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Candace Shines in “Candace Against the Universe”

Phineas and Ferb Are Back, and It’s Like they Never Left.

It feels surreal knowing that it’s been five years since Phineas and Ferb took a bow, and now here we are. The show’s back, and with a new movie on Disney+, no less! Now, I literally just got done watching Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe, and it’s everything that Dan and Swampy promised. In all honesty, it feels like the show never left. More like it went on vacation for a while.

Candace Against The Universe- The Title’s Not Exaggerating

In the universe of animation, there are laws that get upheld with almost no exception. Wil E. Coyote never catches the Road Runner (except for one time). Plankton can’t get the Krabby Patty Secret Formula. And Candace can’t bust her brothers. And if they do succeed, it never lasts. It’s fun to watch, but you have to admit, you can’t help but feel sorry the Plankton’s and Candace’s after a while.

In the opening moments of Candace Against the Universe, we see how much stress this has caused Candace when she fails to bust her brothers for the umpteenth time. All her Mom had to do was literally turn around, for goodness’ sake. As a result, Candace breaks down and lets a Summer’s worth of frustration at the unfairness of the universe out before running off crying. Honestly, it’s sad. Then this leads her (and Vanessa) to get abducted by aliens and going on a journey of self-discovery as she comes to terms with a big question: why does she want to bust her brother’s so much?

The show never directly addressed it, but I had my theories as to why she wanted to bust her brothers. Part of it’s out of concern that they’ll get hurt one day. Then there’s the jealousy at the fact that they can get away with this stuff when she can’t. But over the course of the film, Candace has an epiphany about her need to bust. It’s because deep down, she feels inadequate compared to her extraordinary brothers. Most people would: Phineas and Ferb are basically child prodigies who will grow up to become rich and successful. Compared to that, Candace would feel insecure about herself. So when the aliens that abduct her say that she’s their “chosen one”, she feels special for the first time ever, and doesn’t want to leave.

It ends up leading to a full-blown alien invasion.

So Many Songs, So Many Laughs

Existential crisis’ aside, Candace Against the Universe contains everything that made the show such a huge hit. All the jokes and comedic timing remain intact, while also updating for the changes in the thirteen years since it came on. For example, when Doofenshmirtz joins the kids to find Vanessa, he tracks him down on the alien planet using social media posts.

Speaking of Doofenshmirtz, he was my favorite part of the film. He spends a lot of time around the kids. Unlike last time, though, they don’t focus on him being a semi-evil scientist. Instead, we see him bounce off his interactions with the kids. Isabella, in particular, gets annoyed by him and his insistence on being in charge, when she’s the smarter one. I never thought I’d need the two singing about “Adulting”. But I did, and it’s hilarious!

Oh, Perry also has his comedic moments, too, but he’s not the focus of the film. Mostly because he can’t let anyone see him without blowing his cover.

The Verdict: Still Fun After All These Years

So, what’s the verdict to this? Well, I don’t think that it’s as awesome as Across the Second Dimension. To be fair though, that movie was basically a blockbuster on TV with millions of viewers. Fortunately, Phineas and Ferb is already such an awesome show that anything it does is going to be awesome by default. Also, in the climax of the film, we see Candace fight an army of alien soldiers with a t-shirt cannon.

So, it may not reach the epic heights of Across the Second Dimension, but Candace Against the Universe makes up for it with its blend of emotion, music, and comedy. A perfect return for Phineas and Ferb and definitely worth the hype built around it.

I give Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe a 4.5/5

Click here to see my reviews for various films.

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