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Trivia / Transformers: Animated

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  • Creator's Pest: Derrick J. Wyatt and Marty Isenberg have a strong dislike of Beachcomber. While he mostly appears as a background extra, a cut scene from the start of season 3 depicted him being horribly killed. Had the fourth season been produced, it would have opened up with Blackout brutally murdering Beachcomber, and had he somehow survived that too, Isenberg said they would have found a way to kill him in a hypothetical fifth season. Wyatt has mourned the loss of Beachcomber's planned death scenes, but he has also admitted that his dislike for him started to wane after a while.
  • Development Gag:
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    • Team Athenia (Rodimus Prime, Red Alert, Hot Shot, Brawn, and Ironhide) is three-fifths scrapped ideas (see the first entry under What Could Have Been).
    • Sari's scooter/jetpack is based on a transforming trike she had in a dropped version of the opening sequence.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Twice, but it wasn't so bad. The network wanted a human sidekick, so we got Sari Sumdac, who proved to be more popular than any previous human ally in the franchise, though she later turned out to be part Cybertronian. The second time, the humans got put Out of Focus in season three, which helped bring more attention to the conflict on Cybertron.
    • Season 3 was made darker by request from the network, to bring it in-line with the other shows running at the time such as Ben 10: Alien Force and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
    • Marty Isenberg explained at TFNation 2019 that even with the steadily-growing popularity of turning to streaming services to continue past canceled shows that were popular enough to be revived, the chance of this happening to Transformers: Animated is, unfortunately, next to nil, due to the show's nature as a toy commercial that had already been shown to have failed in the past. (Presumably legal issues would also be a factor, given the show was a co-production between Hasbro and Cartoon Network.) He also mentioned, however, that a comic continuation isn't completely out of the question, and he would be glad to write it if the opportunity emerges.
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    • Season 4 would have redesigned the cast to look closer to their live-action counterparts, such as changing Ratchet's colors, Bumblebee getting camaro lines, and adding flames to Optimus, due to Hasbro wanting the series and films to have synergy. The crew weren't particularly fond of the "Eternal Flames", and Marty Isenberg's outline for the possible Season 4 opener features Optimus himself thinking the flames look dumb.
  • Fake Brit: Angry Archer's voice, provided by Jeff Bennett, has been admitted to be a parody of John Cleese.
  • Fake Nationality: Indian-Americans Sari and Issac Sumdac are voiced by white-Americans Tara Strong and Tom Kenny, respectively.
  • Foiler Footage: Likely by accident; one of Cartoon Network's online games labeled Ironhide as a Decepticon. Due to the game having come out before "Autoboot Camp", it led to speculation about him being the double agent, before the episode itself revealed it was Longarm Prime, aka Shockwave.
  • Hypothetical Casting: Art director Derrick J. Wyatt often shared his ideal picks for voices for characters who either didn’t speak in the show or only appeared in printed media such as the comics. Among his picks were:
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Season 3 was never released in the US. The other DVD's are out of print as well.
    • The third season was released by Shout! Factory in June 2014 along with a DVD set of the full series. Unfortunately, the Shout! Factory releases do not include any of the shorts by Studio 4°C and there are no scheduled individual rereleases of the first two seasons. On the flip side, they were in its original widescreen, which no previous release had ever had.
      • Speaking of the shorts, there are officially two that are withheld from the public for years. These shorts, "Logo" and "Starscream's Fantasy," have only been seen twice at Botcon 2009 and Botcon 2012. Even when individuals such as popular Transformers YouTuber Keyan Carlile were given private HD copies by Marty Isenberg, Isenberg requested that they must not be uploaded online (likely due to legal reasons). Thankfully, they can be seen legally through Carlile's vlog here
  • Lzherusskie: Jetstorm, Jetfire, and Strika all have Russian accents. None of their voice actors are Russian.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • In Season 3, Omega Supreme is voiced by Phil LaMarr instead of Kevin Michael Richardson.
    • Sparkplug Witwicky from the Generation 1 cartoon makes some Continuity Cameos in the episodes "Nature Calls", "Sari, No One's Home", and "Three's a Crowd", but his voice actor is never consistent. He is played by Jeff Bennett in his first appearance, David Kaye in his second, and by John Mariano in his third appearance.
    • The Newsbot only appears in two episodes ("Headmaster" and "The Return of the Headmaster"), both of which give him a different voice actor. He is voiced by David Kaye in the former and by Townsend Coleman in the latter.
  • Out of Holiday Episode: The two-parter episode "Human Error" is set on Christmas Eve and Day. However, it aired in April.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • David Kaye as Optimus Prime, considering that previously, his biggest Transformers roles had been voicing the Beast Wars and Unicron Trilogy incarnations of Megatron!
    • Tom Kenny as Starscream and Wasp.
  • Refitted for Sequel: Maybe. The team medic originally being female might have something to do with the original toyline and series planning for Ratchet to be female.
  • Relationship Voice Actor:
  • Role Reprise: Some actors reprise their roles from the original Generation 1 cartoon.
    • Corey Burton reprises his roles as Shockwave and Spike Witwicky, though the latter mainly appears as a background character and only has a speaking role in the episode "Garbage In, Garbage Out". He's also credited with providing the grunts for Brawn in "TransWarped", having also played the character in the original series.
    • Susan Blu returns as Arcee.
    • John Moschitta reprises his role as Blurr.
    • "TransWarped" has Judd Nelson reprise his role as Rodimus Prime from The Transformers: The Movie.
  • Running the Asylum: If you played a drinking game with Transformers: Generation 1 mythology gags, you'd be dead by the third episode.
  • Science Marches On: There's the updated forms of the Dinobots. The G1 Dinobots were already somewhat inaccurate even during the 80s, with different body proportions to the animals they were based on. By today's standards they are hideously inaccurate, with their stances and movements being made to reflect the idea that Dinosaurs used to be thought as slow and dumb. The Animated Dinobots are much, much closer in general accuracy to their respective animals in virtually every way. Body proportions, stances, range of movement, everything.
  • Screwed by the Network: Sure, three seasons and 42 episodes doesn't sound too bad... until you realize that the show was on the air for less than a year and a half. In this case, it was more Hasbro deciding to form their own kids/family network with Discovery... a rival to the one producing this show. Whoops.
  • Self-Adaptation: All six issues of IDW's comic book Transformers Animated: The Arrival were written by Marty Isenberg, the story editor for the show. Unlike similar tie-ins, the comic is entirely canon to the show, and even fills in some continuity gaps note .
  • Short Run in Peru: Somewhat annoyingly to American viewers, Canada's YTV aired this show a week ahead of Cartoon Network after it was dropped for one week in favor of the Ben 10: Alien Force premiere. Not to mention that, annoying everyone else in the world, a Dubai children's network aired almost all of season 2 over a month early, leading to Wild Mass Guessing and outright misinformation based on screenshots with no English translations.
  • Short-Lived, Big Impact: Despite its relatively short run, Animated has been fairly influential in the franchise since. Not only have Bulkhead, Lugnut, Lockdown, and Slipstream all become a Canon Immigrant in some form of later media, but the show's portrayal of classic G1 characters have influenced their later incarnations as well, such as Ultra Magnus and Arcee having a hammer and twin blades respectively in their Prime and IDW incarnations.
  • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: Animated has some of the best accuracy between the show and the toys of any continuity. The toys are highly accurate in Alt Mode, Robot Mode, and have extremely accurate transformations, all while maintaining the series' unique art style.
  • Shrug of God:
    • The whole point of the mystery about what side of Starscream Slipstream represents is that we are not supposed to know because it's just a joke. Derrick J. Wyatt initially responded with this trope, and for a while would respond that anything was the side of Starscream that Slipstream represented (one notable example was the pain the Native Americans felt when they lost their buffalo herds).
    • He also kept mum about how Sari's protoform ended up in Professor Sumdac's lab — he felt that something like that should only be told in future Animated fiction.
  • Talking to Himself: Due in part to budget, Animated gets a lot of mileage out of its actors.
    • Pushed to its logical end with the Starscream clones. Despite having color schemes clearly inspired by older characters that had their own names, they'll probably never be referred to as anything but Starscream clones on the show. That's because if they're all Starscream clones, then they all count as the same character; if they were different characters, they'd have to pay Tom Kenny extra to voice them all and they're only allowed to have one VA voice so many characters in a single episode.
    • They've done several episodes where two characters go out on their own and argue the entire way, and often even had the same voice actor, with both Prime/Grimlock and Prowl/Fanzone.
    • This was lampshaded during the Botcon 2008 script reading, where Bumblebee suggests to a thinly disguised Beast Wars Megatron (as voiced by David Kaye) that they call Grimlock or Lugnut (both voiced by David Kaye) for help. Megatron responds "Oh, please. What do I look like, Scott McNeil?"
    • There's even one where Animated!Optimus is talking about golf with BW!Megatron, the latter declaring with a chuckle that Autobots suck at golf.
    • Blitzwing, Bumblebee, and Blackout share a VA. (Blitzwing also often talks to himself literally.)
    • Most of Shockwave's dialogue (at least in Decepticon form) is in conversation with either Ratchet or Megatron, all of whom are also voiced by Corey Burton.
    • With a few exceptions here and there, Tara Strong voices nearly all of the female and child characters.
  • Throw It In:
    • Blitzwing's German accent was a last-minute improvisation by Bumper Robinson while auditioning for the role, no doubt based on the character's name. When he got the part, Blitzwing was hastily redesigned to compliment the accent.
    • The post-credits scene of Megatron and Starscream arguing at the end of "A Bridge Too Close" was reportedly improvised by Corey Burton and Tom Kenny.
  • Uncredited Role: Despite being heavily advertised in the leadup of the show, Studio 4°C is never credited for their work, which consists of the transformation Stock Footage and the intro. Similarly, none of the individual episode staff have credits. The Japanese dub rectifies this somewhat, but even that isn't complete.
  • Universe Bible: It had one. A large chuck of its content contained scratched concepts.
  • What Could Have Been: It now has its own page.
  • Word of God: Several things, most notably the possibility of Blurr not being dead, and Slipstream's name.
    • Neither Unicron or Primus would've shown up in Animated, though that didn't stop DJW from drawing his interpretation of Unicron. Wyatt has said Primus himself doesn’t exist in the universe due to a dislike of godly Transformers beings. A “Church of Primus” exists, however, in a parody of Scientology. Unicron, Wyatt has said, would hearken back to his G1 cartoon roots in being a non-magical creation of obscure villain Violen Jiger.

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