A Tribute to Phineas and Ferb
As “The Last Day of Summer” airs on Friday, June 12th at 9 PM ET, we’ll all be watching to see how Phineas and Ferb, and a gang of characters we’ve grown to love, spend their last day of summer vacation before returning to school for the fall. We have heard that this may be an episode that crosses “Groundhog Day” with “The Langoliers”, which will certainly make it an interesting way to bring back all the characters for one final story. It should be noted that most cartoons never get the chance to “wrap-up” the series into something that gives closure for both the characters in the cartoon and the audience watching it. So, even before we have seen this final episode of the series, “I know what we’re going to do today.” We want to pay tribute to the show that both kids and adults have enjoyed watching together since it debuted in 2007.
Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh will forever be immortalized as the creators of one of the most engaging, funny, intelligent, and sensational cartoons of the last century. Here’s why: The music grabs you right away with the guitar rifts in the infectious theme song by Bowling for Soup (Today is gonna be a great day)… “There’s 104 days of summer vacation…” and you are prepared to see how Phineas and Ferb will spend their day, and how your next 11 minutes will be a tremendously fun and entertaining ride through Danville, the Tri-State area, and beyond. As Phineas and Ferb get to the point where they have decided their plan for the day, and their sister Candace obsesses over busting her brothers and getting Jeremy’s attention, we just can’t wait to hear Isabella say, “Whatcha doin?” (One of many running gags that make the show fun to watch from episode to episode). Her curiosity may have been driven by her desire to be closer to Phineas, but she solidifies herself as a faithful friend who, along with her Fireside Girls troop, can support any endeavor that Phineas and Ferb can concoct. Baljeet and Buford make up the comedy relief of the supporting friends cast, in a world that is full of comedic characters already.
The “Where’s Perry?” question always brings us to the ‘Agent P’ subplot of every episode, where Major Monogram and Carl give Perry the Platypus his orders to stop Dr. Doofenshmirtz from terrorizing the Tri-State area with another “-inator” weapon that will spell doom somehow. Agent P gets trapped, escapes, and continues his pursuit of Doofenshmirtz, all while the Phineas and Ferb invention is reaching its peak potential, and we see that there will be a culmination, where the two plots run into each other, usually ending with the “-inator” making the boys invention disappear just in the nick of time to have Candace show her Mom what the boys were doing, only to find it’s gone, and she’s unable to bust them. Agent P manages to destroy the “-inator” and leaves Doofenshmirtz screaming, “Curse you, Perry the Platypus!”, goes back to the boys as Perry the Platypus, and hears, “Oh, there you are, Perry!”
This can be considered by some to be a formula that the creators used to fashion each episode, and while some detractors will say that it made the episodes ‘stale’, what made fans excited to watch the show WAS the running gags, with all the crazy adventures and accompanying songs that made the ride wonderful. There were times when the formula wasn’t followed. There were times when we were surprised by different things happening than we expected. So, you half knew what to expect, and at the same time, were shown the unexpected. That made the show fresh. And, who can forget the crossover episodes with Marvel and Star Wars?
The music, many would say, was the best part of the show. After seeing the video on YouTube, “Making of the Floor After Floor Song (a.k.a. Keep on Buildin’)”, everyone was able to see how quickly(about an hour) Dan, Swampy, Martin Olsen, and John Colton Barry could come together to write a song for each episode. Then, they would hand it off to Danny Jacob, who would produce an arrangement for the song that weekend. Someday, we hope there’s a soundtrack compilation that includes every Phineas and Ferb song they ever produced. We’re never going to stop singing along with songs like “Squirrel in my Pants”, “A-G-L-E-T”, “Ain’t Got Rhythm”, “Busted”, “Gitchee Gitchee Goo”, “You Snuck Your Way Right Into My Heart”, or “Perry the Platypus”.
Despite the constant schedule, churning out more and more Phineas and Ferb episodes, Dan and Swampy, as well as some voice artists and crew, were able to get out and see the fans at Comic-Con International, Disney’s D23 Convention, and they even took a national tour on the Platybus, an Airstream trailer made to look like Perry the Platypus. Always available for an interview, Dan and Swampy and the entire staff even made a video to answer many of the questions that media would ask about the process of making the show, called “We’re Animatin'”. It was a rap parody of an SNL short, called “Lazy Sunday”. It shows you everything you would want to know about how the show is made, in an entertaining rap that is quite funny.
Of course, we wouldn’t be paying a proper tribute if we didn’t thank all the voice actors that made these characters come alive in our living rooms. Here is the main cast for Phineas and Ferb:
Obviously, we know Dan and Swampy are already working on their next animated series, “Mikey Murphy’s Law”. And we are certain that it will be an entertaining ride for fans of all ages, with music and fun and hijinks galore. But wouldn’t it be really cool if there was one final twist in this last episode of Phineas and Ferb?
So, as your watching “The Last Day of Summer”, imagine if the UPS guy came up to Phineas to have him sign a form to accept a shipment of the materials needed for his final invention of the summer, and the UPS guys asks, “Aren’t you a little young to be retiring from TV?”
And Phineas responds, “Yes. Yes I am.”