Anime aren’t the only ones capable of having good storylines. Over the years, several toons have actually followed proper plot structure. Those who have followed toons like Adventure Time would know how deep a cartoon’s plot can actually be.
This time let’s tackle the cartoon Ben 10, one of Cartoon Network’s longest-running franchises. The show got so popular with older fans that they’ve decided to reboot the series for a younger audience as well.
Before heading to watch the reboot, it’s a good idea to check out the original series to understand why Cartoon Network decided to revive this show. I put together a chronological watch order guide for the story of Ben Tennyson.
Ben 10 Original Series
In the first season of the series, we are introduced to the main protagonist, Ben Tennyson, a 10-year-old boy who goes on a summer vacation trip with his cousin Gwen and their grandfather Max. On the first night of their vacation in Max’s RV, Ben finds a watch. The watch turns out to be an alien device that stuck itself to Ben’s wrist. As a result, Ben is given the ability to transform into ten different aliens.
Episode 1 to 43 actually covers the entire 3 seasons of the original series plus 4 episodes into the fourth season. Episodes 44 to 46 was actually the movie Secret of the Omnitrix, but this serves as the series’s finale, So I would recommend skipping these episodes and watching episode 47.
Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix
The Secret of the Omnitrix is the first movie of the Ben 10 franchise. Aside from being a movie, it also aired as episodes 44 to 46 in the original Ben 10 series. The movie actually serves as a finale, so viewers can watch these episodes after season 4 instead of watching it in order.
The film is the official finale to the original series despite airing 8 episodes before the last episode. While Ben is fighting Dr. Amino, he accidentally activates the DNA bomb of the Omnitrix, causing the watch to go into Self-Destruct-Mode. Tetrax gets the readings and informs Ben that he must find the creator of the Omnitrix; otherwise, he will get destroyed along with the watch once the timer runs out.
Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens
After fighting off some aliens on the last few days of summer, Gwen and Ben end up damaging the Omnitrix. The cousins do not realize the damage and carry on with the rest of their evening. When school starts, the Omnitrix teleports Ben’s homework away, causing his parents to get mad at him and ground Ben. Tetrax arrives and tells Ben that Azmuth has requested to see Ben. As the two make their way to Azmuth, they are attacked. Then, the alien is teleported into the Omnitrix without the two knowing what has happened.
The Omnitrix continues to malfunction and cause Ben a whole deal of hardships throughout the movie. Will someone be able to fix the Omnitrix before his parents discover he snuck out of the house?
Ben 10: Race Against Time
Straying away from animated movies, the franchise has tried to make its own live-action film based on the series. The movie picks up after the series, where Ben finally returns home from Summer Vacation and has a difficult time adjusting to ordinary life again as a schoolboy.
Back to normal sounds and feels utterly dull for the tween, so he wishes for some sort of alien invasion again to escape from his ordinary life. It turns out he doesn’t have to wait long as an alien villain called Eon arrives on Earth intending to steal the Omnitrix. The Omnitrix is the key to activating a doomsday machine to take over the planet. The old team is back in action, ready to protect their hometown.
Ben 10: Alien Force (Seasons 1-2)
The second series of Ben 10, this time taking a darker tone. The series is set five years after the first show. Now, Ben is a 15-year-old teen, and his adventures have dulled by a considerable amount. Eventually, his everyday life turned back to normal. Since he feels his adventures are done, he retires his Omnitrix. However, Grandpa Max mysteriously disappears, forcing him and Gwen back to the world of fighting. This time the cousins welcome an old enemy into their ranks, Kevin. The group also enlist the help of the Plumbers’ kids in order to repel their new enemy. The Highbreeds.
By season 2, the group is able to gain the help of the Plumbers and have access to newer aliens. Grandpa Max is also found at the end of season 2, but it seems the fight isn’t over. Ben still has more aliens to beat, so going back to normal might take a while.
Ben 10: Alien Swarm
The first movie is based on the Ben 10 Alien Force story and acts as a sequel to the other live-action film, Ben 10: Race Against Time. Instead of working as a team, Ben decides to break away from his group against his grandfather Max’s orders. Instead, he forges a new partnership with an outsider to stop powerful aliens from taking over their planet.
Ben 10: Alien Force (Season 3)
Season 3 marks the final season for Alien Force. Vilgax, Ben’s old archnemesis, returns as the main antagonist. It seems he’s been getting stronger over the years, posing an even bigger threat to the group from when they were kids. The group has to uncover all the other secrets of the Omnitrix to use it to its full potential.
During the last battle, Ben instructs the Omnitrix to self-destruct, allowing Vilgax’s army to fall. However, this causes the Omnitrix to get destroyed. But Ben manages to get his hands on the Ultimatrix, which he uses to finally defeat Vilgax.
Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
Directly after the Alien Force series events, Ben is now 16 years old. Instead of the Omnitrix, he now wears the Ultimatrix. Ben is now learning more about the Ultimatrix, which allows him to evolve his alien forms into more powerful versions of themselves. The series has 4 seasons that run from 2010 to 2012.
Not only did Ben gain more abilities and Aliens, but Gwen and Kevin also learned more about their abilities and are much stronger in this series. However, the power of the Ultimatrix seems to be too great for anyone to possess. Eventually, Azmuth destroys it and gifts Ben a new Omnitrix by the end of the series.
Ben 10: Omniverse
With a brand new Omnitrix, Ben continues his adventures as a hero destined to save the Earth and other planets. The series tends to alternate between storylines, from Ben as an 11-year-old to his current actual age.
The team is now moving on from their adventures. Gwen and Kevin leave to a different area to begin college. Ben decides to continue his adventures, this time with a new partner. Rook Blonko is an alien plumber and has become partners with Ben for this series. They both go on a quest to explore an alien city called Undertown and are met with old and new enemies.
Ben 10 2016 TV Series (reboot)
This is a reboot of the original Ben 10 universe intended to be marketed to a younger audience. The series is an alternative universe.
Ben 10 Versus the Universe: The Movie
This is the first movie based on the reboot. It turns out Vilgax is Ben’s true enemy in any version of the series. Vilgax is back as the main antagonist of this movie. Ben and Team Tennyson go interstellar to save the day. Kevin decides to remain on Earth to protect it in their absence.