Regardless of how you feel about CGI, animatronics, and the other technical advancements that have become standard and expected in today’s films, you have to take your hat off to the people who contributed to Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. They did an amazing job! And you have to bow down to the voice actors and actresses who brought those Transformers to life. There are the human performers and there are the Beasts. They all matter, and they all did a fantastic job! Who’s your personal favorite?
The Voices Behind All of the Transformers Characters Making an Appearance
Arguably the most popular character in Transformers, along with Bumblebee, Optimus Prime is a staple in the Transformers universe. No other Autobot is more important. Voiced by uber-talented Peter Cullen (Prime in the 1980s Transformers animated series, KARR in Knight Rider, Eeyore in the Winnie the Pooh franchise, etc.), this is more evident than ever in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (a standalone sequel to Bumblebee from 2018 and prequel to Transformers in 2007), where once again, the survival of Earth rests on the very-responsible shoulders of Optimus Prime. You know who he is: “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.” Watch him and support him in this 2023 film and beyond!
OMG! Optimus Prime has gone primal! Kind of, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. One of the Maximals in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, this leader of the Autobot resistance is voiced by renowned actor Ron Perlman – Beauty and the Beast, Hellboy, and many other film, TV, and voiceover roles. This Maximal transforms between Optimus Primal and a red 1987 Freightliner FLA semi-truck who summons the other Autobots to handle the scourge of planet-eating dark-god Unicron. C’mon, who doesn’t want to see that?!
Famed actor Peter Dinklage, known for his Emmy Award-winning role in Game of Thrones and many other film credits, including Avengers: Infinity War, is the voice of Scourge in the 2023 film Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Scourge is the leader of the Predacon scorpions in their search for the Transwarp Key that can open portals through space and time. One nasty Transformer, Scourge is mighty hard to stop, and the audience might wonder at times if Prime and the Maximals will succeed in doing so. Tune in to find out!
Airazor is one cool Maximal warrior who transforms into a peregrine falcon! In Transformers Rise of the Beasts, she informs the Autobots that the Maximals have been hiding on Earth for thousands of years, protecting the Transwarp Key to keep it out of the hands of planet-eating Unicron. Airazor is voiced by Michelle Yeoh, a Malaysian actress with many starring roles in Hong Kong action films, as well as the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies and Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. She also won the Academy Award in 2022 for Best Actress for Everything Everywhere All at Once, the first Asian to win the award. Obviously, the Airazor character is in capable hands!
Another super-cool Transformer in Transformers Rise of the Beasts is Arcee, arguably the most famous of the female Autobots. She’s a sharpshooter who transforms into a red-and-white Ducati 916 motorcycle, and trust us, you don’t want to be caught in her sights! Arcee reunites with Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and human Noah Diaz to find the Transwap Key. Media personality and actress Liza Koshy provides the voice of Arcee in the film. Among her accolades, she’s received four Streamy Awards, four Teen Choice Awards, a Kids’ Choice Award, and a Daytime Emmy Award nomination as host of Nickelodeon’s Double Dare. We dare you not to love her as the voice of Arcee!
Transit (removed) – voiced by John DiMaggio
John DiMaggio is a very talented live and voice actor known for his multitude of roles on television and in films and video games. For example, Bender on Futurama, Jake the Dog on Adventure Time, Teen Titans, Final Fantasy X, and Aquaman in Batman: The Brave. You’ve heard his voice many times, even if you didn’t know it. In Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, DiMaggio voices bad-boy Transit, a Decepticon that turns into a transit bus. Pretty scary, huh? In the deleted scene, cut from the finished film after test audiences found it too dark (a shame) but included as bonus content in the home release, Optimus Prime takes on Transit, mano a mano. That works for us!
Stratosphere – voiced by John DiMaggio
In addition to Decepticon Transit above, super-talented actor and voice actor John DiMaggio voices Autobot Air-Soldier Stratosphere, who originated in the Dark of the Moon video game and Revenge of the Fallen toy line. Stratosphere transforms into a Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar cargo plane to provide much-needed transportation for the Autobots in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. He’s one of the good guys, and you’ll like him.
Rhinox?? Now, that’s a scary name. But Rhinox is a Maximal commando who sides with the Autobots in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Intelligent, spiritual, and nature-loving, but with a somewhat dark past, he transforms into a rhinoceros! You’ll find when you watch the movie that he’s critical to the story. As in Beast Wars, Rhino is voiced by accomplished Canadian voice actor David Sobolov, who you may know from various DC and Transformers TV, film, anime, and video game media, including the Bumblebee movie. Add another feather to your cap, David!
Also voiced by the gifted David Sobolov, ultra-ruthless Battletrap is a Scourge/Unicorn Terrorcon enforcer that transforms into an orange 1980s GMC TopKick C7000 tow truck. “Truck” sounds innocent enough, but that’s certainly not the case, as you’ll see for yourself in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Watch for him.
Apelinq – voiced by David Sobolov
Apelinq looks a bit like Optimus Prime, and he transforms into a mountain gorilla. In Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, the Maximal leader sacrifices himself to allow the other Maximals to escape their home world before Unicron devours it. Under the command of Optimus Primal, they use the Transwarp Key to flee to Earth. But is that enough? Not quite. Don’t miss the film where, like Rhinox and Battletrap above, Apeling’s voice comes from the amazing David Sobolov!
Nightbird – voiced by Michaela Jaé (MJ) Rodriguez
Nightbird is female Terrorcon ninja Transformer who transforms into a Nissan Skyline GT-R R33. Cool, huh? Nightbird is one of the antagonists in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, where along with Scourge and Battletrap, she arrives on Earth to find the Transwarp Key. That doesn’t turn out well for anybody, of course. Regardless, the voice of Nightbird is courtesy of Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, the first transgender actor to voice in the franchise’s history and the first to earn an Emmy Award nomination. She also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her role in Pose. We think you’ll be impressed by both Nightbird and Rodriguez.
OK, Transformers fanatics, here’s the big baddie from Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Enjoy! This is the entity this movie’s all about. Autobots, Decepticons, everyone is after that doggone Transwarp Key in an effort to either bring Unicron here or prevent him from coming and getting his hands on it. Must be quite a dude, eh? Yup. You’re gonna love what actor Colman Domingo does in the voice role of, teased but never before revealed in the films, planet-eating dark-god Unicron. An actor, a writer, and a director, Domingo has received various accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award and nominations for a Tony Award and Olivier Award. Like Unicron, he’s a force in his own right!
Who or what is Wheeljack? Wheeljack is an Autobot scientist and mechanic who transforms into a brown-and-white 1970s Volkswagen Type 2 panel bus… that speaks with a Mexican accent. He joins the Autobot forces in Peru in their search for half of the Transwarp Key and takes part in the final battle to prevent Unicron from being summoned to Earth. Mexican actor Cristo Fernández provides the voice of Wheeljack in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. He’s probably best known for his role as the lovable, fun-loving, and oh-so-talented soccer player, Dani Rojas, in the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso. Wheeljack is a weeee bit different, but Fernández makes it happen!
Are you ready to take on Unicron? Cheetor and the rest of the Maximals are! Cheetor is a scout and the fastest Maximal on four legs when he transforms into a cheetah. Wielding a cool spear that can split in two, he’s super-brave (almost to a fault) and sometimes acts impulsively. Cheetor is voiced by Zimbabwean singer and actor Tongayi Chirisa. You might remember him as Man Friday in the Robinson Crusoe TV series or in iZombie, Hawaii Five-0, or one of his many other film or TV appearances. You’ll certainly remember him after you watch Transformers: Rise of the Beasts!