– by Joseph Jammer Medina

A couple weeks back, we were treated to a new trailer for the upcoming Transformers spin-off, Bumblebee. Those who had grown weary of the tried-and-true explosion-factories that were the Michael Bay films were treated to a breath of fresh air with this new entry. For the first time since the first film (and arguably, since ever), the focus seemed to be on the characters, and the bond between the human and her Transformer.

“She wrote a really beautiful script that really played into the emotion of the relationship of the two,” producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told EW. “So looking at the movie from that perspective, we thought, we don’t want to overwhelm one Autobot with two many Decepticons. So it has three primary antagonists.”

Three may sound like a lot, but it’s a reduction from previous films. This also likely helps contribute to its more wholesome feel. in addition to the decidedly Spielbergian tone, there was also one other very apparent change — Bumblebee’s design. In addition to being a Beetle instead of a Camaro, his actual Transformer’s form was a bit more…lovable? This was not an accident on the part of director Travis Knight.

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According to EW, director Travis Knight wanted Bumblebee to be huggable, and if someone in the Bay films tried to hug them, their exposed churning gears would likely shred them instantly. Luckily for the filmmakers, the movie itself was set in the ’80s, so there was an opportunity to simplify, as di Bonaventura revealed:

“It gave us the opportunity to Gen 1. When you look at the robots, they’re not exactly like in the animated show, because they would look goofy today. But they have, I’ll say, a little more of the silhouette of those.”

While I’m not someone who grew up with these characters, I can only imagine that this is actually the approach die-hards were really hoping for when this franchise was initially announced back in the mid-2000s. But what do you think? Do you like the idea of them going back to basics? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.