|Created by||Butch Hartman|
|Developed by||Steve Marmel|
|Theme music composer|
|Opening theme||"Danny Phantom", performed by Deric Battiste and Guy Moon|
|Ending theme||"Danny Phantom" (instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||53 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer||Butch Hartman|
|Producers||Bob Boyle (2004–05)|
Steve Marmel (2004–05)
George Goodchild (2005–07)
|Animator||Rough Draft Korea|
|Running time||23 minutes|
46 minutes (2-part episodes)
|Production companies||Billionfold Inc.|
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nelvana International (Canada)
|Original release||April 3, 2004 –|
August 24, 2007
Danny Phantom is an American animated action adventure television series created by Butch Hartman for Nickelodeon. The series follows Danny Fenton, a teenage boy who, after an accident with an unpredictable portal between the human world and the "Ghost Zone", becomes a human-ghost hybrid and takes on the task of saving his town (and the world) from subsequent ghost attacks using an evolving variety of supernatural powers. Danny is aided in his quest by his two best friends Sam Manson and Tucker Foley, and later, his older sister Jazz, who for most of the series' run are among the only people who know of his double life.
Throughout its run, Danny Phantom received five Annie Award nominations and positive reviews. In the recent years, it has received renewed attention and critical acclaim from critics and audiences, being considered by many as Hartman's best and most acclaimed work. Additionally, Danny Phantom has spawned video games, home video releases, toys, and various other merchandise. A campaign to revive Danny Phantom called the Go Ghost Again Movement has spawned in recent years, including a petition on Change.org that has received thousands of signatures.
Daniel "Danny" Fenton, a 14-year-old boy living in the small town of Amity Park, lives with his ghost-hunting eccentric parents, Jack and Madeline "Maddie", and his overprotective but caring sixteen-year-old sister, Jasmine "Jazz". Upon pressure from his two best friends, Samantha "Sam" Manson and Tucker Foley, Danny decides to explore the Ghost Portal created by his parents in their attempt to bridge the human world and the Ghost Zone (the parallel universe in which ghosts reside), that when plugged in, failed to work. Once inside, he inadvertently presses the "On" button (which his parents naively failed to do), thus activating the Portal and infusing his DNA with ectoplasm, transforming him into a half-ghost.
Danny, who calls himself "Danny Phantom" in ghost form, develops the ability to fly, to become invisible, to become intangible, and to "overshadow" (possess and control) people after first learning how to switch back and forth at will between his ghost and human forms. Over time, he develops much stronger abilities, such as his Ghost Ray (a concentrated blast of energy he fires from his hand), his Ghostly Wail (an intensely powerful scream with sonic capabilities that knocks back anything caught in its path), and even cryokinesis. Danny is initially frightened by his new abilities and has little control over them, but he soon learns to use them to protect his town from malevolent spirits. Danny turns to the life of a superhero, using his powers to rid his hometown of the various ghosts and mutant animals who begin to plague it and are almost always brought into the world thanks to the sporadic activation of the Fentons' Ghost Portal. Sam, Tucker, and Jazz are Danny's primary allies in his ghost-fighting activities, and help him keep his ghost-half a secret.
Danny's ghost form is a polarization of what he looked like when he first entered the Ghost Portal. When he "goes ghost", his jet-black hair turns snow-white, his sky blue eyes turn neon green, and the black-and-white jumpsuit he had put on before the accident appears in negative color, with the originally white areas of the suit appearing black, and vice versa. In the premiere episode of season two, a ghost grants Sam's inadvertent wish that she and Danny had never met; in consequence, Danny loses not only memories, but his ghost powers as well, as Sam had primarily been the one to persuade Danny to investigate the Portal in the first place, which led to the accident. Luckily, however, Sam had been protected from the wish by the ghost-hunting tech of Danny's parents, allowing her to persuade the now fully human Danny to regain his powers by re-enacting the accident. This time, before Danny enters the Portal, Sam replaces the logo of his father's face on the jumpsuit, which she also had removed the first time (if she hadn't, it would have been part of Danny's ghost form), with her recently designed a "DP" fused-letter logo on the chest so that it appears when he goes ghost from then on.
Danny faces threats of many kinds, including vengeful ghost hunter Valerie Gray (voiced by Cree Summer) who, for a short period of time, becomes his love interest, an enemy half-ghost Vlad Masters, an old college friend of his father's and considered to be Danny's true arch-rival, and even his own parents who, as ghost hunters, view Danny Phantom (as they would and do to any ghosts) as nothing but a menace to human society. Furthermore, Danny tries to keep his secret safe from his classmates, teachers, and family. Throughout the progression of the series, Danny slowly realizes his own potential and purpose, while both worlds slowly begin to accept him as their defender.
Main article: List of Danny Phantom characters
Characters were designed by Stephen Silver and Ben Balistreri.
Main article: List of Danny Phantom episodes
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||20||April 3, 2004||June 17, 2005|
|2||20||June 24, 2005||June 9, 2006|
|3||13||October 9, 2006||August 24, 2007|
According to a video on Butch Hartman’s YouTube channel, Butch came up with the idea while helping his mom move to California. Among the ideas Butch had for the show was a Scooby-Doo version, Danny with an owl sidekick named “Spooky” and Danny riding a ghost motorcycle. But those ideas were scrapped. He then started to draw Danny in different sizes and styles like for example, Danny being shorter, Danny being taller and Danny being muscular but all the drawings Butch completed had Danny with dark hair. So one day, Butch was drawing Danny in his ghost outfit. He left the shoes and the gloves white but when he got to Danny's hair, Butch was like "That's really cool". Butch found out that when Danny turns into a ghost, his hair is white so he left the hair that way. Then he was at a restaurant with the head of Nickelodeon. He tells Butch that The Fairly OddParents was going so well and asks him "What else do you have?". Butch then says "Well, I got this show called "Danny Phantom". It's about a kid with ghost powers". And the Nickelodeon head tells Butch "Can you have it done by March?".
Danny Phantom premiered on April 3, 2004, at 9:30 p.m. with its first episode airing after the 2004 Kids' Choice Awards, two days after Nickelodeon's 25th anniversary. The series aired its final episode on August 24, 2007. The series aired on CBC, YTV, and Nickelodeon in Canada. Danny Phantom also appeared on CITV in the UK as part of the CITV morning block Action Stations in 2008.
There have been two video games released for the main series. Danny Phantom: The Ultimate Enemy (for the Game Boy Advance) was made to promote the then upcoming special "The Ultimate Enemy" with the main gameplay consisting of events from the TV movie. It is a 2D platformer and was released September 8, 2005. Danny Phantom: Urban Jungle for both the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS was to promote the Danny Phantom episode "Urban Jungle". It is loosely based on the episode and is strictly a shooter game. It was released September 19, 2006.
Danny is one of the main heroes in the Nicktoons Unite! series, appearing in all four games across multiple platforms, Nicktoons Unite!, Nicktoons: Battle for Volcano Island, Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots, and SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom.
Danny Phantom and other characters and locations from the series have also been featured in other Nickelodeon crossover video games including: Nicktoons: Summer Camp, Nicktoons Basketball (PC), Nicktoons: Freeze Frame Frenzy (Game Boy Advance), Nicktoons Movin' (PlayStation 2), Nicktoons Winners Cup Racing (PC), Nicktoons Nitro (Arcade), Nicktoons MLB, Nickelodeon Super Brawl Universe (Android, iOS), Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows), Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows), and Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis (Apple Arcade).
Danny is featured in the trailer for the Smite and Nickelodeon crossover, along with Rocko from Rocko's Modern Life and Zim from Invader Zim, released on July 5, 2022. The Nickelodeon exclusive edition was released a week later.
In October 2005, Scholastic Corporation published a Nick Zone chapter book, Stage Fright, with an original Danny Phantom story written by Erica David and illustrated by Victoria Miller and Harry Moore. Danny Phantom also made several appearances in Nickelodeon Magazine, including original comics "Brat's Entertainment!" (featuring Youngblood) and "Seeing Red" (featuring Undergrowth).
A graphic novel, titled Danny Phantom: A Glitch In Time is in the works, set for release in July 2023. It will be written and illustrated by Gabriela Epstein and published by Abrams Books. The graphic novel will be set after the events of the series finale and feature the return of Dark Danny.
|DVD name||Release date||Episode||Ref.|
|Nick Picks Vol. 1||May 24, 2005||"Bitter Reunions"|||
|Nick Picks Vol. 2||October 18, 2005||"Splitting Images"|||
|Nick Picks Vol. 3||February 7, 2006||"Fright Night"|||
|Nick Picks Vol. 4||June 6, 2006||"Teacher of the Year"|||
|Nick Picks Holiday||September 26, 2006||"The Fright Before Christmas"|||
|Nick Picks Vol. 5||March 13, 2007||"Fanning the Flames"|||
|DVD name||Release date||Discs||Episodes||Ref.|
|Season 1||September 16, 2008||4||13 (early copies)
20 (later copies)
|Season 2||September 16, 2008||4||13 (early copies)
17 (later copies)
|Season 3||June 9, 2009||3||12|||
|DVD name||Release date||Discs||Episodes||Ref.|
|Season 1||September 13, 2011||4||20|||
|Season 2: Part 1||April 3, 2012||2||9|||
|Season 2: Part 2||August 28, 2012||2||12|||
|Ghost Hunter||October 7, 2014||1||5|||
|The Final Season||October 14, 2014||2||12|||
|The Complete Series||January 28, 2014||9||53|||
|DVD name||Release date||Episode(s)||Ref.|
|Classic Nickelodeon Halloween Specials||October 1, 2015||"Fright Night"|||
|A Very Nickelodeon Christmas||November 4, 2015||"The Fright Before Christmas"|||
|Out Of The Vault Rewind||April 20, 2018||"My Brother’s Keeper"; "Fanning The Flames"|||
|Keepin’ It Nick||October 2, 2018||"Mystery Meat"; "Parental Bonding"|||
|Out of the Vault Forever Favorites||????||"Memory Blank"; "Doctor's Disorders"|||
Little official merchandise has been produced for Danny Phantom.
In 2005, Burger King released a line of Danny Phantom kids' meal toys.
In 2012, a company called Jazwares Toys released a 6-inch tall action figure of Danny Phantom as part of their Nicktoons toy line.
In 2020, Funko Pop released a limited edition Danny Phantom figure for 2020 New York City Comic Con. The figure was also released in Target stores.
As of 2020, a line of Danny Phantom shirts is available at Kohl's as part of their licensed Nickelodeon merchandise collection.
Danny Phantom was well received by both television critics and audiences, gathering a cult following since its original run. Sean Aitchison from CBR said “Danny Phantom might have a few elements that firmly place it in the 2000s, but the storytelling and design still feel fresh and fun in modern day. The show was full of action and humor, and the characters felt real and layered. If you're looking for an old Nickelodeon cartoon to rewatch, Danny Phantom should be on your list.” Eric McInnis writing for Study Breaks Magazine said, “The show offered fun comedy, memorable characters, and fantastic character designs for the enemies Danny had to fight in each episode.” Joly Herman of Common Sense Media criticized the mature themes of Danny Phantom, saying that, “This cartoon can be funny, and the characters are unique. 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.”
|2004||BMI Film/TV Awards||BMI Cable Award||Butch Hartman and Guy Moon||Won|||
|2006||33rd Annie Awards||Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production||Ben Balistreri for "Identity Crisis"||Nominated|||
|2007||34th Annie Awards||Character Design in an Animated Television Production||Ben Balistreri for "King Tuck"|||
|Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production||Ben Balistreri for "Urban Jungle"|||
|Shaunt Nigoghossian for "Reality Trip"|||
|2008||35th Annie Awards||Ben Balistreri for "Torrent of Terror"|||
Main article: Eaton Township Weis Markets shooting
On June 8, 2017, YouTuber Randy Stair killed three people at his workplace before taking his own life. He was fascinated by Ember McLain, a character from the Danny Phantom series, to the point of creating his own cartoon series based on Ember. Obsessed with the character, Stair had written earlier in his online journal that she wanted him to kill.