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Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe – Movie Review

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Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe – Movie Review

Rating: B+ (Very Good)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy Walt Disney Studios

Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh created a delightful animated series with Phineas and Ferb, the story of two step-brothers who try to make the most of their summer. With its usage of running jokes, inventive scenarios and toe-tapping songs, it’s easy to see why it was such an enormous hit on the Disney Channel. Even though the series stopped producing new episodes five years ago, the team of directors, storyboard artists and songwriters have not lost their spark. By centering Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe on their sister, they find a clever angle for the film and there are plenty of big laughs scattered throughout.

Initially, Candace Against the Universe seems like it will play like a standard episode with Candace trying to bust her brothers and Perry the Platypus taking part in secret agent missions. Candace being worshipped by aliens even brings to mind the episode “Unfair Science Fair Redux (Another Story).” However, the filmmakers then find some clever new directions to take the characters. Candace’s development is especially great to see, as we witness the psychological effect on always trying to prove her brothers are creating amazing things in the backyard. There are quite a few touching scenes that dig deeper into Phineas and Ferb’s relationship with their stressed-out sister.

Dr. Doofenshmirtz remains a riot and his pairing with the children leads to some solid laughs, including a rivalry with Fireside Girl Isabella. A running gag involving one of his patented “Inators” is also responsible for many hilarious bits. Perry is along for the ride, too, and he gets a fun subplot as he assists Phineas and Ferb without their knowledge. Part of the fun of Phineas and Ferb comes from the amount of inspired jokes included in every minute. Povenmire and Marsh are always willing to take a comedic scene to the next level. An incredibly meta scene might be one of the funniest sequences in any Phineas and Ferb production.

Like the television series, Candace Against the Universe includes a wide array of songs. They do the job of moving the story forward and contain the clever lyrics one would expect. Bob Bowen, a director for Povenmire and Marsh’s other show Milo Murphy’s Law, handles the musical sequences with the proper energy. The best song, though, is saved for the end credits with a tune celebrating Phineas and Ferb’s return to screens. The animation retains the charming simplicity of the show with some slight upgrades for the action scenes and objects like spaceships and robots.

This movie delivers the humour and likeability Phineas and Ferb is known for. It’s great seeing these characters again and the stakes are definitely there for this rescue mission. The voice actors continue to bring their A-game, with Ashley Tisdale especially getting a chance to shine as Candace. Candace Against the Universe would even make for a neat double feature with their first full-length adventure Across the 2nd Dimension. Both of them are so good, a theatrical release would have been deserving. It’s not easy to sustain an animated series for so long, but Povenmire and Marsh know these characters inside and out, how they function and what makes them special. Watching this film is a more than fitting way to close off the summer.

Stefan Ellison
THE SCENE


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