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HTF DVD Review: Phineas and Ferb - The Daze of Summer



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#1 of 1 ONLINE   Neil Middlemiss

Neil Middlemiss

    Screenwriter

  • 2,701 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 15 2001
  • Real Name:Neil Middlemiss

Posted February 07 2009 - 10:20 AM

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Phineas and Ferb - The Daze of Summer

 

US Release Date: February 10, 2009
Review Date: February 7, 2009


The Show - htf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gif out of htf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gif

 

"Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence."

As I said in my review of the first collection of episodes on DVD, Phineas and Ferb: The Fast and the Phineas, this Disney show is a slyly witted, energetic cartoon filled with an expected level of visual exuberance and youthful parlance. The characters, with pronounced head shapes, revolve around the perennial super inventive, super-geeks who exercise a playful budgetary abandon as they create summer school vacation distractions with limitless access to resources, tools and dimensional time and space.

Phineas and Ferb, as the theme song joyfully pronounces, are just a couple of kids (stepbrothers) getting absolutely the most they can out of the summer vacation before school starts again. They are persistently pestered by an older sister, Candace (voiced by Ashley Tisdale), who is bent on exposing their elaborate ‘schemes’ to their mother. Unfortunately for Candace, the Mom always seems to be just out of ear shot or looking the other way at all the right moments for the expose to be complete. It is a nice and humorous thread that runs through each episode. Anyone who grew up with an older sister will instantly relate.

Phineas and Ferb are assisted by a girl scout troop called the fireside girls led by Isabella (Alyson Stoner) who has a bit of a crush on Phineas. She shows up at the right times with a playful and mildly shy “Whatcha doooin”. Her character is a great model for young girls, despite the impetus for her handiness mostly coming from her crush.

The voice talent is strong, with the verbose Phineas voiced by Vincent Martella and the verbally thrifty Ferb, a brit, voiced by Thomas Sangster. The mother is voiced by Caroline Rhea while dad is voiced by Richard O’Brien. Unusual too, how this family is a hybrid of English and American, with the mother being from the US and the father being from the UK. It adds yet another layer of interest to the show.

This collection of five more episodes from the show;s first season has our odd head-shaped duo building a circus show, engage their creativity to make the world’s best toy and help Baljeet build a Portal to Mars in the one of the best musical number on the collection – a tribute to Bollywood’s delicious and colorful music extravagances. The redux segment, a neat idea, is an equally entertaining alternate story within a story.

With a penchant for launching into clever musical numbers, Phineas and Ferb is a cartoon that can quite easily be enjoyed by children and adults alike. With plenty of good messages for young boys and girls alike woven into the general flow of the show, it can be an example without being an animated sermon. This is a likable show and good entertainment for a pretty broad range of kids. It enjoys storylines that work within the parameters of the characters and the setting, but doesn’t ever seem to feel limited in imagination.

This is quite evident in the running sideshow storyline of Phineas and Ferb’s pet platypus Perry. Not your typical aquatic mammal. His pet persona is just that. While the boys are off constructing their elaborate distractions, he will enter his secret agent lair where he becomes Agent P, receiving top secret missions that all seems to center around the befuddling, and only slightly evil Dr Doofenshmirtz (voiced by show co-creator Dan Povenmire). This element of the show is a fun sidestep and just as engaging as the backyard adventures of the series namesakes.


The Episodes

Episode One
Jerk De Soleil
Toy to the World

Episode 2
A Hard Days Knight
I, Brobot

Episode 3
It’s A Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud World
The Ballad of Badbeard

Episode 4
Greece Lightning
Leaving the Busting to Us

Episode 5
Unfair Science Fair
Unfair Science Fair Redux




The Video - htf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gif out of htf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gif

Walt Disney brings this new collection of 5 episodes to DVD in its original broadcast ratio of 1.33:1.

Identical in quality of the Fast and the Phineas collection, the lines are clean, colors bright and the animation smooth. The image appears to be uncomplicated by unwanted interference and is very pleasing. Once again, good stuff.



 

The Sound - htf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_half.gif out of htf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gif

The sound is also of identical quality to the previous collection, with a Dolby Digital Surround Sound option that serves the show well. The dialogue in the center channel is a little louder than most films, but not distracting, just a little more pronounced. The musical numbers do well in the speakers, filtering into the surrounds enough to stand apart from the general run of the show. All round this is a perfectly suitable audio performance for this show.

 

The Extra’s - htf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gif out of htf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gif

All-New Googolplex Mall Science Fair - Phineas and Ferb’s science teacher gives instructions on how to navigate the science fair where you get the chance to play science experiment games:
-WDCTMM? (“What do Candace’s Text Messages Mean?”)
- The World’s Biggest Baking Soda Volcano-inator!!!!!!
-Phineas and Ferb’s Microscopic Zoo that Fits on the Head of a Pin





Final Thoughts

Phineas and Ferb continues to be an inventive and fun show. Again, a full season set would be preferred but if the price is right, this collection of 5 episodes is a good hour and a half’s worth of entertainment and the extra features, though slim, are worth a few minutes distraction.




Overall Score - htf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gif out of htf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gifhtf_images_smilies_star.gif

Neil Middlemiss
Kernersville, NC


"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
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