Role in The Haunted Mansion
Danny is the grandson of a renowned explorer but feels inadequate compared to him, as his grandfather is often the one who is defending Danny from danger. Before his trip to the Matterhorn, Danny's grandfather promises to investigate the old mansion with Danny. The promise does not come to pass, however, as Danny's grandfather gets caught in an avalanche during his trip and dies. The loss of his grandfather drastically affects Danny's relationships with his parents and other kids, who begin to neglect him. A month later, Danny visits his grandfather's grave nearby the old mansion and hears a whisper calling to him, which he dismisses. That night, Danny is visited by the spirit of Madame Leota, beckoning him to come to the old mansion. Deciding to take on the task, Danny ventures to the mansion. Inside, Danny encounters a group of hostile ghosts, but is saved by Leota.
Leota explains the situation: the ghosts of the old mansion are trapped by the Pirate Captain, including the spirit of his late grandfather, and they need a living person to help them leave the mansion. With a magic spell, Leota grants Danny the ability to see the ghosts to guide him through the mansion. The chance of reuniting with his grandfather motivates Danny, and he sets off to free the deceased residents.
The journey into the mansion proves to be more fatal than expected, as the Captain intercepts Danny's efforts by sending hostile spirits and monsters after the boy. Danny also briefly succumbs to the curse of the Grand Hall Ballroom, which causes him to forget his mission. But because he needs Danny alive, the Captain storms in to force the ghosts to release Danny. Danny is thrown out of the ballroom and into the Grand Hall, freeing him from the curse. Before the Captain can catch him, Danny is whisked away by the Hatbox Ghost through the Endless Staircase, a network connecting the Haunted Mansion to haunted locations around the world. The Hatbox Ghost explains that the Sea Captain's curse has not only trapped the resident ghosts, but the magic that allows the ghosts freedom to travel to the other locations offered by the Endless Staircase. After the Hatbox Ghost drops Danny off in the Library, Danny is confronted by the Captain who has Leota's crystal ball. When the Captain threatens to smash her, Leota is forced to reveal that his grandfather's spirit is not in the mansion at all, but Leota had to deceive him to come. Although Leota confessed, the Captain shatters Leota's crystal ball and forces Danny to join him.
During the trip, the Captain advises Danny that he must go to the attic to reclaim the Captain's lost treasure, the key to the Captain's freedom, but he will need to get past Constance Hatchaway, the twisted bride. Suddenly, the formerly cursed other victims of the ballroom appear to help Danny escape the Captain. However, the Captain summons a wave that sends Danny into a foyer. There, Danny finds an opening to the attic across from a hanged corpse. Although intimidated, Danny jumps on the corpse and swings on it to reach the other side. Once inside the attic, Danny sneaks around Constance and comes across the treasure chest at last, but discovers nothing in it. However, he does spot a window right above the treasure chest and sees the window is the true gateway out of the mansion. At that moment, Constance strikes at Danny, believing he is another suitor for her and her next victim. Danny evades Constance but falls from the window to the ground below.
Danny miraculously survives the fall and lands inside the cemetery. A grave caretaker finds Danny but quickly runs away in fear, as the ghosts are now outside the mansion. Because of Danny's bravery in venturing to find the exit, the Captain's curse was lifted, giving the ghosts their freedom. However, the Captain also appears and demands to know where his treasure is. Danny tries to tell him that there was no treasure, but the Captain is furious and tries to attack him. To his surprise, he is stopped by the ghost of Danny's grandfather, who fights off the Captain. Danny's grandfather explains that his spirit was always with Danny, but could not enter the mansion due to the curse. When the Captain tries to attack them again, Constance appears and beheads him, ending the Captain. As the ghosts celebrate, Leota reappears and reveals that there was a treasure - the treasure was the mansion, a place where ghosts could find peace in the afterlife. Danny's grandfather also reveals he has reunited with Danny's deceased grandmother. Before departing to travel the world together, the couple encourage Danny to live his life to the fullest.
Some time later, Danny has reconnected with his parents and has even made some friends from his experiences. With the ghosts, he decides to become the new caretaker for the mansion's ghosts, as the mansion has also started receiving more ghosts every day. Thanks to the spell Leota placed on him, some ghosts have even started to catch on to Danny.