops Mini-con from Brainpower.
- Divebomb uses the same body type as Swelter and Glacius, who can manipulate temperature.
- Bisk has a body type and vehicle mode similar to Thermindor's.
- Clampdown uses the same body type as Clawtrap.
- Filch the corvicon has the same beast mode as Boostwing, Jacknab and Pilfer, but is much larger.
- Nightstrike's body type is quite similar to Wingcode's.
- Crazybolt uses the same body type as Flamesnort.
- Quillfire looks like a male version of Scatterspike, because they have the same body type.
- Hammerstrike and Ragebyte the sharkticons look exactly the same, but with different colors.
- Groundpounder has the same body type as Simacore.
- Shadow Raker uses a slightly altered version of Saberhorn's body type.
- The training bot in Out Of Focus has the same body type as Overload.
- Razorpaw uses the same body type as Scratch, who was captured by Windblade.
- Axiom and Theorem the simians look pretty similar, because they have the same body type.
- Blastwave uses an altered version of Megatronus' body type.
- Dragstrip and Wildbreak use similar-looking vehicle modes- Nitro-racing cars.
- Heatseeker and Slashmark also use similar-looking vehicle modes- SUVs.