“There’s 104 days of summer vacation, and school comes along just to end it. So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it. Like maybe…”
So begins the theme song of the Disney Channel animated series Phineas and Ferb. Phineas and Ferb are brothers with a perpetual summer of fun at their fingertips. Phineas is the verbal idea man, devising the most out-of-this-world projects and plans. Ferb is the softspoken man of action who can make it, build it, and bring the plans to life. Their sister, Candace, is on a lifelong mission to “bust her brothers,” which means she wants her parents, specifically her mother, to catch the boys in the act and punish them. Their pet platypus, Perry, has a secret identity as Agent P. His job is to keep the evil Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz from bringing ruin to the Tri-State Area. The family’s parents are blissfully unaware of the goings on inside their home, or more typically, out in the back yard.
You may have guessed that this is meant to be a children’s TV show, but there is humor and enjoyment here for adults as well. As in many Disney productions, jokes are included for the entertainment of adults watching with their children. The animation is well done, and the voice acting is spot-on. Each episode includes a brief musical interlude with an original song written to support the plot. The characters either break into song, or a montage is shown with music to accompany their actions.
Between Phineas and Ferb’s daily creation, Candace’s efforts to bust them, Perry’s duel with Doofenshmirtz, and the requisite song, there’s a lot to pack into such a short show, but the episodes are well-paced so that it never feels rushed. In-jokes and references to previous episodes are fun to spot, and throughout the course of the series Phineas and Ferb have done nearly everything they mention in their theme song: building a rocket, fighting a mummy, discovering something that doesn’t exist, giving a monkey a shower, and of course driving their sister insane.
Among the episodes featured on these two DVDs are some of my personal favorites, including standouts I, Brobot, in which Phineas and Ferb build Phinedroids and Ferbots, Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror, in which the boys build a beach in their backyard, and Flop Starz, in which the boys endeavor to be one-hit wonders.