For three electrifying seasons, the HUB Network’s Transformers Prime series has blasted us on a rousing ride to Cybertron and back. This Daytime Emmy Award-winning show entering its third and final season is gearing up for a spectacular finish!! Reloaded as Transformers Prime Beast Hunters, the show sets the bar high by bringing back a few fan faves, and introducing new characters, including Predacon during its Friday, March 22 premiere episode! The evil and powerful Decepticons are out to finally annihilate Optimus Prime, and control Earth. Thus, Megatron and his forces have created a tenacious foe for the Autobots in the form of a dragon-like creature called “Predaking.” This menacing, mechanical beast definitely appears to be a crucial rival for the Autobots.
Unfortunately, Optimus Prime is severely battered when the Autobots’ base was attacked. Weakened and needing much repair, he is unable to continue toward Jasper, Nevada. “Beast Hunters is going to be exciting,” says Peter Cullen, who’s been providing the voice of Optimus Prime since the 1980s. “It’s so attractive to children, and now my grandchildren are watching. So, we’re introducing it to a new generation.” Cullen’s voice is so prominent you can hear him on the Universal Studios Theme Park Transformers ride, as well as accompanying films and video games. I had a chance to interview Cullen at the Transformers Prime Beast Hunters screening.
With Jack, Miko, and Rafael now separated from each other, it’s up to their companion Autobots to help keep the youths safe, while heading to Jasper. Along the way, the teens are vulnerable and easy targets for Decepticon attacks when cell phones are used. I interviewed one of the child actors of the Transformers Prime show about his experiences.
“I love my character. It’s cool being on this show,” says 17-year-old Andy Pessoa, the voice of Rafael. “I feel like you have to pull from your on-camera tools for voiceovers.” He also does voiceover for the animated series, The Amazing Spider Man.
Meanwhile, Starscream, who proved to be quite wicked Decepticon, creating his own army of undead, continues his malicious plots. “Yes, he’s a pretty mean dude. But, I’m not,” says Steve Blum, who voices “Starscream” on Transformers Prime Beast Hunters and “Heatwave” on Transformers Rescue Bots.
Blum says it was an honor for him to work with actors such as Cullen, along with Frank Welker the longtime voice of “Megatron” and Ernie Hudson who voices the human special government agent “William Fowler.” Blum says, “I learned humility working around these amazing actors.” He adds, “I also learned how to stay focused because we’re always laughing hysterically. We all feel like family.” He and Hudson joke often with one another.
Both Blum and Hudson have been on the show since its inception. Hudson says, “Man, I’ve had the best time! I was encouraged by my son to take the role. He’s always been a huge Transformers fan. And, this brilliant and creative team of writers and producers is incredible,” Hudson explains.
For Duane Capizzi, Co-Executive Producer, introducing a new character such as Predaking, as well as Autobot Ultra Magnus was a no-brainer. “It’s not a secret. Let’s face it. Ultra Magnus is a fan favorite. We wanted to wrap up the story. That was the hardest part – to get it all in. It was emotional. But, also do it in such a way that fans wouldn’t be disappointed.” Capizzi says they wanted to keep the story arc with the Autobots at a disadvantage in order to maintain the excitement, and build the climax.
Jeff Klein, Executive Producer of the show adds, “In other words, if someone were to go away, who would lead the group?” After having asked the question, the room saddened with the thought of no longer having Optimus Prime as a visible leader. “It’s bittersweet. We feel that early in the stages, the Autobots had their moment. I started this show from the ground floor,” says Klein, who travels bi-weekly to his family in New York.
Capizzi has worked for several years with Klein not only on Transformers, but also on the animated series Men in Black, Jackie Chan Adventures and Rescue Bots, which continues to air on the HUB TV Network. “I feel balanced, exhausted, and excited! It has been some of the greatest shows. We have some other projects under wrap.”
No one is more proud of the show’s success than the HUB Network President Margaret Loesch. “I started working with My Little Pony and Transformers during the ’80s,” she explains. Loesch adds “We put together a really great network. And I started this network from the ground up with two major components; (a) first off, that it would be an inspirational network for families, and (b) secondly, that families and kids could come and watch TV together. When I was programming shows in the ’80s and ’90s, kids didn’t want to watch TV with their parents. Now, kids DO watch TV with their parents. And, they watch our shows! We offer great family programs, and we don’t dumb it down. I’m extremely thankful. I have a lot of support.”
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters drew many celebs to the Red Carpet and World Premiere Screening. Landry Bender, 12, plays Cleo on Disney’s “Crash and Bernstein” had this to say about her own series, “It’s amazing being on this show. This cast is awesome, and Tim who works the puppet is the soul of the show.”
Max Charles, 9, portrays Max Weaver in the ABC network sci-fi series “The Neighbors,” “It’s hard to pick between Bumble Bee and Optimus Prime. They’re both cool,” Charles says. Currently, he plays Sherman, co-starring opposite Ty Burrell in DreamWork Animation’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
– That’s IT Mom Penny
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. Penny attended the Hub TV Red Carpet event and screening free of charge to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.