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If you could distill out the clever irreverent wit and the "something
for all ages" mix of gags and references from "Family Guy", "The
Simpsons", "SpongeBob", and South Park"; and then jettison all the
off-color, negative, and crude low-hanging fruit elements of those
cartoons you would get something like The Disney Channel's "Phineas and
Ferb" which premiered in August 2007.
The title characters, non-stop talker Phineas (Vincent Martella) and his usually silent brother Ferb (Thomas Sangster) are suburban stepbrothers trying to make the most of their summer vacation. This means constructing elaborate gadgets like a time machine and a roller- coaster, or making a feature film. They are usually assisted by an industrious troop of Camp Fire Girls (Fireside Girls) led by their neighbor Isabella (Alyson Stoner) who has a major crush on Phineas. The brothers are just trying to have a fun summer, they aren't trying to cause trouble or be cool, and they are at that age where boys are not even conscious of girls or of who is popular.
Typically their teenage sister Candace (Ashley Tisdale) gets reluctantly drawn into their projects as she strives to keep them from embarrassing her in front of her crush Jeremy (Mitchell Musso). Each storyline has her trying to "bust them" by phoning their mother about the latest home project, but by the time Mom gets home all evidence has conveniently vanished. Although there is a sibling rivalry the three obviously care about each other. Candace is the best part of the series and Tisdale does unexpectedly well supplying her voice; the part is very challenging, as the mercurial Candace requires a wide range of intonations and energy levels in her voice.
Although the series could get by just cutting between Candace and her brothers, it ups the energy level each episode with a "Kim Possible" type parallel story involving the family's pet platypus Perry (he's a semi-aquatic, egg-laying, mammal of action). Perry is a secret agent assigned to foil the plots of evil (but hopelessly inept) scientist Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (co- creator Dan Povenmire).
The animation style is the same simplistic stuff (Phineas' head is a triangle) found in the other four cartoon series although like "SpongeBob" the occasional "real-life" photo is thrown into the mix.
For the benefit of boy viewers, a more serious drawing style is devoted to one of the minor characters, Dr. Doofenshmirtz's beautiful daughter Veronica (Olivia Olson). She is a goth version of Dr. Dome's daughter Lynx from DC's 1960's "Plastic Man" comics.
"Phineas and Ferb" might be the all-time best "compromise" cartoon; incorporating many subtle elements for adult viewers while relying on its absurdist humor and identification elements to hook both pre-teens and teens.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
I love this show. I thinks its one of the funniest things on TV. I love
the humor. Its very well written. It reminds me a bit of Dave the
Barbarian's humor. My favorite characters are Dr. Doofenshmirtz and
Perry the Platapus.
I was watching this with my 4 and 7 year old kids and was cracking up. I laughed so hard tears ran down my face while my kids just though I was crazy. Don't get me wrong. Kids love this show too. I hope this show stays around for a long time.
I love it. Aren't you a little too old to be watching this show? Yes, Yes I am.
When I first heard about the show, my first thought was "Oh great,
another Disney Channel show that will probably be as bad as Hannah
Montana or Wizards of Waverly Place." I figured it wouldn't be good. It
turned out that I was wrong....
I only had to watch one episode to make me think "Wow, I'm impressed. This is actually pretty good." It is cute, clever, and funny. If I had to choose between this show and the news, I'd watch this show. If I had to choose between Hannah Montana and the news, There is a 99% chance I'd watch the news. Thats how good of a Disney show it is.
I also noticed one thing in the show that I didn't notice in any other Disney Channel show. I have never heard ANY "hidden inappropriate lines" in any episode. It is a great show for any age, whether if your 1 or 101.
For those of you who haven't seen it and think its bad, watch it. You won't regret it.
"Phineas and Ferb" is by far one of the funniest shows to hit Disney
Channel where I couldn't stop laughing after the first episode. It's
not like other cartoons on Disney Channel such as "The Replacements",
"Kim Possible", "The Emperor's New Groove", "The Proud Family", or any
other cartoon where those shows can't even find a laugh.
The premise involves two stepbrothers with different backgrounds trying to make the best of their summer vacation. Phineas (voiced by Vincent Martella of Everybody Hates Chris) always has something on his mind where his wacky inventions and ideas also work; he's also a nice kid trying to make sure that everybody around him is happy. His stepbrother, Ferb, (voiced by Thomas Sangster) is from England where not only does he share the same ideas as Phineas, but he's very silent with the exception of having a couple of one liners towards the end of each segment. Each of the short segments (rounding to eleven minutes)always has the two brothers doing something new from making a beach, having a circus, inventing a big-ass roller coaster ride, recreating chariot races on the streets to making a toy factory. The subplots in each segment involve Candace (voiced by Ashley Tisdale of High School Musical fame), Phineas older sister and Ferb's stepsister, always wanting the boys in the act while their parents never make it on time to see the event while the kids pet platypus named Perry gets to be a secret agent when nobody's around going after a crazy doctor madman who barely resembles Roger Bart from "The Producers".
While the subplot of the platypus I could care less, I love watching "Phineas and Ferb" where it doesn't really bore me to death unlike both the animated shows and the live action versions made by Disney with their moral ethics.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have to admit. When I first saw the premier of this show, I thought
to myself, "great. Disney comes up with yet another stupid cartoon."
Recently, however, I gave it another shot. And you know what? This is
really good stuff. I mean, yeah, some people may write it off as stupid
animation, but where else do you get a "Replacements/Kim Possible/Suite
Life of Zach and Cody" all-in-one show? If you want to see a young
teenager trying to win the attention of her crush, it's in there! If
you want to see two boys making mischief and getting away with it, it's
in there! And if you prefer secret-agent shows, it's got that too!
Perry Platypus is very cleverly woven into the main plot. Some of the
missions may seem ridiculous, but, after all, this is a cartoon!
The only reason I didn't give this a 10 out of 10 is based on a hopefully temporary thing, and that is the scheduling. Instead of doubling up episodes into a half-hour show, Disney leaves it as 15 minutes, which throws off all the other shows following. But other than that, this is a really okay show!
Phineas and Ferb has to be the smartest and most adult show ever
created for an under-12 audience. Seriously, what other show features
songs that rhyme 'didactic' with 'anti-climactic', uses the Freudian
model for the human mind as a key story device, tosses in movie
references, artistic motifs and literary allusions obscure enough to
challenge a film scholar, sneaks in a psychedelic drug trip or two
thanks to some toxic moss, and then cuts away to its secondary plot arc
in a secret world where everybody's pet is a government crime fighter?
Did I mention that every song cleverly parodies a different genre,
style, period or artist, or that each secondary crime fighting plot
intrudes momentarily on the main story line at just the right spot in
each episode to wreak the most havoc? Though the show's target audience
likely catches little of this, they no doubt appreciate the creative
richness that informs it all. And most importantly, the show's
popularity proves that they find it all FUN.
Instead of dumbing down recycled versions of older entertainment forms, such as the sitcom, to make it 'age-appropriate' for pre-teens, the creative team behind P&F have created a true original, loaded with enough wit and charm to satisfy Noel Coward, and enough science fiction outrageousness to satisfy a Doctor Who fan. Every show carries the same upbeat message to seize every opportunity for adventure, because it might not come again, while never condescending to its viewers or getting preachy.
There is a lot of truly awful kids' programming out there. It's great to see something which genuinely transcends the perceived boundaries of what a kids' show should be and goes out and demonstrates what it CAN be.
When I first heard about this series, I thought that it was going to be
pretty bad. However, it ended being very good! I liked it a lot, it is
possible the best animated series made by Disney since "Gargoyles".
Created by Dan Povermire and Jeffrey Marsh (Who also give their voices
to some of the characters) this show is funny, clever and original. At
first, it seems very predictable (Almost all the episodes follow a very
similar structure) However, the writers manage to keep this show fresh
with a witty dialogue and a very interesting character development, not
to mention the catchy songs, one of the best parts of it.
My favorite episode is "Dude, We're getting the Band Back Together" with Steve Zahn and Carlos Alazraqui as special guest stars. And my favorite character is Perry the Platypus.
Occasionally there comes along animation that strikes that delicate
balance between being funny for the kids and being funny for the adults
too. The last time I found such a series was Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Phineas and Ferb while it fits nicely in the mainstream of Disney
animation still has enough real humor that it isn't sappy like so many
other Disney products tend to be. And unlike the "post modern" Rocky
and Bullwinkle, which is filled with acid like social commentary this
one is just as smooth and sweet as a baby's bottom.
I too was struck dumb when I learned "the" Richard O'Brian (of Rocky Horror fame) was doing voice work for this series, and again without the social commentary. Whoever is responsible at Disney for giving this project the go ahead should be praised (and given a raise to boot). Thank you Disney for this series it restores my confidence in you.
I started watching this recently with the kids, and I think I get more
out of it than they do. The visual ref to North by Northwest in
"Bigfoot", Doofenschmirtz' awkward introduction of his new nemesis to
Perry the Platipus, all the musical numbers (watchable on You Tube)...I
no longer try to explain to my kids why it's funnier to me than it is
to them. That said, they do enjoy it. Although I think they are
Not to mention the vocal casting. Yes, it's THAT Richard O'Brien as Dad, with guest shots by Barry "Brad" Bostwick.
A fun and creative cartoon about a pair of step brothers who decide to
make the most of everyday. Each day is filled with an outrageous scheme
to have fun, each day topping the day before. Surrounding these
brothers is a cast of characters that have their own plots, which
entwine with the brothers plans. Their big sister is an average teen
who tries to lead her own life, while trying to get her brothers in
trouble for their schemes. The parents are charming and oblivious. The
brother's friends are willing to go along for the ride. One girl in
particular is lovestruck. The family pet platypus is leading a double
life as a spy, continually saving the world from the evil plans of his
mad scientist nemesis.
All in all, the voices are well done. The animation is simple, playful and just a bit over the top. It strikes the right mix of animated craziness without losing the plot.
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