- See Also: Phineas and Ferb (disambiguation)
Phineas and Ferb is an American animated television comedy and Disney Channel Original Series produced by Disney Television Animation for Disney Channel. The series first aired on August 17, 2007 and its last episode aired on June 12, 2015.
The show is a Daytime Emmy Award-winning American animated television series about two young stepbrothers who turn their dreams into reality every day. Their teenage sister is jealous and tries to get them in trouble, but the evidence always seem to disappear before their mom sees it. Meanwhile, an evil but weird scientist, Dr. Doofenshmirtz seeks to wreak havoc in the Tri-State Area and only the two kids' pet platypus Perry, a.k.a. Agent P, can stop him.
Creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh met as layout artists on The Simpsons in the mid-1990s, where they sat across from each other as layout artists on that series. They bonded over a shared sense of humor and were eventually paired as a writing team on Rocko's Modern Life for Nickelodeon where they learned more and more aspects of the animation production business. Phineas actually makes a prototypical appearance in the post office line of Rocko's Modern Life S4 E6a: "S.W.A.K." in 1996.
It was during this time that the pair started to develop a show that would allow them to continue working together as writers. At the Wild Thyme restaurant in South Pasadena, California, where they have butcher paper over the tables and crayons for you to draw with, Povenmire was sharing a meal with his wife when he drew the first sketch of a triangle-headed kid. Povenmire called Marsh that evening and told him the news: he had created Phineas.
All the other characters grew from that simple triangle-headed kid. Phineas is a triangle, Ferb is a rectangle, and Candace is a half-circle. The goal was to create simple characters that kids could easily draw on their own. They also created characters that were easily recognizable in silhouette, which is an old animation standard that Matt Groening taught Povenmire while he was working on The Simpsons.
After the characters were set, they decided to work geometric shapes into the background to tie the whole thing together. Marsh describes this homage to legendary Looney Tunes animator/director Tex Avery, "There's a little bit of Tex Avery in there — he had that very graphic style [in his later cartoons]. A lot of what I see [in the series] now is borrowed from Tex". The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show provided additional inspiration in its format, where several different stories would be resolved together at the end of the episode.
The color palette was originally a matter of discussion. Povenmire and Marsh wanted bright candy-colored characters with natural colors for the backgrounds. Marsh emphasized the need "for all of the stuff that they do to work, their world needs to be grounded in reality". Disney wanted a more stylized palette. Povenmire recalled, "I actually had discussions with Disney about this because they wanted to come up with a cool color scheme. I just wanted it to feel like summer". The creators won out in the end.
The Family Guy Connection
Povenmire and Marsh were no longer working together. Marsh had moved to London to work on an assortment of films and series including Postman Pat and Bounty Hamster. Povenmire had started animating and directing Family Guy episodes, but continued to shop the show around to Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Fox Kids.
Studios were worried about the complexity of the plots for the time allowed. At Fox, there were a few meetings, but negotiations fizzled out. Nickelodeon kept sending it up higher and higher in the production personnel ranks, but it was eventually deemed too complicated to pull off. Their stubbornness and persistence paid off when Povenmire finally got a meeting with Disney. According to Povenmire, "Disney was the first to say, 'Let's see if you can do it in 11 minutes'. We did it in the pilot and they said, 'Let's see if you can do it for 26 episodes'". 
Disney Channel's Senior VP of Original Series Adam Bonnet was a fan of Family Guy and wasn't scared off by Povenmire's work on the series. In fact, it was because of his connections to the prime time Fox animated sitcom known for its gross-out gags and raunchy humor that Bonnet wanted to see whatever Povenmire was working on. Povenmire recalls about Bonnet, "He called me for a meeting when I was working on a different pilot for them just to tell me how much he liked Family Guy. When I came back to pitch my own show, I think he was more open to it".
Povenmire brought "some of that prime time animation timing without any of the raunch" to Phineas and Ferb. In fact, many of the blank stares and sight gags have a prime time and Tex Avery charm to them. "People think Family Guy is a success because of how raunchy the gags are. I don't think it would have been a success at all if the timing wasn't absolutely crystal pitch perfect -- if there wasn't just the right amount of pause before or after the line. Comedy is all about timing and I think that's what people are responding to". Povenmire describes the show as a combination of Family Guy and SpongeBob SquarePants.
Marsh called the characters "cool, edgy and clever without [...] being mean-spirited". According to Povenmire, their animation director, Rob Hughes, agreed: "in all the other shows every character is either stupid or a jerk, but there are no stupid characters or jerks in this one".
- Main article: Original Pitch
Unlike non-animated series, they didn't show them a script, they pitched a storyboard. A storyboard is a scene-by-scene visual breakdown of how the episode would look. When it came time to present it to the executives overseas, Povenmire edited the storyboards together into a film, adding music, sound effects and providing the voices for all the characters. This animatic can be found on the The Fast and the Phineas DVD. The original pitch eventually became the episode "Rollercoaster".
The plots grew from Povenmire's childhood in Mobile, Alabama. His mother was always encouraging them to do creative things rather than watch television. One of his activities was making home movies. Povenmire says, "My mom let me drape black material all the way across one end of our living room to use as a space field. I would hang little models of spaceships for these little movies I made with a Super 8 camera".
Phineas and Ferb Scenario
Phineas (Vincent Martella) and Ferb (Thomas Sangster) are stepbrothers who live with their older sister Candace (Ashley Tisdale) and their parents Linda (Caroline Rhea) and Lawrence (Richard O'Brien) in the town of Danville. The brothers find themselves dissatisfied just spending their summer vacation outside of school, so they pull off unbelievable and often outlandish stunts (i.e. finding a mummy, getting a band back together, racing cars, constructing a giant roller coaster, just to name some), in order to make summer more exciting. Their sister, Candace, is aware of their unusual activities and tries to play spoil-sport by telling their mom, so that the adventures of Phineas and Ferb could be put to an end. Candace's actions emerge mostly out of jealousy because she would not be able to get away with the same acts, since she gets "busted" for things she wasn't even intending to do, like throwing a party ("Candace Gets Busted").
Agent P Subplot
Phineas and Ferb's pet, Perry (Dee Bradley Baker), is actually a secret agent named "Agent P". Normally, Perry's first appearance in a story is after someone (usually Phineas) notices his absence, and asks "Hey, where's Perry?". After the question is asked, the scene usually changes right to Perry entering secret chutes or entrances that bring him to some underground headquarters where he receives instructions, via a monitor, from his boss Major Monogram (Jeff "Swampy" Marsh). However, in some cases, Perry is simply shown in the base receiving a briefing (i.e. "Undercover Carl"). Major Monogram thеn assigns Perry some mission that generally involves Dr. Doofenshmirtz (Dan Povenmire), and his nefarious plans to wreak havoc on the Tri-State Area (though this is not always the case). A majority of the Perry subplot involves him battling Dr. Doofenshmirtz in knowingly hackneyed fashion (such as Doofenshmirtz's long monologues about his plans to Perry). This subplot also includes, sometimes, the sarcasms from Vanessa (Olivia Olson), Doofenshmirtz's daughter, and Norm (John Viener), Doofenshmirtz's robot. Inevitably, these battles are brought very near where Phineas and Ferb are doing whatever plan they had for the day, and generally aid in the removal of all evidence related to what they were doing before Candace can show it to her mother. Sometimes this works backwards, and Phineas and Ferb's invention destroys Doofenshmirtz's plan. ("Hail Doofania!", "Thaddeus and Thor", Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension)
Occasionally, there are subplots relating to Candace during the stories. They generally involve either Candace chatting or hanging out with her friend Stacy (Kelly Hu), or attempting to get the attention of her crush, Jeremy (Mitchel Musso). These subplots commonly weave in with Candace's many attempts to bust Phineas and Ferb.
The series has gained generally very positive reviews. On IMDB.com, it holds an "8.1" out of "10.0". People praise the series for the songs, guest stars, and kid-friendly similarity of 'Family Guy'. On TV.com, it holds an 8.3 "Great" Rating. The series also won a "Cynopsis Kids Animation" in June 2012 for "Phineas and Ferb the Movie". The show was nominated for "Favorite Cartoon" in the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards from 2009 to 2016.
- See Also: List of songs
Almost every episode has had at least one musical performance (except for "Rollercoaster", "Lights, Candace, Action!", "The Lizard Whisperer" and "Mommy Can You Hear Me?"). "Rollercoaster: The Musical!" and Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension currently tie for the record of most songs at 9 songs each. Povenmire recalls, "When we were writing Rocko, we always had one of two things, sometimes both: usually a song or a musical number, plus a big action/chase scene. Phineas and Ferb gave us a chance to write a song for every single episode, starting with the second episode, "Flop Starz". We played it and Perry's secret agent theme for the Disney executives. We were a little trepidatious because Disney has a big history of music —-- what if they hate it? The reaction was, "These are great -- can you write a song for every episode?".
The music on Phineas and Ferb goes from the whimsical to heavy metal. Composer Danny Jacob, along with Povenmire, Marsh and story editor Martin Olson strive to include all genres of music because they feel this variety enriches the animation experience and exposes kids to music they wouldn't otherwise have been aware of. Early in the show's production, Disney questioned this policy, but as Povenmire explains, "It's similar to when we realized that Bugs Bunny was using classical music. When I heard 'The Barber of Seville' for the first time after watching Bugs Bunny, I had a way of relating to it that made me think of it differently than if I had just heard it on the radio. You have a familiarity to it. Now, when kids hear a Frank Sinatra like a jazz tune, or a Busby Berkeley kind of tune, they'll have a frame of reference for it".
The show relies heavily on gags. These gags are seen in most episodes, though sometimes they are humorously modified:
- Phineas and Ferb attempt to build something every day in order to avoid a boring summer. However, in a few episodes ("The Best Lazy Day Ever", "Vanessassary Roughness", and "Candace Gets Busted"), they don't do anything.
- People (usually the Farmer and his wife) say "What did you think, *insert item here* to just fall out of the sky", and then they do (i.e. "You can't expect the perfect gift to just fall out of the sky").
- Candace tries to foil the boys' plans by yelling "Mom, Phineas and Ferb are...", but by the time their mom comes, Phineas and Ferb's projects are either gone or turned into something else. The only times Candace has succeeded in "busting" her brothers occur in Perry's dream ("Phineas and Ferb Get Busted!"), 20 years into the future ("Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo") and in "She's the Mayor" but time gets reversed by Doofenshmirtz's invention.
- Dr. Doofenshmirtz builds evil machines with names ending in -inator (i.e. "The Misbehavinator"), though in one or two episodes, Doofenshmirtz gives his weapon a name not ending in -inator, explaining to Agent P that he has worn out the -inator name too much. He also puts -inator with words that already have -inator suffixes or closely sounding suffixes (i.e. Acceleratorinator or Space Laser-inator). He usually gives a short pause before the -inator in these cases. In one case, Doofenshmirtz builds an -inator that makes an ice age, proclaiming, "My Gloominator 3000!...-inator", implying that he doesn't always want to call them -inators but he does it because all his inventions in the past have been -inators.
- Phineas and Ferb are asked (usually by Isabella) or ask someone else "Whatcha doin'?". There have been a number of variations on it. (i.e. "Whatcha eatin'?", "Hail Doofania!", "Chez Platypus"). Isabella seems to disapprove of anyone who copies her catchphrase, other than Phineas (i.e. "Suddenly Suzy").
- Phineas (in some episodes, other characters) asks "Hey, where's Perry?" when he notices Perry's disappearance.
- Dr. Doofenshmirtz has plans to use his invention on the "entire Tri-State Area".
- As Perry enters Doofenshmirtz's building, he gets trapped, and Doofenshmirtz's schemes are sometimes motivated by his bad past which he always tells in his backstories, then Perry escapes and fights him.
- Ferb often remains silent until the end of the episode, when he usually touts a humorous line.
- Dr. Doofenshmirtz says "Curse you, Perry the Platypus!" after his plans are ruined. Variations: "Thank you, Perry the Platypus!" (Vanessa, "Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together"), "Curse you, Phil the neighbor!" (Doofenshmirtz, "Put That Putter Away"), "Curse you, wait, is that..." (Doofenshmirtz, "Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together", "The Baljeatles"), "Bless you, Perry the Platypus!" (Phineas, "Hail Doofania!"), "Curse you, Perry the teenager!" (Doofenshmirtz, "Does This Duckbill Make Me Look Fat?"), "Curse you, Perry the Bobblehead!" (Doofenshmirtz, "Just Passing Through"), and "Curse you, Perry the Beakapus!" (Doofenshmirtz, "The Beak").
- When Phineas and Ferb are about to build something, Perry disappears from them, then gets a mission to stop Doofenshmirtz. When Perry succeeds, Doofenshmirtz's inators frequently backfire at Phineas and Ferb's invention, which constantly foils Candace's attempts to bust her brothers to her mother, or vice versa.
- Perry has a unique secret entrance to his hideout in every episode (tree door, trick walls, magic hat, cereal box, ...).
- People ask Phineas if he is a little young to be doing what he is doing (i.e. "Aren't you a little young to be using an arc welder?"). His most common response is "Yes, yes I am", but once it is "No...". There have been numerous takes on this line by various characters. Also, Phineas and Ferb are not the only ones being asked this question. In the episode "Vanessassary Roughness" a twist is given to this gag when Ferb's mother asks him "aren't you a little bit too old to be playing in the ballpit?" or Candace "Aren't you a little old to be a Fireside Girl?" by Doofenshmirtz ("Fireside Girl Jamboree").
- Dr. Doofenshmirtz doesn't recognize Agent P if he is not wearing his secret agent hat, although he recognizes Perry switched into Candace's body because she is wearing the hat. Once, Heinz only recognizes Perry clearly with a fedora after he removes his plumber tool belt ("The Lemonade Stand"), although in certain episodes he does recognize him without his fedora ("It's About Time!").
- There are various hints of Isabella's crush on Phineas, and most of the times she blurted out, she denied this in order for him not to know her crush, although Phineas always remains oblivious throughout the series.
- Phineas says "Oh, there you are, Perry" when Perry has finished his mission and becomes a normal pet again. An episode is named after this line.
- Phineas accidentally causes Ferb bodily harm because of the former's obliviousness ("One Good Scare Ought to Do It!", "The Chronicles of Meap").
- Occasionally people think that what is being said is a metaphor but it's real. ("She's the Mayor", "Brain Drain").
- On episodes where Phineas and Ferb build tall objects, a bird is shown flying towards it and falls, one instance where a bird is not shown is in "Gi-Ants" where a fly flies into the miniature version of the "Antius Maximus".
- Usually, when Candace fails at busting, she stutters, "But-but-but" being the most common.
Series launch description
Beginning Friday, Ferbruary 1  (8:00 p.m., ET/PT), Disney Channel presents "Phineas and Ferb-ruary", a month-long programming event that introduces kids and families to the new 2D animated comedy, "Phineas and Ferb", created by noted animation producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh ("The Simpsons", "Family Guy").
Episodes are to be presented every day of the month (8:00 p.m.), concluding with a marathon of the series, Friday, February 29 (3:30-8:15 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel.
In the series, produced in traditional 2D by Walt Disney Television Animation, Phineas and his stepbrother, Ferb, set out to conquer boredom and make every day of their 104-day summer vacation count, even if it means building a backyard beach. Their older sister, Candace, makes it her mission to get the boys in trouble. Meanwhile the family's pet, Perry, may seem like any other house pet, but he has a secret life as suave Agent P, deftly battling the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz to save the Tri-State Area.
Starring are Vincent Martella ("Everybody Hates Chris") as Phineas, Thomas Sangster ("Nanny McPhee") as Ferb, Ashley Tisdale ("High School Musical" and "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody") as Candace, Mitchel Musso ("Hannah Montana") as Jeremy, Caroline Rhea ("Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") as Mom, Richard O'Brien ("The Rocky Horror Picture Show") as Dad, Dee Bradley Baker ("American Dad") as Perry, Alyson Stoner ("Cheaper by the Dozen") as Isabella, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh as Major Monogram and Dan Povenmire as the nefarious Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
This season features many notable guest stars, including Evander Holyfield (World Heavyweight Boxing Champion), Radio personalities Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps (aka Mark and Brian), Allison Janney ("Juno", "The West Wing"), Sandra Oh ("Grey's Anatomy"), Barry Bostwick ("Spin City"), Billy Ray Cyrus ("Hannah Montana") and French Stewart ("3rd Rock from the Sun"). Phineas and Ferb are part of the Flynn-Fletcher family, one that's both a step-family and half-British. Among the British actors guest starring are Dominic Wood ("Dick and Dom in da Bungalow"), Malcolm McDowell ("Clockwork Orange"), Lucy Davis ("The Office"), Tim Curry ("Rocky Horror Picture Show") and Jane Carr (Broadway's "Mary Poppins").
- It has been revealed that the makers of Phineas and Ferb wish to make a spin-off series about Isabella and the Fireside Girls. Whether this show will happen is still unconfirmed. However, with the show's rising popularity, this spin-off could be made.
Awards and Nominations
- Main article: List of Awards and Nominations
Character design notes
- Occasionally, some characters are drawn with their eyebrows floating above their eyes, or partially detached from their head. Examples:
- When Phineas is painting on Candace in the title sequence.
- Phineas, Candace, Dad, Jeremy, the squirrels, Street Performer #2 and Dr. Doofenshmirtz in "Comet Kermillian".
- Whenever an ear is shown on a character that isn't covered, the number 3 is used to draw the shape of the inside of the ear.
- Characters only have 4 fingers.
- The guitars that characters play have four strings and knobs, making them obviously bass guitars (the only exception is Danny).
- "A Phineas and Ferb Family Christmas" is the only 11-minute episode not to be paired with another episode with in production, so it gets paired with "S'Winter" for the most part.
- WatchMojo.com named this series #6 best Cartoon Show of the 2010s on television.
|View the image gallery for title cards.|
|View the image gallery for promotional images.|
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension
- Phineas and Ferb (film)
- Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe
- Official website
- Archived Phineas and Ferb fanlisting
- Press release describing the success of launching the series in 150 international markets with 10 consecutive days of original programming. Also include ratings information on the premieres.
- Animation World Magazine. Strike, Joe. "From Swampy & Dan Emerges Phineas and Ferb", Page 1."
- Animation World Magazine. Strike, Joe. "From Swampy & Dan Emerges Phineas and Ferb", Page 3.
- Piper's Picks TV #031.
- Animation World Magazine. Strike, Joe. "From Swampy & Dan Emerges Phineas and Ferb", Page 2.
- Alabama Press-Register Blog. Brantley, Mike. "Disney animator sees summers in Mobile as inspiration"
- 411 News.com. Galas, Marjorie. "Phineas and Ferb: Music, Mischief, And The Endless Summer Vacation".
- Phineas and Ferb-ruary press release: http://www.disneychannelmedianet.com/assets/pr%5Chtml/PAF_020108.html
- Top 10 Cartoon Shows of the 2010s