Review: “Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe”

The new installment of P&F is disappointing.

A promotional poster for the movie.

From the pursuit of the perfect bust to an endless number of inators, Phineas and Ferb will always be magical to many. To an average viewer, the latest chapter of the P&F universe, Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe, is funny and a lighthearted children’s movie. Yet, to a true fan it lacks nostalgia and authenticity. 

I have always been an extreme fan- a jumbo Perry the Platypus plush is sitting on a shelf in my closet. Memories of watching new episodes as they came out live rent free in my mind. I was excited when I heard that the creators of my beloved show were making a second spin-off movie- a little too excited. 

I stayed up late the night it premiered and hit play right as it came out at midnight, soon to be disappointed. All the original cast were playing their characters again and all the elements of the classic Phineas and Ferb episodes were present. 

Candace and Vanessa find themselves getting abducted into space.

As Candace found herself trapped on a foriegn planet and the boys found themselves intertwined with Doofenshmirtz, the movie began to become boring. This story has already been done before. The plot felt like the Mars episode from season 1 of the show, and the original movie had an ugly, incestuous love-child. 

In the exposition of the new movie, Candace wants to feel special and is tired of living in her brother’s shadow- much like the Mars episode. She soon finds herself being worshiped by the alien race- just like the martians loved her. As both stories progress, Candace pushes her brothers away in light of her new fame and is quickly turned on by her “fans”. 

Candace and her brothers reconcile in the form of a song.

Phineas and Ferb come to her rescue and she learns that she doesn’t need fame to be loved. This lesson she learned was good, the first time. The 15 minute episode captured this perfectly; an hour and a half movie around this is blatantly lazy. 

Dan Povenmire and “Swampy” Marsh, the creators of P&F, didn’t just reuse an old plot once. This “new” movie is entirely copying the original, Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension. The boys meet Doofenshmirtz and travel to a far land, while Perry hides from them and simultaneously tries to protect his family. 

Phineas and Ferbs friends, including Buford and his canoe.

Not only was Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe unoriginal, the execution of this film was terrible. The screenplay is bland. This movie tries to make the most annoying character, Candace, interesting; it fails at this task. Maybe it’s because I’m older and more critical than my 8 year old self, but the running jokes were just not funny. Buford carries a canoe the whole film for no reason. The inators are not as creative as the show’s are and they lack an interesting backstory. 

The first two minutes of every Phineas and Ferb episode are nearly identical and it works. While the show is heavily based on formulas and common themes, every scene feels refreshing. A new saga to Doof’s sad childhood or an appearance from a recurring character makes every episode uniquely the same. The movie fails to employ these formulas and capture the magic of the show. Disappointingly, in this case, it was not cut out to be a full-length feature film.

Over five years after the last episode aired on Disney Channel, this new addition to the character’s lives seems unnecessary. As reboots of shows and movies are becoming more common, many of them fail to capture the essence of the originals. The creators of Phineas and Ferb should have left their fans wondering what was happening in Danville.

The finale of the movie and hopefully the last seen of Phineas and Ferb.