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Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this TV movie add-on to Phineas and Ferb comes with a sizable marketing effort that includes video games, clothing, accessories, and a soundtrack with music from the movie as well as the series (seven catchy, full-length songs are featured in the 90-minute movie, which sometimes gives it the feel of a string of video ads for the songs). As for content, none of the characters' outlandish adventures will come as a surprise to the show's many fans, and there are positive messages about friendship, loyalty, teamwork, and trust. Classic TV and movie references and witty dialogue will keep parents' interest while kids revel in the outrageous adventures. While most ages will find a lot to like here, the action and cartoon violence (laser blasts, electrocution, and a robot invasion) might be too much for very young kids.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
PHINEAS AND FERB: ACROSS THE 2ND DIMENSION opens as fun-loving stepbrothers Phineas (voiced by Vincent Martella) and Ferb (Thomas Sangster) celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of their faithful pet platypus, Perry. During a game of "platypult," they're accidentally launched into the lab of Dr. Doofenshmirtz (Dan Povenmire), who's tinkering on his latest invention, the "Otherdimensionator." When the boys try to lend a helping hand, they're inadvertently transported to another dimension that resembles their own home of Danville but is ruled by the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz2, who has sucked all the joy out of the town and banished summer. As they travel through the listless world, the boys encounter their alter egos and members of the Resistance -- led by Candace2 (Ashley Tisdale) -- who are rebelling against their villainous dictator. Eventually Phineas and Ferb find their way back home, but the evil scientist follows them there and launches a robot attack to take over the town. With the help of Agent P, the boys must stop the invasion before it's too late for Danville -- but the fallout threatens Perry's future with the boys in a surprising way.
Is it any good?
It's not an easy task to craft a movie that's appealing to families across the board, but the writers of this epic comic adventure have managed to do just that. Even if you've never watched the series with your kids, it's easy to get up to speed enough to follow the movie's helter-skelter pace. Not only are the characters' wacky escapades a draw for any age, but you'll find some hidden gems designed just for adults, like references to classic TV shows and movies as well as hilarious two- and three-line zingers that will sail over kids' head.
If your kids are well versed in Phineas and Ferb's adventures, there's no cause for concern in this movie, and the messages about friendship, loyalty, and trust are worth talking about after it's done. Action sequences do give way to some violence (lasers, long falls, fistfights), but the mood is light thanks to the animation style and overall humor. There are some surprising plot twists and one fairly shocking revelation, so the content will feel fresh even to seasoned viewers. A word of caution, though: Phineas and Ferb's faces grace everything from T-shirts to lunch boxes, thanks to the show's tremendous success, and the seven new songs spaced throughout this movie mean that there's another soundtrack to add to that merchandise list. In other words, don't be surprised if your young fan takes a liking to the ubiquitous paraphernalia after tuning in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about friendship. What qualities do you seek in a friend? How does friendship help you cope with challenges? How would you feel if a friend revealed a long-standing secret?
Kids: Have you seen the series Phineas and Ferb? What do you like about it? What aspects of the show are the funniest? Was this adventure any more extreme than those in the show?
Kids: Are you more inclined to want products with characters' images because of what you see on TV? How do TV shows and movies influence your desires? Do you think this is a bad thing? Why or why not? Who are some of your favorite characters? Where did you first see them?
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