Considering that three crossover events have already been announced for next year, 2014 may just become the year of the cartoon mash-up.
With still three weeks left Phineas and Ferb join forces with Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Hulk and Thor in Phineas & Ferb: Mission Marvel, it was announced at Comic-Con that the angle-headed stepbrothers would star in an hour-long episode that relocates them to the desert planet of Tatooine, living next door to a popular sci-fi figure named Luke Skywalker. When plans for destroying the Death Star accidentally fall into their hands, they are recruited into the Galactic rebellion, and…well, you know the rest.
In addition, there have been recent announcements that The Simpsons will be rubbing shoulders with not just one, but two sets of their ‘toon contemporaries when they team-up with both Futurama and Family Guy. Serving as either The Simpsons season 25 finale (May 2014) or the season 26 premiere (fall 2014), Futurama’s Bender will travel back in time with the intention to kill Bart before his actions negatively affect the future. Meanwhile, a date to-be-determined Family Guy episode will feature the Griffins becoming fast friends with Homer and his family after a road trip leads them to Springfield.
While these episodes are guaranteed to be fan pleasers, they would also appear to be carefully coordinated gambits for ratings. As less and less media conglomerates own more and more entertainment properties, expect to see these kinds of opportunistic crossovers with increased frequency in the future.