Phineas and Ferb
By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Duo's over-the-top schemes are fun for kids.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show is intended to entertain, not educate, though there are some subtle messages about teamwork and being kind that kids can learn.
The show is more about having fun than teaching lessons, but the main characters do work well together on their over-the-top ideas -- and they demonstrate a fun-loving spirit that will likely leave kids smiling. Occasional potty humor (burping, etc.). Additional themes include humility and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Although they're prone to mischief, Phineas and Ferb are upbeat and good-hearted overall. Candace, their sister, is boy-obsessed and a tattle-tale, and is a constant nemesis. Adults/parents are largely absent (and when they're present, they're pretty clueless).
Violence & Scariness
Mild peril (long falls, collisions, etc.) is exaggerated for humor and rarely results in injury.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief allusions to teenage love interests and mention of guys being "cute." A recurring character flirts openly with Phineas. Candace swoons over her boyfriend Jeremy and constantly talks about him.
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Products & Purchases
Phineas and Ferb are part of an extensive brand that includes video games and merchandise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's little cause for concern in Phineas and Ferb, a fun-filled -- if slightly exaggerated -- cartoon for grade-schoolers. Kids will certainly enjoy the characters' over-the-top antics and adventures, and (aside from said antics possibly inspiring grandiose ideas), there's not much to worry about when it comes to messages. The sister character is a bit of a stereotype who nags, whines, and is obsessed with her boyfriend, but that's not the show's focus. Mild peril is played for humor, and allusions are made to youthful crushes, but little of this content will be new to kids, and most are likely to overlook it when there's so much other fun stuff going on.
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Phineas and Ferb
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What's the Story?
Young stepbrothers Phineas Flynn (voiced by Vincent Martella) and Ferb Fletcher (Thomas Sangster) want to make the most of their summer vacation, packing in as much action and adventure as they can in PHINEAS AND FERB. Each day, the two schemers set to work on oversized plans for visions like backyard surfing, personal theme park rides, and overnight musical fame. They're accompanied by the family's pet platypus, Perry (Dee Bradley Baker), whose placid nature hides a top-secret identity and a mission to save the world from the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz (Dan Povenmire). Despite their parents'; oblivion, the boys' antics don't escape the watchful eye of their older sister, Candace (Ashley Tisdale), who gets positively giddy about the chance to prove once and for all that they're up to no good.
Is It Any Good?
This fun-filled cartoon is sure to win over young fans with its exaggerated sense of adventure and the comical pairing of stepbrothers. Boisterous Phineas and his mostly silent partner in crime, Ferb, who nonetheless proves his worth as his stepbrother's go-to engineering guru are an entertaining duo. Kids will enjoy letting their imaginations run wild with the characters' zany schemes almost as much as slightly older viewers (and even parents) will appreciate the show's wit and clever humor.
Add to that the unlikely plot twists -- which ensure that the boys' work remains under wraps -- and Perry's continued ability to outwit the humans around him, and it's easy to like this fast-paced cartoon. Parents can rest assured that while there's little attempt to teach obvious lessons here, Phineas and Ferb is as innocuous as the premise is fun, making it a fine choice for grade-school viewers.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the role that exaggeration plays in comedy. Do storylines seem funnier when they're taken to extremes -- as in the case of Phineas and Ferb's many oversized schemes?
Do you think plots based on exaggeration can ever impact viewers (particularly young ones) in a negative way? If so, how?
How do the characters in Phineas and Ferb demonstrate humility and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?
- Premiere date: August 17, 2007
- Cast: Ashley Tisdale, Thomas Sangster, Vincent Martella
- Network: Disney XD
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Friendship
- Character Strengths: Humility, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-G
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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