Monday, September 5, 2011

Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension

For the most part I don't regret my decision to "cut the cord" and go without cable, but every now and then it means I miss out on certain things. In this case, it meant I couldn't watch a Disney Channel Original Movie when it premiered. The good news is that Disney loves money, so of course they put it out on DVD. And the good thing for me is that I belong to the Disney Movie Club, so since I was going to order The Lion King on blu ray anyway, I got this one for 60% off. The DVD release also features an episode I've already mentioned on here before, "Attack of the 50 Foot Sister" with creator commentary which was a nice bonus. There's also "Perry-oke" so you can sing along with all the songs in the movie.

As a comic book fan, the idea of an alternate reality anything is usually pretty exciting for me. Add to the fact that this particular alternate reality features a Dr. D who is actually evil, and I knew I was going to be in for a fun film.

Given the way most Phineas and Ferb episodes are actually two shorts in one, you might think stretching something from 11 minutes to 77 would lead to a dragging storyline, but that's not the case here at all. You really have to hand it to the writers of this show for continually making something that is creative, intelligent and funny regardless of length.

Beyond seeing alternate reality versions of nearly all of the characters, this movie also allows characters who never meet in the show to finally interact with each other. There was something about seeing Phineas, Ferb and Dr. D all work on an invention together that was a whole lot of fun. The movie also brought out a surprising amount of dramatic range for Phineas. In the first scene, before we flashback, Phineas says he can't be his normal positive self at the moment, and in a way that is largely true for the whole movie. When he discovers that Perry is really a secret agent, he lets loose on him for not telling them about it. When you combine his verbose complaining with the fact that poor Perry can't talk to explain himself, it's kind of heartbreaking. By the time the song "I Walk Away" started playing, a tear came to my eye. (Though in all fairness, that's not the first time this show has made me cry. "Little Brothers" gets me nearly every time I hear it.)

Speaking of the songs, I wish I could rave about them, but honestly overall I'm not terribly impressed. While they fit the movie very well, there isn't any particular one here that stands out to me. Technically I now have digital copies of all of them since they also came with the DVD, but I can't see myself playing them much. I enjoyed the animated sequences that went with them more so than the songs themselves.

Perfect example. I love all the little things referenced here, and I love seeing Dr. D x 2, but the song is just okay.

I loved all the alternate reality counterparts, particularly the truly evil Dr. D and the confident, grown up Candace. I enjoyed the way the story allowed both for our versions to have an effect on the alternate reality and that our reality was at least temporarily visited by the alternates as well. The movie is also basically a big tribute to former episodes, almost to the point that this could have worked as a kind of series finale. Part of me would have liked to see things permanently change on the show going forward, but I can understand why they didn't do that. The way they do turn everything back to normal is fairly predictable and handled well.

If you've never seen the show before, I don't think you should start with the film. There's too many winks and nods in here that you probably won't entirely get it. So go watch the show (I've already told you why you should!), and then check out the film. I think most of my fellow fans have already seen the movie.. so what did you guys think?


  1. +JMJ+

    Yay! You've seen it! =D I would have commented sooner if I hadn't been too busy even to blog.

    I know what you mean about wishing things could have changed permanently on the series, and I think that these writers are good enough to have pulled it off. On the other hand, we know that happened with Transformers back in the 1980s, and that was so negatively received that similar plans for G.I. Joe were scrapped at the eleventh hour. So perhaps this is best. =P

    Another thing we both loved is the depth given to Phineas's character. We really saw another side of him, didn't we? It was also great to see Perry showing how much he did love the boys. Honestly, just from watching the show, I would have said that he really did just think of them as his cover; so I understand Phineas and Ferb's hurt reaction to the truth. Plus, Perry can't talk to explain himself. Awwww!

  2. I know, you disappeared there for a while, I was starting to get worried! :) Glad to have you back!

    I always figured Perry did care about the boys, and I think he's even got a soft spot for Dr. D. He's got to at least feel bad for him, right? But it is entirely possible that I am looking far too into it there!

  3. +JMJ+

    Actually, I agree with you about Perry feeling some affection for Dr. Doofinschmirtz. If I were more of a fan fic writer, I'd write a "prequel" in which Dr. D is revealed to be Perry's original owner. =P

  4. That would add even more hilarity to the fact that Dr. D can't figure out that normal Perry is Agent P!


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