×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dan Povenmire and Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh

'Phineas and Ferb' creators keep it real

The Disney Channel/Disney XD animated series “Phineas and Ferb” clicks with kids because there’s a boyish believability to the antics of its titular not-quite-tween stepbrothers — an authenticity reinforced by the use of young thesps in key roles. Teenagers Vincent Martella (who voices Phineas) and Thomas Sangster (Ferb) aren’t far removed from the age of their characters.

The toon has tapped the well of Mouse House talent by enlisting “High School Musical’s” Ashley Tisdale as well as “Hannah Montana’s” Mitchel Musso and Moises Arias and “Camp Rock’s” Alyson Stoner for semi-regular roles. The show’s growth in the past year has made it a hot ticket for guest stars ranging from Malcolm McDowell to Jack McBrayer.

Episodes are built around the brothers’ wild adventures (such as trying to build a NASCAR track in their backyard) and those of their pet platypus, Perry, who leads a double life as a secret agent. But creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh take great pride in grounding the show in contemporary reality by depicting a blended family with no fanfare or “very special episode” messages.

“Once we got the idea for this show we believed in it so much,” Povenmire says, noting that it took them 16 years to find a buyer.

The exec who finally told them “yes” says he was sold on the way Povenmire and Marsh emphasized that the title characters were dreamers, not miscreants.

“It’s a humor built on optimism and hope, not negativity and nastiness,” says Disney Channel Worldwide entertainment prexy Gary Marsh (no relation to Jeff Marsh).

Impact: Their “Phineas and Ferb” was the top-ranked toon with tweens for most of 2009.

Next: “Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation”

Causes: The Itty Bitty Art sale

More Scene

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Al PacinoKirk

    Martin Scorsese Saluted by Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino at Santa Barbara Film Fest Gala

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Pacino saluted Martin Scorsese‘s dedication and risk-taking at his Santa Barbara International Film Festival tribute, while the filmmaker spoke about the importance of “individual artistic expression.” More than 300 people attended the black-tie gala on Thursday night in Scorsese’s honor at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara, where festival exec director [...]

  • DOLEMITE IS MY NAME!, 2019, DOL_Unit_06284.RAF

    'Dolemite Is My Name' Writer Larry Karaszewski Recalls 10-Year Journey to Make Rudy Ray Moore Biopic

    “Harriet” writer-director Kasi Lemmons was in a reflective mood at Tuesday night’s “Behind the Screen” event at the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood, sponsored by the Writers Guild of America West. The biopic, starring Cynthia Erivo as slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, has been receiving buzz since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s Lemmons’ [...]

  • Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis

    Holocaust Experts Debate 'Jojo Rabbit' at Museum of Tolerance Screening

    With its comedic, cartoonish portrayal of Nazis, Taika Waititi’s satirical Hitler youth tale “Jojo Rabbit” has polarized critics and audiences alike. And that division continued to be stirred at Tuesday night’s screening of the film at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, where Liebe Geft, director of the museum, moderated a heated panel discussion [...]

  • Laura Dern MoMA

    Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver Honor Laura Dern at MoMA Film Benefit

    Laura Dern is certainly no stranger to film sets. “Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd birthed me and bred me on cinema,” she said on Tuesday night in New York City, as she accepted honors at the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Film Benefit, presented by Chanel. “I was conceived on a Roger Corman movie called [...]

  • Jon Huerta

    'This Is Us' Star Jon Huertas Builds Community With Venice's Clutch Restaurant

    “This Is Us” star Jon Huertas, who’s being honored at the Napa Valley Film Festival with Variety Vivant’s Spice Award Nov. 13, has always known he wanted a career in Hollywood. But he’s something of an accidental restaurateur. No, he didn’t exactly stumble into co-owning Clutch, one of the hottest upscale casual restaurants in Venice, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content