‘Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe’ is nostalgic and inspirational to viewers

On August 28, childhood favorites Phineas and Ferb returned to the big screen in “Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe”. The series ended five years ago, but fans have continued to watch the show, leading Disney to ask “Phineas and Ferb” creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh to develop a new movie to promote the launch of Disney Plus. 

Povenmire and Marsh had to make a movie that appealed to all generations because the main characters of the show never grew up, but the original audience did. By keeping the essence of the show and adding lessons intended for older audiences, Povenmire and Marsh created a movie that is nostalgic and inspirational for all viewers.

Changed Candace

While most episodes of “Phineas and Ferb” focused on the boys’ and their creations, this movie featured Candace (Ashley Tisdale), developing her character and giving her a redemption arc. 

Right when the movie starts, viewers can see that Candace’s obsession with “busting her brothers” has less to do with them and more to do with her self worth. She reveals that she has struggled with living in her brothers’ shadow and wants to be special. This drives the plot of the movie as Candace believes that she is finally “special” and out of her brothers’ shadow. 

Yet, when her brothers are in trouble, Candace sacrifices her dream to save them. Candace finally becomes more than the stick-in-the-mud older sister. She’s given dreams, feelings, and explanations for her behavior, becoming more than just a background character. 

Candace’s existential crisis seems to resemble feelings that older viewers experience. She learns that her happiness should not come at the cost of others’ happiness, and that she’s truly never alone – a reminder we could all use during this pandemic. 

Insight on Isabella

We also see character development in Isabella as she becomes her own character. Throughout the series, Isabella’s crush on Phineas was a running plot and usually drove her actions. In this movie, however, there is no mention of her crush. 

Isabella is given a personality and is more than just Phineas’ love interest. Her leadership, nature, and science skills are recognized, showing viewers that she is no longer the love-struck girl we remembered. Isabella becomes a talented character and an inspiration to little girls that may be watching, and a figure to symbolize the future of females in STEM.

Dynamic Doofenshmirtz Developments

The main elements of “Phineas and Ferb” were still there, as Povenmire and Marsh preserved the look and personality of the characters from the original show. Old characters were introduced to each other, giving writers an opportunity to develop new relationships.

For example, the kids (Phineas, Ferb, Isabella, Baljeet, and Buford) worked with, and not against, Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Together, they had to save Candace and Vanessa on an alien planet even though they had never met on the show. This newfound relationship gave the dynamics between Doofenshmirtz and the kids a fresh twist. 

The relationship between Doofenshmirtz and Isabella, for example, was summed up in “Adulting,” sung by Doofenshmirtz (Povenmire) and Isabella (Isabella Stoner). Doofenshmirtz explains that he should be in charge of the group because he’s an adult, while Isabella argues that she is more experienced in leadership. While it’s obvious to everyone except Doofenshmirtz that Isabella should lead, this song is very relatable as it implies that adults justify their decisions with their age.

Movie Takeaways

Overall, “Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe” is a lively movie that appeals to viewers of all ages. It builds off of the series while adding lessons that are meant for the original audience.

Seeing these childhood characters experience a new adventure reminds viewers of the first time watching “Phineas and Ferb”, feeling the excitement and suspense of the new story. While the movie is only available on Disney Plus, it is definitely worth a watch, especially if you miss your favorite platypus.

Diya Thomas

Diya Thomas is Editor-in-Chief and a senior at Conant. This is her third year on the Crier staff. At Conant, Diya is part of the Speech Team, Orchestra, CompSci Kids, and NHS. Outside of Conant, Diya spends time scrolling through TikTok, playing the piano, and rewatching The Office, That 70s Show, or John Mulaney Netflix Specials.

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