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Phineas and Ferb was one of those cartoon shows that truly appealed to viewers of all ages, which is likely why even after the series has been off the air for five years, it's never completely gone away. Phineas and Ferb have been back for the occasional special or crossover event, and now they're about to bow in the Disney+ movie The Phineas and Ferb Movie: Candace Against the Universe! And of course, as with any Disney characters that prove popular, they've appeared in the Disney theme parks. While Phineas and Ferb fans surely loved seeing them at Disneyland Resort, it's unlikely anybody had quite the emotional reaction to seeing them there as creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh.
I had an opportunity to speak with the Phineas and Ferb creators ahead of the release of The Phineas and Ferb Movie: Candace Against the Universe! later this week, and as the resident CinemaBlend theme park geek I asked the pair about Phineas and Ferb's Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party a small attraction that appeared at Disney California Adventure between 2011 and 2014. It turns out the Disneyland debut of Phineas and Ferb was a very special moment for both of them. Both Marsh and Povenmire had grown up in Southern California and visited Disneyland regularly as kids, and even just recollecting the experience of seeing his creations at Disneyland caused Marsh to get a little choked up...
It’s the easiest way to get us both to cry. I’m a So-Cal boy. I started going there when I was like three or four, and the first time I saw [pauses]...see it gets me again….the character that we created, walking around Disneyland park, just blew my mind and rips my heart out every time. It’s the coolest thing ever.
Dan Povenmire explained that he and Marsh had been involved in approving all the designs involved in the attraction, including the vehicle that Phineas and Ferb ride from backstage to the spot outside of The Little Mermaid dark ride where the dance party took place. He'd actually forgotten that the show was even happening because he was so busy actually making Phineas and Ferb at the time, but then, on a trip into the park with his family, he remembered it and surprised them with the show. Povenmire says...
I did not tell them what was happening. I never told them that they were even doing [the show] and it came out and my daughters and my wife were like “OH MY GOD.” It was really, really a cool moment. You sorta heard the theme song starting way off in the distance and one daughter heard it and she was like “wait, wait, what is that?” and the other one was like “Dad is that the Phineas [and Ferb music] and then they come out and they sing and they dance and there were kids in Phineas and Ferb gear and me and my wife just sat there and sorta cried and held each other at how cool it was.
Creating characters that fans love and that stand the test of time is certainly something special but I've spoken to several people who have seen characters they helped create become theme park characters, and there is something different about seeing a character that only ever existed as a drawing take on a life of their own, and actually walk around the physical space like a theme park.
Phineas and Ferb's Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party hasn't been around for a few years, but who knows, maybe if The Phineas and Ferb Movie: Candace Against the Universe! is a big enough hit we could see it make a return once Disneyland Resort's theme parks are back up and running. Or you can just put the theme song on and have your own dance party.
The Phineas and Ferb Movie: Candace Against the Universe! arrives on Disney+ August 28.