BC Review

Phineas and Ferb: Disney Channel

2/01/2008 09:22:21 AM

"Phineas and Ferb" tells the valiant story of how [Phineas and Ferb] conquer boredom and look for adventure, one summer day at a time. Meanwhile, Candace, their big sister, dedicates herself to undermining their pleasure (and tattling on them to Mom and Dad). And Perry the Platypus (the fedora-wearing family pet) sets off on his own bold missions, battling the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Yes, it’s nutty, with a highly whimsical, 1950s-retro visual style. (The Associated Press)

The platypus subplot will try your patience, but it serves a purpose: to frame the main story, which is the spectacle of the stepbrothers Phineas and Ferb staving off summer boredom. They do projects. This does not mean decoupage or soup-can walkie-talkies. Phineas and Ferb work on a heroic scale and are apparently not limited by the laws of nature. (NY Times)

The animation is dizzying, which is exactly what kids want. Slated to run daily until March 1, when it goes to Saturday nights, "Phineas and Ferb" is boisterous and loud. Colors come and go, flashing and flowing incessantly as the stepbrothers Phineas Flynn (voiced by Vincent Martella) and Ferb Fletcher (Thomas Sangster) kick up the dust and create havoc all around them. (Hollywood Reporter)

Co-creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh have "The Simpsons" on their resumes, and they exhibit an ability to tap into children’s fertile brains in a shrewd manner, spiced by enough pop-culture references ("Fantastic Voyage," anyone?) to broaden the show’s appeal beyond just tots. Yet while the mini-episodes (two per half-hour) indulge in wild flights of fancy, there are actually stories here, unlike the addled antics that have come to characterize so much TV animation. (Variety)

"Phineas and Ferb" is clearly one of those cartoons in which the characters can do just about anything. These stories are amusing in the short term but ultimately forgettable. The constant action never allows any characters to develop, and at the end of the day, it’s hard to distinguish between Phineas and Ferb or care about them at all. The tunes are catchy, and the lyrics are clever enough, but it’s never clear whether P&F are intended to entertain children or are merely a reflection of grown-up animators engaged in a juvenile lark. (South Coast Today)

Compiled by Sarah Outhwaite

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