Transformers: Prime is an American computer-animated television series based on the Transformers toy franchise by Hasbro. The series aired on Hub Network from November 29, 2010 to July 26, 2013. The Transformers: Prime TV movie, Predacons Rising, premiered on October 4, 2013.
The first season became available for instant streaming through Netflix on April 5, 2012. The second season became available on December 7, 2012. The third season also became available in 2013.
The initial designs of the characters were first shown off at Botcon 2010 at its panel, and later at San Diego Comic Con 2010. Hasbro created a 400-page Transformers Prime production bible titled the "Binder of Revelation", which the production team used as a reference for Prime. Whereas the movies were about a boy and his car, the dynamic between the kids and the robots on Prime was meant to be more like The Iron Giant. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the screenwriters of the first two live-action films, developed the series and were executive producers of the series.
Digitalscape Company Limited, a Japanese company famous for their work on titles such as Soulcalibur III, Ninja Gaiden, and Dead or Alive Paradise, developed the CGI Animation of Transformers: Prime. Although Digitalscape ran a job fair looking for a talent to work on the production, Polygon Pictures ultimately won. Jose Lopez, character designer, described the animation of the series as "groundbreaking mix of 2D animation and CGI." A show on the level of Transformers: Prime would take about two years to produce, but the animators only had ten months, so five episodes were animated at a time (hence the monthly gaps during a season).
Film composer Brian Tyler serves as the music composer for Transformers: Prime. Matthew Margeson is the music arranger for the series, first arranging the fifteen episodes of the series. The music features a large live orchestra, a rarity in contemporary television scores. The official soundtrack of Transformers: Prime was released on iTunes on March 6, 2012, and on CD on March 13, 2012. An updated theme song with the Beast Hunters theme applied was introduced in the episode "Project Predacon".
Set in the timeframe after the novels and video games preceding the television series (also known as the Aligned Continuity), Prime began with a five-part mini-series titled "Darkness Rising", which served to introduce the main characters and provide a back story on the Transformers and their war.
The series began with a five-part story called "Darkness Rising". In Jasper, Nevada, three young humans - Jack Darby, Miko Nakadai, and Rafael Esquivel - are accidentally caught in the crossfire in a fight between enormous robots that transform into vehicles. They are taken to the base of the Autobots, where their leader Optimus Prime explains he and his team (consisting of Ratchet, Bulkhead, Arcee, and Bumblebee) are autonomous alien robots from the planet Cybertron. The Autobots once had a devastating war against the tyrannical Megatron and his army, the Decepticons, and the war made Cybertron uninhabitable. Megatron returns from a three-year-long exile in deep space with a sample of Dark Energon, a substance also known as "the blood of Unicron" which can revive dead Transformers as mindless zombies called "Terrorcons", and he sets out to conquer Earth with a Terrorcon army brought over from Cybertron through a Space Bridge. The Autobots foil his plan by destroying the Decepticon's Space Bridge, and as Megatron is caught in the explosion he is presumed dead. Following Megatron's supposed death, Starscream assumes leadership of the Decepticons. However, Megatron is found barely alive, sustained by a shard of Dark Energon, in the wreckage of the Space Bridge, and returns to power after a long period in stasis. Over the season, Starscream finds his life falling apart almost entirely due to his treachery with Megatron, and eventually becomes a rogue. The Autobots adjust to living with their new human allies, and Arcee deals with demons from her past regarding her fallen comrades. At the end of the season, the Autobots form an uneasy alliance with Megatron when Earth is threatened by the ancient and destructive being Unicron, who resides at the center of the Earth. Optimus Prime uses the power stored within the Matrix of Leadership to send Unicron back into hibernation, but the process erases Optimus's memory, which reverts to his original pre-war identity Orion Pax.
Megatron recruits Orion Pax, who has no memory of the Autobot-Decepticon war, into the Decepticons and manipulates him into believing that the Autobots are evil. Jack and Arcee travel to Cybertron to find the legendary super-computer Vector Sigma, and the Autobots successfully restore Optimus's memories with the information stored inside it. With the departure of Starscream and Airachnid, and the murder of Breakdown, the Decepticons suffer a prolonged period of infighting as Megatron struggles to keep his troops in line. Having been convinced by the events of the first season finale that Megatron is beyond hope of redemption, Optimus has resolved to kill Megatron at any cost, a choice he still struggles with in the season. The main theme for the majority of the second season is the discovery of ancient relics and weaponry from Cybertron buried on Earth, with the Transformers fighting over each new discovery. Among the relics hidden on Earth are the four Omega Keys, which activate the Omega Lock, an ancient machine capable of making Cybertron habitable again. The Decepticons acquire all four keys when Starscream returns to Megatron's command, and plan to terraform Earth into a mechanical planet like Cybertron, which would kill all life on Earth. Optimus Prime destroys the Omega Lock to save Earth, but before its destruction the Lock creates a massive fortress in the Nevada desert, and the Decepticons destroy the Autobot base with Optimus still inside.
Season 3: Beast Hunters
Following the destruction of their base at the hands of Megatron, Team Prime is scattered across the United States, and Optimus is mortally wounded from the base's destruction. Optimus believes himself to be dying and declares that Smokescreen will be the next Prime, but before the Matrix of Leadership can be passed, Smokescreen repairs him with the Forge of Solus Prime. A reformatted, much more powerful Optimus joins the battle to destroy the Decepticons' citadel with Ultra Magnus, who has reunited the team. Darkmount falls and the Autobots acquire a new base from Agent Fowler. The Autobots suffer a series of losses when the Decepticons successfully acquire a large number of Predacon fossils, intending to clone an army to conquer humanity. However, after a devastating experiment gone wrong costs the Decepticons a majority of their forces, Megatron manipulates the Autobots to wipe out the project, leaving Predaking as the sole surviving Predacon. The Decepticons refocus their efforts to rebuild the Omega Lock aboard the Nemesis with the reluctant aid of a captive Ratchet and his Synthetic Energon. However, Ratchet secretly warns the Autobots about this and they prepare their last stand. Before this though, Ratchet survived a fight caused by Predaking, who almost killed him. But Predaking spared him after learning from Ratchet that Megatron ordered the termination of his kind. Because of this, Predaking betrays Megatron and, after searching around the warship, they have a brief brawl which Preadking almost wins, but Starscream's distraction allows Megatron to defeat Predaking and eject him out of the warship. This is when the Autobots arrive at the warship and rescue Ratchet, leading to a final confrontation between the Autobots and Deceptions as Megatron breaks down "This will be our last stand!". In the final battle, the Autobots capture the warship and scatter the surviving Decepticon forces. During the battle, Optimus engages Megatron in a fist fight, leaving the rest of the Autobots to handle Starcream and Shockwave while the humans successfully overcome Soundwave. When the Star Saber is in open ground, Bumblebee takes it first and attempts to throw it to Optimus when overpowering Megatron, but is killed when Megatron shoots him multiple times. Angry, Optimus brutally beats Megatron, who turns the tables when striking at Optimus with the Dark Star Saber. Megatron is about to finish Optimus for good when Bumblebee, revealing to be alive, surprises and stabs Megatron with the star saber. Everyone is shocked towards Bumblebee because not only did he kill Megatron, but he also got his voice back in the process. Megatron then dies and falls to his final resting place below Earth. After sadly witnessing this, Optimus is helped up Bumblebee and announces Megatron's death to the rest of the team just as Bumblebee embraces Autobots and speaks to Raf for the first time in 65 episodes. At the same time, the Decepticons flee from the warship while Starscream and Shockwave are forced to share a ride in the last escape pod, leaving Knockout to be beaten and captured. Preadaking is shown to be alive and is seen flying towards Cybertron as everyone watches on. In the aftermath, the Autobots use the Omega Lock to revive Cybertron before appearing one last time on Earth, bidding farewell to their human friends as they leave to rebuild their home. Although Ratchet offers to remain on Earth and shakes hands with Optimus, who is the last Autobot to depart Earth.
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising
The series ended with the TV movie Predacons Rising, which aired on October 4, 2013. The Autobots return to Cybertron, having successfully made it habitable with the rebuilt Omega Lock. Optimus Prime and Wheeljack travel into deep space to find the AllSpark, the legendary source of all life on Cybertron, which is needed to allow the creation of new Cybertronian life. The mind of Unicron is re-awakened by Cybertron's restoration, and taking control of Megatron's corpse he flies to Cybertron, planning to destroy it once and for all. Elsewhere, Shockwave and Starscream continue to clone the fossilized remains of Predacons, creating new Predacons Darksteel and Skylynx. When Unicron returns to Cybertron and raises an army of Terrorcons from Predacon remains, the Autobots, Decepticons, and Predacons must join forces to defeat him and save their home world. Optimus is able to seal away Unicron, but at the cost of his own life as he is forced to merge himself with Primus. Freed from Unicron's oppression, Megatron disbands the Decepticons and leaves Cybertron.
A total of 65 episodes have been produced and aired. Starting in 2012, Shout! Factory began releasing the series on DVD and Blu-ray.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired (U.S. dates)|
|First aired||Last aired|
|Mini-Series||5||November 29, 2010||December 3, 2010|
|1||21||February 11, 2011||October 15, 2011|
|2||26||February 18, 2012||November 2, 2012|
|3||13||March 22, 2013||July 26, 2013|
In the United States, Transformers: Prime aired on Hasbro and Discovery Communications-owned television network, The Hub. The original broadcast of Transformers: Prime on The Hub has been announced to have done extremely well. During the second week of broadcasting many sources showed an increase in ratings. A one-hour sneak peek of the first two episodes of the series was broadcast on The Hub on November 26, 2010. Airing started on November 29, 2010, and continued to December 3, 2010, with the official Season 1 launch airing February 11, 2011. On The Hub the series attracts an approximate 102,000 viewers per episode. Beginning December 8, 2012, the series also made a network premiere on The CW as part of its Saturday morning Vortexx block, making it the first Hasbro Studios animated production to make presence in the United States terrestrial television.
On November 9, 2010, Hasbro Studios has announced a broadcasting rights deal with Corus Entertainment in Canada, which includes Transformers: Prime. The series was premiered there on January 9, 2011 on Teletoon, half-owned by Corus, with new episodes airing on Sundays at 12:00pm Eastern/11:00am Central. As a part of the deal between Hasbro Studios and Turner Broadcasting System Europe announced on December 13, 2010,Transformers: Prime started broadcasting in the United Kingdom and Ireland on September 5, 2011 on Cartoon Network, and later on Cartoon Network Too, and in Central Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East on September 10, 2011 on the pan-European Cartoon Network. In Singapore, MediaCorp has broadcasting rights for Hasbro Studios programs including Prime, which the English version was premiered on Okto. In Malaysia, Media Prima has broadcasting rights for Hasbro Studios programs including Prime, which the English version was premiered on NTV7.
In the United States, episodes of Transformers: Prime are available for digital download through the iTunes Store. The show, along with several other Hasbro properties, was added to the Netflix video streaming service on April 1, 2012. Shout! Factory produced a DVD featuring the 5-parted mini-series, "Darkness Rising" released on December 6, 2011. The 5 episodes are "sewn" together as one big story, and are not in separate episodes to make a more movie-like presentation. Shout! Factory was in talks with Hasbro to add animatics and concept designs for characters and backgrounds to the DVD, as special features. Transformers: Prime's first season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 6, 2012. Recently, Shout! Factory had announced another DVD release titled "One Shall Stand", which became available on July 31, 2012. This included the final four episodes of season 1 and the first three episodes of season 2, with these 7 episodes "sewn" together to make a more movie-like presentation in the same manner as the "Darkness Rising" DVD. "Transformers Prime – The Complete 2nd Season" became available on DVD on November 20, 2012, and the Blu-ray Disc set became available on November 27, 2012. "Transformers Prime - Season 3: Beast Hunters" was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 3, 2013.
In Australia, Madman Entertainment holds home media and digital distribution rights for Prime. In Japan, Avex is releasing a series of DVD discs for both rental and sale, with each volume containing 2 episodes respectively.
Marketing, merchandise and other media
Hasbro got the Toys R Us located in Times Square in New York City to cover all of the outside of the store in Transformers: Prime. Several billboards were rented. One even appeared on Broadway in New York City. Additional advertisements were added to comic book backings. A giant statue of Optimus Prime (modeled after his Transformers: Prime design) was shown off at San Diego Comic Con 2010. The statue was later moved to the location of New York Comic Con 2011, where Hasbro debuted their involvement in the convention.
The official launch date of the toy line is December 1, 2011. The release date of July 2011 was incorrectly stated during BotCon 2011, but the December 1, 2011 date was later confirmed by the Hasbro Brand Team. Although earlier resources stated that the line would launch on October 1, 2011 or October 11, 2011.
Ruckus Mobile Media is to deliver Transformers: Prime innovative storybook apps for Android, and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch). The app will deliver immersive reading experiences with interactive storytelling including title specific activities, coloring and read-and-record functions. The app was slated to release in May 2011, but was not released.
IDW Publishing has released a group of comic books based on Transformers: Prime. A comic book prequel was released on October 13, 2010, in the United States. Followed by an October 26, 2010, Canadian release date. Adaptations of episodes (usually two episodes per comic book) from the series are currently being released, similar to the Transformers Animated comic books. Some Transformers: Prime storybooks are also set for release in April, August and September 2012, in the UK such as Transformers Prime: Official Handbook and Transformers Prime: Meet the Team.
Awards and nominations
|2011||Daytime Emmys||"Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program"||Peter Cullen||Nominated|
|"Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program"||Directors||Nominated|
|"Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation"||Vince Toyama||) here, or it will cause coding problems style="background: #99FF99; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="yes table-yes2"|Won|
|"Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition"||Brian Tyler||Nominated|
|"Outstanding Writing in Animation"||Writers||Nominated|
|2012||Daytime Emmys||"Outstanding Special Class Animated Program"||Entire crew||Won|
|"Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program"||David Hartman||Nominated|
|"Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Animation"||Robbi Smith||) here, or it will cause coding problems style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated|
|Robert Poole II|
|"Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Animation"||Ray Leonard||) here, or it will cause coding problems style="background: #FDD; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="no table-no2"|Nominated|
|"Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation"||Christophe Vacher||Won|
|CINE Awards||CINE Eagle Award||Whole crew||Won|
|CINE Special Recognition for Series Television||Whole crew||Won|
|CINE Special Jury Award||Whole crew||Nominated|
|CINE Masters Series Award||Whole crew||Nominated|
|2013||Daytime Emmys||"Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation"||Arato Kato||) here, or it will cause coding problems style="background: #99FF99; color: black; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="yes table-yes2"|Won|
|Kirk van Wormer|
|Annie Award||Outstanding Achievement in Production Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production||Christophe Vacher||Nominated|
A sequel called Transformers: Robots in Disguise debuted in February 2015.
- Fury, Sol (March 20, 2013). "Hub Press Release with details of Beast Hunters Predacons Rising TV Movie". Transformers World 2005. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- Executive Producers Roberto Orci and Jeff Kline Interview Transformers: Prime
- "Transformers: Prime Creative Talent Interview – BotCon 2011". YouTube. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- "Digitalscape Behind Development of Transformers Prime CG". Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- RAC (July 17, 2013). "Synopsis and Cover Art Revealed For Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters Predacons Rising DVD/Blu-Ray". TFormers.com. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (August 30, 2013). "The Hub Network Will Have the Exclusive World Premiere of Hasbro Studio's 'Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Predacons Rising'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- "Search". Shout! Factory. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
- "The Hub ratings shows some momentum". Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- The Brewsters (November 16, 2010). "Hasbro Studios and Corus Entertainment's Kids Networks Reach Broad Animation and Live-Action Programming Agreement". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
- "Sunday Mornings on Teletoon are a Rush with an All-new Lineup of Action Programming" (Press release). CNW. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- Hasbro Studios, Turner Broadcasting Seal Deal for 'Transformers Prime,' 'Chuck and Friends,' 'My Little Pony' and 'Pound Puppies' (NYSE:HAS)
- "Hasbro Studios series head to Asia". Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- Screenings 2012 – Media Prima Berhad
- TRANSFORMERS PRIME, Season 1 (HD) | Shows for ages 4 YEARS AND UP | Hasbro
- "Hasbro Studios Signs Multi-Year Deal with Netflix to Provide Its Award-Winning Content across Multiple Platforms in the U.S.". Hasbro (Press release). April 5, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "Transformers: Prime – 'Darkness Rising', the Newest Program's Original 5-Part Mini-Series, Announced!". Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- "Transformers: Prime – Darkness Rising Hits DVD Dec. 6". SuperHeroHype. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- "Transformers: Prime Miniseries Rises: Five-part Darkness Rising series coming to DVD in December.". IGN. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- "Transformers: Prime – 'Darkness Rising' DVD info Updated: Story Presentation and Extras". Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- Lambert, David (August 20, 2012). "Transformers Prime – 'The Complete 2nd Season' is Scheduled for DVD and for Blu-ray". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- "Hasbro Markets Transformers: Prime in New York City".
- "New Transformers: Prime Advertisement Featured on Back Cover of DC Comics' JLA Issue #51". Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- "Transformers: Prime Optimus Prime Revealed". Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- "Hasbro Makes a Giant Debut at NY Comic Con: Focuses on Marvel Comics and Transformers". BuzzFocus.com. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- tformers.com. "BotCon 2011 Live Blog – 2011 Hasbro Toys with the Brand Team". Retrieved June 4, 2011.
- Brian Truitt. "Check out the new toy for Arcee, the resident girl bot on Transformers: Prime".
- Jasen Kwedlo. "Hasbro's 2011 Transformers: Prime First Edition Action Figures".
- "Hasbro Teams Up With Ruckus Mobile Media to Bring Transformers: Prime Storybook App".
- "The Hub Delivers Ratings Increases with Holiday Programming, Including Transformers: Prime and G.I. Joe Renegades". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
- bwbm. "Transformers: Prime Nabs 6 of 8 Hasbro Studios Daytime Emmys". Retrieved July 24, 2011.
- BWW News Desk (July 9, 2012). "Four Series on The Hub TV Network Win 2012 CINE Golden Eagle Awards". BroadwayWorld.
- Graser, Marc (June 12, 2014). "Hasbro to Launch 'Transformers: Robots in Disguise' Show in Spring 2015 (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
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