Saturday Mornings criteria include, but are not limited to a) being a show geared toward young teens or under, b) being something that adults can possibly tolerate for one or two episodes, and c) generally feeling like something you’d watch on – you got it, Saturday mornings in your PJ’s. Occasionally these will get thrown out and a movie, or a show that makes adults grimace will get added in, but this is technically adult-tolerable TV for kids.
I have to admit, I really enjoy this show, even being several years above the target audience. This show airs on Disney, and it has four seasons so far. The first three seasons can be found on Netflix.
The general theme of the show is that two brothers, Phineas and Ferb, along with their friends Buford, Baljeet, and Isabella (not to mention the Fireside Girls) contrive build wacky, occasionally highly improbable inventions, like a portal to Mars or a time machine, while their older sister Candace tries to bust them, always unsuccessfully. The secondary plot involves Phineas and Ferb’s pet platypus, Perry, who’s actually a secret agent, and his nemesis Doctor Doofenshmirtz, who plans to try to take over the Tri-State Area with his inventions in almost every episode.
This show can get a little annoying with Candace’s constant screaming when she finds her brothers building stuff, and with her crush on (later boyfriend) Jeremy. Doofenshmirtz and Perry in each episode generally make up for that, however.
Phineas and Ferb is really a great show in a lot of ways. It was made so that it simply didn’t exclude kids as an audience, rather than being a specifically kid’s show, which works really well. There’s all sorts of little jokes here and there from things like Star Wars and classic movies that younger kids probably won’t get, but teens/older kids probably will. There’s the occasional bathroom humor, but it’s actually pretty infrequent. There’s a song in nearly every episode, and most are really quite catchy and cute. There’s even an occasional moral thrown in. Friendship is big in this series, as are ingenuity and creativity. However, Phineas and Ferb don’t usually, if ever, get explicit permission from their parents (they usually don’t know, hence Candace’s single-minded busting regime) to do most of the (honestly occasionally dangerous) stuff they do. Some episodes should seriously come with a “do not try at home” label on them. (It’s occasionally mentioned, especially in the earlier seasons. “Aren’t you a little young to be building a roller coaster?” “Yes, yes we are.”) That being said, I’m pretty sure your average 8-9 year old isn’t going to be trying to build a rocket to the moon, so the danger factor is kind of a moot point, in my opinion. Power tools can be dangerous though. Welding or using a power saw without supervision is probably a bad idea if you’re not an older teen.
Occasionally, episodes can actually be a bit scary, so do keep that in mind when watching with younger kids. I think this is a great show for just about any age, however. Some people will find it more tolerable than others, as with any show. Any kids between the ages of 6 and 12 will probably enjoy it. Even teens may like it. It can get addictive if you enjoy it enough though, so be warned!