Bumblebee appears as one of the main Autobot characters in the live-action Transformers film trilogy. He retains some elements from his Generation 1 design, such as the iconic horn-like pieces in his head, which are articulated in the films.
The cautious but brave Bumblebee was given a different alternate mode from his original G1 incarnation, instead of a Volkswagen Beetle, he transforms into a rally yellow Chevrolet Camaro (the model year of which is upgraded in the first film).
Director Michael Bay states in the special features of DVD 2 of the first film, that the change of Bumblebee’s alternate mode was due to the fact that a Volkswagen Beetle reminded him of Herbie. Due to a battle injury, he is rendered effectively mute, and communicates through use of selected playback of radio and television signals. Though his original voice is restored at the end of the first Transformers film, he communicates solely through his radio in Revenge of the Fallen and alternates between his voice and his radio in Dark of the Moon.
The biography for the Decepticon Hardtop figure states that he and Bumblebee are old rivals and it was not Megatron who damaged Bumblebee’s vocal processor, but a shot from Hardtop’s gun. This, however, is in almost direct opposition of the film’s prequel.