So the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend it.
Making a Phineas and Ferb thread!
So there's this cartoon on Disney that is outstandingly good. It's called (duh) Phineas and Ferb. Some of you may already be aware of this show. Some may not. I am a very big fan because pretty much everything on this show is very well executed.
The show stars the titular characters:
Phineas is a young boy who dreams big. He is amazingly creative and resourceful. He spends his summer vacation coming up with wild and amazing projects to fill his days with fun and excitement.
Ferb is step-brother to Phineas. He and his dad are British. Ferb is generally the straight man of the duo, and rarely speaks. One of the running gags (of which there are many, and I'll address later) is that he only has one or two lines per episode.
The creators of the show wanted to make it a blended family because one of them grew up in one and realized that this type of family is pretty under-represented in cartoons. What’s neat about it is that they never really make it a focal point of the show. That’s just the kind of family they happen to be and they’re no different than any other loving family.
So anyway, Phineas and Ferb are on summer vacation. They sit in the backyard pondering what to do until Phineas is usually inspired by something and utters a catchphrase, “Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do today!”
But see, the thing is, their chosen daily activities are giant outlandsh adventures or inventions that no one, especially kids, could ever accomplish in a single day. In the first episode, they build a giant rollercoaster in their backyard and invite all the neighborhood kids to ride. And it only escalates from there. From time travel to building an animation studio, from constructing robot versions of themselves to building a portal to Mars, the boys make the most of each and every day.
But someone isn’t happy about this.
Candace is the teenage sister of Phineas and Ferb. While not talking on the phone to her best friend Stacy, obsessing over her crush/boyfriend Jeremy, she is overly concerned with her brothers’ activities. She is always trying bust her brothers, to get their mom to see what terrible, crazy, and irresponsible shenanigans the boys are getting in to. However, no matter what happens, all evidence of the big project is completely gone before their mom can see it, usually disappearing mere seconds before she arrives.
And that’s pretty much the main jist of the show. Phineas and Ferb make something crazy, and Candace tries to bust them.
Right about now, I know that every other fan of this show has one question they’re about to ask.
Hey, where’s Perry?
Perry the Platypus
The boys’ lovable pet. He’s a platypus. They don’t do much. Unless of course, that platypus is secretly a super secret agent!
Unbeknownst to the boys, their lovable cuddly pet is jet-setting action hero super spy! Every day while the boys are building their project, Perry slips away through some secret entrance and arrives in his little spy cave place thingy to receive the latest news on his nemesis, and to go off to foil the evil plans of said nemesis.
Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz
Doofenshmirtz is Perry’s evil scientist nemesis. He generally concocts wild, outlandish schemes to cause some sort of misfortune to befall the tri-state area. They are primarily based on petty grudges he holds from growing up in his hometown of Gimelschtump. He’s mostly incompetent and ends up foiling his own plans through poor planning or designs.
Perry and Doofenshmirtz are the focus of the “B” story that’s happening concurrently in every episode. And quite often, the results of their battle are what cause the wacky project of Phineas and Ferb to disappear moments before Candace is able to show their mother.
So this is pretty much my favorite cartoon that’s on right now. It has a great sense of comedic timing, top notch voice acting, very smooth animation, and a fun art style.
The show makes extensive use of references
puns and sight gags
And lots of running gags and callbacks.
But they do a really good job of often presenting the running gag or callback in different way than the standard so that it doesn’t seem forced or stale.
And of course, the other big part of Phineas and Ferb are the musical numbers. After putting a musical bit in the second episode, Disney asked the creators of the show to do a song for every episode.
The quality of the music is actually quite surprising for a standard half-hour cartoon that’s split into two 15 minute stories. They cover a wide range of musical styles, nearly every character sings at one point or another, and they are actually enjoyable. On top of that, the show is animated so well, that when characters are playing instruments or dancing, you can see that there was care taken to make sure that their are actually animated in time with the music. Not just generic strumming on guitar, but actual syncing up with music. That’s almost completely unheard of in TV animation.
Here are a few of my favorite tunes from the show:
If you are a fan of cartoons at all, I very highly recommend that you check out Phineas and Ferb.
It’s streaming on Netflix and is actually updated with new episodes about a week or two after they air, so you can get completely caught up.