By Joly Herman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Teen with phantom powers offers laughs, battles.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Diverse group of friends; women are basically treated as equals, except the mom, who is brilliant but subservient.
Violence & Scariness
Danny fights ghosts without hesitation; prolonged battle scenes with scary and sometimes gross violence.
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Some potty humor.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series is funny, but it's often violent and may be too much for sensitive kids. Death threats, torture, knives, and violence against women are commonplace. The main character suffers from bullying, shyness, and being the odd one out.
Where to Watch
Based on 15 parent reviews
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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?
- Premiere date: April 3, 2004
- Cast: David Kaufman, Kath Soucie, Rob Paulsen
- Network: Nickelodeon
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Last updated: February 26, 2023
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