Phineas and Ferb have done a lot of crazy things. They’ve built a portal to Mars, constructed giant fighting treehouse robots, helped out a cute alien voiced by Lorenzo Lamas, and founded a gourmet platypus-themed restaurant in their back yard — among many others. But they’ve always called Danville and the Tri-State Area home, even when they weren’t actually there. Until now, that is.
This weekend has four episodes — three single-length and one double-length — that take the Phineas and Ferb we know and love and give it a twist … or, really, three twists. These episodes see the boys — and all the other characters, of course — not just in a different place and time, but transformed into other, different — yet easily recognizable — characters entirely. That’s not to say they’ve actually been transformed, please understand: these are simply alternative versions of the characters (and setting) we’re used to.
The first single-length of these airs tonight at 7:45pm ET/PT on the Disney Channel. Called “Tri-Stone Area,” it’s set in the days of cavemen, and sees Phineas and Ferb attempt to invent something really useful: the wheel. Meanwhile, Dr. — er, caveman — Doofenshmirtz is busy trying to jazz up his place with a device that’s slightly less advanced than the “-inators” we’re used to — I refer, of course, to a stick. Oh, and did I mention that none of the characters utters a single word of English? They communicate entirely through grunts — albeit grunts that really aren’t too hard to parse for any fan of the show. The only English spoken is by show creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, who appear in the flesh in entertaining interludes explaining how the episode works. You should absolutely not miss this one — I guarantee you’ve never seen a cartoon quite like it before.
The second, called “Doof Dynasty,” airs tomorrow night at 7:45pm ET/PT on the Disney Channel, and sees the cast of characters in ancient feudal China, where they are (partly) ruled by Princess Isabella, who gets kidnapped by the evil Doofus Khan. They must save her, of course, but only after seeking the assistance of the retired warrior Master Perry — who teaches them martial arts to the tune of the only song you’re likely ever to hear that rhymes “wuss” with “platypus.” It’s a good episode, though in my opinion not quite as much fun as “Tri-Stone Area.”
The double-length episode “Excaliferb” airs Sunday night at 7:30pm ET/PT on the Disney Channel. As you’ve probably guessed from the title, it’s set in Arthurian-esque medieval times, and sees Phineas and Ferb-a-lot on a quest for the legendary sword that gives the episode its name, so that they may defeat the evil sorceror Millifishmirtz (which is meant to be a pun on “Maleficent,” in case that wasn’t clear). Of course, the gallant Perrible the Dragonpus (also known as “Sir P”) figures into the story as well. This episode is bracketed by a modern bit that makes it out to be a story told by Carl, so does — sort of — make sense in the continuity of the show’s regular episodes. Oh, and I almost forgot: geek parents will want to watch for a number of funny references to The Lord of the Rings, too.
The final episode airs Monday night at 6:30pm ET/PT, this time on Disney XD, and is called “Phineas and Ferb and the Temple of Juatchadoon.” (Say that last word with a Spanish “j” if the pun isn’t obvious to you at first.) It’s set in the early 20th Century, fedoras are worn by several characters, and Phineas and Ferb are Ohio Flynn and Rhode Island Fletcher — so they don’t exactly make a secret of what the episode is based on. I haven’t actually seen this one yet, but it sounds like a lot of fun.
In case you miss them when they premiere, you can watch “Tri-Stone Area,” “Doof Dynasty,” and “Excaliferb” right in a row just before “Phineas and Ferb and the Temple of Juatchadoon,” starting at 5:30pm ET/PT Monday on Disney XD. I highly recommend watching these episodes: I always like the show, but it’s particularly fun to see them change things up in a big — and highly entertaining — way.
Check out Disney’s promo video for the “Time Shift Weekend” for a taste of what you’ll see: