19 August 2017 | TheLittleSongbird
'Phineas and Ferb' bigger than ever before
Even though some of the later season episodes weren't as funny and imaginative as the earlier ones, 'Phineas and Ferb' became a favourite when first introduced to it in 2009 or so. Eight years on, despite being finished, 'Phineas and Ferb' airs regularly on the Disney Channel and it's still a pleasure and one of their best shows in a long time.
Although starting with an original concept, the stories in terms of structure are based around the same formula mainly. The ideas and situations however have enough variety to avoid it becoming too repetitive, while it looks good, has one of the catchiest theme tunes of any show in recent years, has wonderful, clever and funny writing, interesting and entertaining character relationships and characters that are easy to like. As likable as the two protagonists are and Candace is more than the stereotypical, tell-tale older sister that she seems, the scene stealers are adorable and funny Perry the Platypus (another example of mastery of actions and expressions registering hugely without uttering a word) and hilariously loony and incompetent Doofenschmirtz.
It was inevitable that 'Phineas and Ferb' would get its own feature film, and it richly deserved it with characters and writing strong enough to warrant one. 'Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension' more than does the show justice and as far as films based on Disney Channel shows not released in theatres it's one of the best there is, proof too that 'Phineas and Ferb' had not lost its mojo at this point.
Maybe the pacing is a little too fast on occasions, especially in the second half, and the finale is rather overblown and descends too much into silliness (something that the rest of the film avoided, so it was a shame). Flaws aside, 'Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension' is absolutely perfect for existing fans of the show and does a very good job in its attempt to attract a wider audience which shows that the film works on its own too. Children will love it and there is plenty for adults to enjoy, if anything adults or older fans will appreciate the story and humour more most likely.
The animation is good and true to the animation style of the show but with a little more visual invention thanks to having a premise that allows for that to happen. It's simple but never simplistic, it's all vibrant in colour and the attention to detail is often marvellous. The music is catchy with some clever lyric writing, despite loving the infectious music in the show there was the fear that the music wouldn't be to my taste here, having heard polarising opinions on it, but coming from someone raised on classical music and opera it was right up my street.
'Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension' is particularly good in the writing, characters and character relationships. The writing is remarkably intelligent, witty, inventive and clever with cracking puns and one-liners and references that will delight older audiences. All in the spirit of the show. The characters are both interesting and likable, it has been said that Phineas is out of character, and he is (showing a side to him that has never happened in the show), but one can understand why if anybody knows what its like for someone you love and trust is not who they seem while also understanding Perry's point of view.
The characterisations of Perry and Doofenschmirtz are on point and stay true to their original personalities, and Candace's subplot actually to me was crucial in her development while not being as interesting as the rest of the story. The interactions are a joy all round, especially Phineas/Ferb, Phineas/Perry and Perry/Doofenschmirtz.
Really liked the story. The fast paced energy of the show's story-lines are intact as are the inventiveness, the characterisations and relationships. Even better was how well 'Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension' did in opening things up with all the ingredients that made the show work so well intact while having the alternate dimension concept that gave the film a darker, bigger and edgier approach. This concept was intriguing and gave a suitable amount of tension and fun. The alternative universe versions of the characters are creepy and entertaining. It even has a touching moment with the reconciliation scene that warmed the heart too.
Voice acting is typically terrific, particularly from Vincent Martella (Phineas), Ashley Tisdale (Candace) and Dan Povenmire (Doofenschmirtz).
Overall, a real pleasure and complements 'Phineas and Ferb' perfectly. 9/10 Bethany Cox