Animation Elite 2012: Jeff 'Swampy' Marsh & Dan Povenmire

Last year, after the feature-length “Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension” became the most watched cable movie of 2011 with 7.6 million viewers, the Mouse House couldn’t help but renew its commitment to animation — long overshadowed by live-action programming — by doubling the number of animated episodes on Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior in 2012.

“Disney always had a hand in animation on the feature side, but had fallen by the wayside in TV,” says “Phineas and Ferb” co-creator Povenmire. “In TV, they played off the success of movies like ‘Aladdin’ and (characters like) Buzz Lightyear. (Animation) was not creator-driven, but franchise-driven.”

Povenmire and Marsh changed the game with their hit show, which wrapped its third season on Nov. 30, and is now expanding the Disney model further by developing a bigscreen “Phineas and Ferb” feature for 2014.

“If not for ‘Phineas and Ferb,’ I think you wouldn’t see a show like ‘Gravity Falls’ on Disney now,” Marsh says. “Disney has been playing safe for a long time, but now are taking creative risks. I think you will continue to see shows very different from what you’ve come to expect from Disney.”

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