15 of Disney’s most underrated characters

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9. Penny Brown (Inspector Gadget)

As Georgina Sparks, Michelle Trachtenberg played one stellar antagonist. She was sharp, both verbally and mentally, and was easy to root against.

But before we loved to hate her on Gossip Girl, Trachtenberg was the equally smart, but much easier to like niece of John Brown – aka Inspector Gadget. The film itself is nothing particularly special — it sits at a 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes — but Penny is a bright spot.

John Brown is indeed an Inspector, but he wouldn’t have pegged Claw as a suspect without the help of Penny. So when he leaves her and their dog Brain at home while he investigates, it’s understandable but a bummer.

Of course, when Inspector Gadget inevitably needs to be saved himself, it’s Penny (with the help of Brenda and Brain) who comes to his aid.

Even when she’s captured, Penny manages to turn the tables into a therapy session for Claw’s henchman, Sykes. Yes, really. She gets him to talk through everything, and later even confess to his crimes.

For whatever reason, Inspector Gadget still doesn’t let Penny assist him in the sequel. He argues she’s too young. (The character was recast for the sequel to keep her age relatively close.)

This time, she takes matters into her own hands and investigates the evidence on her own. It doesn’t land Penny in the greatest situation, but her heart is in the right place.

She constantly works through any problem at hand, and makes things work to her advantage. It’s the kind of heroine young girls should have been seeing more of during that time.