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Phineas and Ferb Get "Wired"

Mobo85 November 1, 2010 User blog:Mobo85

Phineas and Ferb are doing double duty in magazines this month- besides the Fast Company article, they've also showed up in Wired. Appropriately, given the Phineas-and-Ferb-as-a-business article in the business-oriented Fast Company, the rather geeky Wired looks at it more from an entertainment standpoint, and revels in the geekiness of the characters- "they're geeks. They just don't know the word for it yet"- and the show's humor and creativity.

Of course, Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh take center stage. Although some of the anecdotes mentioned are old-hat by now, some of them are interesting and new: the duo would throw letter openers at storyboards to cut scenes from Rocko's Modern Life- which is certainly a better and surprisingly crazier storyboarding process than the one shown in "Wacky Delly," a classic Rocko episode poking fun at the animation industry which they storyboarded and directed. And thankfully, working with the big cheeses at the House of Mouse isn't as hectic as the creative struggles shown in that episode- although most thought the show "too smart" (which Swampy responded to by saying that the person who said that was "out of touch" with today's children), Disney picked it up. Dan and Swampy for their part stuck to their guns and refused the changes the Mouse House demanded, such as changing the shape of the character's heads, giving Perry a girlfriend, and not making the characters stepbrothers (a nod to Swampy's own family history, which he's so used to he calls his mother's current husband "Sev"- as in seventh). Dan's old boss, Seth MacFarlane, also gives a nice comment to Mr. Povenmire's comedic talent. (Of course, Mr. MacFarlane himself would help them get a jab in at the exec's demands in the "Nerds of a Feather" episode.) Dan also shares an anecdote about the show's goofy humor (as opposed to Goofy humor)- one of the Powers that Be thought it was ridiculous that Major Monogram occasionally brings up some bizarre apparently painful past memory regarding "the academy." Well, it was ridiculous, but Dan was so sure that it was the sort of goofy line that kids would repeat that he hoped to hear it himself. The executive promised Dan $100 for each time he heard someone say it. Dan remarks he is now owed $2,000, which the exec in question joking suggested paying him in Hannah Montana merchandise.

Mr. Povenmire has two proud images on his wall. One is the now-legendary sketch of a triangle-headed boy which gave birth to the series. The other is an infamous 1967 cartoon by MAD magazine artist Wally Wood drawn after Walt Disney's death depicting the iconic characters in depraved, un-Disneyesque activity. Perhaps it's the perfect metaphor for Dan and Swampy and Phineas and Ferb- two guys with a bizarre sense of humor, one of whom worked on one of the most un-Disneyesque animated shows you can think of, creating something a little irreverent and really goofy (again, as opposed to Goofy). Despite that fact, the show is still positive, true to the Disney creative spirit, and above all, very funny. I think Candace herself put it best: "For a nerd, you rock!"

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