Did the New Phineas and Ferb Movie Live Up to its Expectations?

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"Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe" can be streamed on Disney+. Image credit to "phineasandferb.fandom.com".

Riley Kasprzyk, Staff Writer

Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe is the complete package of everything that could be desired in a film. From polished animation and funny humor, to catchy songs and emotional moments that will move even the most stoic of critics, this movie has it all.  It succeeds in evoking nostalgia, bringing viewers back to the days of Phineas and Ferb. This movie does so much right, and the surface has barely been scratched. This review contains no major spoilers. Any plot details talked about in this article were officially revealed before the movie’s release.

For those not aware, this movie is set in the universe of Phineas and Ferb, an animated cartoon created by Jeff “Swampy” Marsh and Dan Povenmire that aired on Disney XD during the late 2000s and the early 2010s. It features two stepbrothers that come up with insane inventions so that they can make the most out of summer vacation. While they’re having fun, their older sister, Candace, attempts to “bust” them by showing their mom what they’re up to. Unfortunate for her, Candace often prevails with no success. This movie takes on another side of Candace that the show rarely brought up; while her brothers have been enjoying their summer, she has done nothing but fail to bust them, leaving her outlook on her summer to be fairly disappointing. The way that the movie explores Candace’s insecurities of falling in her brothers’ shadow is extremely relatable to anyone with a sibling.When she is kidnapped by aliens in the film, she already feels so insecure that she is happy to be away. When they bring that thread to its end, it leads to a very emotionally satisfying moment.

Overall, the characters in this production are great. One great element of the movie is Ali Wong’s character, Super Super Big Doctor ,who presents a nice parallel to Candace. All of the mainstream characters from the show are there, including Baljeet, Buford, Isabella and even Vanessa. Even Dr. Doofenshmirtz gets to team up with the kids, while Perry must act as the group’s silent guardian. Albeit, this does lead to a slight problem. 

There is a certain part of the story where it feels as if Doofenshmirtz should leave the group ,but he ends up staying with them for a good portion of the film. Splitting ways much earlier would have allowed more screen time between the evil doctor and Agent P, one of the most beloved parts of the original show. However, this is impossible because Perry cannot reveal himself in front of the kids .Overall, the characters in this production are great.

One of the advantages that this movie has over the original show is the quality of animation that is at the studio’s disposal. The film is visually fun to look at, with colors that pop and animation that is smooth and crisp. There is one particularly impressive scene in which Perry has to dodge a field of asteroids, showcasing how much motion and action is involved in this movie. In addition, this movie excels in the comedic field. It has visual comedy, running jokes with great pay-off at the end, meta-humor and more. In fact, there’s one particularly hilarious joke that can be summed up in one word-“Axe-Inator.” 

In addition to comedy, the movie also includes a long list of references and call-backs to the original show. For example, when the group arrives at a baseball stadium, many billboards are filled with Easter-eggs such as“Totally Tools”, “Love Händel”, and “Ducky Momo”. Also, Doofenshmirtz’s weapon of choice on the alien planet is his “Chicken-Replace-inator,” a tool that fires a beam that causes whatever object it hits to swap places with the nearest chicken. The doctor had used this device in an episode of the original series entitled, What a Croc!and in the show Milo Murphy’s Law.The entire premise of this movie may even be based on an earlier episode of the series, Queen of Mars,  as both stories feature Candace ending up on an alien planet that she finds more enjoyable than her home setting. This parallel is very apparent at the beginning of the movie, but becomes less noticeable as the film progresses. 

One of the most popular aspects of the show were the original songs that were featured in every episode. They were so popular that in season 2 , a musical episode was created. The songs in this movie are no different, featuring a good variety of hits that means there is at least one song that everybody will enjoy. Some of these include Such a Beautiful Day, which gives the audience both an insight into Candace’s mental state and a recap of the boys’ inventions, Us Against the Universe, which perfectly wraps the movie together in a way that delivers a meaningful and impactful ending, and Adulting,featuring an unlikely duet of Isabella and Doofenshmirtz that provides a positive and fun number.

Overall, the movie is great. It’s fun, full of heart, colorful, and pure, something that a lot of films these days can’t claim. It can be enjoyed by anyone, from long-time fans that grew up with the show to someone that has never seen a single episode. The flaws in this movie are very miniscule and will only irk hardcore fans of the original show. That’s why Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe deserves a very strong 8.5/10.