OVERVIEW: Danny Phantom was an animated series that aired on Nickelodeon from April 3, 2004 to August 24, 2007. The show focuses on 14 year-old Danny Fenton, who, after getting caught in a lab experiment, discovers that he has "ghost powers" that allow him to fly, phase through walls, turn invisible, and perform various other supernatural feats.
|Including some... unique abilities.
|Not pictured: what came up when I searched "meat obsession."
|Superman approves your poorly kept secret identity.
REVIEW: How much of that premise sounded familiar? Unpopular teenage boy gets superpowers in lab accident, decides to fight crime as a superhero while keeping his identity a secret,and constantly has to struggle to balance his hero, school, and social lives? I'll give you a hint: Superman isn't the only big name trademark hero making an appearance in this review.
|Batman demands that he gets just as much publicity as the boy in blue.
... the evil counterpart of the hero that has similar powers but is significantly stronger...
... the even more evil counterpart that was created through the actions of the first evil counterpart and is even more powerful and crazy than the first...
... heck, even the jock bully that picks on the hero at school whose first name ends in -ash (Flash in Spider-Man, Dash in Danny Phantom) and ironically admires the protagonist's superhero identity.
So having so much in common with (AKA: blatantly copied from) Spider-Man, you'd expect this series to be just a low-grade ripoff, right? Well, not really. For starters, keep in mind that Spider-Man hasn't been in high school for decades in the comics. While it's great seeing a character, especially a comic book character, grow and change through life experience, the target demographic changes as the character ages. People who grew up with Spider-Man got to see Spider-Man grow up, but what about newer, younger readers? Sure, Spider-Man is still awesome, no matter what age you are, but there's something lost in that relatability to a character that's the same age as the audience. That's why kids' shows almost always have child/teenage protagonists; they want someone they can relate to, and if a show can take a premise for a story and throw in its own unique flair, more power to it.
|"I demand that you keep your problems pubescent."
|"Gonna catch 'em all 'cause he's... the grim reaper?"
|Including some of the most clever puns you'll ever see.
|This will never be considered outdated.
|This was actually supposed to be considered "cool" in one episode.
|This is a direct quote. No, there is no context.
|Fentons for a ghost-free America.
|"Where's the jerk that called us uninteresting?"
VERDICT: This show has a lot of potential for a remake. While the premise isn't unique, the bizarre atmosphere that it's focus on ghosts gave set it apart from other superhero stories. Even though the characters were cliched, that was more due to the dated way they talked; change up the dialogue a bit, and some of them might be more interesting.
|Call us uninteresting one more time! We dare you!
|A story arc where the hero faces the most powerful being in the known universe, forcing him to ally with his enemies and potentially sacrifice himself to save his world? Slap it in the middle of season 2.
SCORE: 6/10 (Decent)