Transformers: Rescue Bots, a brand new cartoon on The Hub network, continues the tradition of the Transformers franchise, but this one is geared toward young children. It has a crossover storyline with Transformers: Prime, with Optimus Prime (still voiced by Peter Cullen) being the lone connection between the two series. Transformers: Rescue Bots is mainly focused on educating children regarding hazards and safety. You can see the Premiere Episode, “Family of Heroes”, on The Hub, starting at 11:30 AM (EST) on Saturday, Feb. 18.
Set in the town of Griffin Rock, Maine, which is also a very technologically advanced island, a group of Autobots named Heatwave, Boulder, Blades and Chase respond to Optimus Prime’s message for any active Autobots to arrive to Earth. Coming out of a long stasis, learning what became of Cybertron and that they are the only Rescuebot team remaining, they are partnered with the Burns family composed of first response rescuers, including a police chief, firefighter, rescue pilot and engineer. Together, they learn teamwork and heroism alongside their human friends as they deal with various disasters.
The hook to all this is that the Transformers: Rescue Bots, who are known to all of us as alien beings on Earth, have to hide their true identities to the people of Griffin Rock. Instead of behaving like themselves, they have to pretend to be man-made robots, created to assist the Burns family with the Rescue and First Response efforts on the island. In the series debut, Optimus Prime charges this group of Autobots with a mission to protect and learn about humans.
The Burns family are certainly all very likable characters. They take their jobs as rescuers and first responders very seriously, but you can tell they all have a great sense of humor, and a lot of heart. The Autobots, led by Heatwave (voiced by Steven Blum), seem to be thinking they belong somewhere else at the beginning, but after getting their mission from Optimus Prime, they learn to adapt. The hardest part for them is pretending to be robots, and getting to know their human partners.
Even though this is geared toward young kids, I found myself, as an adult watching it with my son, enjoying this style of animation, and the storyline behind it. It is well acted by all the voice actors, and it reminds me of all the lessons we used to learn from cartoons when I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. And you can’t argue with the simple, one-step tranformations of the toys that go along with this TV series. It is not embarrassingly difficult to switch from the Autobot to the vehicle with Transformers: Rescue Bots.
Watch the Transformers: Rescue Bots premiere, “Family of Heroes”, this Saturday, Feb. 18, starting at 11:30 AM (EST) on The Hub. Watch it with your kids. You’ll be glad you did.