Tonight’s episode of Phineas and Ferb is easily the weirdest episode of the show so far, and if you’ve seen the show before you know that’s saying a lot. It’s also the first full-on parody of a well-known work of fiction the show has done, and they do a brilliant job of it. Read on for more about it (no spoilers, though) and a clip after the jump.
I spoke yesterday with Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh, the show’s creators, about the episode. “It’s one of these great stories that everybody can have a jumping-off point for, because everybody knows it,” Povenmire told me. In fact, Phineas and Ferb appear only occasionally in the story, centered as it is around Candace in the Dorothy role. The story, taking place in Candace’s dream, follows her and her companions (which include Jeremy as a tree and Baljeet as a “nerd-crow”) as she seeks the wizard in Bustopolis in order to, of course, bust her brothers.
As usual with Phineas and Ferb, there are lots of great bits that will go over the heads of most little kids and straight into their parents’ sense of humor. I don’t want to spoil any jokes, but believe me, you want to pay really close attention to this one or you’ll miss some good stuff. Pay particularly close attention to Jeremy’s song (right after Candace meets him), and you’ll catch a joke that I was honestly surprised they got away with. Hopefully we’ll see more jokes of that nature going forward with the show since, as Povenmire told me, the highers-up at Disney “let [them] get away with a lot more now that the show is successful.”
As usual with the show, there are some great musical moments, several of which Povenmire and Marsh told me had to be trimmed down from their original length (they promised to try to release the full versions someday). Again, I don’t want to spoil anything, but trust me when I tell you to stay tuned for the end credits, or you’ll miss what Povenmire referred to as “sort of like a ‘Weird Al’ version” of one of the show’s previous well-known songs. You may be surprised by the directness of the episode’s message, since usually they’re relatively subtle for a kids’ show — Povenmire and Marsh told me this was because the “story was so weird and all over the place that we wanted to make sure there was something really strong and definite about what the whole thing was about.”
Take a look at the clip below, generously supplied by Disney for your viewing pleasure. If you’re wondering why Isabella travels around in a giant eyeball, you’re not alone — I asked, and was told by Povenmire it was because their “storyboard artist Kaz is just a little bit insane.” Swampy hastily added that it was “in a good way,” which I think most geeks can get behind.
The Phineas and Ferb episode “Wizard of Odd” airs tonight on the Disney Channel (not on Disney XD) at 8:30pm Eastern / Pacific. You’ll be sorry if you don’t watch this one with your kids, trust me.