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'Phineas and Ferb'

I Heart 'Phineas and Ferb'

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Phineas and Ferb DVD

Phineas and Ferb DVD

When my 7 year old son started watching Phineas and Ferb, I was dubious as to its comedy merit. After I watched a few episodes, though, I was as much a fan of these genius stepbrothers and their wacky world as he was. The characters, the jokes and the music are terribly entertaining. Plus, the structure of Phineas and Ferb is complicated, with the secret world of Perry (the platypus) fitting inside the secret world of Phineas and Ferb, which fits inside the not-so-secret world of their parents. The painting style is jagged and bright. The music is rich. But I like the silliness the best.

Doesn't Dumb Down

Too many times cartoons, especially cartoons for kids, dumb down their content in order to play to a broader audience, meaning folks who can't get the jokes. The final product becomes predictable and ultimately boring. But Phineas and Ferb is not one of those cartoons.

The animated comedy focuses on two stepbrothers, American Phineas and British Ferb, who spend their summer vacation inventing and building enormous contraptions for producing everything from a giant ice cream sundae to the ultimate chariot race. As soon as Phineas says, "I know what we're going to do today, Ferb!" you know the ride is about to start.

At this point, Phineas' (by the way, the only other Phineas I've ever heard of is Phineas Nigellus in the Harry Potter series) sister tries to bust the boys by providing evidence of their mischief to her mother, a long-suffering parent convinced her teenage daughter is just mired in histrionics. Of course, the fates always conspire to keep Candace from proving anything.

Within all this "Brady Bunch on Pop Rocks" action, we follow Agent P, who is Perry the Platypus, the family pet. (Who has a platypus as a pet?) Perry is a cross-eyed, growling platypus that hangs out with the boys, sleeping on their beds and sitting under the backyard tree. But when the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz begins making his evil weapons (always ending in "-inator," as in "copy-inator") Agent P leaps into action, taking his orders and foiling Doofenshmirtz's plans in James Bond style.

Play It Again, Ferb

In nearly every episode, someone in the cast sings a song that is worthy of either a Tony-winning musical or a Grammy-winning pop chart topper. In fact, the infectious theme song was nominated for an Emmy in 2008. Each song is catchy with fun rhythms and clever lyrics. The Simpsons and Family Guy have also had top notch songs within their episodes, but not in nearly as many as Phineas and Ferb. Not only are the songs a kick, but the accompanying animation more entertaining than most music videos, some of which are even parodied. My favorite songs from Phineas and Ferb are "Busted," "One Good Scare Ought to Do It" and especially "Squirrels in my Pants."

Hidden (Behind the Microphone) Talent

Whenever I watch an animated show, I love to play a game with myself, guessing which actor or actress is providing the voice for various characters. For some reason, I have a very good ear for voices (as witnessed by the Starbucks drive-thru employees near my home). So it's always a kick when I recognize a voice that is unexpected for the medium, or when I can't recognize the voice and dash for IMDB.com before the credits roll. Phineas and Ferb have provided delight in both ways.

I was psyched to recognize Caroline Rhea (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) as the Mom and Allison Janney (Juno) as Dr. Doofenshmirtz's ex-wife Charlene. But when I couldn't figure out who voiced the kids, I had to look up the cast. Casting Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock) as Baljeet was brilliant. Ashley Tisdale is riotous as hysterical teenager Candace, who is really the star of the show.

But my favorite sound of all is the throaty growling of Perry the Platypus, provided by Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad). I laugh every time.

'Love, Actually' Connection

Ferb and Vanessa seem to be star-crossed lovers, ships that pass in the night. Funny enough, the actors who give the characters voices were also romantically linked characters, at a much younger age, in the romantic comedy Love, Actually.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays taciturn Ferb, was also Liam Neeson's adorable son in Love Actually. That character, Sam, had a crush on a girl at school, played by Olivia Olson, who is the voice of Vanessa on Phineas and Ferb! I wonder if that was planned?

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Phineas and Ferb, Member Ramaswamya

I am older than 20 and I love Phineas and Ferb. I can't believe how the director comes up with the idea of Perry the Platypus, Doofenshmirtz's evil inventions, and the machines Phineas and Ferb build. In every episode, Doffenshmirtz's inventions is linked to Phineas and Ferb. By the way, the two stepbrothers have an older sister named Candace, who keeps on trying to bust them by showing the brother's inventions to their mom. But, the invention always seems to disappear before Mom sees it. Why? Because Perry always defeats Doofenshmirtz. While doing that, his evil invention gets turned accidentally and does something to Phineas and Ferb's invention. Such as, in one episode, Doofenshmirtz accidentally hit a button, which caused a ray beam to hit the brother's invention and made it to evaporate into thin air. I love Phineas and Ferb.

8 out of 11 people found this helpful.

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