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Phineas and Ferb is back — creators preview new movie coming to Disney+ this summer

Entertainment Weekly logo Entertainment Weekly 5/28/2020 Tyler Aquilina
a group of people performing on stage in front of a building: Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh give EW an exclusive first look at 'Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe.' © Disney+ Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh give EW an exclusive first look at 'Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe.'

What's left to do after you've built a rollercoaster, become pop stars, traveled through time and alternate dimensions, and made more than 200 episodes out of 104 days of summer vacation? Even Phineas and Ferb creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh weren't sure at first. When Disney asked the duo to create a new movie based on their beloved TV series, which concluded in 2015, it took some time before they could "say yes with confidence," as Marsh puts it.

"You have to throw a lot of stuff around an empty room for a while before you can call them back and go, 'Yeah, I think we can do that,'" Marsh tells EW. But he and Povenmire eventually arrived at the concept for Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe, which follows the titular stepbrothers, accompanied by their friends and a certain evil scientist, on a mission to rescue their sister from an alien planet.

“It's a different story than we often told with the show,” Povenmire explains. “We decided we had never really put Candace in jeopardy and told any rescue stories that way.”

Set to hit streaming service Disney+ this summer (an exact release date has yet to be announced), the movie hit only a minor speed bump when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the filmmakers into shelter-in-place mode. "Artists, just in general, always spend a lot of time drawing at home. So most of them have a pretty full setup and most of them already have the technology to be able to link up," Marsh notes. "Once we all got familiar with Zoom, it was a fairly quick conversion to the new way of doing it."

The results should delight newcomers to the show's world, while feeling like a blast from a Dr. Doofenshmirtz-brand nostalgia-inator to longtime viewers. Fans can expect plenty of Easter eggs aimed at them, and almost all of the original voice cast reprised their roles, including Ashley Tisdale, Vincent Martella, Alyson Stoner, and Olivia Olson. The film also features the sort of catchy, witty songs typical of the series, some penned by new guest songwriters like Karey Kirkpatrick (Something Rotten!), who went to college with Povenmire, and Kate Micucci, known as half of the musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates.

"It's a tightrope walk when you have a whole generation of [fans] that you know are going to tune into this, and you want to give them stuff, but you also want to give the new people something that they can they can digest," Povenmire says. "But we just wanted to make sure that the people who grew up with Phineas and Ferb would love the movie. We're hoping that this show gets watched in college dorm rooms all over the country."

“It’s like putting on a comfortable, familiar old flannel shirt,” adds Marsh. “Hopefully that somebody has dyed a different color so it’s also got some newness to it.”

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