It’s the end of an era.
Phineas and Ferb, who have been celebrating summer with creative inventions with their friends, are officially having their Last Day of Summer – the final special will air on June 21, 2015 on The Disney Channel and Disney XD at 9pm EST. Nobody is more broken up – and proud of their accomplishments – than creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh. I got a chance to sit down with them to talk about the legacy they are leaving with our two favorite child engineers.
“We’ve been doing this for a decade and we felt like this is a good time,” says Dan. “I feel like this show is still really good and really, really fresh. I’m really proud of most of 4th season as much as I am of the first ones. And I, and I felt like let’s go out before it starts feeling tired.”
Phineas and Ferb have entertained our children for a whopping 7 years, longer than any other Disney Channel animated series, even though Dan & Swampy developed the series about two stepbrothers back in 1990, when it was pitched for 16 years to various networks until Disney accepted it in 2006 and started airing in 2008. Since then there have been 224 episodes, including the Phineas and Ferb movie in 2011 and the upcoming special “Last Day of Summer”. Dan and Swampy were surprised at how much Phineas and Ferb had an effect on the fans and parents. “You would be shocked at how many letters we get of people telling us ‘you got us through a really dark time,'” Dan says, choking back tears as he looks at Swampy who is already red-eyed. “Somebody sent us this letter that said before their child started watching Phineas they would get through art class to go out and play and would never draw anything. She sent a picture drawn from before Phineas and it was like, like one line on a piece of paper. And then a picture that he drew after he started watching Phineas and, and all the creativity that she saw coming out of him. That makes me proud.”
Now that Phineas and Ferb are celebrating their Last Day of Summer – and going out with a big bang – and some broken hearts in the process. “It didn’t occur to me that there is this whole community of people out there and now was the first time they realized it was over.” Dan and Swampy talked about how much the characters surprised them – especially Stacy, Candace’s best friend in the series. Stacy started out as an instigator to Candace, someone who would “whip Candace int a frenzy”, but they quickly realized that Candace was easily riled up by her younger brothers, so Stacy turned into more of a voice of reason and logic. “I already miss those characters. And you know now when funny things happen in my life or I get an idea for some, something really funny for the last year I haven’t been able to go and put it on TV.”
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Dr. Doofenschmirtz was another who came into his own. Voiced by Dan Povenmire himself, he and Swampy started ad-libbing some back stories into his dialogue, such as the time he “wanted to destroy all the lawnmowers in the tristate area because you know back in the days of my youth our lawn mower was repossessed and my father made me do the lawn mowing.”, and Major Monogram’s (voiced by Jeff “Swampy” Marsh) random catchphrases like “After all, home is where the prisons are”.
For now it’s not goodbye. Even though we will miss Phineas and Ferb’s catchy songs, the way they push the boundaries of physics and laws of nature, and the way they always listened to their parents, we may see them again someday. At least I hope so.
Catch Phineas and Ferb’s Last Day of Summer June 21st on Disney Channel and Disney XD.