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Ben 10 (2016, Seasons 1-4)

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Ben 10
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It's ZERO time!
Genre: Action
Comedy
Adventure
Science-fantasy
Superhero
Slapstick
Running Time: 11 minutes
22-55 minutes (specials)
Country: United States
Release Date: October 1, 2016 (Australia)
April 10, 2017 – September 18, 2020
Network(s): Cartoon Network
Boomerang (2017-2020)
Created by: Man of Action Entertainment
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Starring: Tara Strong
Montserrat Hernandez
David Kaye
Greg Cipes
Travis Willingham
Max Mittelman
Daryl Sabara
John DiMaggio
Todd Haberkorn
Josh Keaton
David Hornsby
Roger Craig Smith
David Sobolov
Dee Bradley Baker
Episodes: 40 (Both Seasons 1 & 2)
52 (season 3)
34 (season 4)
Previous show: Ben 10: Omniverse (2012-2014)


Ben 10 is an American animated superhero television series and a reboot of the Cartoon Network original series of the same name. The series had its world premiere in Australia, New Zealand and Asia-Pacific on October 1, 2016, premiered in the United States on April 10, 2017, and ended on April 11, 2021, after three more forty-four-minute specials.

Plot

Fun-loving 10-year-old Ben Tennyson is back in this reboot of the animated series that originally aired in 2005. As he sets out on adventures with Grandpa Max and cousin Gwen during the kids' summer vacation. But things take an interesting turn when Ben discovers the Omnitrix, a watch that transforms him into 10 heroic aliens. That opens up to him a new world full of extraterrestrial superpowers.

Why These Seasons Are Going Zero In A Bad Way

NOTE: Some of the problems were carried from the original 2005 action packed animated series.

  1. The main problem with these seasons is that they have a very poor grasp of source material... despite being made by Man of Action, the creators of the original Ben 10.
    • At first, the alien roster was mostly normal (except for Overflow, who was essentially a rip-off of Waterhazard from Ultimate Alien).
    • During the Season 1 finale, Ben somehow gains Gax, who is part of Vilgax's species (a Vilgaxian)... before he's then killed off to introduce Vilgax.
      • They even killed off Upgrade and turned him into a clone of Ben.
    • Ben is only able to have 10 aliens at a time each season, which meant that aliens like Grey Matter and Wildvine had to be replaced.
    • Some of the aliens from the original's sequels are crammed in this reboot or are rip-offs of the former, which is a poor attempt at putting the first four series under one umbrella.
    • Season 2 also introduced the "Omni-Enhanced" forms, which rips off the Ultimate forms. However, they were retired at the end of Season 2.
      • In Season 4, however, Ben gains the Omni-Kix, which are pretty much the same thing as the "Omni-Enhanced" forms, showing just how lazy the writers had gotten.
      • These forms were made just to sell toys.
    • The film introduces Omni-Naut forms, giving every alien spacesuits and essentially rendering Jetray near-useless. To top it off, he even gets one.
    • Kevin Levin gains an Omnitrix, ruining the whole multi-Ben timeline and essentially downgrading his character into the reboot's equivalent of Albedo. Again, was this really necessary?
  2. The show's themes can't be taken seriously due to the characters' designs, since most of them look cheap and childish, especially Ben and Gwen, who look way too young to even be ten-year-olds.
    • To add further salt to the wound, the 11-minute episode format does not do any justice to the pacing, making it move extremely fast at times.
  3. Bland and sometimes downright cringeworthy jokes that fall flat.
  4. A lot of aliens from the first four shows who do not appear in this show because they aren't even seen or mentioned and they are absent, this includes (but not limited to) Wildmutt, Ghostfreak, Upchuck, Lodestar, Brainstorm, Ditto, Spitter, Armodrillo, NRG, Terraspin, Eatle, Clockwork, Juryrigg, Feedback, Gravattack, Crashhopper, The Worst, Pesky Dust, Walkatrout, Eye Guy, Frankenstrike, Arctiguana, Blitzwolfer, Snare-oh, Rocks, Squidstrictor, Echo-Echo, Swampfire, and Nanomech, among many others.
    • However, in Ben 10 Versus the Universe: The Movie, there are alien prisoners in Null Void who resembles Wildmutt, Ghostfreak, Blitzwolfer, and Eye Guy.
    • And speaking of which, the only reference to Wildmutt is a mask seen in one episode.
  5. The new voice actors for established characters (and some of Ben's aliens), while still passable, aren't as appealing as the originals.
  6. While Ben Tennyson's and Gwen Tennyson's designs are passable, some of the other human character designs are really poor, especially Grandpa Max's, who looks worse than his Omniverse counterpart.
  7. Gwen has been flanderized from a sweet, fun-loving girl who cared for her cousin despite the occasional squabble to a complete goody-two-shoes and Mary Sue.
    • On the topic of Gwen, she and Ben actually get along better than they did in the original, which eliminates character development and chemistry between the two, despite it being a slight improvement over the original show.
  8. On top of that, Ben has also been flanderized into an annoying, over-the-wall protagonist, which fits more to Beast Boy from Teen Titans Go! than Ben's original counterpart. He acts more like a 6-year-old or a toddler than a 10-year-old.
  9. Some of the alien designs are pretty bad, and they look like MAD parody designs, with a prime example being Stinkfly.
    • While Upgrade's design is fine, for some reason, he has the color purple throughout the body rather than just white and green.
  10. While not bad, the characters tend to have odd-looking expressions, similar to the 2016 Powerpuff Girls reboot.
  11. It tries too hard to be hip by using memes, internet trends, and fads like "get rekt!", dabbing, and selfies, only to fail miserably.
  12. Slapback turned out to be a complete copy of Ditto (and to an extent, Echo-Echo and Bullfrag), but he at least has a few minor differences to make him unique.
  13. Kevin Levin, who appeared in the first four shows, only appears in 2 seasons out of 5 in this reboot.
  14. False advertising: This show is said to be a reboot of the 2005 series when in reality, it's considered more of its own separate show than an actual reboot, so this show should have never been called Ben 10 in the first place!
    • To add insult to injury, it also features aliens from Alien Force, which Ben never had in the original series.
  15. The DVDs for Season 3, 4, and 5 were never released outside of India, the UK, and the Middle East.
  16. Lackluster and generic theme song, which consists of a shortened, poorly remixed version of the original Ben 10 theme song with its lyrics basically just repeating the show's title over and over again.
  17. One disgusting and mean-spirited moment where Kevin farts close to Ben's face in "Introducing Kevin 11".
  18. Despite the show having a soundtrack, it is rarely ever used in any episode or action scene, which is rather lame.
  19. The sound effects are painful to listen to and get old real fast.
  20. Like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, by Season 5, while it's a massive improvement over the previous season, the show's length has been increased by 11 minutes to 44 minutes to make it 3 times longer than the length in the first 4 seasons and to put in more commercials for the sake of money.
    • Also, that season was extremely rushed because it only aired for 3 days straight, lasting 12 episodes.
  21. Because the human characters in this show look nothing like their original selves, most of the show doesn't even feel like Ben 10 at all. Instead, it feels like another generic flash-animated Canadian-American cartoon series.
  22. Rex Salazar from Generator Rex (who returned in Ben Gen 10) is no longer a teenager like he was in his own show. He's been aged from being 15 or 16-years-old down to 10-years-old. He never grew up in Bellwood, not even went to school with Ben because Ben Tennyson's show came out 5 years before Rex Salazar's show did.
  23. Alien X's abilities in the reboot were downplayed compared to his classic continuity counterpart, although it is understandable because using that version would be too powerful for the show.
  24. While the voice acting is passable, like Tara Strong as Ben Tennyson and Montserrat Hernandez as Gwen Tennyson, some of them, like Dee Bradley Baker as Rath, are rather bland and uninteresting.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Decent animation, backgrounds and art style, unlike ThunderCats Roar, The Powerpuff Girls (2016) and Teen Titans Go!. In fact, the art style has improved from the previous shows, except for Ben 10 (2005), as it's not too zany (Ben 10: Omniverse) and not too bland (Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien).
    • This show is also FAR better/more passable than the other bad CN reboots mentioned above, but it is not enough to redeem this show (at least for these seasons).
  2. The specials (except for Omni-Tricked) are overall pretty good.
  3. Most of the alien transition sequences in the show are very detailed and capture Ben's transformations into an alien; in fact, the transformations in this show are surprisingly better than the ones in the original four shows.
  4. Ben (at times) and Gwen are still likable, despite their aforementioned Flanderization.
    • Despite his ugly design and different voice actor, Grandpa Max is still a great character. He is one of the few characters in the show who haven't been Flanderized.
    • Likewise, there are some decent human designs such as Ben and Gwen's.
  5. The show massively improved in Season 5, as Ben is now like his old self and it has less comedy and more action in it like the old series.
    • Ben does improve after season one, though he still has some flaws. However, he massively improved in Season 5, as he acted a lot more seriously than usual and shares many heart-to-heart conversations with Grandpa Max and Gwen.
      • Several aliens also return from the first four shows in the series finale Alien X-tinction, which was a good way to end the reboot as it had less comedy and more action in it.
      • Gwen 10 brings back Ripjaws, and even finds a way around the alien's biggest weakness (being unable to fight on land).
      • Alien Force Ben brings back Chromastone and Big Chill.
      • Ultimate Alien Ben brings back AmpFibian.
      • Classic Series Ben has Heatblast in his original design.
    • Omniverse Ben brings back Bloxx.
  6. There are still some good alien designs such as Four Arms, Heatblast, Diamondhead, XLR8, Rath, Cannonbolt, Upgrade, Shockrock, Humongousaur, Goop, Waybig, Bloxx, Chromastone, AmpFibian, Big Chill, Ripjaws, Spidermonkey, Buzzshock, Alien X and Jetray.
  7. Some of the villains are great, like Vilgax, Hex, Zombozo, Forever Knight, Tetrax, Kraab, Sixsix, Thumbskull, Steam Smythe, Charmcaster, Frightwig, Acid Breath, Tim Buktu, Billy Billions, Darkstar, and Kevin.
    • In fact, the reboot version of Vilgax might be the best incarnation of Vilgax. While he is a bad guy, he does share some conversations with Ben from time to time. Yuri Lowenthal also does an excellent job at voicing him.
    • Many fans agree that Billy Billions is a better villain in the reboot than he was in Omniverse, where he felt very out of place due to him being the same age as Ben in that series. In the reboot, he feels more at home, with him being the same age as Ben and doing an excellent job at being an annoying spoiled brat.
  8. Even if it was too focused on a comedy/slapstick aspect, some of the jokes are genuinely funny. A good example is in the episode "Tales from the Omnitrix", Ben's 1st story pokes fun at the concept of a Generic Doomsday villain, which is admittedly pretty clever as it is never done before (except for Crossover Nexus).
  9. Like the original series, the origin story is impressive as a flashback.
  10. It still has some action; in fact, the action is actually well-paced (with some exceptions).
  11. Passable voice acting, despite the old voice actors mostly being replaced (except Tara Strong and Greg Cipes, who reprised their roles as Ben Tennyson from the 2005 series and Omniverse, and Kevin Levin from Alien Force, Ultimate Alien and Omniverse).
  12. There are some neat references to the first 4 shows, like Ben wearing his classic series outfit in one episode, Wildmutt's face appearing as a mask, parody versions of UAF Ben, Gwen, and Kevin in "Xingo Nation" and the previous incarnations of Ben appearing in "Alien X-Tinction". All of the locations in Cosmic Destruction even appear.
  13. The show has a good soundtrack, despite it rarely being used as stated above.
    • Likewise, the sound design is excellent.
    • The theme song, despite being generic, can be catchy. In fact, if you listen closely to the intro, you can hear that some of the original show's tune and beat is still used in this intro, which is quite nice.
  14. The show does have its fair share of good/decent episodes, such as:
    • Animo Farm
    • Falls Falls Falls
    • Forgeti
    • Mayhem in Mascot
    • Screamcatcher
    • Bomzobo Lives
    • Double Hex
    • This One Goes to 11
    • Frankin-Fight
    • Mutiny for Bounty
    • Roundabout
    • Adrenaland Jr
    • Xingo Nation
    • Mock 10
    • The Greatest Lake
    • It's Story Time
    • Tale's from the Omnitrix
    • Speed of Sound
    • Ben 10,010
    • Ben Gen 10
    • Alien X-tinction (which ended the series on a high note)
  15. Kevin was noticeably given some decent character development throughout the series. In the movie, he even redeemed himself and turned good and joined Ben, Gwen, Phil, and Max to defeat Vilgax, similar to how he did in Alien Force.
  16. Rex Salazar from Generator Rex finally returns to make a reappearance in Ben Gen 10 after his show ended 9 years ago, which is at least great to see Rex Salazar back because Generator Rex aired its last episode in 2013 whereas this reboot debuted in 2016 and Ben Gen 10 aired in 2021.
    • Speaking of Generator Rex, it even had a crossover with Ultimate Alien called Ben 10/Generator Rex: Heroes United back in 2011.
  17. The show still has some good morals such as always putting your family and friends first, happiness can never be bought, facing your biggest fears, etc.
  18. The movie, Ben 10 Versus the Universe is really awesome and worth a watch.
  19. The toy line based on the show is excellent. The reboot figures are excellent and they are much better than the ones from the previous 4 Ben 10 shows, with them having more detail, higher quality, larger size, and more articulation. Even some older Ben 10 fans who hate the reboot praised the figures for their quality and points of articulation. They even managed to add articulation joints to simplified shape aliens, like Cannonbolt and Upgrade. The previous shows' figures of them had very little articulation. The reboot even gave us action figures of Dr. Animo and Hex, who didn't even get figures during the 4 previous shows' run. The deluxe Omnitrix toy was very well-received by Ben 10 fans due to its being large, the functions it does and it looking just like the show. The Omni-Strike Omnitrix toy was also well-received.
    1. Also, the Reboot toy line does not use as many gimmicks as the previous 4 shows. The toy lines based on the first 4 Ben 10 shows were notorious for having tons of pointless gimmicks just to get your money, such as giving the aliens rideable creatures that didn't appear in the show, that Ultimatrix toy that launches mini figurines, the infamous Omni-Plasm line (which was just the Omniverse figures but in transparent plastic), those large figures of Rook and Khyber that nobody bought, The voice changer thing, Those giant figures that could transform into weird objects, like door handles and microphones and those weird Alien Ships that Ben could ride. While the Omni-Enhanced and Omni-Kix forms are considered gimmicks, at least they appeared in the show, unlike things like alien creatures. The only gimmicky toys are the alien vehicles and the Omni-Glitch Heroes figures, but even then, they still look pretty cool.
  20. Some Ben 10 fans may enjoy it.

Episodes With Their Own Pages

Reception

These seasons mostly received mixed-to-negative reception from critics and audiences but were critically panned by fans of the first four shows. It currently holds a 2.9/10 on IMDb, and a 3.6/10 on Rating Graph, Season 1 receiving a rating of 3.4/10, Season 2 received a 3.6/10, Season 3 (which is the lowest-rated Season of the 4) received a 3/10, Season 4 which was met with the most well-recieved reception of all 4 Seasons it holding an average rating of 3.8/10.

However, since the release of the show's fifth and final season, the show's general reception started getting more positive on sites such as IMDb. As of November 2021, several older Ben 10 fans have started warming up to the show.

Trivia

  • A movie titled Ben 10 Versus the Universe: The Movie was released on October 10, 2020.
  • Before this reboot first aired, Meagan Smith did not voice Gwen Tennyson as she stated that she is getting too old to play Gwen.
  • Greg Cipes and Tara Strong, the actors who reprised their roles as Kevin and Ben, previously voiced Beast Boy and Raven in Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!, with Tara Strong voicing the old Ben Tennyson from the original show and even Timmy Turner from The Fairly OddParents.
  • Tara Strong and Roger Craig Smith later starred together in Unikitty!.

Videos

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