Comic Con 2011: PHINEAS AND FERB
My first panel at Comic Con! I couldn’t have picked a better start to my SDCC experience; after my inaugural panel queuing experience complete with teeny, tiny child dressed as Captain America playing Angry Birds on an iPhone, a couple folks dressed as Fireside Girls, a gal dressed as Dr. Doofenshmirtz complete with “Inator”; and a gal in teal skinny jeans and homemade tail dressed as the elusive Agent P, my friend and I managed to score decent seats in 6a for the Phineas & Ferb panel! Hooray! There was a surreal “Rocky Horror” moment when the lights went down and the bouncy theme song blasted through the speakers and that familiar calendar appeared on the screen. There was a thunder of grown-up voices among the smattering of high-pitched child voices singing loudly along, shouting “It’s over here!!” for Frankenstein’s brain and mild head-banging during the last few bars, terrific way to immediately capture the attention of the audience and prepare us for the panel.
Moderated by the GeekDad blogger, Matt Blum, the panel consisted of Dan Povenmire (co-executive producer and voice of Dr. Doofenshmirtz) , Jeff “Swampy” Marsh (co-executive producer and voice of Major Monogram), Ashley Tisdale (voice of Candace), Vincent Martella (voice of Phineas), Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Perry the Platypus), and Olivia Olson (voice of Vanessa Doofenshmirtz). After brief introductions, Povenmire and Marsh stated that at the time (07/22/11) they are currently working on the 100th episode, cue raucous cheering and applause! It’s great to hear that this clever and imagination oriented animated series is going strong and expanding into bigger genres!
Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, there’s a Disney Channel Original Movie Phineas & Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension premiering August 5th (check your local listings)! In addition to this original TV movie; Povenmire and Marsh announced that there will be a feature film in 2013, no additional tidbits were given but the audience “oohed” “aaahhed” and murmers of “Oh I can’t WAIT!” could be heard around the packed room. Launching into the promotion of the P&F the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension; Marsh confessed that “Phineas has a huge emotional storyline” in this movie “He finds out Perry is a secret agent” and he is “emotionally charged” by the fact that Perry was lying all those years. Such an interesting development since one of the running gags or premises of the show is that the family has no idea their lump of a pet, Perry the Platypus is actually a secret agent (Agent P) thwarting the evil of Dr. Doofenshmirtz as he attempts to conquer the Tri-State Area (When asked by a child during the audience questions: “Which states are the Tri-State Area??” Povenmire posed the question back “Which ones do you think they are?” the child started “Well –“ Povenmire interrupted with a “Yes, it’s those ones!” to which the roar of the audience laughter faded into appreciative applause). With that huge piece of plot exposed, the audience was privy to the first look at an action sequence from the 2D movie. (I’ll not explain other than to say it’s FULL of stuff happening, after all it WAS an action sequence!).
While it’s common knowledge among the fan base that guitarist Slash is featured in the movie soundtrack, it was explained to the audience that in fact Slash was the one who asked if he could be a part of the show somehow and that’s how he ended up with the end credits song and on the soundtrack CD (released August 2nd, 2011). Additionally, the music video for “Kick it Up a Notch” starts off with a live-action Slash (complete with iconic sunglasses and hat) approaching a guitar and amp filled white room, picking up his guitar and becoming an animated P&F character to join our heroic leads, Phineas & Ferb on stage at a rock concert!
During the audience Q & A, some good and not so good questions were posed to our panel: I managed to jot down a few that I found interesting.
Q: What was your favorite shenanigan?
Povenmire/Marsh: The pilot. There’s something classic about the rollercoaster episode.
Q: Will Phineas & Isabella ever kiss?
Marsh: Yes! (that’s all he would say)
Q: What shows did you grow up watching that inspired you?
Povenmire/Marsh: Rocky & Bullwinkle (all the over 30 in the audience erupted in applause)
Q: Will you consider having American Sign Language in the show? (posed by an ASL teacher via interpreter)
Povenmire/Marsh: We’d love to! Just would have to figure out the logistics. (again, huge round of applause)
Q: Will there be an origin story about Mom and Dad?
Povenmire/Marsh: No. It really doesn’t matter anymore. In the premise of the show, the fact that they’re a blended family is almost inconsequential anymore. They are a family. (GREAT answer, in my opinion) However there will be an origin story of how Perry the Platypus came to the Flynn-Fletcher family in the Phineas & Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension (another reason to watch it!).
Q: Are we ever going to know what Ferbs’ full name is??
Povenmire/Marsh: Um…well, actually the gentleman who inspired the name “Ferb” is IN the audience right now! His name IS Ferb! Stand up Ferb! (to which he did and Ferb and his lovely wife were seated 2 rows away from me! Other than revealing the real life inspiration, there was no indication that we’d ever hear what Ferb’s full name is. Bummer.) I was lucky enough to end up walking out at the end of the panel with Real Life Ferb and lovely wife, they were very gracious and lovely. It was indeed a real pleasure to meet them (Hi you guys!! In case they’re reading this.), I was all smiles the whole walk out!
All in all, I was very pleased with my first foray into San Diego Comic Con panels. I know I wasn’t the only one, and I can’t wait for all to see what amazing adventures and incredible gadgets our young lads Phineas & Ferb and friends come up with next!