As the placement of this film indicates, I am a huge fan of Disney Channel’s hit cartoon Phineas and Ferb. As I mentioned in my SpongeBob SquarePants review, films based on TV shows are usually a mixed bag, but this one is certainly the best, acting like a culmination of everything the show has excelled at.
First of all, the show itself is downright hilarious, and it thrives most in its running gags, strange little throwaway jokes that get funnier every time they appear, like an easter egg. For instance, in one episode, Buford mentions that a giant robot flamingo is the second biggest flamingo he’s ever seen, and then a while later there’s a whole episode dedicated to the biggest flamingo he had seen. In this TV film, there are a number of details that first-time viewers may not get, such as the giant floating baby heads or the newspaper-reading zebra that calls Candace “Kevin” (boy, that sounds weird), but luckily the film has a nice balance of remaining entertaining to newcomers while catering to longtime fans as well.
As with “Phineas and Ferb’s Quantum Boogaloo,” a very well-thought-out and layered time travel episode, the film tackles the subject of other dimensions with surprising intelligence, reflected even in some minor jokes. What other kids’ film has existentialist trading cards and a line like “Would you like to trade two Sartre for a Nietzsche?” I like how the film and show make the characters more quirky than stupid, like some other cartoons I could mention.
Another reason to love the film is the music. Show creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, who voice Doofenshmirtz and Major Monogram respectively, are musical geniuses, as far as I’m concerned. I’m amazed at how they’ve been able to include a song in just about every episode, and while they’re not all perfect, they span every genre, and most blend clever lyrics and rhymes with extremely catchy tunes. The film continues this tradition with songs ranging from ’70s-style falsettos to summer-praising ballads to robot destruction rock. The dimension-spanning “Brand New Reality” is my favorite, but “Summer” and “Robot Riot” are close behind.
The film would have worked well as a grand finale for the entire series, but the show continues the clever reworking of its routine storylines to this day. There was supposed to be a theatrical Phineas and Ferb film coming sometime soon, but, if it never happens, at least there will be this gem of a musical comedy to keep fans like me laughing.
Best line (echoing a repeated line from the show): (Carl the intern, at a touching scene near the end) “Sir, are you crying?” (Major Monogram) “No, I’m sweating through my eyes.”Artistry: 3 Characters/Actors: 7 Entertainment: 8 Visual Effects: 5 Originality: 10 Watchability: 8 TOTAL: 41 out of 60
Next: #208 – Casablanca
© 2014 S. G. Liput
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