Saturday, October 07, 2017

The Horror Of...Halloween Night, Phineas and Ferb - Terrifying Tri-State Trilogy of Terror

Halloween is a time for kids of all ages. But some of the kids are actually kids. And some of us have a common mentality to kids. So it's time again to delve into the more juvenile fun and wit that should make any of us laugh like jack o'lantern...Well, smile at least.

So let's hearken back a few years to Phineas and Ferb, and their first Halloween Special from 2013.

Still, for those new to the show, a reminder of what it's about. This is a Disney series that ran from 2007 to 2015. It is the brain child of Dan Povenmire and Jeff Marsh. The show is an animated series  about young kids, a platypus, and a mad scientist that uses humor and song to great effect.

The titular characters are Phineas and Ferb, stepbrothers looking to make the most of their summer vacation. So each day has an insane project to accomplish. Build a time machine. Invent the ultimate roller coaster. Build the largest tower ever. And they tend to be quite successful.

Along the way they have to deal with their sister Candace, who disapproves of the dangerous things they get up to. She continuously tries to call them out to their mom, but is never successful.

Perry the Platypus is the pet of the boys. But he is also a secret agent for OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym). It's there job to keep tabs on and take out mad scientist bent on world domination.

Which leads us to Dr. Doofenshmirtz. He's a mad scientist bent on Tri-State domination. He is driven by jealousy of his brother, who is the successful local mayor, and his own self-loathing. He daily has a new plot that Perry needs to foil.

While the show primarily a summer based series (It broke convention after a time.), they managed to get to Halloween type fun (Halloween will not be stopped!).

So we all get Phineas and Ferb - "Terrifying Tri-State Trilogy of Terror".

The show opens on a van with "The Macabre Book Mobile" written on the side.

The side opens to reveal a man lighting himself with a flashlight.

Looking at him, my first reaction is that he reminds me most of Peter Cushing. The look is great for the spooky storyteller. He introduces a book that he thinks we'll enjoy.

But before he can start reading someone walks up to buy food. He chides the person, and they leave saying they'll give him a bad review. And they quickly leave a one star review online.

Chapter 1

The first story finds Candace at home alone one night. She's on the phone with her best friend, while reading a the strange eponymous book with spells. Finding one that animates dolls, she decides to try it out on her beloved Ducky Mo Mo.

The trouble will come if, after the spell is read, the doll is hit by moonlight, it becomes evil. But Candace thinks it's all ridiculous.

Then Ducky Mo Mo comes alive. Candace doesn't see it at first, knocking the doll accidentally out of the house. But when it gets back in it comes for her.

Freaked out she runs from it. But it keeps coming. Up stairs. Around wads of paper. Nothing stops it.

Then when it has her cornered she asks what it wants. And she learns.

A hug.

It seems the moon had been hidden, so Ducky Mo Mo never was turned evil by that light.

Oh no! It's Snuggles. And he knows what you did last Laundry Day.

But then the moon comes out and the light hits another doll that had been near Ducky Mo Mo when the spell was read. And it wants blood!

Chapter 2

The next story finds Perry the Platypus going on a mission to pester Dr. Doofenshmirtz, as he's usually stuck visiting Doof like he's in Mad Scientist Care.

Dropping in, he startles Doof, annoying him with his surprise entrance.

Catching Perry in a book (the latest plan to trap Perry), Doof explains his scheme. The eponymous book he trapped Perry in told him about The Inexplicable Giant Floating Baby Head. If summoned ,the baby head gives you three wishes.

And using his new Inator, he summons the baby head.

Touching the head, Doof is knocked back, and the baby head is gone. But he's now got three wishes.

Doof is ready to take his wishes and gain power over the Tri-State area. But he's smart enough to know he should test what out the power first, to be sure he doesn't get bitten on the backside by the wishes.

So he wishes for an ice tea. He gets it, but it isn't great (Not enough sugar.). So he knows he needs to be clear in the wishes.

So he begins to wish for power. But Perry knocks a shelf on Doof's foot, causing to scream out, "Cheese and Crackers!" at the wrong moment. And now Doof rules all cheese and crackers.

So Perry and Doof face off. Perry brings down the cheese and cracker army quickly. But Doof has one last wish.

He tries to get his words right. Different words could have him turned into a butterfly, among other things. So he decides he wants to be the head of the Tri-State area. (Which he immediately realizes is stupid wording.) And he becomes that.

The problem resolved, Perry heads home.

Chapter 3

The last story finds Phineas and Ferb in their backyard camping out. They are joined by their friends Isabella, Baljeet, and Buford. They are reading through the Trilogy of Terror book for fun.

There are some interesting items, like what we've already witnessed, and also The Rest of the Inexplicably Giant Floating Baby. And then they learn an interesting platypus fact.

"And never feed them Thai food after eventide."
Grape juice poured on a platypus generates an evil copy of a platypus. Buford quickly tries it out. And they get a purple platypus.

When it grabs a juice box, and runs out, Isabella suggest they take off and nuke the planet from orbit.

Outside, the evil clone starts multiplying. And then they scurry off to be evil.

Phineas tries to brainstorm a solution, while being chagrined how much this feels like a Halloween event.

But Phineas is stumped. Baljeet suggest he knows someone that can help them, and they run. As they go we see the evil clones at work. And they go into full Gremlins mode.

The kids arrive at "help". Baljeet's cowboy life coach.

After a folksy conversation, Phineas thinks of a solution. To fight evil platypuses made of grape juice stains you need to wash them out of existence with high power bubble washers.

So they head out to clean the town up. (Huh!)

But they are overwhelmed.

Running for shetler they end up hiding in a juice box factory. And it takes the clones moments to push inside.

And they quickly overwhelm the kids, ripping them to shreds.

But this is just a story Phineas is telling, and no one else likes how it's ending. They demand a better conclusion.

So now, stuck in the factory again, Phineas comes up with an idea to use the soap and the sprinklers.

But the release valve is too high. Not to worry though, their cowboy friend arrives on a unicorn.

And he lassos the valve to release the soapy wash. The clones are washed out of existence in moments.

Officer Concord arrives and they all dance.

End of tale.

Or is it?

You see, we  learn now that all of this, since the start, has been hypothetical stories inside a hypothetical story to explain why the Storyteller deserves a bank loan. There is no book mobile yet. It's all still a dream in a mad man's heart.

Now he would if this guy would just give him the money. But the banker explains that the Storyteller has no collateral, no financial records, and his stories are incoherent.

Our storyteller offers to up his offer with a "pretty please" and than adds "a cherry on top".

This shifts things and the banker gives up the cash for the macabre book mobile.

So that's the secret to getting loans.

This break from the normal Phineas and Ferb episode does shift some, but stays quite true the shows basic conceits. Now, as always something fun to watch on Summer vacation, a bright afternoon, or a Halloween weekend.

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