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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Transformers is an entertainment franchise co-produced between the American Hasbro and Japanese Takara Tomy toy companies. Initially developed as a brand by Hasbro and made up of renamed, rebranded transforming toys from Takara's Diaclone and Microman toylines, the franchise began with the Transformers toy line, and centers on factions of transforming alien robots (often the Autobots and the Decepticons) in an endless struggle for dominance or eventual peace. In its decades-long history, the franchise has expanded to encompass comic books, animation, video games and films.

The term "Generation 1" covers both the animated television series The Transformers and the comic book series of the same name, which are further divided into Japanese and British spin-offs, respectively. Sequels followed, such as the Generation 2 comic book and Beast Wars TV series, which became its own mini-universe. Generation 1 characters underwent two reboots with Dreamwave in 2001 and IDW Publishing in 2005, also as a remastered series. There have been other incarnations of the story based on different toy lines during and after the 20th-Century. The first was the Robots in Disguise series, followed by three shows (Armada, Energon, and Cybertron) that constitute a single universe called the "Unicron Trilogy". A live-action film was also released in 2007, with a sequel in 2009, a second sequel in 2011, and a third sequel coming out in 2014 again distinct from previous incarnations, while the Transformers: Animated series merged concepts from the G1 story-arc, the 2007 live-action film and the "Unicron Trilogy". Transformers: Prime currently airs on The Hub.

Although initially a separate and competing franchise started in 1983, Tonka's Gobots became the intellectual property of Hasbro after their buyout of Tonka in 1991. Subsequently, the universe depicted in the animated series Challenge of the GoBots and follow-up film GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords was retroactively established as an alternate universe within the Transformers franchise.

Live-action film franchise (2007–present)

In 2007, a live action film of Transformers was directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. The main focus of the film revolved around the creator of the Transformers, which in the film is described as the Allspark, as well as their home planet Cybertron. The film portrayed the Allspark as a large cube of energy that can create life from mechanical objects. During the Cybertronian Civil War, the Allspark was sent off the planet and eventually landed on Earth, where it was discovered by the U.S. government and the Hoover Dam was built over it as a top-secret research facility and government base. Megatron searched for the Allspark and eventually found Earth, but he crash-landed in the Arctic and was frozen. Many years later he was found and also brought to the same facility as the Allspark. With their homeworld ravaged by war, the Autobots were dispersed throughout space. But a group of Autobots led by Optimus Prime traveled to Earth in search of the Allspark, in an attempt to revitalize their planet. However, the Decepticons also race towards Earth to find the Allspark, as well as their leader, Megatron. The film depicts the battle over the Allspark on Earth. The Transformers are depicted as mechanical beings that can reconstruct their outside appearance through scanning or touching a mechanical object of relative size to each Transformer's body.

Steven Spielberg, who is credited as executive producer, said that Transformers is a dream come true because, he explains, since it started marketing the Toys conceived the idea of giving them life in a summer movie.

To market the film, IDW Publishing published Transformers: Movie Prequel. The comic expanded upon Optimus Prime's referral to Megatron as "brother", revealing they co-ruled Cybertron before Megatron's corruption. Furthermore, Optimus sent the Allspark into space in a last-ditch attempt to defeat Megatron. Megatron is responsible for Bumblebee's muteness in the film, as a direct result of distracting him from the Allspark's launch. Alan Dean Foster also wrote the prequel novel Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday. The novel shows that Starscream hated Megatron and wanted him to never be found, so he could remain as leader, explaining Megatron's line in the film: "You failed me, yet again, Starscream." Blackout is also depicted as deeply loyal to Megatron, explaining his line "All hail Megatron!" However, the novel contradicts the film with Megatron's body moved into the Hoover Dam in 1969, instead of the 1930s. IDW plans to continue the film's fictional universe with additional prequels and sequels.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the sequel to the 2007 film, made its debut in theaters on June 24, 2009.

As a preemptive measure, Paramount and DreamWorks announced a July 1, 2011 release date for a third Transformers film before completion of Revenge of the Fallen. Bay responded, "I said I was taking off a year from Transformers. Paramount made a mistake in dating Transformers 3—they asked me on the phone—I said yes to July 1—but for 2012—whoops! Not 2011! That would mean I would have to start prep in September. No way. My brain needs a break from fighting robots." As in Revenge of the Fallen, Orci refused to guarantee whether he and Kurtzman would return to a sequel, because "we risk getting stale". Orci has mentioned he would like to introduce Unicron "for scale's sake". The co-writer also said focusing on more Triple Changers would be interesting.

On October 1, 2009, Michael Bay revealed that Transformers 3 had already gone into pre-production, and its planned release was back to its original date of July 1, 2011 instead of 2012. Also Ehren Kruger was said to be again involved in the writing, and Shia LaBeouf to reprise his roles as Sam. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, having written the first two films, did not return for the third installment in the series.

In a hidden extra for the Blu-ray version of Revenge of the Fallen, Bay expressed his intention to make Transformers 3 not necessarily larger than Revenge of the Fallen, but instead go deeper into the mythos, give it more character development, and make it darker and more emotional. The video also shows images of Unicron.

While the toys were designed for all ages the film's main audience was adults, which would later go on for the GI Joe film series and Battleship and includes profanity, crude sex references, violence and a drug reference, among other adult oriented items.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Transformers" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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