Saturday, April 11, 2015

Review: Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel

Was it the crossover we demanded? Or will we be yelling "Curse you, Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel"?

And when will that floating baby head stop haunting my nightmares?
Already in my analysis, I seem to have a problem. The plot is basically just an excuse to have Phineas and Ferb team up with the Marvel superheroes. That's what we're promised, and that's what we get. So you know what? The meager plot gets a pass.

Like I said in the Recap, the jokes themselves are gold, and they're also the main reason to watch this episode. The plot is meager, the themes are marginal, but the jokes are the meat of the episode. Not quite to the extent of, say, an old Looney Tunes short, but meat nevertheless.

But I will criticize a few things regarding this episode.

1: The characters are marginalized.
The problem with having so many characters is that there's not a lot for them to do.

Phineas yells, Ferb builds, Isabella sulks, Candace messes up, Baljeet rampages, Buford snarks, the superheroes fight, the villains smash stuff, and Irving disappears after the first couple minutes. While it might be fun to see your favorite character, odds are that they're not going to do much. Especially the Marvel characters. The Marvel heroes and villains bring barely anything unique to the episode. I mean, you could have had Iron Monger, Enchantress, Green Goblin, and Baron Zemo as the villains, and the plot wouldn't have been much different at all.

2: Too many songs.
Did we really need six of them taking up time?

3: The lack of female representation.
Phineas and Ferb has a rather sizable female audience. This would have been a perfect opportunity to get them interested in the Marvel shows. Unfortunately, little girls aren't a target demographic because toy developers are convinced that girls won't buy toys. In fact, it was because of the sizable female audience of Green Lantern: TAS and Young Justice that the toy companies refused to make toys for either of those shows, leading to their cancellation.

Girls are an audience that is rare for these shows to reach, and yet they try to keep them away at every opportunity. I just don't get it. I'm putting the blame on the Phineas and Ferb side, because Marvel's made some impressive headway with female representation.

Looking forward to the Captain Marvel movie, too.
4: It failed as a crossover.
Strictly speaking, this episode wasn't bad. In fact, there's a lot of fun to be had with it. But as a crossover, it's absolutely abysmal.

One of the main reasons crossovers exist is to get fans of one thing to start getting interested on another. Come for the Marvel, stay for the Phineas and Ferb. But this isn't even trying to explain to non-Phineas and Ferb fans what the heck is going on. Or vice versa. If you aren't already acquainted with both Phineas and Ferb and Marvel Comics, then this simply isn't for you.

To be sure, there's a lot of fun to be had, but it's a very... exclusive kind of fun. The whole special is like an in-joke between close friends. If you're not already in on the joke, then you're just left behind.


Vincent Martella's Phineas is as carefree and excited as ever. Except when he isn't. In all seriousness, Phineas's behavior just seemed wrong this episode. Yeah, you could argue that the stakes have never been this high, but it's like seeing Winnie-the-Pooh yelling at Piglet for screwing up. Yeah, can't imagine it, can you?

Thomas Sangster gets as few lines as ever, but they're all as gold as ever. He's quiet and he builds stuff. That's really all there is to him.

It's great that Ashley Tisdale gets to show off her pipes again, but I really wish they had done more with her comic nerdery. It's really just kind of mentioned a couple times and only comes into play once. Wouldn't it have been cooler to see her use her knowledge of comic book tropes to help defeat the villain? The bit with the Law of Conservation of Energy doesn't count. That's real science. I mean stuff like the villains kidnapping girlfriends, or demands over the news, or even where they would strike next.

"Ferb, I know what the girls are gonna do today! Get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich!"
Screw the way Isabella was treated. Alyson Stoner is as great as ever, but the character's personality has apparently done a 180. At no point in the series would Isabella have willingly left herself out of "boy stuff." She should have been kicking butts, taking names, and earning her Mixed Martial Arts patch.

Other P&F characters
Other than Perry and Doof (who were the same as they ever were; competent hero and goofy, inept villain), they were pretty much marginalized. Baljeet rampaged, Buford was there, and Irving disappeared. Seriously, where did he go?

Marvel Heroes/Villains
While the performances given are excellent, there was really nothing special about their material. But that's mainly because the writers don't regularly work with these characters. It's forgivable, but still brings the episode down when all the heroes and villains bring to the table that's unique is a voice.

Best Song: "Only Trying to Help"
I hate the message, but it's the big showstopper. Of course it's good. Plus, Ashley Tisdale and Alyson Stoner are great singers.

Worst Song: "Feeling Froggy"
The original broadcast had this song as an instrumental piece on accident. Personally, I prefer the instrumental version. Lyrics just distract from the final battle.

The other four: Meh.

Quite honestly, it's phenomenal. While the Marvel heroes are a bit cartoonier to match the Phineas and Ferb characters, the cartoonish energy lends itself to some awesome fight scenes. I was completely honest when I said that the fights in this were better than the ones in the current Marvel Animated Universe.

Final Thoughts
I would only recommend this to people who are already fans of both Phineas and Ferb and Marvel. Of course, those people have probably already seen this episode.

I'd like to thank you all once again, and I hope to see you around when we hit 150,000 views. See you then! (On an unrelated note, this Review is my 500th post to this blog. What are the odds?)


  1. Thank you for this review. I pretty much agree with everything you said, especially the critique on Phineas' behavior in the episode. Watching him actually yell and berate Candace was completely out of character for him. It was so painful to watch as a dedicated viewer. He would never talk that way to someone, especially his sister, who's only trying to help. They've been in a lot of high stakes situations and he's never acted like that. It made me really hate this episode.

    1. It could have been so much better, but they had Phineas act out of character while assuming that its audience was already completely 100% familiar with Phineas and Ferb, which is a no-no for crossovers.

      The Star Wars crossover was marginally better.