Everyone’s favorite animated step-brothers are back in their latest DVD release, Phineas and Ferb: The Perry Files, which spreads a sampling (seven, to be exact) of the show’s Perry-themed episodes across two DVDs of platypus-inspired fun. Just in case you didn’t catch my review of the fantastic Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, I’m what you might call a fan, so any chance to revisit some of the series’ best episodes is fine by me. That being said, I’m not usually fond of these piecemeal collections – I’ll always prefer full seasons – but even longtime fans are sure to enjoy the episodes and fun extras here, while newcomers can check out what makes this animated series so great. One thing for sure is that both groups of viewers will wish for full season sets instead of select episodes when all is said and done.
For those still unfamiliar with the series, Phineas and Ferb follows the adventures of two very hyper-intelligent step-brothers that have a knack for inventing some very extraordinary things. From roller coasters that span the city, to spaceships that allow them to meet aliens and have space adventures, they can build it all and usually do. Naturally, their older sister Candace can’t stand them and always tries to bust her brothers by telling their mom about them, but is never successful. And if that’s not enough, all the while their pet platypus Perry goes out on secret agent missions as Agent P to stop the wannabe evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz from wreaking havoc on the city.
This brings us to the seven episodes featured here that show off some of the fun and charm of the series. Yes, there’s only seven – not nearly enough for a fanatic like myself – but they’re a quality seven. Among them include “Split Personality”, which sees Phineas and Ferb invent a molecular divisor gadget that causes Candace to split into two good and bad versions of herself. “Magic Carpet Ride” has the boys making an actual flying carpet for their dad who longs to ride one like on his favorite TV show, and the zany “The Remains of the Platypus”, which takes a cue from Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” as it starts at the end and works its way backwards to tell the tale – which definitely requires more than one viewing to completely understand.
While it would have been nice if these episodes were on Blu-ray, they look great for a DVD release. The colors and details are as sharp as standard-definition will allow, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo makes sure that every funny one-liner and action sounds from Agent P putting the smackdown on Doofenshmirtz comes in loud and clear.
There’s not much in the way of extras, but the ones here are pretty awesome. “Nerves of Teal” shows a funny spy recruiting video to see if viewers have what it takes to be a part of Agent P’s employers that call themselves OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym). “Platybus Tour” gives viewers a look inside the Phineas and Ferb Platybus that toured all over North America while showing off all kind of neat exhibits pertaining to the shows. Last, but certainly not least, is an awesome fun kit that comes inside the DVD case which contains stickers, fun activities, and magnets for families to play with long after the disc stops playing.
I really got a good laugh out of the magnets which display Perry’s goofy looking normal face when he’s not Agent P, and feature different emotions you can place in the center. So no matter if you’re happy, angry, sad, etc. all of them have the exact same goofy expression on them.
For what it is, Phineas and Ferb: The Perry Files does a good job of collecting seven of the best Perry-themed episodes in one budget-priced DVD collection that serves a fun snapshot of one of the best animated series in recent memory, but not much else. Despite the fun extras on the side, seven episodes just isn’t enough for a hardcore fan like myself, though its easy to see this being a great entry point for those who’ve yet to succumb to its wacky charms. While it’s great to see these episodes in any form, it would be even nicer to see them on Blu-ray and compiled in a complete season even more. Still, the question you should be asking yourselves should be is whether this DVD a nice sample bag of platypus fun the whole family can enjoy? Yes, yes it is!
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Walt Disney Video