Phineas and Ferb

Common Sense Media says

Duo's over-the-top schemes are fun for kids.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show is intended to entertain, not educate, though there are some subtle messages about teamwork and being kind that kids can learn.

Positive messages

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.).

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.

Sexy stuff

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.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Phineas and Ferb are part of an extensive brand that includes video games and merchandise.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's little cause for concern in this 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.

Parents say

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. 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?

QUALITY
 

This fun-filled cartoon is sure to win over young fans with its exaggerated sense of adventure and the comical pairing of boisterous Phineas and his mostly silent partner in crime, Ferb, who nonetheless proves his worth as his stepbrother's go-to engineering guru. 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, the content is as innocuous as the premise is fun, making it a fine choice for grade-school viewers.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:Ashley Tisdale, Thomas Sangster, Vincent Martella
Network:Disney XD
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Book characters, Friendship
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Phineas and Ferb was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byKP7 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Our whole family loves this show!!!

This is one of the funniest shows ever! There are catchy songs, great plots and really funny characters. There is humor for both kids and adults. Granted, our kids get the humor just as much as we do. It's just plain funny. It's the type of show you can watch it over and over and it just gets funnier. There are little things you catch each time. When the t.v. is on, it's usually on Phineas and Ferb. Great show!!!
Educator and Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written byMrs. W April 1, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
What I like best is the good-heartedness of Phineas and Ferb. When confronted with a trash-talking pair of would-be competitors, they are gracious and kind. And I like how the over-the-top behavior of Candace around and about Jeremy can be a cautionary tale for girls learning how to be around boys - and how NOT to be around boys - when puberty hits and the tectonic plates of their lives shift. And the boys and their sister really love their Mom and say so (in one episode); as a mom I cannot resist that. Watch this show with your kids - you will be repaid for your time.
Parent of a 4 and 10 year old Written byoundlemum February 18, 2011
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

The ONLY show my 4- and 10-year-old both watch - and LOVE

This is the only show my precocious 4- (boy) and 10-year-old (girl) kids can both agree on. The tunes are catchy, and the pop-culture references are subtle enough so the kids aren't missing anything and parents can be quietly amused. I keep separate playlists on my iPod and several of the P&F tunes are on both kids' list...and mine! The only downer for me is the boy-craziness of the two main female characters Isabella (who's hopelessly in love with Phineas) and teen sister Candace who is beyond paranoid about her teenaged boyfriend. Their saving grace is that Isabella is incredibly capable in her own right (and capable of meeting any outlandish requests made by the boys - though why she's always serving their needs is beyond me - I heard rumor they're thinking of giving the Fireside Girls their own who). Also, the show makes it clear that Candace's paranoia about Jeremy is ridiculous (lest any tweener think it's desirable behavior!) and she does go on more than her own share of death-defying adventures (always winning the lovable Jeremy's admiration, despite her own insecurities). Last, Jeremy is a boyfriend and parent of a teenager would be happy to have their daughter date, so it has that going for it as well.

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