Monday 3 October 2011

Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension Thoughts

Phineas and Ferb has been one of Disney's premiere shows in the past few years; garnering acclaim, awards, attention and more, so, being Disney, a movie - albeit, a TV one - was inevitable, so it was a good job that it did a stellar job. Yes, if you live in America, this film has been out a while for you, however, it only aired this past week over here in the UK for the first time, and, while it was nothing earth-shattering or groundbreaking, it was solid and enjoyable entertainment, and, as such, I thought it worthwhile to pen some thoughts on it, in the form of a mini-review.

The film is well written, retaining a lot of the wit, humour and broadly appealing entertainment that made the TV show such a massive hit; bringing a decent story, in which Phineas and Ferb find out that their unassuming pet platypus, Perry, is really a secret agent, using them as a cover story and accidentally help the villainous Dr. Doofenshmirtz fix his "other dimensionator", transporting them all to an alternate dimension where Doofenshmirtz succeeded in his planned enslaving of the tri-state area and where they find alternate versions of themselves, helping them to learn valuable lessons about themselves and their family (blah, blah, blah, cheesy repeated movie platitudes). Ultimately leading to alternate-Doofenshmirtz making it back to the original universe and taking over there, only to be thwarted by Phineas, Ferb and their army of inventions - linking effectively to previous episodes and helping to validate the movie in terms of following on cogently from the previous series.

So, it's a surprisingly complex storyline for a "kid's movie" and even more so for a Disney Channel movie, but it never feels pointless or trite, merely showing the show's respect for the audience. The film also packs a surprisingly poignant emotional punch - not compared to, say, a Pixar film, or a fully-fledged Disney film, but a lot for a TV film -, building on our inherent love for the wonderful characters, helping to make the film seem a bit less unnecessary.

Because, this film does feel a tad unneeded - TV spin-off films tend to -, more like 2 or 3 episodes tacked together, and, although their is decent advancement in all the character relationships (between the boys and Perry, the boys and Candace, Phineas and Isabella and substantial growth from Doofenshmirtz), the very cheesy and over-used "amnesia" ending undermined the film. Amnesia and/or dream stigmas are almost as common and overused in cinema to "nicely" wrap-up the movie as Deus Ex Machina is and it just ends up meaning that the film does come across as pointless, as you know that these points and progressions will all be ignored come the next episode; defeating the point of the film.

Nonetheless, despite being rather unoriginal, feeling a bit derivative at times and being rather redundant and unneeded; there is enough good writing, decent songs, great characters, fun, laughs and genuine emotion here to mean that is a wholly enjoyable, if not necessary, film that you will definitely enjoy, regardless of whether or not you have ever seen the show before.

So, I would whole heatedly recommend Phineas and Ferb The Movie, citing that, yes, you may not be blown away, but you will be entertained and you will want to see it again and I would give it an 8/10.