Phineas and Ferb movie a blast from the past

Disney’s newest installment featuring the popular ‘Phineas and Ferb’ characters finds the inventive brothers and their sister in outer space, accompanied by the inimitable Perry. // Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

Speedy chases, green aliens, spaceships and tech-y gizmos galore. Phineas, Ferb, Candace and all their friends return one last time in “Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe.”

The movie revitalizes the contagious high-energy spirit of 2000’s cartoons that many now college-aged students enjoyed on the Disney Channel. Candace, Phineas and Ferb’s perpetually disgruntled sister, takes front and center in this film after the TV show followed her attempts to get her unruly brothers in trouble for their grandiose shenanigans.

Here, Candace is abducted by the aliens of a psychedelic planet, Feebla-Oot, where she is declared the “Chosen One” and paraded around by Super Super Big Doctor, the extraterrestrial world’s leader. Meanwhile, Phineas and Ferb team up with their friends to rescue her.

Candace, newly showered by all the love and support in this new world, is reluctant to return to Earth and embrace her normalcy. It is up to Phineas and Ferb to ensure that she returns to Earth safely, and balance is restored in the trippy world of Feebla-Oot.

The movie is very reminiscent of the series, with one important distinction.
The TV series tends to show Phineas and Ferb solving relatively small problems that can be resolved over an episode, whereas the movie focuses on a larger problem over a longer time. This longer form of media allows more exploration of characters and relationships, without the constraints of a thirty-minute TV format.

The content is just as high-energy, though. Musical numbers and character development provide just as much entertainment over a longer period. The movie’s whimsical yet witty soundtrack gets listeners singing along, while Candace’s character development leads audiences on an emotional rollercoaster as she learns that her relationship with her brothers is more important than being the queen of Feebla-Oot.

It is refreshing to see Candace’s insecurities, as she is often seen as Phineas and Ferb’s boring, “stick in the mud” sister. While Phineas and Ferb are up to their usual mad-scientist level antics, Candace’s arc is built more organically, and the combination of the two storylines creates an emotionally adept experience that does not lack the original show’s clever humor.

Overall, the movie accomplishes what the TV series could not, with a longer arc that focuses on multiple characters and their emotional vulnerabilities simultaneously.

While Perry the Platypus saves the group from unforeseen calamities, much as he did in the show, Candace becomes the real star of the show when Feebla-Oot’s leader attacks Earth.

Comedic timing, musical ensembles and witty humor aside, the crux of this movie is a sister who opens her heart to her brothers and finds an amazing relationship. This surprisingly genuine and heartfelt film, combined with the nostalgia of a beloved childhood cartoon, makes “Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe” a great watch for kids and college students alike.

“Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe” is now available for streaming on Disney+.