Review: Disney+'s 'Phineas and Ferb' movie a fun continuation of the series
Courtesy of Disney+
“Phineas and Ferb” might be the last solid two dimensional cartoon to come out of the Disney canon before everything permanently flipped to CGI and 3D. The story of two brothers who, over the course of their 104 day summer vacation, went to the moon and back, concocted thousands of outlandish gizmos and gadgets, and tormented their big sister, Candace, to no avail.
Well, Candace is finally getting the spotlight in Disney+’s “Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against the Universe,” the first we’ve seen of the squad since the show ended in 2012. For those unfamiliar, the high strung sibling was always determined to rat out her younger brother's devious inventions, which would effectively end their summer fun. But, as luck would have it, she never succeeds. Like Wile E. Coyote’s countless attempts to catch Road Runner, Candace never comes close to busting her brothers.
And so begins “Universe,” where Phineas (Vincent Martella) and Ferb (David Errigo Jr, replacing Thomas Brodie Sangster) are with their buddies, causing mischief and mayhem while having a great summer. However, Candace (Ashley Tisdale) is not, and the fact that it’s been this way over the course of five seasons, makes the wounds sting a little more. But all that comes to fruition in “Candace Against The Universe” where she finally gets the spotlight and an attempt to steal the show.
Why does she always want to get her brothers in trouble? Is a big gambit the show’s creators never really tackled, and in the new film we found out she’s dealt with massive insecurities because of her brother’s sensational ideas. In her eyes, she’s not the special, and when she - along with best friend Vanessa - are abducted by aliens, Phineas, Ferb, and the rest of the gang: Baljeet (Maulik Pancholy), Isabella (Alyson Stoner), and Buford (Bobby Gaylor) team up with Evil, Incorporated's Doofenshmirtz (Dan Povenmire, series co-creator) to track them down.
But does she want to be rescued?
Upon arrival on the alien mothership, Candace is greeted with welcome arms as “The Chosen One” by Super Super Big Doctor (Ali Wong) and suddenly she has a purpose. She’s special. But it’s not all as it seems and Big Doctor has a hidden agenda that threatens to upend earth, and time as we know it!
“Candace Against The Universe” is a welcome return after a five year hiatus, even if it's just to see Perry The Platypus sneak around like the secret agent he is. Some of the musical jingles don’t really land as “Girl’s Day Out” and “Unsung Hero” aren’t the toe-tapping anthems one would expect, and there’s a few too many subplots happening in the background that take away from the films core missions and objectives, signaling why “P&F” worked so well as a 21 minute saturday morning cartoon. But creators Dan Povernmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh infuse the film with meta commentary and some fun bits, sure to give fans of all ages plenty to giggle over.
Most importantly, the film amplifies the relationship between Candace and her brothers. You start to get the sense that, for all the times she tries to get them in trouble, the sibling actually loves her little bros. Whether we get to see these ragtag groups of characters back in action remains to be seen, but if “Candace Against The Universe” is the culmination of the series, well that wouldn't be a terrible way to go out. I know what you should be doing today.
PHINEAS AND FERB: CANDACE AGAINST THE UNIVERSE” is now streaming exclusively on Disney+