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First Look: Disney’s ‘Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero’


In addition to Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, Disney TV Animation is producing a second action/comedy series slated to debut on Disney XD in 2015: Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero. A short preview, which was unveiled at Comic-Con last month, has now been posted online on the USA Today website.

Following the adventures of an ordinary boy who has a job as a part-time hero, the show is created by writer Jared Bush and artist Sam Levine. Bush is a TV writer whose credits include the UPN sitcom All of Us and the reality show Who Wants to Marry My Dad?, and more recently, he has been attached as the writer of Disney’s upcoming feature Zootopia. Levine, who is directing Penn Zero, is a Disney vet who has worked in the animation department of films like Hercules and Tarzan, and as a story artist on Bolt. Levine also developed and directed the unproduced Disney feature Joe Jump, which eventually morphed into another videogame-themed movie called Wreck-It Ralph.

The brief preview makes it difficult to gauge how the show will distinguish itself from the countless other kids-as-heroes shows like Johnny Test and Danny Phantom, but the clips suggest that, at the very least, the series has a distinctive sense of design and solid production values.

  • The artwork design for the characters and the backgrounds look pretty well. Animation wise doesn’t look bad either. I think it will take a while before I’m intrigued with this series. It didn’t instantly grabbed me like Wander Over Yonder or Gravity Falls when I saw their previews for DIsney.

    • James VanDam

      Same here. I just want to know if the main character has any other setting besides super enthusiastic.

  • BurntToShreds

    On Disney XD?

    They really do love setting up anything of value to die off after a season and a half on that channel. All the better so they can keep pushing shallow tween sitcoms.

    • James VanDam

      Don’t remind me. RIP Motorcity, Avengers EMH, and Tron Uprising.

    • BG

      they’re trying to remake XD as their animation channel.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Disney Television Animation is producing a lot of shows. Are all of these for television or will they be streamed also?

    • The Commenter

      several months from now this show will syndicated on hulu and netflix

  • otterhead

    It’s got a great look to it, and a potentially clever idea. Sorta wish the main character didn’t sound so much like Ed Grimley.

  • otterhead

    Gravity Falls just premiered its new season.

    • Ha ha ha

      Hopefully rebels will have a premature death too.

  • Inkan1969

    What do they mean by “part time hero”? Most of the classic superheros: Superman, Batman, Spiderman, are “part time”. Is the difference that this kid actually gets paid to be a hero, but at part time hours?

  • Matt Norcross

    Personal opinion, but I don’t like the route Disney TV Animation is going with this current roster of works. They all look like they’d belong on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. That reminds me, somebody in the discussion page of Cartoon Brew posted this photo on an article about another show Disney is involved in, Pickle & Peanut. I think this is perfect seeing how a LOT of TV animation just looks the same these days. It makes me yearn for the DuckTales days again.

    • Jake Annan

      Well bro, that’s what Tv animation is nowadays and I love almost all of them. Times have changed buddy Disney is trying new things

  • Floyd Norman

    Having had the opportunity to work with Sam Levine in years past, it’s great to see the cool new show he’s been developing finally happen.