“Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel” Plumbs the Depths of Disney Synergy

It cost $4 billion, but Disney’s most ineptly drawn animated characters can now be awful alongside Marvel superheroes, which incidentally had to be redesigned to look as incompetent as the rest of the Phineas and Ferb universe. Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel, a crossover episode of the animated series Phineas and Ferb, will damage children’s eyes (and souls) sometime this summer on the Disney Channel. Here’s the trailer for you animation masochists:


  • Ryan

    Now Amid, don’t be coy. Tell us what you really think.

  • Cory

    The first sentance alone makes me question how much it cost to write this “inept” ad negatively subjective article. If you can even call it that…

  • DarylT

    If you ever actually try to draw Phineas and Ferb you will realise it is very difficult to get it looking right. The show itself is a terrific show with smartly written humour and this episode looks a lot of fun.

    • AmidAmidi

      There is nothing about Phineas and Ferb that looks right.

      • Offy

        I know, the kid’s head is a triangle. You probably thought Ren & Stimpy was ineptly drawn when it premiered on Nickelodeon. Be careful, I hear there’s a cartoon on Cartoon Network where a boy has wiggly arms.

        • AmidAmidi

          The style of P&F isn’t an issue, and in fact it would be a futile exercise to critique its graphic style since there are as many visual approaches as there are individual artists. Rather, it’s the complete lack of draftsmanship and careless undisciplined artistry in executing said style that makes the show so unbearable to watch.

          • Offy

            Ok, but are you writing a news article about an upcoming Disney show or an opinionated article regarding how you feel about P&F? One of those would probably be something your readers would be interested in while the other, not so much.

          • Erik Butter

            I share Amids cynical opinion about this dog turd.
            Just look at the Hulk! This is just as badly drawn as the Hanna Barbera/ Filmation crap. Totaly uninspired and stiff. But at least their eyes aren’t flesh coloured.

          • Roberto Severino

            Well that’s why it’s better to actually put your talent/money/skill where your mouth is and actually try to work on making something better. You have to talk the talk too if you’re also an animation artist.

            That’s my attitude towards cartooning and animation in general. Complaining constantly about everything is just a waste of time and energy and that’s why I was critical of Amid for this post.

          • Erik Butter

            I know… it aint easy to make a good and well designed show with a multimillion dollar business behind it who is only intrest is making profits. And it’s a bit easy to say: why don’t you try it your self!

          • Matthew Broussard

            Cartoon Brew is a news blog. BLOG. Opinions are to be expected.

          • Inkan1969

            Could you elaborate on the draftsmanship problems and lack of discipline you say this show has? Is the reason for these problems just because they use the standard cheap overseas studios to make the animation?

          • Joel

            I’d honestly like to see how we’ll you draw, animate, and tell a story, Amid. The show’s also funny without resorting to insensitive, mean-spirited humor, which I wish could also be said of your writing.

          • MaskedManAICN

            For context, what would you consider a well executed piece of animation with competent draftsmanship and artistry in a P&F type style?

            From what little I’ve seen P&F seems to be a decent enough kids show.

      • DarylT

        In fact its very well animated for a tv show. It works like Mickey Mouse simple in appearance but difficult to get it looking exact. And then your judging it only on style not on actual content. And thats narrow and unfair since its a very smartly written show. You dont get emmy for nothing.

  • vic

    It cost 4 billion to combine the character designs of Home Movies and Hey Arnold?

    • Alex Dudley

      It cost Disney $4 billion to buy Marvel.

  • Luke

    Does anyone else miss “Teacher’s Pet”?

    • TheGreatWormSpirit

      No.

    • Funkybat

      Compared to a lot of today’s TV animation? Yes.

      Still, I miss the Disney Afternoon between 1990-1996 a lot more.

  • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

    Well, they could have tried harder to blend the two styles together more. Although, seeing a triangular headed Spiderman would be pretty funny!

  • Mike Kozlowski

    I’m sorry, but I am a huge P&F fan, and as wonderfully written as the show is, I am truly looking forward to seeing this. Not everything can be a ‘Snow White’ or ‘Fantasia’ in terms of animation quality, nor should it be. P&F is intended to do just one thing – entertain, and it does that beautifully. I think Marvel and the public will survive thirty minutes or an hour intended to do nothing more than make us laugh.

  • Max C.

    Oh, Amid… *winks, rimshot, canned laughter*

  • MissConception

    Wow, this article had a little more butthurt than usual.

    Sorry you feel that way about the show. I hardily disagree, though I do wonder if it really is possible to seamlessly incorporate the Marvel characters into the P&F universe. But Dan and Swampy are savvy guys and I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Again, I’m sorry you felt it necessary to vent your frustration about the show in an article. It really does cheapen the content of the website as a whole.

  • Roberto González

    I’m not a big fan of Phineas and Ferb’s design and animation, though I don’t think it looks completely awful either. In terms of coloring and character expressiveness it looks better than Family Guy, Simpsons or Total Drama Revenge of the Island, to put some obvious examples. It’s not that being better than something bad makes it good but some Phineas and Ferb characters don’t look so bad. I think Ferb looks kind of funny and there’s nothing wrong about the design of animation of Perry IMO. Not a fan of how Phineas looks though.

    Anyway what the show excels at is its writing , voice acting and musical numbers, which are all really good due to the talents of people like Kaz, who are very creative. If I had to be harsh with the visual style I’d at least recognize these other merits.

    Personally I think the Marvel characters don’t look cartoony enough in the trailer. Maybe the idea is to create a contrast or maybe Marvel didn’t want to change them too much, but I actually think they would look better- or at least more adequate- if they were a little more in the style of the rest of the show. The cross-over looks kind of pointless but given the surreal nature and dynamics of the show it could work well enough.

  • Mapache

    I totally agree. I don’t care if Amid McGrumpyPants Amidi is the one who says it.
    For someone so desperate to capitalize their franchizes, it seems like they really did’t put any effort to it.

  • Crystal

    Reading this blog (not just from Amid, but from some of the commenters as well), I get the idea that “good” animation art is apparently only a very narrow area, since all different types of things here seem to be thought of as “bad.”

    • Axolotl

      You’ve heard of Sturgeon’s Law…

  • RickyOh

    The thing I don’t understand is why the Marvel characters weren’t designed to look like the rest of the P and F characters… skinny legs, big heads etc.?

  • Roberto Severino

    Sorry Amid, but it sounds like you’re running on fumes here and trying to get attention for yourself. Animation has long been declining as a whole long before shows like Phineas and Ferb came out and I think that you’re just writing about this as filler for this blog because you couldn’t think of anything better to write about or anything constructive to say. Constantly complaining about it doesn’t solve the problem, does it? Nor does it give any of the readers of this blog any valuable insight on the animation industry.

    It’s one thing to criticize why Disney is really making this crossover special. I even commented somewhere else that they were probably doing it as quick, easy promotion for their channel (yes, I did admit that using the word lazy on that particular comment was too strong) but I never tried to attack the actual substance or material itself, just the intentions of the company.

    I even said that if the creators of this show could find a fun, creative way to make this concept work, then this probably won’t be that bad at all and since the creators on the show have done work on other shows like Rocko’s Modern Life, then I wouldn’t expect nothing less from them in terms of funny entertainment that the kids would really like.

    It’s like trying to blame Seth MacFarlane for something that had already been affecting animation for a long time and it seems to be that you’re trying to bring people like Dan Povenmire and Jeff Marsh into this. No one said you had to watch or care about this in any way and at least shows like this keeping good cartoonists employed seeing as how there have been many animation layoffs this year.

  • molochmachine

    Is it really synergy if Marvel -belongs- to Disney? Isn’t it just an obvious outcome of horizontal integration?

  • Stranger

    This is a BLOG, not a news website. If you’re pissed off about Amids opinion, then maybe you shouldn’t read his BLOG.

    Gotta love the people bitching about it though, you can tell who is a long time reader and who isn’t; Amid’s written this way for years.

    • Cory

      Funny, I just checked my tab: “Cartoon Brew/ Animation News, Animated Cartoons”

      • Jonah Sidhom

        “The Internet’s leading source for animation news *and commentary* since 2004!” – From Cartoon Brew’s FB page.

        • Matthew Broussard

          Burned!

    • Roberto Severino

      Oh yeah. I’ve been reading Cartoon Brew for years, so generalizing won’t work on me. I still come here but more for the animation analysis posts, artist of the day content, and the more general animation news that this site has to offer.

  • Bill the Splut

    All you people are missing the point!

    IT HAS MODOK!

  • Shazbot

    Just as long as Disney (or rather, Iger, since, aside from the corporate connection, there is no way those two names have anything in common, in my view) keeps the Marvel crapola away from Mickey and the gang, I guess I can live with this. But I still hate it. And if I see the Hulk show up in Gravity Falls, I’m gonna lose it.

  • Riu Tinubu

    … ‘Cheer up old man’? Phineas and Ferb is pretty good. Great even.

    Have you sat down and watched the show? Or are you lamenting the lack of the funny, sexy cartoon woman? This seems overly bitter for no reason.

    Anyway — yeah, this is annoying, seeing the marvel characters crossed over like this is a tad eye roll worthy. DC seems to have a more ‘serious’ go when it comes to their animated universes.

    • Offy

      Serious like Teen Titans Go, right?

  • jhalpernkitcat

    I’m actually looking forwards to this. Phineas and Ferb is one of the few shows out there that is both really funny and clever for both kids and adults.

    As for the animation? Well Rocky and Bullwinkle wasn’t exactly pretty to look at (in fact spotting all those errors were part of its charm) but it had some of the funniest lines ever and fantastic voicework–both of which Phineas and Ferb have. I prefer content over aethetics.

  • Roberto Severino

    Just remember this folks!

    “The same thing that’s always been wrong with it (current animation and the industry) and there’s plenty of angry blogs about it out there and they make a lot of good points. Bitching about things is a big waste of time. As long as it is a business run by businessmen it will be businesslike which has nothing to do with drawing funny pictures.” – Bob Camp

    http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/2009/05/interview-with-bob-camp.html

  • Zappo

    In my opinion (and ‘opinion’ seems to be the key thing with this ‘article’) P&F is a great cartoon. The characters are deliberately unrealistic but the colouring and animation is really good. The writing, humour and songs are brilliant and incredibly entertaining. Sometimes you shouldn’t fixate on one thing but view it as a whole and enjoy it for what it is – a fun cartoon primarily for kids. The crossover is not what I was expecting but they may be going for a “so bad it’s funny” kind of thing.

  • thesnappysneezer

    I don’t mind the crossover but what could take all 4 of their powers and shouldn’t Tony getout of that suit and into another one of his suits?

  • Robert Hughes

    Actually, I’ve seen this show and you couldn’t be more wrong. The artists and crew that worked on this were very excited to work with their favorite Marvel characters. A lot of time and care went into the making of this special episode by a lot of very talented people and, hold on to your hat, it’s pretty funny and clever.

    As it was being made there was some speculation that there would be some people who would shit on it without even seeing it. And congratulations, you’re the first. Although your review isn’t really clever, it’s just angry. You really wasted an opportunity here. Maybe after you’ve watched it you can write something that people will want to read, you know with big words and stuff. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and try to find some joy in life, that’s what Phineas and Ferb is all about. If you watched the show you’d probably know that.

  • Matthew Broussard

    Wow, the P&F fans came out in droves to defend their horrible looking show from the mean, grumpy (and right) Amid Amidi. Cute.

    • P Shaw

      Not for nothing, but even if you didn’t come across like a sycophantic troll, your post loses all its edge when taking into consideration that you regularly complain about things as mundane as Mega Man comics, and who got cast as Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks”.

      I’m just sayin’, he who lives in a glass house should probably think twice about casting stones, and all that jazzy jazz.

  • Animator606432

    Wait, aren’t they drawn in that style to make it easier for children to draw them?

  • SarahJesness

    “Well-designed”? The Marvel characters look AWFUL here.

  • SarahJesness

    I don’t have much of an opinion on the character designs or animation of Phineas & Ferb. I only saw a few episodes and couldn’t really get into it. (though I can definitely see how it appeals to other people) Didn’t really pay much attention to the animation when I did see those episodes. (just as well, I’m just of fan of animation, not an expert and not a student. Unless something is really, obviously bad I probably wouldn’t be able to say it’s bad. I think P&F looks fine)

    But I do agree, the Marvel characters here look SO AWFUL. I mean, my god! It’s hard for me to put my finger on exactly what the problem is, probably because there are multiple problems. Their faces aren’t very expressive and the movements are kind of stiff. There really isn’t a lot of detail, it looks kind of cheap. I think poor animation is a lot harder to get away with in shows that are action-heavy and have semi-realistic designs, and that’s what makes this particularly jarring.

  • CB

    Um. Wow. Phineas and Ferb isn’t that bad, guy. Calm yourself.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    Because Disney owns both P&F and the Marvel stable of characters, P&F can’t do what they ordinarily would and poke fun at the superhero concept in general and the Marvel standard bearers in particular, can they?

    “No, no we can’t.”

  • Paul Badilla

    When did Disney turn into Filmation?

  • mick

    It’s been a while since the ‘How dare you, I’m never coming here again!’… ‘this is opinion and I demand news!’ … ‘yeah well you couldn’t do better!’ comments have rolled in so thick. Are these a new set of people never coming back or long standing never coming backers failing to find the door?

    I come here for Amid being Amid and these comments objecting to that fact

  • HalSolo

    Them carting around Iron Man on a dolly is a good gag.

  • sharmylae

    so it’s immoral for children to enjoy “poor” animation? enjoying something that isn’t top quality is going to send kids to hell? pretty sure we’d all be there, if that were the case…

  • Michel Van

    I try to be polite on lates Disney Crossover attempt
    is this for fun by animators ? nope !
    is this for pleasing the Fans ? nope !
    is is to make big money ? YES !
    Disney try to introduce MARVEL to worldwide fans of P&F
    and regardless of what the fans think about this crossover, so long as the money flows…

  • TheGreatWormSpirit

    I suggest you never lay your eyes on the new Avengers cartoon on Disney XD. There’s zero excuses for that thing to look as bad as it does.

    • big bad balloon

      I agree. DC is kicking Marvels azz in the series/animated feature area. Not even comparable. The style, the stories, the character development – all a “no contest”.

      • M Rahman

        “was” kicking Marvels azz, till they decided to follow suit by cancelling their 2 popular shows for TTGO & yet another Batman
        when BTB comes out if anything Marvel & DC will be on equal footing by having just so, so superhero themed cartoon blocks

  • Cory Gross

    I dunno’, The last animated versions of Spider-Man I’m cognizant of were from the 60′s and the 90′s. Compared to them, Spidey never looked better!

  • David

    Is this guy trolling or just very stupid?
    Yes, they aren’t drawn realistically – that’s not ineptitude, that’s deliberate. I’d have thought it would be obvious to the meanest intelligence that that’s a deliberate choice of art style. And yes, the plot isn’t going to make sense with established Marvel continuity in all respects (not that Marvel plots usually make sense with Marvel continuity in all respects) because this is a comedy, not a superhero show – suspension of reality/continuity will be based not on ‘rule of cool’, as with a normal Marvel plot, but on ‘rule of funny’. It’s a different art form than the one that you’re apparently such a screaming fangirl of that you refuse to acknowledge that any other form is valid, but most of us are mentally well and emotionally balanced enough to accept different art forms without feeling that one destroys the other, and eventually you’ll have to accept that they both exist, so man up and deal with it.

  • wormywyrm

    I had a difficult time with the show at first because of the art style, which I still dislike although it has grown on me a little, but P&F is an excellent show once you get past the art. It is a mix of disney and family guy and it is all bottled up in a constrained art format (each episode operates within constrained plot boundaries, making each episode technically the same… yet the writers rely on incredible creativity to make each episode fundamentally unique, ala Dinosaur Comics). I would label it a cult classic.

  • big bad balloon

    Based on the design alone P&F looks like one of those Animation Magazine “submit your show pitch” entries. I don’t find it appealing in any way so I agree with Amid on that. Tho personally I think he adds a little venom on purpose just to goad(quite easily) people into taking the bait. As Precious Roy would say “You guys are suckerrrrrrrrrrs”…

  • Vaughan

    Oh man, this reminds me of the time I got trolled by Amid-boy was I steamed. Looking back I can’t even remember what he said that got me so mad. Anyway, there’s room for all kinds of styles. I don’t like Phineas and Ferb, but I’m a big fan of Beavis and Butthead, so I’m not going to hate on someone’s favorite show because it’s poorly drawn-except Johnny Test, screw that show for all eternity.

  • Jeff

    Way to be an arsehole. “Phineas and Ferb” is a great show. It has better designed characters than you could ever hope of creating.

  • M Rahman

    whether you agree with Amid or not, it’s a pretty funny article

  • Animator606432

    Sometimes I wonder if Amid right stories like this just to get a response.

    • Matt Norcross

      Me too, and I say this with all due respect to Amid, who I think is a very smart guy.

  • kiptw

    So, animation that looks like everything else is boring, and animation that doesn’t look like everything else is bad. I don’t mind the stylization of the characters in the show, particularly since I have near-complete confidence that I can sit down and watch any episode of it and enjoy myself the whole time.

  • lockerzthesquirrel

    Looks like it’s going to be really awesome for the kids who love Phineas & Ferb and The Avengers.

  • Dave

    Great article, this crossover offends me as a fan of “Phineas and Ferb” as well as of the formerly great Marvel Comics.