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Ben Tennyson might seem like an ordinary 10-year-old boy -he plays video games, rides his bike and is a bit of a trouble maker- but thanks to his Omnitrix watch, he also has the ability to change into 10 different alien heroes. While the star of Ben 10 knows he must use his power for good, he still finds time for a little super-powered mischief now and then.
- Logo Format: Animated series, Science fiction, Action, Adventure
- Created by: Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Steven T. Seagle
- Voices of: Tara Strong, Dee Bradley Baker, Fred Tatasciore, Jim Ward, Meagan Smith, Paul Eiding, Richard McGonagle, Richard Steven Horvitz, Steven Jay Blum
- Theme music composer: Andy Sturmer
- Country of origin: United States
- No. of seasons: 4
- No. of episodes: 49 (List of episodes)
- Executive producer(s): Sam Register, Mark Burton
- Running time: 22 minutes
- Distributor: Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures
- Original channel: Cartoon Network
- Picture format: SDTV 480i (2005-2009), HDTV 720p (2009–present)
- Original run: December 27, 2005 (2005-12-27) – May 2, 2008 (2008-05-02)
- Chronology Followed by: Ben 10: Alien Force
- External links: Official website
Benjamin Tennyson, his cousin Gwendolyn, and their grandfather Max start their summer camping trip. Ben goes stomping off into the woods after another fight with Gwendolyn, whom he is not happy to have along on the trip, and finds an alien pod on the ground. When he examines it, he finds a mysterious, watch-like device called the Omnitrix. The device attaches permanently to his wrist and gives him the ability to transform into a variety of alien life-forms, each with their own unique powers. Although Ben realizes that he has a responsibility to help others with these new abilities at his disposal, he is not above a little super-powered mischief now and then. Along with Gwendolyn and Max, Ben embarks on an adventure to fight both good and evil, both extraterrestrial and earthly.
The Omnitrix is the mysterious watch-like alien device that allows the user to transform into various alien forms by combining the DNA of the selected alien with the user's own DNA, effectively turning them into the alien species the user has selected. The alien form is selected by unlocking the control dial, turning the control dial to the desired alien species which is displayed on the Omnitrix's display, then pressing the control dial back into place completing the transformation. The alien DNA also seems to contain some aspects of the original aliens' personality; when questioned how it felt to be an alien, Ben described it as follows: "It kinda freaked me out at first. It was like I was me...but it was also like I was somebody else."
The Omnitrix was originally created by Azmuth (a Galvan like Greymatter) to allow the people of the universe a way to literally "walk in someone else's shoes". However, many beings saw the Omnitrix's abilities as something that could be used as a powerful weapon—most prominently the villain Vilgax who claims it to be the most powerful weapon in the galaxy. Fearing that people might misuse the Omnitrix for this very reason, Azmuth put several safeguards in place to ensure that whoever used the Omnitrix would not have full access to its powers. Several of these safeguards include transforming into an alien different from the one that is selected on the control dial, the ten minute auto time-out, the restriction of only ten accessible aliens, and a self-destruct mechanism. However, these safeguards are disabled once the Master Control for the Omnitrix is unlocked, which is apparently done by a random combination of selections on the control dial. Once the Master Control is unlocked, the user can stay in their alien form indefinitely and is also able to switch between alien forms at will just by thinking about it, speaking the name its user has given any alien, or turning the badge with the Omnitrix insignia on it.
In addition to the aliens that were pre-programmed into the Omnitrix's DNA sequencer by Azmuth, the Omnitrix also possess the ability to absorb DNA samples from other alien species by simply coming into contact with them, effectively downloading a DNA sample and allowing access to that form.
Two Ben 10 films have been released at different times during 2007 and 2008. The first is a regular animated feature called Secret of the Omnitrix, in which the Omnitrix is accidentally set to self-destruct and Ben must track down its creator to stop it. A trailer of the film was released with the film Billy & Mandy: Wrath of the Spider Queen, and it aired August 10, 2007. Michael Ouweleen described the film's villain, which was actually Vilgax, as "like Darth Vader without the sense of humor." A different version of Secrets of the Omnitrix, which introduced a different alien (Eye Guy) to the one in the original (Heatblast), aired on September 1, 2007. A third version (in which XLR8 was featured) aired on October 20, 2007. It was stated during the premiere of Alien Force that Secret of the Omnitrix was intended to be the chronological finale of Ben 10, even though it was broadcast long before the last episode, which was not canon.
The second is a live-action film titled Ben 10: Race Against Time which aired November 21, 2007. The plot presumably takes place before Goodbye and Good Riddance, it revolves around Ben, Gwen and Grandpa Max returning to their hometown of Bellwood and attempting to adjust to being 'normal' again. Unfortunately, their lives are once again disrupted by a mysterious alien known as Eon, who has an unexpected connection to the Omnitrix. It premiered on Cartoon Network on November 21, 2007. The film was directed by Alex Winter. Winter stated at the 2007 upfront presentation that he wanted "this thing to look like X-Men," an epic adventure that will be "more cinematic than cartoony" and appeal to all ages. Production on the film finished in October and premiered November 21, 2007. "Ben 10: Alien Swarm" a sequel to Race Against Time premiered November 25, 2009. All the roles were recast from Ben 10 Race Against Time.
Ben 10: Alien Force is the sequel to the show set five years after the original series. As an indirect result of this, this series is darker in tone compared to its predecessor. The series premiered on Cartoon Network on April 18, 2008. It has since been premiered in Canada, on Teletoon. A video game of the show is now out for the Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.
Another sequel series, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, is confirmed by Cartoon Network Upfront 2009. It is slated to premiere on April 23rd 2010.
Protector of Earth
This is the first Ben 10 video game, released in Autumn 2007.
Following the success of the Ben 10 animated TV series and films, various Ben 10 merchandise has been released for general sale. These items include Ben 10 books, action figures, card games such as Top Trumps, toys, video games - notably Ben 10: Protector of Earth, bedding, and footwear.
Ben 10 appears in Cartoon Network's online MMO FusionFall. The character design for Ben Tennyson was changed when the original Ben 10 series ended and was replaced by Ben 10: Alien Force. In the game, he serves as a "Player Guide" offering guide-based missions and special items that can only be used with certain guides.