It may be the beginning of the summer for many of us, but for our Phineas and Ferb it’s the “Last Day of Summer.” My children were sad to hear it, but no more sad than I was. They had many unanswered questions about the show that they just KNOW other kids want to know. I was recently able to join 24 other moms and bloggers in finding out the answers to these pressing questions, as we talk to creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh during the Inside Out Event in Las Angeles, California.
I had no sooner gotten settled in my car and my children peppered me with questions about my recent travels. With Friday night just days away, the “end” of “Phineas and Ferb” as they know it was just days away and the questions were coming faster than a roller coaster ride built by these enterprising young men and their friends.
Mom! Why are there 104 days of summer vacation? We don’t get 104 days!
Dan Povenmire apologizes to all parents and their children. There is not 104 days of summer vacation. There are however, 104 days of summer. Apparently when the show was first being created a studio researcher had just finished research on this topic and shared that there were 104 days. However, there are 104 days of summer – not summer vacation. But eighty four days of summer vacation just doesn’t fit the song as well now does it, and well when it was discovered it was too late to change it.
“There’s 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it”
However, thanks to Dan and Jeff, I think many people, both kids and adults, found good ways to spend not just summer vacation, but every day as the show encourages creativity, imagination and reminds adults that we don’t have to “dumb it down” for kids, but the exact opposite. You may be surprised to learn a thing or two from your children, I know I frequently am!
Mom, where do they get their ideas from?
Dan admitted that their families are fair game and that some of their ideas have event “stolen pieces of Jeff’s son’s life.” “Literally,” Jeff adds. They also share that a great deal of the stories come from their own experiences growing up. Jeff and Dan both were very creative individuals from a young age and they were lucky enough to have parents which encouraged that creativity.
Dan shares one story from his life, and I can understand why Phineas and Ferb were frequently on their bikes riding around Danville.
Some buddies and I took sticks and flashlights one day and crawled all the way through our sub division in the drainage pipes that were about 4 ft. tall. And, we came up you’d see light ahead and you would look out through the drainage thing on the side of a curb and suddenly realize, ‘Oh wait that’s, that’s Overlook Church. That’s like a mile and a half from my house. We should go back.’
Mom, What are some of their favorite episodes? One of mine was when the boys meet the superheroes from Marvel.
Dan admits that the roller coaster episode and the trip to Paris, “Summer Belongs to You” are among his favorites. But among the laughter of our interview comes the tears, as he also admits to that being among one of his favorite songs. He says it never fails to bring tears to his eyes when he hears it.
Mom! Why are they ending “Phineas and Ferb?”
This is where things get really emotional. You can tell that the show has been a labor of love for Dan and Jeff, as well as beloved by their audience. They have been doing this for a decade and now just seems to be a good time to stop. They are just as proud of the first season as the fourth season, and every episode is still fresh to their viewers. They have so many comments from those who grew up with the show that told them that “Phineas and Ferb” were part of the reason that the viewer accomplished something or overcame adversity. After announcing the “Last Day of Summer” on Twitter the tweets came pouring in with these responses:
“This is the show that got me through PTSD. This is the show that got me through chemo with my kid, because it was the one thing that would make him smile.” They’re all these kind of things. And and I like I’m doing right now.” One mother wrote in her son would say, “I’m gonna’ go out, gonna’ go out and play. And then a picture that he drew after he started watching Phineas and, and all the creativity that she saw coming out of him.” Creativity that wasn’t shining through before.
Hearing the accolades by their fans brought tears to many a bloggers eye that day too.
But it doesn’t have to be good-bye, Jeff adds, “There’s a whole new batch of kids that could start in episode one.”
Mom! What will they do now?
In a young child’s mind that is the question. So what is next for Dan and Jeff? Jeff plans on getting some surfing in … and there are some fun new projects along the way like “Mickey Murphy’s Law,” a show about another enterprising young man who is the descendant of the original “Murphy’s Law,” which means everything that could go wrong does. But instead of letting it get him down, Mickey thinks of it as an opportunity and meets it head on.
Mom! What about Perry?
Perry and all his furry, and not so furry friends will continue their adventures with O.W.C.A and Major Monogram.
“Animated cartoons don’t usually get to say goodbye,” says creator Dan Povenmire. “So, we felt like it would be nice to be able to wrap it up. It’s going to play forever on [the] Disney [Channel]. There are so many episodes that by the time you’re done watching all of them; you’ll be ready for the first one again. It was just a nice way to say goodbye.”
Not only animated characters got to say goodbye. A big thank you to Disney and to Dan and Jeff for the opportunity to spend some time with a summer picnic, with them and Phineas and Ferb, and our own chance to say goodbye – or better yet — see you later, to some of our family’s favorite characters.
Tune in to Disney XD on June 12, 2015 for the Original Series – Special One-Hour Episode Premiere, Last Day of Summer” (9:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET/PT).
Disclosure: This was part of a press junket, sponsored by Disney Studios. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. Photo Credit: Disney XD/Valerie Macon – used by permission.