Ever since I watched the first episode on TV, I have been a Danny Phantom fan. The idea of regular humans becoming intangible, or fire a ghost ray, or the ability to save the world was fantastic. Watching Danny Phantom early Saturday mornings was both exciting and relaxing, as I let the cartoon take me away into a whole new dimension of possibilities.
I’m going to start on the character’s designs, then go into more detail about the seasons.
Daniel “Danny” Fenton/Danny Phantom Danny’s character design in the first season was great. Starting out as a normal 14 year-old kid, then becoming a phantom who regularly saves the world is a great concept.
No one would suspect a 14 year-old in a tee-shirt and jean pants would have ghost powers. But then again, no one would suspect a ghost kid let himself get beat up by bullies at Casper High. I can’t tell if Butch Hartman figured that it would be easier for Danny Fenton to blend into the high school environment better if he let human-Danny get beat up by high school bullies, or if it was just a mistake. I’ll tell you, if I had ghost powers that changed me by altering my molecules, I wouldn’t let some jock bully me. In the theme song, they say that Danny’s molecules were “rearranged” (we see a ghost blend into his DNA). So wouldn’t that mean that he has ghost powers all the time? We see him reaching into his locker by turning his hand intangible, yet he is in his human form. He can also fire a ghost ray from his hand in his human form too, as seen in “The Fenton Menace”. But, in the episode “Micro Management”, he has a really hard time just running. Why is that? I think that’s where they goofed. Danny was changed down to his DNA make-up, so he should be able to run, jump, climb and do chin-ups better than anyone (after all, he can fly).
When Danny became part phantom, his “immature teen” part grew up fast (saving the world so often ought to do that quite well). He became more mature, and smarter because of this change. So why does he always have to make the obvious mistakes like totally running into every blast of energy, making two of himself so he doesn’t have to fight ghosts (when he expresses he really enjoys kicking their butts), or removing his powers entirely, or cheat on a test? I personally don’t believe he would have made those mistakes.
My favorite season is the first one. Whenever Danny would change into Danny Phantom, it had cool transformation music and the camera angle that showed his transformation was epic. It was really cool in the episode “Fanning the Flames”. I really like how whenever he was angry, his eyes would glow green. I also like how his Danny Phantom appearance is- white spiky hair, black and white jumpsuit, green eyes, and a white glow around his person. His tough-guy yet laid-back attitude made him an awesome character. Witty banter with the bad-guys is always fun to listen to, especially when the good guy is the one dishing out the pain. Presentation is what really made the series. I really didn’t care for the emblem of the letter “D” on his outfit in the second and third seasons- it made him seem more like the character “Superman” instead of being a mysterious phantom. Also, with all of the fighting he’s been through, you’d think he would have muscles instead of the noodle-arms he had. Muscles would really help the character in my opinion. And he should have developed the ability to cross between the ghost zone and earth, just as the character “Wolf” could.
Samantha “Sam” Manson is a pretty cool character. Her witty comments were always funny, and I thought it was even more funny that she was an “ultra-recyclo-vegetarian”, but a goth. She’s very determined, and wishes to preserve nature as best as she can. She and Danny have been best friends for a long time, but how long exactly was never specified. Throughout the seasons, she’s had a crush on Danny. It seems like everyone else knew about it besides Danny himself (in one episode, she would call him “Clueless” and walk off), and Danny only found out about it when he entered her dreams in the third season, in an episode called “Frightmare”. But they’ve hinted in other episodes that they “like-like” each other, as in the episode “Fanning the Flames” when Danny became hypnotized by a ghost named “Ember” and fell completely in love with Sam, but then she broke the spell and he returned to his normal, clueless, self. Thankfully, in the episode “Phantom Planet”, she officially becomes Danny’s girlfriend. I think they waited too long to make her his girlfriend though, and then they ditch the series right after they finally get together.
Tucker Foley is the comedy-relief of the series. He’s always going after the popular girls, but never actually gets one. He’s a self-proclaimed “techno-geek”, and expresses his “love” for his PDA. xD Tucker and Danny have been best friends “forever”, and he often is jealous of Danny’s newly acquired powers which gets Tucker into a lot of trouble with other ghosts. He is also strictly a meat-eater, but in rare episodes, he’s forced to eat veggies to save his friends.
The first season of Danny Phantom was the best in my opinion. Like I said, Danny looked the coolest in the first season. The whole feeling of the mystery and adventure was the strongest. In the second and third seasons, the map of the ghost zone looked like a child’s crayon drawing. The mystery disappeared when they made the ghost zone so “simple”. It’s the flip-side of earth, so wouldn’t it be a lot… bigger? I don’t think it would fit on that little map they were trying to create. The second and third seasons were becoming… somewhat boring. They used the same baddies, the same situations, and the same flaw of “Oh look, a laser! I should just scream and let it hit me!” *facepalm*. Come on people, would YOU just sit there and let a car engine hit you? I would at least go intangible, unless secretly Danny enjoys being blown into a brick wall. Also, I don’t think letting the ghost character “Clockwork” into the series helped. I think his presence made it less of an adventure, and much less of a “ghost” feel. And those “observer” creatures, why didn’t they foresee the weather ghost getting loose? o_o
I really hope Nick brings back Danny Phantom, and makes a better fourth season! If anyone from Nick ever sees this review: please don’t let pride hold you back from making a better story-line! I know many, many fans would LOVE to see this show back on the air!
Thanks for reading “Sunny’s Review” :)
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