Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel
October 19, 2013

I was curious about this Disney/Marvel crossover for the wrong reason. I thought I’d enjoy seeing the Marvel heroes teaming up, but it turns out to be Phineas and Ferb who were more entertaining.

The Marvel appearances feel mechanical and rote, as though someone had been forced into cross-selling, but the creativity of the kid characters was new to me. Plus, I loved their musical numbers. Still getting used to the designs, though, particularly the really odd-shaped heads. The sister looks like she’s missing half the back of her skull, which might account for why she’s portrayed as so stupid.

That part of the story I could have done without, actually, because I kept having flashbacks to Dexter’s Laboratory and Dee-Dee. However, when I mentioned that comparison to a guy at work whose kid is a huge Phineas and Ferb fan, I got a blank look, so perhaps that analogy is just too old for the audience. I was a bit disturbed that the only female characters were Mom, the clumsy sister, and one token girl kid, but when it was really getting to me, the two girls sung a song about how “it was all about the boys” because “none of the women superheroes showed up”, so at least they were aware of the unbalanced dynamics.

Anyway, the Marvel heroes are facing off with various villains — Iron Man and Whiplash (I’m assuming because he was in the Iron Man 2 movie), Spider-Man and Venom (whom I find inappropriate for kids), Thor and the Red Skull, and Hulk and my favorite, MODOK, because he looks great in a cartoon. Thanks to a rogue ray from Dr. Doofenshmirtz, the heroes lose their powers, and they team up with the kids to help get them back.

But first, Dr. D makes the bad guys follow him around for the song “My Evil Buddies and Me”, a definite high point. Particularly when, during the chorus, three Beatle-looking guys pop out of nowhere to go “shoop dooby doop”. (The “evil” includes tromping flowers and knocking ice cream cones out of kids’ hands. Also, Stan Lee guest appearance!)

I don’t feel a need, after seeing this, to watch more Marvel cartoons, but clearly I’ve been missing out when it comes to Phineas and Ferb. Favorite joke: when the heroes temporarily get the wrong powers, with Iron Man’s abilities given to the Hulk, it means nothing except the Hulk saying, “I am feeling more entrepreneurial.”

In addition to this 44-minute special, there are more Phineas and Ferb episodes on the disc:

  • Fly on the Wall
  • Sidetracked
  • Primal Perry
  • Backyard Hodge Podge
  • Knot My Problem
  • Mind Share

The DVD also comes with a booklet that contains an interview with Phineas and Ferb creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff Marsh, a pullout poster, and a short comic with Perry. (The studio provided a review copy.)

Phineas and Ferb in Mission Marvel

4 Responses  
Jennifer writes:  

Definitely watch more Phineas and Ferb! I was really annoyed at the way this crossover destroyed the female characters. Normally Isabella, the girl who’s sweet on Phineas, is a powerhouse of ingenuity and has a troupe of Fireside Girls who can whip up a time machine or transform into a pit crew at the drop of a hat (or sash). Candace also has a lot more depth in the other shorts, she’s less stupid and more typical teen, as well as a best friend who keeps her a little more balanced. Even their mom is more interesting. It’s like they took everything meh about Marvel and injected it into P&F. Not cool Disney, not cool at all.

Ed Sizemore writes:  

I have to admit, the art keep me away from the show too. Someone finally convinced me to watch an episode and I was hooked. Like Jennifer said, the Fireside Girls are amazing. Their manual literally covers any and all situations. Including being attacked by a giant robot in space. The Perry segments are a delight too.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, they have the first four seasons available for free streaming. I’m slowly working my way through them. I recommend seeing them in order since they do call backs to earlier shows.

Jennifer writes:  

Yeah, I wish I could watch the shows in order, but my computer (no matter how fast or expensive the internet) has refused to stream video in any shape, way or form. It won’t even let me watch utube videos! So I’m stuck with the varied collections on dvd *sulk*

Perry Tanko writes:  

wait…. Primal Perry? >_>
This i have to see.


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