Paxton's first major role was in the teen-oriented film, Sleepover, which opened in July 2004 to negative reviews and low box office revenue; during the same summer season, she appeared in several episodes of the series, Summerland, playing Sarah Borden, a mentally troubled teen who experimented with drugs and sex with Jesse McCartney's character. Paxton was subsequently cast in the lead role of the Discovery Kids television series, Darcy's Wild Life, playing Darcy Fields, a girl who works at a rural veterinary; the series was filmed on a farm in Toronto and aired from 2004 to 2006, often featuring Paxton's music track, Take A Walk. Paxton received an Emmy nomination for the role in 2006.
In 2005, Paxton spent three months working on the Australia-filmed Aquamarine, in which she played a mermaid, opposite Emma Roberts and JoJo, whom she befriended while filming. Paxton has said that she felt a sense of "female empowerment" while on set because "almost everyone" on set was female. The film opened on March 3, 2006 and grossed approximately $7.5 million in its opening weekend. Reviewers of the film compared Paxton, whose inspiration is Goldie Hawn, to actress Reese Witherspoon, saying that she has an "infectious, nutty energy." Paxton recorded a song for the film's soundtrack titled "Connected", which has been used in Barbie and the Diamond Castle and covered by Katherine McPhee.
Paxton hosted The Secret Life of Water, the first episode of the series Planet H2O, which premiered in April 2006 on public television stations. In May of the same year, she made an appearance on the television series Pepper Dennis, playing a teen actress. Paxton, who sees herself as an "evolving actress," then appeared in Return to Halloweentown, replacing Kimberly J. Brown in the fourth installment in Disney Channel's Halloweentown series; she dyed her hair brown for the role. The film aired on October 20, 2006. During the summer and early fall of 2006, Paxton filmed The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker, a Lifetime Television film, in Vancouver Island. In the film, she plays Jessie, a college student who falls victim to binge drinking. Paxton has described it as "very different" from her previous roles, and has specified that she was looking for a role that would be a "challenge." The film aired in March of 2007. Paxton's next film role was in Sydney White, a college-set comedy starring Amanda Bynes and Matt Long; filming began on February 12, 2007 in Orlando, Florida and the movie was released on September 21, 2007. She next starred in Superhero Movie, a parody on superhero films which began filming in September of 2007 and was released on March 28, 2008. She also helped co-star Drake Bell record his theme song for the movie, Superhero! Song.
Paxton was signed to a record deal with Epic Records during the time she was cast in Aquamarine. Her debut music CD, The Ups and Downs, featuring the titled single Here We Go Again, is due for release by Epic at some point "in the future"; as of March 2007, Paxton has not completed work on it. She has described the sound as "pop/rock."
Paxton has also signed on to play the female lead in the remake of The Last House on the Left, which began filming in March.
Paxton, who keeps a journal, has a dog named Jenny (who is eleven years old as of 2007), and a Chihuahua puppy named Coco Chanel. She is friends with her Aquamarine co-stars, JoJo and Emma Roberts, and lives "five minutes apart" from Roberts. Paxton has credited her Jewish religion for feeling "very connected" to her family, who keep her "grounded" and are "always number one" in her life. She did not have a Bat Mitzvah because she was busy filming, though she has said that she "wanted to so bad."
|1997||Liar Liar||Child at Party and School|
|Two of a Kind||Homeless Girl||Episode: A Very Carrie Christmas|
|1999||''SpongeBob SquarePants||Kid Fish||voice role; television series|
|2000||Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction||Spirit of little girl||The Wailing|
|2001||Disney Channel Movie: Hounded||Tracy|
|2003||Haunted Lighthouse||Ashley||4d short film|
|Malcolm in the Middle||Angela|
|Darcy's Wild Life||Darcy Fields||Main Role|
|Return to Halloweentown||Marnie Piper/Young Splendora Agatha Cromwell||made-for-television|
|2007||The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker||Jesse Tanner||made-for-television|
|Sydney White||Rachel Witchburn|
|2008||Superhero Movie||Jill Johnson|
|The Last House on the Left||Mari Collingwood||Main Role|
|Wizards of Waverly Place||Millie||television series. Episode 18 - "Credit Check".|