Remember the link we posted last June to a New York Times article proclaiming the Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb as the next SpongeBob. Well, Disney publicists aren’t giving up. They convinced the business rag Fast Company to publish a longer article written by Adam Bluestein with virtually identical talking points trumpeting the popularity of Phineas and Ferb.
While the NY Times mentioned the word “SpongeBob” EIGHT times in their write-up, Fast Company mentions him ELEVEN times and even added a SpongeBob infographic just in case you’re not sufficiently clear what show Disney wants you to think Phineas and Ferb is like.
UPDATE: Phineas and Ferb co-creator Dan Povenmire posted in the comments. He wants to make clear that any SpongeBob references are instigated by the authors of the articles and that Disney publicists don’t reference that show. Here is Povenmire’s full comment:
Just so you know how it works, Disney itself NEVER (and I mean NEVER) brings up SpongeBob for comparison, that is the angle the WRITER OF THE ARTICLE takes. People at Disney will answer questions about comparisons the interviewer might make based on ratings and merchandise, but to insinuate that Disney is in any way trumpeting that comparison themselves demonstrates a total lack of knowledge of how this particular company does business.
Writers write what they want to write and the comparisons to SpongeBob probably sell the article to the editors.
That being said, I love SpongeBob, I worked on SpongeBob, and if the comparison means people think we’re a funny cartoon too, then I welcome that comparison. But just so you know, Swampy and I created Phineas and Ferb almost exactly the way it appears on TV today, while we were working on Rocko’s Modern life in the very early 1990s, before Steve even started developing SpongeBob.