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Phineas and Ferb Are Gonna Do It All...

"There's a hundred and four 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"

(opening lyrics to Phineas & Ferb title sequence)

Phineas-and-ferb With the events of the past summer, some well-meaning friends implored me to find a mindless diversion.  Between wrapping up two book projects and helping a parent with cancer, I knew they were right:  I needed something fun to take my mind off of things... the more entertainingly brainless, the better.

My daughters came to my rescue.  I happened to walk in the room as they were watching Disney's Phineas and Ferb.  It was one of the most brilliantly written cartoons I've seen in a long time.

The premise is fairly simple.  Phineas and Ferb are step-brothers who live in the fictional town of Danville in a region referred to as the Tri-State Area with their parents and older sister, Candace.  As the above lyrics imply, each episode is about the brothers attempting to find a meaningful way of spending their summer.  And when I say "meaningful" I mean "completely over-the-top and imaginitive."  They build roller coasters, reunite rock bands, launch clothing lines, race in the Nascar circuit, and create a portal to Mars.

The writing and dialogue is witty, the plots are ingenious, the music is phenomenal.  It's 22 minutes of well spent time.  But more than that, there are some valuable lessons you can learn about accomplishment.  So for the next few days, I'll share a few lessons from watching a few all occasional frequent episodes.  I hope you'll enjoy the parallels between a seemingly innocent children's cartoon and accomplishing something amazing.


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I'm 41 and I love that show, got hooked watching it with my niece.

Timothy Johnson

I think the creators must have been targeting our generation first, Angeliqe, and then our kids. So much of the humor has me in stitches but goes over the kids' heads. Phineas and Ferb is truly one of the most brilliantly and intelligently dialogued cartoons since the Warner Brothers' Looney Toons of old.

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