PHINEAS AND FERB: THE PERRY FILES
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Having three children like I do makes you an expert on children’s programming. It also makes you dread many of these shows. Whether it’s the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, the series made for the very young can get on your nerves. However, now and then there’s some brilliant programming that even an adult can enjoy.
Nickelodeon did just this with its tween show “iCarly,” which I still enjoy watching with my kids. In general, the Disney Channel skews younger, but their live-action sit coms like “Hannah Montana” and the Zack & Cody shows are still fun to watch. The cartoons like “Handy Manny” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” can be wearing, but a show like “Phineas and Ferb” is a triumph.
The show tells the story of two step-brothers getting into grand adventures during their summer vacation – and also their sister who is trying to bust them in front of their parents. Each episode has an invention or experiment for the boys, a song and a hilarious diversion as their pet platypus Perry works as a secret agent.
“Phineas and Ferb: The Perry Files” features seven episodes from the television series, which includes some hilarious interactions between Perry and his nemesis Dr. Doofenshmirtz. By now, the shows have become formulaic, but the writers allow some meta-jokes into the mix to show they are aware of how they have settled into that formula.
This DVD doesn’t go grand and formula-breaking as the recent “Phineas and Ferb” movie did. It’s really just a collection of shows. But considering Disney isn’t releasing complete seasons of the series, this is the best way to get a solid infusion of the show. Running 154 minutes, there’s lots of Saturday morning or summertime fun to have watching this with your kids.
“Phineas and Ferb: The Perry Files” comes with Digital Copy for portable use. Bonus features include the featurette “Nerves of Teal,” which is a tongue-in-cheek recruitment video for OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym). There’s also a behind-the-scenes look at the “Platypus Tour,” which followed a Perry bus across the country.
Finally, a cool little physical bonus is an in-pack Perry Activity Kit, which includes stickers, a puzzle and magnets.