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"Phineas and Ferb - Time Shift" hints at a fun new direction for this animated series

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"Phineas and Ferb - Time Shift" hints at a fun new direction for this animated series

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Back during the Summer of 2008, I got the chance to chat with Dan Povenmire & Jeff "Swampy" Marsh about their then-still new animated series, "Phineas and Ferb." And as I was closing out our interview, before I turned off my digital recorder, I asked these very funny & talented men two quick questions:

Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh. Photo by
Rick Rowell. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

JIM: The "Phineas & Ferb" theme song says that " ... there's 104 days of summer vacation." So is that your long-term goal here? To get 104 episodes of this show made?

DAN: Boy, that's be great if that actually happened. One episode for every single day of summer vacation. But not many animated series actually make it to a hundred episodes.

JIM: But what happens if "Phineas & Ferb" turns out to be such a big hit that the Disney Channel then wants more than 104 episodes?

JEFF: (laughing) That would be a very nice problem to have. But there's always Christmas vacation ...

DAN: And Easter vacation ...

JEFF: And three days weekends like Presidents Day ...

DAN: And Martin Luther King Day ...

Fans of "Phineas and Ferb" turned out in force back in August of last year to meet the
cast of this Disney Channel & Disney XD series at the first-ever PaleyFest Family at
The Paley Center for Media. Photo by Rick Rowell. Copyright Disney
Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

So here we are, almost four years later. And as it turned out, "Phineas and Ferb" did in fact become a monster hit. So much so that this Emmy Award-winning TV is now the No. 1 animated series among kids 6 - 11 and tweens 9 - 14.

And given that there have been - to date - 143 episodes of "Phineas and Ferb" produced, Povenmire & Marsh did have to do just what they predicted back in 2008. Which was pad out this TV show's list of potential story ideas by doing special holiday-themed episodes (EX: "Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation" in December of 2009) and/or exploring other school-free times of year (i.e. the family vacation that the stepbrothers went on during their July 2011 episode, "Roadtrip").

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

But since the Disney Channel & Disney XD recently renewed "Phineas and Ferb" for a fourth season (not to mention that "Phineas and Ferb" feature film which Walt Disney Pictures will be releasing to theaters on July 26, 2013),  Dan, Swampy and their story team are going to have get even more creative when it comes to coming up with additional story ideas for this on-going animated series.

 Which brings us to the "Phineas and Ferb - Time Shift Weekend" event, which is wrapping up tonight on Disney XD. These four episodes put a fun new spin on the "Phineas and Ferb" formula. In that they take these characters out of their familiar contemporary Danville setting and then drop them in different eras of history.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Take - for example -"Doof Dynasty," an animated adventure which is set in ancient feudal China. After Phineas and Ferb witness Princess Isabella being kidnapped, the stepbrothers decide that they must climb the Unclimbable Mountain of Unclimbableness in order to meet with Master Perry. With the hope that this long retired Kung Fu master will then teach them the Ways of the Platypus. Which holds the key to defeating the evil Doofus Khan.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Or - better yet - "Tri-Stone Area." Where in the year 27,000 B.C., Phinebunk and Gerb (i.e. the caveman versions of Phineas and Ferb) are going through their stone-age era blueprints in the backyard and decide that it's time that they invented the wheel. Meanwhile Doofengung (i.e. the Neanderthal version of Dr. Doofenshmirtz) is upset that his brother Roger is far more evolved than he is. Which why this prehistoric villain decides to invent his first intator, the stick-inator. Which is basically a sharp stick that Doofengung has tied to another stick. Which this cranky caveman plans on using to poke a mammoth, with the hope that this hairy beast will then go trample Roger's village.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

But perhaps the best of the "Phineas and Ferb - Time Shift Weekend" episodes is "Excaliferb." Which is this epic fantasy adventure set in medieval times, where would-be wizards Phineas and Ferb-a-lot must band together with Bufavulous the Wind Lord &  Baljeetalous of the Nerdling Realm in order to defeat the evil sorcerer, Millifishmirtz, and his canned meat minions.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

The fourth (and - according to some Disney Television Animation insiders - perhaps not final) installment in this series of episodes, "Phineas and Ferb and the Temple of Juatchadoon" airs tonight on Disney XD beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT. This time around, it's an "Indiana Jones"-inspired adventure, as that daring archeologist duo Ohio (Phineas) Flynn and Rhode Island (Ferb) Fletcher set off to Central America to help Isabella find her missing mother. Meanwhile, the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz plans on using the amulet of Juatchadoon to awaken the corn colossus.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

What's great about these "Phineas and Ferb - Time Shift" shows is that they're loaded with characters and running gags that are lifted right out of the contemporary Danville episodes. More to the point, they hint at a fun new direction that this Disney Channel & Disney XD series may take as "Phineas and Ferb" heads into its fourth season.

So if you want to check out the entertaining way that Dan & Swampy found to get around that whole "104 days of summer vacation" concept (without first resorting to a Martin Luther King Day weekend-themed episode), be sure and check out the final part of the "Phineas and Ferb - Time Shift Weekend" on Disney XD tonight.

And if you missed "Doofy Dynasty," "Tri-Stone Area" or "Excaliferb" when they originally aired on the Disney Channel, just head on over to DisneyChannel.com. Where these "Phineas and Ferb - Time Shift" episodes are available for viewing right now.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

So what do you "Phineas and Ferb" fan think of this "Time Shift" shows? Would it be okay with you if Povenmire & Marsh did even more of these sorts of shows, where the stepbrothers were taken out of the contemporary time period but still had the same sort of witty adventures?

Your thoughts?

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  • Is this okay with with us fans?  Seriously, *anything* Marsh and Povenmire do is fine with us.  They and their crew never disappoint and this "kick it up a notch" time shift concept opens up the entire timeline of invention to Phineas and Ferb.  Awesomeness!

  • Surely there's another Summer Vacation a year later?

  • as long as they keep the core of the show intact  then what ever the creators do to keep the show fresh and  get Disney to like it enough for more adventures is okay

  • Eh,  It's ok, but if they can make The Simpsons go on and on and on, there are sure more adventures to be had in the backyard and Danville than what we have seen thus far.

  • I have to say, I cannot stand this show. I'm glad others enjoy it though.

  • I couldn't care les what type of episode they make. They are all awesome!!!! My favourite is Excaliferb. Dan and Swampy have been reading the Seer.

  • I have to agree with everyone above, but is anyone seriously thinking, "there are only 104 days of summer and Phineas and Ferb have more than 104 episodes." SERIOUSLY! I doubt if anyone real cares.

  • I can't stand this show. It's packed with unoriginal stereotypes and parodies, and the lead character's voice drives me crazy; is he really the best voice actor they could find? He uses no inflection at all and sounds constantly strained.

  • It makes me very annoyed just thinking that "Kim Possible," a just as fun show, never got this kind of attention.

  • Oh, I'd love to see what dan and swampy could do with more of these types of episodes! They were so much fun and different. Maybe they could make an episode about the space race of the 1950s or a cowboy-themed episode to take place in the late 19th century wild west!

  • Hi! We love these episodes so much, especially Tri-Stone Area. Linked is our ridiculously long review. Just thought we'd share our thoughts!

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