mike knobel

10

Been trying to carefully craft a Wonder Woman review as the distance of its release date keeps growing. I saw it opening night with my nieces and to clarify I did like it. But, this is not what this post is about. I’ve decided to place a spotlight on an Amazon cartoon series for children that arrived on June 30th 2017. I just completed binge-watching all of the episodes. It is called Danger & Eggs and it reminds me of Adventure Time and Steven Universe with a dash of KC Green’s Regular Show with Lauren Faust’s My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic if they were all put into a blender.  

While Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time, Rebecca Sugar’s Steven Universe, Chris Savino’s Loud House, Daron Nefcy’s Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Alex Hirsch’s Gravity Falls, Mike DiMartino’s and Bryan Konietzko’s The Legend of Korra, and, Skyler Page’s Clarence have been making strides for LGBT representation, the Mike Owens and Shadi Petosky created animated show takes it one more progressive step forward. Yes, besides being hilarious, very relevant, full of lessons (and emotions), believable, and inventive, Danger & Eggs is the first animated series to have an openly trans creator (Shadi Petosky). In fact, every aspect of Danger & Eggs has some level of involvement courtesy of LGBT community members: from LGBT actors, writers, animators, and storyboard artists alongside LGBT allies! Essentially in each stage of Danger & Eggs’ production, there was that kind of specific influence occurring. More importantly Danger & Eggs accomplishes this with resorting to any awful cliches whilst being as inclusive as possible! Examples include the non-binary musician Milo that D.D. and Phillip both use proper pronouns with plus the recently out trans Zaddie (voiced by trans activist Jazz Jennings) crooning a song of acceptance at the Pride festival (Not Rainbow Day or something akin to that like others have done. ACTUAL PRIDE DAY!) in front of her “chosen family”. I’m going to reference that term often from this day forward. 

Truthfully, every decision concerning LGBT representation in Danger & Eggs comes of as equal parts sincere and super sweet. <3 

The series is about the adventures/situations D.D. Danger (SNL’s Aidy Bryant) and her best friend Phillip (Eric Knobel) have inside Chickenpaw Park.

D.D. is the last of a generation of record-setting daredevils. Her father Roy Danger is present in D.D.’s life as a bandaged up and impossible to understand individual, a recurring gag that manages to never get old. As such, she’s up for engaging in potentially injury causing stunts or roughhouse games. Now the inverse can be said for Phillip, a rule-following always safety-first talking egg. As the theme song says the series is, “Kinda hard to explain.” The anthropomorphic Phillip’s origin gets hinted at early on before becoming confirmed in the season one finale. His mother is a colossal chicken that only appears to cluck even though her son can speak English. Despite being clear opposites in most ways, the camaraderie D.D. and Phillip share together is amusing and majestic. Their aww-inducing familial connection is best demonstrated in the episodes “Phillipcon”, “The Big Z”, “Nightmares”, and “Trading Post.”

The supporting cast is just as diverse and inventive from the yoga instructor lesbian duo of Rad and Sweet known as the Chill Twins (courtesy of the comedian married couple of Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butler), a Mayor (Angelica Ross, Her Story) that sings her arrival, a stickler for the rules (more than Phillip!) Sheriff Luke (Stephanie Beatriz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), and D.D.’s ice-skater film hero Trix Blixon (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, if you haven’t seen her career-defining performance in 2012’s Smashed I highly recommend it! Was in last year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane). Charlyne Yi’s (We Bare Bears’ Chloe Park) apathetic Layla introduced in “Keep Off the Grass” is one of my favorites though. So is Fringe’s Jasika Nicole bringing to life the spunky Reina in “Ren Faire” as well. Co-creator Shadi Petosky even lends her voice for the wise Pigeon Lady.

All in all, I’m astounded by how good Danger & Eggs is. Creative, excellently written, droll, adorable, bizarre, and authentic are the words I’d use to sum up the series.  Have tissues ready. I sobbed happily often viewing this series, lol. Normalizing LGBT stuff for children?! Normalizing, not demonizing. Respecting, not bashing. SO MUCH YES! And if anything I’ve typed piqued your interest, I implore you to follow through ASAP. :)