A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
While there are some positive messages about bravery, many characters do not have a strong moral compass and only think about themselves. Daniel operates in the somewhat seedy underworld of the magical community and it is clear that the magical ingredients he's finding are illegal. He is not doing his work for any sort of greater good, instead he is mostly focused on making money.
Positive Role Models
While Daniel is likable and friendly enough, he has to be deceptive to be good at his job and willingly engages in finding and selling illegal magical ingredients. He lies and has to consider only his own best wishes so that he's not hurt by the shady characters he works with. He does become more altruistic as the series progresses though. The secondary characters are motivated by greed and personal gain.
Lead character Daniel and supporting character Lucy are racially diverse -- there are some nods to Daniel's Latino heritage but he does not talk about it specifically. Lucy is a strong female lead who is physically capable and brave.
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Violence & Scariness
Characters use weapons like swords when fighting magical creatures. They injure the creatures but it's not gory or graphic. The main character is in constant peril at the hands of other characters, and mentions concerns about dying frequently. Lots of scary fantastical creatures and people (witches etc.). Main character Daniel is an orphan and lives on his own.
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Characters verbally (and physically) threaten one another. There are many insults and put-downs like "dummy," "stupid," and "buffoon."
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Products & Purchases
Greed is modeled throughout. The characters talk frequently about how finding magical ingredients will make them rich, and the characters' interactions are very transactional.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Daniel Spellbound is an animated TV series about a seedy magical community in New York City. Violence and scariness are ever present. The main character is in constant danger at the hands of other characters, and mentions concerns about dying frequently. Characters use swords and other non-gun weapons to slay magical creatures (though deaths aren't gory or graphic). There are scary fantastical creatures throughout. While characters don't curse, there's quite a bit of threatening language and insults like "dummy," "stupid," and "buffoon." Main character Daniel isn't exactly a bad role model but his work involves sourcing illegal magical ingredients. At least at the beginning of the series, he is primarily motivated by the idea of becoming rich by selling these ingredients to characters with questionable moral compasses.
Is It Any Good?
Tween fantasy fans may be interested in this series, but it's a bit disappointing. The story and world-building in Daniel Spellbound is lackluster, and the Daniel character seems kind of flat. There are a lot of exciting action sequences and fun fantasy characters that kids will enjoy, but the story is unlikely to hook them. Grown-ups also will be less enthusiastic about the violence and mean characters, as well as the overall negative motivations of many of the characters. Since the subject matter is about a secret magical world in a major world city, on the surface it may seem like it would appeal to Harry Potter fans. However, there's a dark undercurrent to this series, as if all of the characters never leave Knockturn Alley. Fantasy and magic lovers can find better content elsewhere.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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