Emmy-Award-winning animated series Phineas and Ferb aired it’s final episode last night on Disney XD and the Disney Channel. After 126 episodes, five hour-long specials, and a Disney Channel original movie, the series creators Dan Pvenmire and Jeff Marsh decided it was time to take a bow.
“Look, without naming any names here, we all know that there have been TV shows that overstayed their welcomes, who did themselves a real disservice by hanging in there a season or three too long,” Povenmire told Huffington Post. “And we just didn’t want that to be the case with Phineas and Ferb. We didn’t want our show to be one of those that wore out its welcome. We really wanted to go out strong. Shut down production while people were still fond of the show and its characters.”
“Besides — in the animation world — it’s just so rare that that a show actually gets to do a finale,” added Marsh. “Which is why we feel so honoured and privileged that Disney allowed us to do this.”
In the finale, appropriately titled “The Last Day of Summer”, the gang is sent into a Groundhog Day-esque conundrum thanks to Candace trying yet again to get her brothers caught and Dr. Doofenshmirtz’ latest invention – the ‘do-over-inator’.
“For a couple of years now, we’ve been thinking about how we should bring Phineas and Ferb to a close. And then somebody pitched the idea of the show doing its own version of Groundhog Day. And I thought that that was perfect. Because that’s what Phineas and Ferb would do if they could. They’d find a way to artificially extend that very last day of Summer,” explained Dan. “So we just took that idea and ran with it.”
But the episode is more than your run of the mill Phineas and Ferb story, Marsh and Pvenmire wanted to make the episode feel extra special. Thus the finale opened with a passionate musical number where the gang flies around a 3D render of their neighbourhood on hover-boards.
“We had built a 3D model of Phineas and Ferb’s neighborhood for “Night of the Living Pharmacists,” which was this episode of the show that we did back in the Fall of 2014,” detailed Marsh. “Dan remembered that we had this asset and said ‘We’ve got this cool 3D neighborhood. Why don’t we start the show off with a big musical number where the kids fly hover boards all over the neighborhood?’ And that turned out to be a really fun way to kick off the finale.”
Also, as an interesting easter-egg and way of showing gratitude to the fantastic cast of voice-actors, if you paid close attention you could have caught a glimpse of cartoon versions of Vincent Martella, Thomas Sangster, and Alyson Rae Stoner – the performers behind Phineas, Ferb, and Isabella Garcia-Shapiro.
With the creators pulling out all the stops, the finale became the most ambitious episode they’ve ever done. It took a number of months for “The Last Day of Summer” to go through the production process. The studio ended up not delivering the show to Disney until just before last Christmas, a much later submission time than they expected. As happy as they are to have finished, the creators admit that they’re quite sad to see it come to an end. “I mean, Dan and I spent the last 10 years of our lives working on this show,” expressed Marsh. “So it was a really big deal — for me, anyway — to finally be letting go of these characters.”
It’s not all sad news though, if you need more Phineas and Ferb in your life there is a one-hour spin-off special dubbed ‘The O.W.C.A Files’ set to air this fall, focusing on Perry the Platypus and his fellow animal agents. On top of that, Dan and Jeff have been hard at work on their new animated series coming to Disney XD – Mikey Murphy’s Law. The duo even revealed that there is a possibility of a crossover between their two series.
“What’s really cool is that — in my mind, anyway — Mikey Murphy just lives a couple of neighbourhoods over from Phineas and Ferb,” said Dan. “And given that these two animated series will have a similar sort of look and design… Well, who knows? If Mikey Murphy’s Law is successful, maybe a few years further on down the line, we could do a crossover episode where the Mikey Murphy characters get to interact with the Phineas and Ferb characters. I’d love to get the chance to do a show like that.”
Fans may be sad to see it go, but I have to agree with Dan and Jeff’s thinking. The real way to show true appreciation and respect for your show and its fans is to understand when it’s time to end it. Matt Groening should take note.