Dinobots are a type of character in the fictional Transformers Universe. The Dinobots group consists of several subgroups of robots, each of whose transformed mode is that of a dinosaur or similar prehistoric animal.
The Dinobots in the original Transformers cartoon were built on Earth by the Autobots Wheeljack and Ratchet. Seismic activity near the Ark resulted in Ironhide's discovery of dinosaur bones, and Wheeljack was inspired to build the dinosaur-based Transformers: Grimlock, Slag, and Sludge, collectively called the Dinobots. They were incapable of any cognitive reasoning, and even failed their first simple task assigned by Ratchet when activated as seen in "S.O.S. Dinobots". They immediately turn on the Autobots like wild animals, and nearly destroyed the Ark, forcing Optimus Prime to order their destruction. Wheeljack's Magnetic Inducer was the only thing that stopped them. Being nearly indestructible, the next alternative was to seal them away forever, deactivated. That same day the Autobots were caught off guard by a Decepticon ambush. Their friends having been captured and on the verge of destruction, Wheeljack makes a snap decision and installs the upgrades to the Dinobot's Brains just before sending them in to their initial engagement against the Decepticons. Upon their arrival and subsequent victory over the Decepticons, Optimus Prime agrees the Dinobots shall remain among them.
The Dinobots were the cartoon series' first sub-group of Transformers and made their first appearance in episode eight, S.O.S. Dinobots. Unlike all other sub-groups that were introduced later in the series (with the exception of the Insecticons), the Dinobots did not have the ability to combine and form one giant robot, but instead were designed to attack separately but as a unit using their strength and tremendous size to their advantage. Each Dinobot is roughly a third the size of a combiner, and together as a team they could at least challenge a combiner. This was first seen in the last episode of season one, episode sixteen, "Heavy Metal War" when the Dinobots faced the "newly built" Constructicons merged form, the "Devastator".
Each Dinobot has a different attack method and array of weaponry, but are most powerful and effective when in their dinosaur forms, using their build to their advantage. Slag is a Triceratops and favors a deadly frontal charge; Sludge an Apatosaurus, with being so heavy, favors making earthquakes; Snarl is a Stegosaurus and as such, favors using his dangerous spiked tail; Grimlock, being a T-Rex, favors any way to get his jaws on an opponent; and Swoop, a Pteranodon, favors aerial attacks.
The Dinobots were frequently given the task of sorting out situations such as that, and other tasks the Autobots were incapable of handling themselves, like forces of nature, which would otherwise destroy any normal Autobot; such as giant tidal waves and massive earthquakes, seen in "The Ultimate Doom (Part 2): Search". "Day of the Machines" Torq III's mechanical drone army, and Nergil's magnetic disfunction ray in Atlantis, Arise! as a few shining examples during the series.
Grimlock, the Commander of the Dinobots, noted as having no weaknesses save for arrogance. Slag is extremely rash in action, and Sludge is slow both physically and mentally. Optimus Prime later commissioned Wheeljack and Ratchet to build Snarl and Swoop to aid the Autobots. Megatron devises a plan for Soundwave to discover their weaknesses in War of the Dinobots. Upon finding out, each one's greatest weakness lie in their individual character flaw. With lies, Megatron convinces them to turn against the Autobots, allowing them to steal an unstable meteorite. They nearly kill Optimus Prime upon arrival at the meteorite landing zone. Only with their combined strength can they manage to defeat their former leader. After realising that, despite their best efforts to destroy him, Grimlock himself may not be the stronger of the two and spares him. Much to the dismay of Megatron, Prime is brought alive to his camp and warns of the instabilities in the meteorite, and is scoffed at by Megatron. Only when it explodes and Optimus saves Grimlock, does he reject the lies told by Megatron. Grimlock is outraged having been manipulated by him, into fighting such a "good" leader, Optimus Prime. Even risking his own life to save them, despite the fact of having been nearly killed by them in battle earlier. Megatron fled in terror when confronted by Grimlock's rage. He then in turn apologized, in earnest, for his jealousy towards Optimus Prime asking for forgiveness. This is the one and only time in the series he acknowledges Optimus Primes superior leadership skills.
From that episode forward, resentment grew among the Dinobots, as stated by Grimlock himself in "Atlantis, Arise!" when asked to rescue Optimus Prime and the other's after Nergil has used his magnetic disfunction ray on them. Dinobots are virtually indestructible in their dinosaur mode. Their robot modes on the other hand, are not. Only Decepticon Combiners could stand against the Dinobots in dino-mode. They were defeated only once by the Decepticons in "Desertion of the Dinobots Part 1". Due to their arrogance, and a boasting Grimlock, they converted to robot mode and were taken by surprise by Megatron, whom they believed to have defeated. It required Megatron and Skywarp, destroying 5 airline jets filled with jet fuel at once, with them at "ground zero" to do it though. In every other instance, where the (non-combining) Decepticons faced the Dinobots, they were easily defeated. After consequently being rebuilt, the Dinobots dissention came to a culmination. When requested to return to immediate action, Grimlock snapped, absolutely refusing to do anything else for the "Autobots". He sternly said goodbye, and left with the other dinobots in tow. They eventually ventured to Cybertron in "Desertion of the Dinobots Part 2". Where they end up enslaved mining Cybertonium, a mineral vital to Cybertronians operational function, for the Decepticons, by having their personality chips disconnected by Shockwave. Swoop was the only one to have escaped imprisonment, due in fact to his assigned surveillance mission. Luckily the persistent Spike Witwicky and Carly Witwicky although only dating at this point, with the help of Swoop were able to rescue them. They were easily convinced to help the Autobots obtain the Cybertonium they needed, and return to Earth to rejoin the autobots permanently. Subsequently, for the rest of the series they are rarely seen in their robot modes. Grimlock is seen once on Menonia during Season 3, but was never shown transforming into robot mode, only briefly being in robot mode for about 2 seconds in Madman's Paradise.
As a means to hone their skills Wheeljack helps the dinobots gain Optimus Prime's approval with a demonstration. It ultimately ends in failure, but with the discovery of "Dinobot Island Part 1", where they are sent there to train until they could harness their powers, Grimlock states that it feels like home upon landing on the pre-historic island, created by time warp. Oddly, after all other occurrences were returned to their respective times by the Part 2's conclusion, this island remained. It is only spoken of again later in the series.
The Dinobots would be the only Transformers made purely on Earth. The Constructicon's were said to have been built, or rebuilt by Megatron on Earth in season 1's "Heavy Metal War", but were later given Cybertronian origin's in "The Secret of Omega Supreme", set millions of years prior. But in the episode "Starscream's Brigade" the Combaticons new crude forms were fashioned from damaged/destroyed military vehicles and planes, abandoned in the "Guadal Canal" after WWII. Their "Renegade" Decepticon personality components were taken from a Decepticon Detention Center, from Cybertron, and were installed in them, by Starscream. Whilst the Dinobots were created exclusively from materials on Earth, and their personalities programmed by Ratchet and Wheeljack and later upgraded. Those created by Vector Sigma, are given sentience and their own personalities. Dinobots were programmed with instincts similar to what real Dinosaurs with simple brains were described to have had, by Wheeljack.
While "Dinobot Island" is mentioned in Season 3 by an irate Galvatron, while hunting after Octane for stealing Trypticon from it. It is in fact, the last time it is heard of. In this episode, entitled "Thief in the Night" where it is discovered that other Transformers were said to have "Dinosaur Transform Static" similar to the Dinobots. This is mentioned for the first time by Grimlock himself. It is interesting that he would have such knowledge, or be that intuned in the first place, but after 20 years a lot can happen. Those Transformers included, were Trypticon who's static it was, and Sky Lynx,who has a "superior intellect", never even realizes he is a primitive. Two of Soundwaves cassettes Overkill and Slugfest, seen only, and their names never disclosed, appeared only once in the series, during "Call of the Primitives", they were fashioned after a "Ceratosaurus" and "Stegosaurus" respectively. Overkills tech spec. reads, as Tyrannosaurus....but none were ever discovered with a horn. Though not affiliated with the "Autobots/Dinobots" at this time, it should be noted they would have had "dinosaur transform static" and could have potentially been Dinobots at one point. It was mentioned in a Fun Publications text story that they were in fact created by Wheeljack as autobots/dinobots, and possibly captured by the Decepticons and reprogrammed to their "cause".
In Transformers Age of Extinction
The Dinobots, including Grimlock, feature in the fourth Transformers film, Transformers: Age of Extinction. At the climax of the film, Optimus Prime rides Grimlock into battle through Hong Kong, Bumblebee rides Strafe, Drift rides Slug, and Crosshairs rides Scorn.
In the film, the Dinobots are legendary knights held prisoner on the Knight ship that is used by Lockdown. They are taken with Optimus and the Autobots when they commandeer a detachable section of the ship, and Optimus later uses the Sword of Justice to free them from their captivity to save Earth. At first they refuse to obey Optimus, but after he defeats Grimlock in single combat, they respect him and assist him in the battle of Hong Kong in exchange for their freedom.
Unlike the original Dinobots, they don't speak and aren't referred to as "the Dinobots" or by their names, and they are much larger than the Autobots and the Decepticons, which allowed the Autobots to ride them. But like the originals, they prove to be powerful, destroying and tearing apart the Decepticons with ease.
- The Dinobots go unnamed in the film, bar Scorn getting nicknamed "Spike" by Crosshairs once, during the farewell at the end of the film. The word "Dinobot" is never mentioned on-screen either, as Optimus only refers to them as "legendary warriors". Also, they don't speak but growl even in robot modes. Only Grimlock, Strafe, Slug, and Scorn appear.
- Velociraptor Dinobots were at one point to appear on the big screen, with concept art showing them charging into Hong Kong alongside Scorn. Slash's own toy design is based on these pieces of concept art. Slash himself was most likely intended to appear on screen.
- Concept art by Ryan Church depict two additional Dinobots, which transform into a Parasaurolophus and an Allosaurus
- The Dinobots' robot modes are inspired by medieval knights.
- The Dinobots will meet Ed, Edd, n Eddy in Ed, Edd, n Eddy's Ed-ventures of Transformers: Age of Extinction
- The Dinobots will meet Tino Tonitini and his friends in Weekenders Adventures of Transformers: Age of Extinction
- The Dinobots will return in Weekenders in I, Robot.
- The Dinobots will return in War of the Apocalypse.
- The Dinobots will return in Weekenders Adventures of Regular Show: The Movie.
- Connor Lacey and Pals will meet the Dinobots in Connor Lacey's Adventures of Transformers (G1).