It's almost here! Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe is set to release on the Disney+ streaming service this coming Friday, August 28th. Ahead of its release, ComicBook.com had the opportunity to speak with Phineas and Ferb creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh about the movie and their work on it.
Now, to be clear, there are no major spoilers for the movie included here, but if you're wanting to go in completely blind this Friday, there are arguably a few snippets that might spoil a few things if you have so far avoided the marketing push for the title like the released stills, trailers, and clips. So, be warned! (We will have more from Povenmire and Marsh of a slightly more spoiler-y nature once the movie Is actually out.)
Here is how Disney officially describes the upcoming movie, if you are somehow not already familiar:
"Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe is an all-new animated adventure featuring beloved stepbrothers, Phineas and Ferb, as they set out across the galaxy to rescue older sister Candace, who has been abducted by aliens and has found utopia in a far-off planet, free of pesky little brothers."
As noted above, Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe is officially set to release on Disney+ this Friday, August 28th. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the new movie right here. And keep reading to check out the full interview with Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh!
ON RETURNING TO PHINEAS AND FERB
ComicBook.com: What was it like to return to Phineas and Ferb for the new movie?
Dan Povenmire: It was a living nightmare. No, I'm just-
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh: It was painful.
DP: No, it was fantastic. We have missed these characters I think more than we thought we did when we started playing with them again. There was this joy of, "Oh, remember how much fun this was."prevnext
ON HOW IT ALL CAME ABOUT
So, what sort of timeline was this? When did the genesis of Candace Against the Universe come about?
DP: Well, they had announced that they were doing a streaming service. They didn't have the name Disney+ yet. A lot of us, we're just calling it Disney-Flix because we didn't have anything else to call it. Or we started calling it The Stream and stuff like that. But-
J”S”M: Extra Disney.
DP: Yeah, Extra Disney. Yeah. More of Disney. So, we knew this thing was on the horizon, but we didn't know what it was going to be exactly. And Gary Marsh, the head of the channel, called up and said, "Hey, they're looking for content for the new streaming service, and they want it to be co-viewing content," is what they call it, where the kids can watch it, the teenagers can watch it, the adults can watch it, the grandparents can watch it, and they'll all enjoy it.
And the one thing that hit that box for them was Phineas and Ferb, and he's like, "Would you consider dusting that off and doing a movie for the Disney Plus?" And I was like, "Yeah." We had just done a crossover with the Phineas characters and Milo, which was our other show that we did, and it was really fun to do those characters again. And we're like, "Oh, we would love to dive into that." And then it just became a matter of how can we tell a story we didn't tell in the 222 episodes and seven hour-long specials and different movies that we had already done?
J”S”M: That was the intimidating part, the opening meetings were all us just going, "Nope, we've done that. No, I think we did that. No, that was done. Where did we do that one?"prevnext
ON THE MOVIE'S STORY
I was going to say, the story for the movie is pretty, let's say, unique, I would say.
DP: Yes. Yeah. Well, we've never done a story where anybody was in jeopardy. Phineas and Ferb is all just about fun and creativity, and we'd never really... We did a little bit of that in the movie we did for the channel, but this was like, "Let's take one of our main characters and put them in a place that the other characters have to go rescue. We've had things go wrong for them while they're on an adventure, but the adventure has never been, “Hey, somebody is in trouble." And it also gave us a chance to mix a bunch of characters that never got to interact before. Phineas and Ferb and Doofenshmirtz are really working together as a team. Doofenshmirtz-
J”S”M: Doofenshmirtz and Isabella sing a duet.
DP: Yes, exactly.
J”S”M: How great is that?
DP: Which we never even thought of how that could happen. When I called Alison Stoner and told her that she and I were going to sing a duet, and I think she was like, "Really? And how will that happen?" I was like, "Oh, you just wait. It's going to happen." So, it was fun to put them all in places they hadn't been.prevnext
ON WHAT GOT CUT
There's a lot going on in the movie, but is there anything that you would have liked to add but maybe ended up on the cutting room floor?
DP: Well, there's lots of gags that ended up on the cutting room floor. There was a great one that was fully animated by one of our board artists, Kyle Mankey, who's this brilliant genius board artist, and it was just a gag where, for some reason, Irving, who's one of the minor characters in Phineas and Ferb played by Jack McBrayer, starts acting like a dog and pulling at this one character's clothes. It was just so bizarre and wonderful. And the animation on it was spectacular, but it just got cut for time. It was like, "We've really got to trim this down. What is not really pushing this story forward?" And so, that got left on the cutting room floor. Hopefully we can find that and put it maybe as an extra. I'll put it on Twitter or something at some point.
J”S”M: Or maybe we include it when they let us do the three and a half hour Phineas and Ferb epic.
DP: Yes. The three-and-a-half hour director's cut. We'll have Peter Jackson come in and put a bunch of new stuff in, too.prevnext
ON WHETHER THEY WOULD RETURN FOR MORE
You joke, but after the film, there is a very clear resolution, but there is a lot of joy, it feels like, in the production of this movie. Would you be up for more Phineas and Ferb?
DP: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. It's been so much fun coming back to this and also just realizing how much of a fan base it still has of older kids who grew up with this show. When I started doing TikTok, because my daughters were really into TikTok, and found that... I think because I hadn't really gained any Twitter followers in a long time, I felt like, "Well, probably interest in the show has lagged." But it isn't. All of those kids went to TikTok, so everybody between 12 and 24, which is all the kids who grew up with Phineas and Ferb as their biggest show, are all on that platform. And the excitement that has been building there just from me talking about doing the new movie, makes me feel like, "Oh, maybe we should do more of this because there's obviously an audience still out there."
J”S”M: It's funny now getting people reaching out to you on social media saying, "I loved your show as a kid, and now I'm introducing it to my child," and then having to do the math quickly and go, "Wait, how is that? Oh yeah. OK. Wow."
DP: Yeah, we started Phineas about 15 years ago, so if the kid was like 12 at that time, those kids are, what, 27?
DP: These are people who may have a 7-year-old child. It's perfect.prevnext
ON RELEASING DURING A PANDEMIC
Obviously we're in a pretty weird time to be delivering a movie under these circumstances. What do you hope audiences take away from Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe, when it does release?
DP: Joy. I think what made Phineas such a big hit, people ask me this all the time, I think there's a lot of things that went into it, but I think it's just the amount of joy and positivity and optimism that is in this show. And I think that if there's nothing else that we need in this world is joy, positivity, and optimism at this point in our history and in this pandemic and stuff. So, hopefully it'll give them something that is, especially if they're still stuck at home in quarantine, a lot of states are in lockdown again, it'll give them something to feel happy about, I think.
J”S”M: It's nice that it's always been a show that the feedback we've gotten is so strong about, "This is the show that we can all watch together as a family and there's something in it for all of us." And we hear all of these little things that are in the show that families use as their little inner personal touchstones and comedy moments. And I just liked the idea of the family sitting together reminiscing about Phineas and Ferb, enjoying this film and maybe coming up with a new song or two to sing when they're in the shower.prevnext
Is there anything else y'all would like to add about the movie, anything at all?
J”S”M: It's really great.
DP: I think it's probably the best thing we've done, which I think we did a lot of good things in Phineas and Ferb, in the series, during that decade. I think we did a lot of stuff that was pretty high watermark, and so it was a little daunting going in. I think we've topped it all with this. I think it's really, really good.
I was going to say, some of these musical numbers are pretty elaborate compared to the series.
DP: Yeah. Well, they gave us more time. They gave us some more time and-0comments
J”S”M: More money.
DP: ... we were really able to do it right.prev