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Phineas and stepbrother Ferb are summer’s biggest fans;
They’ve spanned the Tri-State Area with all their clever plans,
From robot selves to giant sharks to rollercoaster rides,
But Mom can never see them, though the duo never hides.
Meanwhile, the family’s platypus named Perry sneaks away
To battle Dr. Doofenshmirtz, whose evil fails each day.
These plots can sometimes touch, but until now have never crossed.
When both boys meet ol’ Doof, poor Perry’s secret may be lost.
They help him fix his latest scheme, the Other Dimensionator,
Which opens up a portal to a world where Doof’s dictator.
This even more malicious creep exposes Agent P,
And Phineas is shocked that Perry’s lied so rampantly.
They flee from both the Doofenshmirtzes, needing help and fast.
They meet their other-dimension selves, both timid by contrast.
To get back home, they seek the aid of those resisting Doof,
Led by their sister Candace, who is hardened and aloof.
The Candace from the first dimension also joins the team,
But Perry has been caught, and they must save their monotreme.
Their rescue doesn’t go as planned, and punishment awaits,
But second Candace saves them from their less-than-lucky fates.
The first-dimension characters then seize the chance to flee
Through many strange dimensions to their own reality,
But things are not much brighter since the second Doofenshmirtz
Releases robot armies, which nobody else averts.
With Agent P’s assistance, his two boys start fighting strong
With the many cool inventions that they’ve built all summer long.
When at last they fight the mastermind, they shut the robots down,
And first-dimension Doofenshmirtz ends up saving the town.
The first dimension’s saved, and now the second’s also freed,
And everyone is glad as life and summer can proceed.
Yet Agent P must leave, now that his secret is revealed,
And Phineas and Ferb now wish that he’d remained concealed.
In order to still keep their pet, they all somehow agree
To have their memories erased, including Dr. D.
So only Perry can recall how good his two boys are
And how they helped him on the greatest summer day, so far.

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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