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What Could Have Been / Transformers: Animated

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  • Many things changed over the course of the show's development :
    • Hot Shot and Red Alert were meant to be part of the main cast, but were replaced by Bumblebee and Ratchet, the former to line up with the 2007 movie's main cast and the latter due to the name sounding more like the old warhorse that the character was going to be portrayed as. Rodimus was first choice for the Sentinel Prime character mold, but this was nixed by Hasbro who didn’t want Rodimus to be portrayed as a jerk.
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    • Hot Shot was going to receive a toy later in the toyline, along with a triple changing Megatron, but both only made it to the prototype stage before the series was nixed for a number of reasons, including the release of Revenge of the Fallen.
    • The Decepticons as a whole were originally going to have a more grotesque, "stitched-together" aesthetic, described as reminiscent of Sid's toys from Toy Story, to show the results of them living in exile far from Cybertron for so long. For whatever reason note , this element was discarded.
    • Dropped subplots include Ratchet being suspicious of Earth's recent technological jump under Sumdac's robotics, and Lugnut's fervent praise for Megatron convincing elements of humanity to side with the Decepticons over the Autobots.
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    • The original name for the Allspark was "The Cube". With this name change evidently came a design change as well, since the Allspark in the final series has a spherical shape.
    • Blitzwing was originally conceived as a character that could change into anything and had an unstable personality. Since they couldn't make a toy from that they tried the Animated version of Sixshot, but Hasbro told them a six-changer was too expensive. Then they decided to make a triple-change with a changing face and split personality and they used Blitzwing. It worked out fine. Blitzwing also originally had an American accent, but Bumper Robinson improvised a German accent late into production after deciding the name sounded German.
    • Prometheus Black was originally a separate character from Meltdown, who would form a Terrible Trio alongside Colossus Rhodes and Stilettonote . Black himself would create kaiju as enemies for the Autobots to fight.
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    • Several villains were scrapped. They included Lazarus Undershaft, a crime boss whose criminal empire included ninjas. Another was the Wrecking Crew, a bunch of rednecks in hi-tech wrecking vehicles who wanted vengeance against robots for stealing their jobs. The Wraith, the Glory Hound superhero who appeared in "The Arrival" tie-in comic, was originally meant to be on the show itself as a reoccurring antagonist who kept trying to upstage the Autobots.
    • In the episode "Autoboot Camp", originally conspiracy crazed Cliffjumper was to be the Autobot framed for being a Decepticon spy, but Hasbro did not approve of that and the role went to Wasp.
    • The second Allspark Almanac goes in depth about what Season 4 would have been like. While we'd love for you to try to find the books, compiled or otherwise, we'll give you some details.
      • Ironhide and Jazz would've joined the main cast of Autobots, the former to replace Bulkhead who would be Commuting on a Bus when his family Energon farms were attacked by Decepticons, the latter replacing the deceased Prowl.
      • Season 4 was also going to make Sentinel Prime a more antagonistic figure. Funny one should mention that.
      • Soundwave would've joined with Megatron full-time.
      • Dirt Boss would've been part of a Big Bad Ensemble with Megatron, coming into conflict with him at least once.
      • Ultra Magnus would have succumbed to his injuries from Shockwave and gone off-line.
      • The Allspark fragments left behind energon deposits when they were collected at the end of Season 3, which ends up becoming the theme of Season 4.
      • Sentinel Prime would've arrived on Earth and attempted to use the Allspark to destroy Megatron. However, Prowl's ghost would've appeared in this episode, where he bodyhopped through every Transformer brought to life by Allspark fragments in an attempt to warn Optimus about the consequences of Sentinel's plan.
      • The Autobots would've also battled a new team of human villains called S.T.E.A.M. (Saving the Earth and Mankind) who used steampunk technology and are against modern technology. Soundwave would've returned in this episode.
      • There was going to be an episode similar to Gremlins where the Minicons of Kaon messed with all the machinery of Detroit; Ratchet and Fanzone would've teamed up to stop them.
      • The focus of another episode would be a turf war between the Constructicons and the Decepticons for the energon deposits in Detroit.
      • Bludgeon would've appeared as a pirate, instead of the usual skeleton samurai.
      • In one episode, Cosmos would've had to go to Earth to deliver a message to Optimus, but he loses his memory after scanning a prop flying saucer from a B-movie set. Hilarity Ensues.
      • There would've been an episode where Bulkhead and Sari enter a Shattered Glass version of the Animated universe. This episode was originally planned for Season 3, but was moved to Season 4 when the Season 3 premiere became a three-parter.
      • The season finale of Season 4 would’ve been a massive final battle in which Megatron threatened to destroy the entire Earth, and Optimus would’ve recruited as many allies and even villains as possible in an Enemy Mine to finally stop him.
      • Another plan was a Season 4 episode would introduce a new character, Primal Major, who would be a failed cloning experiment by Blackarachnia. The title of this episode? "Trukk vs. Munky!"
    • According to the behind-the-scenes of "Trial and Error"note :
      • Antagony and Inferno were supposed to appear in Season 4 as techno-organic fire ants, having been created by Blackarachnia, who is growing an army of Predacons.
      • Blackarachnia would've gotten a new appearance similar to her original Beast Wars appearance (yellow skin).
    • Derrick Wyatt mentions that they were planning on setting up a fight between the Dinobots and Constructicons in Season 4.
    • The Animated producers were hoping to get Eric Idle to reprise his role as Wreck-Gar from the movie, but he was too busy with Spamalot, so they ended up getting "Weird Al" Yankovic instead. Though the final Wreck-Gar owes a lot more in appearance and mannerisms to Weird Al than Idle, his debut episode still contains a few ideas that were formed back when they were trying for Eric Idle — most notably his team-up with Angry Archer, whose voice is very clearly an imitation of John Cleese.
    • There also would have been a Season 5, which was supposed to be the final season.
    • Beachcomber was meant to be a Butt-Monkey, according to supplementary material. DJW states that he would have walked in on Shockwave and been killed horrifically in Season 3, and the TFNation 2019 panel reveals that it was also considered having him killed in Season 4 or 5.
    • Sari's origin would've been revealed by the series finale.
    • Slipstream was going to have a team of Decepticons in Season 4 and 5, although who was in that team is unknown (as stated in the magazine; Marty Isenberg also confirmed at TFNation 2019 that this is true, although he doesn't remember which characters the team would've consisted of).
    • Megatron's weapon was originally going to be a katana, as seen here, but it was changed to the traditional fusion cannon and a pair of twin swords.
    • The second to last scene of Season 3 would have been Slipstream resurrecting Starscream.
    • Michael Bell, who voiced Prowl and Swoop in The Transformers, auditioned to reprise the roles for this show.
    • Some scenes had to be cut for time or for other reasons, as revealed in this interview. The most major one? Megatron beating the tar out of the Dinobots shortly after his resurrection. The scene was going to show how powerful he was, but that was nixed due to a desire to not upset Dinobot fans and because the animation for the fight was deemed subpar.
    • Starscream was apparently supposed to have a fairly quiet voice, as Marty Isenberg really disliked the screechy voice G1 Starscream had. However, after advice from Derrick J. Wyatt and hearing Tom Kenny's performance he decided to compromise with a voice that was high and a bit whiny, but not outright shrill.
    • Afterburn, the Canon Foreigner from the Titan Comics, was originally going to be named Sideswipe, and preview images even called him that. He was given a different name due to fans hating the design, along with the possibility that Hasbro intervened due to his nature as The Mole, similar to the Cliffjumper example.
    • The series was originally titled Transformers: Heroes and would have had a less stylized art style.
    • They originally wanted Scott McNeil to reprise his role as Waspinator from Beast Wars, but he was unable to work in the US without a permit.
    • Jetfire and Jetstorm were originally going to both be voiced by Eric Bauza instead of Tom Kenny and Phil LaMarr.
    • During the planning stage Wildrider and Breakdown's remolds were switched around. Originally Wildrider was supposed to be from Rodimus while Breakdown was supposed to be from Lockdown. This is in keeping with a previous G1 Wildrider release which was also a repaint of Rodimus (though the classics toy).
    • Apparently (as the source of this has been lost to the ravages of time and the Internet), according to Derrick J. Wyatt, the Starscream clones would've experienced Divergent Character Evolution, becoming their own individuals. Either this was dropped or wouldn't have shown up onscreen, though an artifact of this is that Cyclonus is implied to be Skywarp from a Bad Future according to All There in the Manual.
    • Pre-mutation Wasp could have gotten his own toy, a redeco of Bumblebee, named "Fugitive Waspinator", but this was scrapped in favor of Ironhide, who was a redeco and retool of Ratchet. He would not have gotten a unique head, as Hasbro told the creators either Wasp or Ironhide would get a new head, and they decided to let Ironhide get it. It ended up being the right call as Ironhide's toy ended up getting released as a Toys R Us exclusive while Wasp's never saw the light of day.
    • Other toys that never saw the light of day in either America or Japan were:
      • Mercenary Swindle, a black repaint.
      • Thundercracker.
      • Vortex Blurr, a gray and black repaint.
      • Toxic Oil Slick, who bore a paint job more accurate to his deco in the cartoon.
      • Mudbuster Bulkhead, who had more black to him.
      • Goldfire Grimlock, a golden repaint.
      • Electromagnetic Soundwave, a repaint of the Activator Soundwave to represent Soundwave’s giant white avatar in “Human Error”.
    • David Kaye auditioned to reprise the role of Megatron from Beast Wars and the Unicron Trilogy. The part went to Corey Burton instead, while Kaye was cast as Optimus.
    • According to Wyatt, they kicked around the idea of having Peter Cullen appear as a guest, playing a John Wayne-esque human that gives Optimus inspiration about good leadership qualities.

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