Sunday, June 28, 2015

Last Day Of Summer

Yes, I know the first day of summer was last weekend, but in this post I want to write about the last day. 

No, I'm not talking about the day the in late September when the seasons change. The last day of summer I want to write about recently happened on TV.  

This post is a tribute to one of my all time favorite animated series, Disney's Phineas and Ferb. The series finale aired on the Disney XD channel on Friday, June 12.

The show premiered on August 7, 2007. Over the next 8 years there would be 222 episodes (including a Marvel and Star Wars crossover specials) and a theatrical movie. 

I got on the Phineas & Ferb band wagon a little late. I didn't watch my first episode until 2012. 

After many years of hearing about the show's popularity on Walt Disney World podcasts, I decided to check it out. 

From the moment I heard the theme song I was hooked. Here's a You Tube link to a video of the song. Be careful, you could end up with it playing in your head the rest of the day. 
Today's Gonna Be A Great Day

In addition to the theme, the unique characters, humor, stories, and musical production numbers, and catch phrases quickly made me a big fan. 

The show is set in within the "tristate area" city of Danville. The unique premise of the show is that all the episodes revolve around the adventures and inventions of Phineas & Ferb Flynn. They take place during a "104 days of summer vacation." It took creators, Dan Povenmeir and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh a long time to get the show on the air. You can read all about that on the show's Wikipedia page. Phineas & Ferb Wikipedia Page

Each episode also has two main story lines. Candice, the boy's teenage sister, strives to "bust" her brothers by showing their outrageous inventions to their mom. Of course, that never happens. 

There's also the adventures of, Perry the platypus, the family pet and #1 secret agent. 

He is an operative in a spy agency, OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym)  made up of anthropomorphic animals. 

Each episode Perry is summoned to his secret lair OWCA chief, Major Monogram and or his intern assistant, Carl. 

He is briefed on the latest antics of his arch enemy, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmertz, an evil scientist who resides in his less than hidden skyscraper headquarters in the middle of downtown Danville. Perry's mission is always the same: foil Doofenshmertz's evil plan.       

 I can't even begin to mention everything I like about the many characters. Here is a picture of just a few of them.

The core cast, starting with the entire Flynn family are all funny and very likable. Many of them would make the short list of my all-time favorite cartoon characters. Dr. Heinz Doofenshmertz, voiced by Dan Povenmeir, would without a doubt sit at the top of that list. 

"Dr. Doof's" desire to "take over control of the entire tristate area" is what keeps him inventing outrageous contraptions known a "inators." All of which never quite do what the are supposed to do.  

I really like the unique aspects of some of the show's stock animation as well. From the unusual geometric shapes of Phineas & Ferb's heads, to the strange way all the character's eyes are animated.

It might just be the way I look at them but all the P&F character's eyes remind me of eggs with different colored yolks. 

Original songs in the style of  nearly every genre imaginable are a key to the series for me as well. There's at least one song in each episode except for 3. 

The writers and directors use music very effectively in their storytelling. Whether it's the background theme of "The Quirky Worky Song", the transitional stingers about the Doofenshmirtz building or Perry the Platypus, or those about a Backyard Hodge Podge" or an aglet (the plastic on the end of a shoelace); the wit and entertainment value of the songs helps to enhance the program's emphasis on artistic creativity and humor.  

I found the show at a time when I was focusing on the value of creativity in my own life. That's something that each and every episode of Phineas & Ferb encourages. 

It was one of the first programs I binge watched on Netflix thru both my TV and my Kindle Fire tablet. 

I have collected various bits of P&F memorabilia over the years; but just a few. I have a t-shirt the the color of Perry the Platypus with is face on the front, a lunch bag from Subway, and PEZ candy dispensers featuring 5 of the main characters. 

The fact that I had caught up on all the episodes about a year ago, then watched each of them again several times each, and the long time between the airing of new episodes, had caused me to push Phineas & Ferb to the back of the room of my TV viewing habits. 

Last month I found out that the show was ending with a special episode on June 14. In addition, Disney XD channel was showing the entire series in chronological order, starting the Tuesday before. 

During that week, I tuned in from time to time catching some of my favorite episodes but I set my DVR to record the series finale. 

If you really want a complete conclusion to the series you should also watch the next to last episode entitled "Act Your Age" as well. It shows the main characters as teenagers and wraps up one of the show's most popular continuous story lines.  

The last episode was a good ending. At the conclusion the producers decided to give a musical shout out to the loyal audience with one last song. It was sung and performed by a band made up of many of the key characters.  
Phineas & Ferb: Thanks For Coming Along

Although it will be available on video subscription services, digital formats, and bluray or DVD, in the future, I probably will only watch Phineas & Ferb occasionally on reruns on the Disney channels. Not that I am no longer an avid fan I always will be. But...well, summer's over. 

But I will always consider it my all-time favorite animated TV series. The era of Saturday morning cartoons I grew up watching disappeared a long time ago but thanks to Phineas & Ferb, for a few years, a little bit of it came back. 

Thanks Dan Povenmeir and Swampy Marsh for allowing me to be part of a great summer. 

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