Phineas and Ferb cross paths with the heroes (and villains) of the Marvel Universe after Dr. Doofenshmirtz robs Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor of their powers. From the Disney Channel series.
It was only a matter of time before we saw the cross-branding of Disney’s major properties, and while such big-name crossovers in general are often poorly executed and done strictly for money, thankfully, that isn’t the case when it comes to Phineas and Ferb and Marvel.
This entertaining adventure finds the young overachievers teaming up to help Thor, the Hulk, Spider-Man, and Iron Man after Dr. Doofenshmirtz creates a device that robs them of their powers. The heroes are then left to battle a host of Marvel villains, including Red Skull, M.O.D.O.K., Venom, and Whiplash, who have teamed up with Doofenshmirtz to take over the Tri-State area, and then the world.
In true Phineas and Ferb fashion, the writing is very funny, and full of clever Marvel references. When Perry the Platypus is mistaken for Howard the Duck, and Candance (Phineas and Ferb’s annoying sister) is kicked out of their headquarters and walks away to the sad Hulk theme from the 1970s TV show, I knew this little DVD adventure was a keeper. The entire feature lasts 44 minutes, but it’s highly entertaining.
The animation quality is disappointing; the movements are choppy and a bit sloppy, and I am surprised there wasn’t more effort put into this, especially considering it was to be a stand-alone DVD release. It’s about what you see in the average Phineas and Ferb TV episode, which isn’t the best.
The voice actors are all quite good; besides the usual Phineas and Ferb cast (including Vincent Martella, Ashley Tisdale, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster), we also get some notable actors who voice the Marvel heroes in other animated productions appearing here to keep up the continuity. That includes Chi McBride as Nick Fury, Travis Willingham as Thor, Adrian Pasdar as Iron Man, Drake Bell as Spider-Man, and Fred Tatasciore as the Hulk. We also get guest voices Danny Trejo as Venom and Peter Stormare as Whiplash. Of course, there’s a Stan Lee appearance. It isn’t a Marvel production without it.
Is it wrong to say I enjoyed this more than Iron Man 3? Because Lord help me, I did. It manages to entertain both kids and grown nerds alike, which is no small feat. It’s a ton of fun.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
The digitally-scanned animated video image looks excellent, with decent sharpness and bold colors. There are a few jagged edges in the outlines of the characters, with a hint of motion blur. Audio is a disappointing 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack. It seems strange in this day and age to not mix a soundtrack in 5.1.
Since the Marvel feature is only 44 minutes, Disney added six Phineas and Ferb episodes to add value to the disc. The episodes (“Fly On The Wall,” “Sidetracked,” “Primal Perry,” “Backyard Hodge Podge,” “Knot My Problem,” and “Mind Share”) may not have much to do with superheroes, but they are fun and round out the disc well.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BUY IT OR NETFLIX IT?
Ratings (1-10 scale)
Overall grade: 7
Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel is a lot of fun, even if you aren’t a fan of the cartoon series. The humor is clever, and the team-ups (both superhero and super-villains) will make Marvel fans smile. The animation quality is a bit lacking, and the audio is only a 2.0 mix, but the extra episodes are a big plus, and make this a good disc to entertain the kids.
Release date: October 1, 2013
Running time: 137 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English, French, and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, French, Spanish
Special features: Six “Phineas and Ferb” episodes
Label: Walt Disney Home Entertainment