Danger & Eggs: Progressivism and Party in the Cartoon

Amazon’s Danger & Eggs: referring to the main character duo of D. D. Danger and the mutant anthropomorphic mutant egg-person Phillip.

Progressive social values, diversity, and modern social themes in cartoons are becoming increasingly prevalent, usually embodied in characters. Whether it be the romance of Ruby and Sapphire in CN’s Steven Universe or Clyde’s two dads and referenced family therapy in Nick’s The Loud House (among another dozen examples in those two shows or repeat scenarios in other shows), there’s a lot going on that either wasn’t relevant or wasn’t talked about in the past of cartoon history.

And this is important. This is the world we’re living in. And there needs to be a healthy and respectful way in which these topics are brought up in media for kids. Children are exposed to such an isolated microcosm of the world, usually centering on their families, and anything out-of-the-ordinary from that world becomes an issue of ignorance and/or prejudice. So it is important and timely that these shows are exposing kids to a view on the world of… “progressivism”? It’s usually sexuality and gender issues, since those come up the most in society.

And Danger & Eggs is a huge player in this game. The general premise itself is standard enough; headstrong and reckless D. D. and safety-oriented and rule-following Phillip are engaged in constant adventures together in Chicken Paw Park. D. D., accompanied by Phillip, does crazy stunts, joins in on Renaissance Faires, travels to the abandoned underground lab of mutated animal-and-plant-creatures, ad libs a theatrical performance, and more, more, more!

I’ve described the show as a good balance of Regular Show, Twelve Forever, and Spongebob Squarepants. D&E features the wacky and fantastical park-setting stories of Regular Show; the infinite youth, adventurous spirit, and naivete of Twelve Forever’s protagonist; and the gritty realism of Spongebob with a duo who live in their own zany world adjacent and only mostly-ignorant of the perspective of the real world and society.

But then, on the side, there are the characters that D. D. meets and befriends each episode. Some are cartoon-normal enough, like the businessman caricature who wants to demolish a historic house to make way for a parking lot, or the kid who got stuck underneath the waterslide and lives in crazed and demented isolation for twenty years. And there are those who feel like newcomers to the medium. Introducing: gender nonbinary bandmember Milo; implied gay and trans teens Reina and Zadie, respectively; yoga instructors and fictionalized versions of lesbian comic couple Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito. Among several other instances of characters and events.

Though the season one finale being set on the day of a gay pride festival in the park was a bit on-the-nose, the series does a good job of being subtle with these themes and representations. “Subtle” as in, letting them speak for themselves and being situational (not “subtle” as in, subdued).

Like I mentioned previously, this is a growing trend in cartoons. My main example is The Loud House, but Cartoon Network and Disney xD shows are joining in slowly, as well.

And let’s hope that they continue with such a respectful integration of representation as Danger & Eggs. Regardless of any stigma or attraction you may feel towards progressivism, D&E  is quite a good show and makes the list of, “I want this to become [classic]The Simpsons, (in terms of number of episodes and cultural saturation).” Gravity Falls is my other show on the list, for reference. Both are hilarious, enthralling and exciting, and feature really interesting worlds that I want to get to know better.