Case Number 15644: Small Claims Court

PHINEAS AND FERB: THE DAZE OF SUMMER

Disney // 2009 // 112 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // February 9th, 2009

The Charge

There is no such thing as an ordinary day to Phineas and Ferb.

The Case

Phineas (the one with the triangle-shaped head) and Ferb (the one with the rectangle-shaped head) are brothers and the very best of friends. They're both incredibly inventive kids, and as such, they're always inventing some sort of remarkable gadget or unusual device. The two also enjoy hanging out with Perry, their pet platypus. Perry may seem like a perfectly ordinary platypus, but nothing could be further from the truth. Perry works as an undercover secret agent for a super-secretive organization. Perry spends the majority of his time attempting to save the world from the rather pathetic supervillain, Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Phineas and Ferb also have an older sister named Candace (the one with the circle-shaped head), who is constantly irritated by the shenanigans of her younger siblings.

This disc collects 5 episodes of the popular Disney animated show. Each episode offers two 11-minute stories, each chronicling a new adventure of our two inventive young heroes.

* "Jerk de Soleil" -- Phineas and Ferb decide to put on a Cirque de Soleil-style circus performance for all of their friends. Meanwhile, Perry the Platypus attempts to stop Dr. Doofenshmirtz from employing a massive helium machine that will ruin the voices of everyone in the city.

* "Toy to the World" -- Phineas and Ferb are getting sick and tired of toys that perform all sorts of interesting activities, so they decide to invent a toy that does nothing: a wooden Perry the Platypus toy! Meanwhile, Perry must stop Dr. Doofenshmirtz from building a giant wall around the city.

* "A Hard Day's Knight" -- The family travels to England, and visit a renaissance fair. Candace begins to fall in love with a dreamy prince, but her romance will undoubtedly be ruined by her pesky brothers. Malcolm McDowell and Tim Curry provide vocal guest appearances.

* "I Brobot" -- Phineas and Ferb create a bunch of robots who look just like Phineas and Ferb. The robots have two settings: "Dance" and "Work." They're great dancers, but once the robots start working, things turn sour. Also, Perry attempts to stop Dr. Doofenshmirtz from erasing embarassing voicemail messages with a giant magnet.

* "It's a Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud World" -- Candace is having trouble learning how to parallel park, so Phineas and Ferb come up with a great plan: they'll give her a monster truck! If she can learn how to parallel park a monster truck, she'll be able to parallel park anything! This leads to Candace getting involved in a monster truck rally. Perry attempts to stop Dr. Doofenshmirtz from employing a machine that zaps monster trucks into another dimension.

* "The Ballad of Badbeard" -- Phineas, Ferb, and Candace go on a camping trip, and hear the legendary tale of an evil pirate named Badbeard. Candace accidentally runs into some unfriendly moss, and begins to have hallucinations of Perry battling Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Or are they hallucinations?

* "Greece Lightning" -- Phineas and Ferb make some chariots, and stage a giant race. Meanwhile, Perry has to do battle with a banal robot named Norm.

* "Leave the Busting to Us" -- Every time Candace attempts to tell on her brothers, the evidence is somehow erased by the time her mother arrives. So Candace hires a team of reality show producers to capture the antics of Phineas and Ferb on-camera.

* "Unfair Science Fair" & "Unfair Science Fair Redux" -- A two-part episode in which the boys build a portal to Mars for their local science fair. Unfortunately, Candace winds up stepping through the portal and finds herself stranded on the red planet. Meanwhile, Dr. Doofenshmirtz is working on his own evil science fair entry.

I haven't exactly hidden the fact that I'm very unenthusiastic about much of the programming being offered to kids on television these days. To a certain degree, Phineas and Ferb is more of the same: zany energy, snarky pop-culture references, lazy animation that employs as few lines as possible. Despite all this, Phineas and Ferb started to grow on me rather quickly. The strengths of the show outweigh the weaknesses. Imagination and ambition are celebrated at every turn. The jokes are surprisingly fresh much of the time, offering the impression that the writers actually wrote the jokes themselves rather than borrowing them from other animated programs. The voice work is very enthusiastic without going obnoxiously over-the-top. The plots are rather wonderfully organized machines of chaos.

Creators Jeff Marsh and Dan Povenmire expressed a desire to create a show as high-energy and diverse as Family Guy, but without any of the adult humor that has defined that controversial program. On the basis of these five episodes, I would actually submit that Phineas and Ferb is even more entertaining than Family Guy. There's a level of wit here that invites comparison to Pinky and the Brain. Despite the wacky, high-octane style, this is a show that actually has a great deal of compassion and affection for its characters. Plus, it has a secret agent platypus. Everyone knows that the platypus is awesome. Everyone knows that secret agents are awesome. Make a platypus a secret agent, and you've got a sure-fire hit on your hands.

The transfer is perfectly acceptable. Colors are bright and vibrant throughout, and the image is fairly sharp. The 2.0 audio gets the job done in a satisfactory manner. The only extras are three interactive games that young kids may have fun with.

Not guilty.

Review content copyright © 2009 Clark Douglas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: Disney
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 112 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Interactive Games

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0852863/combined