TV

Eternal Summer: Thankful Thoughts on the Finale of Phineas and Ferb

June 11, 2015
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the final episode of
Disney’s cartoon Phineas and Ferb
airs June 12th . .
the “end” of their perpetual TV summer

and it feels end-of-an-era to me too

i don’t know about your house, but
at my house, Phineas and Ferb
bookends a period of my own kids’
growing up,
just as the characters have now had to do . ….
… .

(my son, too little to speak clearly yet,
used to ask, “we watch Phineas and Ferv?”
my daughter used to giggle, lol,
still does at the memory . .
i myself learned the show’s theme song on guitar
so i could butcher it for them
and at one point played
“There’s a Platypus Controlling Me”
regularly as we drove . .
my kids both used to -inator after watching,
inventing along with the boys,
and then would watch the movie tie-in
and play the DS tie-in
and beg mom and me to play the card game with them,
which involved all sorts of
sneaking like Perry
and doing Doofenshmirtz voices
and other assorted
fabulous
unforgettable
bittersweet
nonsense)

did you ever read
Calvin and Hobbes?
ever travel with Calvin
as Spaceman Spiff?
climb into his transmogrifier?
play Calvinball?
ride down the hill in the wagon?
if not, you should . .
doing so is like
asking “where’s Perry?”
like avoiding Candace,
like waiting for and savoring
Ferb’s blips of British English,
like rooting against (and for) Dr. D . .

or perhaps you have your own
favorite tales of youth?

to me, these characters
(Phineas, Ferb, Calvin, Hobbes)
and all other similar
brilliant inventions –
all of them made of
pure, distilled, iconic
childhood –
they are kissing cousins . .
kin in evoking,
in bringing to life
the wonder, humor,
simplicity, nostalgia . . .
the
endless
possibilities
of
being little
and then
growing
up. . .
… – –
– .

.

and as much as they are
mirrors,
friends,
creativity catalysts
and so much more
for kids,
so they are (at least)
vital time machines for adults . .
time machines back to the
simpler, wonderfully and blissfully naive
dreamworld of youth

and as much as they are
time machines backward,
hopefully perspective changers
as time goes forward,
they are also, somehow, glimpses . .
these characters and their worlds,
all of them powerful,
heart-string-tugging glimpses
of a far off land . .
a land which has been called many things
in many languages
by many people
telling many stories . .
a land of beginning and ending,
of arrival and return,
of the old, somehow, made new again . .

a land which is nothing other than
the new heaven and the new earth . .
the final, perfect
c o m p l e t i o n
of all things

in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,
when Lucy first hears the name “Aslan”
(Lewis’ stand-in for Jesus),
the narrator says she
“…got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of Summer.”

this is the feeling
that stories like Phineas and Ferb
are full of . .
stories of the start
of

something

freaking

awesome

something just beginning,
that’s going to happen
and is going to be amazing
and that no one can stop,
as even schools cannot stop
vacations

something endless
and full of possibility . .
– . . .-
. .
just like summer seems
when you’re a kid.
.. –
..
.

as Phineas and Ferb comes to an end,
i’m thankful . .
thankful for it and stories like it . .

and even though their summer is “over,”
i know it’s not . .

not really . .

someplace,
Phineas will always be exclaiming:
“Ferb, I know what we’re gonna do today!”
and then, like before,
they’ll be summering into always . .
-inatoring into forever . .
just as the sweet, eternal summer they
gave glimpses of
so well –
for these years of my adulthood,
these years of my kids’ childhood –
will also
truly
last
forever.
. . .
..
.


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Matt Hill has contributed to hollywoodjesus for the past decade, taking on movies, music, books, games and other topics. He writes from Michigan, where he lives with his wife and kids. Visit facebook.com/sundayiam for free music from his sweet, super-secret Christian rock band.

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