A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
When DANNY PHANTOM -- a shy oddball with eclectic friends and weird parents who also happens to be the target of a bully and the hip-but-twisted school principal -- mistakenly steps into a ghost portal at the wrong time (as if there's a right time) and is turned into a phantom, his whole life changes. Little by little, he transforms, becoming half ninth grader, half phantom. He discovers that he can fly and that whenever a ghost is nearby, a blue vapor trail escapes from his mouth. All of these changes are distressing but exciting -- much like the changes that come with adolescence.
Is it any good?
This cartoon can be funny, and the characters are unique (though you have to wonder why Danny doesn't tell his parents about his secret -- they're experts in paranormal activity, after all). But, as is the case with so many contemporary cartoons, the rush to violence overshadows the good aspects of the series. Death threats, torture, knives, and violence against women are commonplace. There's no opportunity to work things out. Danny is either a coward or a hero -- there's no in between. He either fights or perishes, which is a heavy choice for a sensitive guy.
The Jekyll and Hyde aspect of Danny's personality is also disturbing; his eyes change color and his personality is more aggressive when he slips into his phantom persona. Ultimately, the show suffers for giving into the violent mainstream.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the amount of violence in this cartoon. Why does such a clever show need so many battles? Is Danny's dad oblivious to what goes on in his house? Why does Danny choose to hide his powers from his mom and dad? Do you think it's easy to keep secrets from your parents? What's the benefit of keeping parents in the dark?
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.