|“||Mom! Phineas and Ferb are making a Christmas special!||”|
— Candace at the end of the title sequence
Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation! is a special extended Christmas episode of Disney Channel's animated show Phineas and Ferb, originally aired on December 6, 2009, on Disney XD. It subsequently aired on the Disney Channel on December 11, 2009, and on ABC Family on December 18, 2009, as part of the 25 Days of Christmas (marking the first appearance of the show on that network), as well as on many ABC affiliates (in a condensed half-hour form, though). Series co-creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff Marsh, along with the special's director Zac Moncrief, announced their hopes that the special will become a holiday classic.
The special's premiere broadcast on Disney XD was preceded by an "all weekend-long" marathon of the show, and the Disney Channel broadcast was preceded by a six-hour marathon of the show. The premiere of the special on Disney XD drew 2.62 million viewers, making it the channel's most watched telecast ever. Its Disney Channel premiere made it the most watched episode of the series, drawing 5.2 million viewers.
It is the morning of Christmas Eve in Danville, and while Phineas and Ferb are off driving their "dual toboggan" beds, their older sister Candace is trying to figure out what she should get her boyfriend Jeremy for Christmas. She calls up their mom, Linda (who is at the airport with Lawrence, to pick up Ferb's grandparents, whose flight from England has been delayed) for help, but has no success. Candace then dashes to her brothers' room, attempting to catch them in the act again, but is surprised to find they've already returned. She then takes a look at their to-do list and notices they have "writing a letter to Santa Claus" on there as well, which she scornfully laughs at. But she then realizes this could be the way to figure out what to get Jeremy - she'll have him write a letter to Santa, telling "in great detail" what he wants most, and then get a look at it so she can buy the right gift. (Phineas points out that she could also just ask Jeremy what he wanted "to avoid any unnecessary complications", but she laughs him off again.) Phineas admits that he and Ferb consider Santa one of their greatest heroes, for giving everything to everyone else, and never asking for anything in return, so he decides to turn Danville into a giant thank-you card.
Meanwhile, the boys' pet platypus, Perry, arrives at the Agency's Christmas party, where he is given A Sal Tuscany Christmas CD from his "Secret Santa", which Major Monogram believes is Carl, despite the intern denying it. Just then, Monogram receives an alert regarding Perry's nemesis, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, and tells Perry that he'll have to stop him.
Phineas and Ferb's friends, Isabella, Buford, and Baljeet arrive just as the boys finish building a "Rest Stop for Santa" (which Buford thinks is a clubhouse) on top of their house. Phineas explains to the group that it is part of their plan to turn Danville into a giant thank-you card for Santa. They then round up the citizens of Danville to start decorating the city as Santa's thank-you card. Candace walks over to Jeremy's house, where she tries to get him to start writing his letter to Santa, but he's preoccupied with decorating first.
Meanwhile, Perry arrives at Doofenshmirtz Evil Inc., and Dr. Doofenshmirtz promptly traps him by stringing Christmas lights around him (and placing a bird on his bill to mock him). Doofenshmirtz then shows him his newest device, the Naughtyinator, sent to him by his Uncle Justin from Borneo. The doctor intends to use it to generate a cloud of naughtiness over the city and trick Santa into believing that Danville is naughty. His problem, though, is that he doesn't really hate Christmas and doesn't have a good enough reason to; he even admits that all he really wants for Christmas is the ability to hate the holiday. Just then, he gets a visit from a group of carolers singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". Doofenshmirtz becomes so annoyed with their demand for "figgy pudding" in their song that he fires up the Naughtyinator, thus causing the North Pole's satellites to pick up that Danville is naughty.
At the Flynn-Fletcher residence, Phineas, Ferb, and Candace see a long line of mail trucks come driving up the snowy drive, and then a mailman comes out. He apologizes to Phineas and Ferb, saying that everyone's letter to Santa was returned after being branded naughty, and then picks up Jeremy's letter when he brings it over. Phineas asks Candace how Danville could possibly be naughty, and Candace shames him into believing it's his own fault for always getting everyone involved in his and Ferb's "hare-brained schemes".
Devastated, Phineas tries to convince himself it's all a bad dream, but Isabella tells him it won't work. During this, Buford confides to Baljeet that he "has a method": act any way you want all year long, and then right before Christmas, perform one big selfless act of kindness. Baljeet mentions that he wants a kiss from a pretty girl under the mistletoe. Candace makes one more attempt to find out what Jeremy wants for Christmas, but she only succeeds in confusing him enough to leave in a baffled state. The kids then lament the fact about Danville being branded naughty through song. But Phineas then decides that he refuses to accept that idea, goes to a nearby radio station, and broadcasts a song sung by him and the rest of the citizens about how nice the city really is. The song catches the ears of two of Santa's British-accented elves, Blay'n and Clewn't, so they decide to investigate.
Over at D.E.I., the Naughtyinator is still running and the carolers are still hassling Doofenshmirtz for some figgy pudding (even Perry seems to be annoyed with them). Doofenshmirtz still refuses to give in to their demands, but when he goes into his kitchen, he finds that he actually does have a lot of figgy pudding, so he goes ahead and gives it to them. Perry, attempting to escape, lets loose his Sal Tuscany CD, which Doofenshmirtz then starts playing so that he can enjoy "the last few hours before Christmas officially doesn't come." However, when he turns up the volume on his stereo, it ends up shattering the "naughty juice" jars on the Naughtyinator, shutting the machine down.
While that's going on, Phineas and friends are cleaning up the materials used in their broadcast when Blay'n and Clewn't show up, and Phineas asks them if the Danville branding was a mistake. Blay'n remarks that it is more like the city itself is misbehaving, but that something is definitely not right around Danville, much to the dismay of Baljeet, who fears he'll never get his mistletoe kiss, and Buford, who fears he'll never get to do his planned great act of kindness. (Isabella doesn't really have a problem herself, since her family celebrates Hanukkah, but she agrees to go along with whatever plan Phineas and Ferb have.) Phineas asks the elves if they really seem like bad kids, to which Blay'n replies that everyone was reading nice (except for Buford). Phineas says that the elves should contact Santa and tell him to come to Danville, but it's too late to call. So Phineas takes matters into his own hands decides to bring Christmas to Danville, and the rest of the kids and even Candace side with him.
Getting into the elves' sleigh, Phineas goes over everyone's stations: Candace will keep track of who gets what presents; Blay'n and Clewn't will make the toys; Isabella and Buford (who still thinks the rest stop for Santa is a clubhouse) will wrap the presents; and Baljeet will feed the presents into the gift shooter, manned by Ferb. The beginning of the trip takes a turn for the worse, though, because the foggy clouds that were created by the Naughtyinator are blocking Phineas's vision. Buford goes back down and tells everyone to turn on their Christmas lights, clearing up the sky. This gives him his one big act of selfless kindness and thus places him on the nice list, allowing him to receive his Christmas desire - to be thought of as nice by his friends. A montage takes place, showing the kids doing their various jobs in the sleigh and dropping off the presents. During this, Jeremy's name appears on the computer, and to Candace's delight, she finds that the gift he wants is something she's already gotten for him. The last gift, to be delivered to Wendy Stinglehopper (a really big hat), gets stuck in Ferb's cannon, so Baljeet goes to free the present and gets caught on it, falling down Wendy's chimney safely because of the parachute. Wendy is so delighted about receiving her hat that she gives Baljeet the mistletoe kiss that he wanted.
Back at D.E.I., Perry, having by now escaped from the trap, traps Doofenshmirtz in the same way, complete with putting the partridge on his nose. As Perry jumps out the window, Doofenshmirtz mutters to himself that he hates Christmas, then cheers because he has gotten his Christmas wish: to be able to hate Christmas. After getting out of the trap himself, he smashes Perry's Sal Tuscany CD on the floor. He then tries to call his Uncle Justin to thank him for the Naughtyinator plans, but looks at the package closely and realizes the package actually says "Barneo", which the phone operator tells him is in the North Pole. Looking closely at the smashed CD on the floor, the doctor sees that the letters of "A Sal Tuscany" can be rearranged to spell "Santa Claus" ("with an embarrassing left over Y"), and that the cover image of Sal Tuscany is really Santa Claus, poorly disguising his face with a false black mustache over his white one.
Upon arriving back at the Flynn-Fletcher residence, the kids go up on the roof to see Santa Claus coming out of the rest stop that Phineas and Ferb made for him. Santa thanks Phineas for doing "the Danville run" for him and reads Phineas's Christmas wish - to be just like Santa for one day. Candace then runs into Jeremy, who gives her her present - a pair of earrings she wanted, which she had originally planned to make her good necklace into a similar pair. When Candace asks how he afforded it, Jeremy admits he sold his guitar. Candace then hands Jeremy the present she got for him: the silver guitar that he had wanted. It turns out that Candace sold her good necklace to get the guitar. After Santa leaves, taking the rest stop with him to use as a clubhouse ("I knew it was a clubhouse!" Buford remarks), Ferb tells the gang that he also got what he wanted - a harmonica. Afterwards, Linda and Lawrence arrive home with Grandma and Grandpa Fletcher, and they all head back inside for the night. We are then treated to a montage of everyone opening their Christmas presents over the end credits.
A total of eight songs were written for the special; along with the use of an existing song, this adds up to the most songs featured in a Phineas and Ferb episode at the time, half of which were sung by the characters and the other half sung offscreen during montages. Among them are:
- "Winter Vacation" - performed by Bowling For Soup
- "I Really Don't Hate Christmas" - sung by Dr. Doofenshmirtz
- "That Christmas Feeling" - performed by Olivia Olson
- "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" - sung by the carolers and later by Sal Tuscany
- "Where Did We Go Wrong" - sung by Phineas, Baljeet, and Isabella
- "Danville for Niceness" - sung by the cast
- "Christmas Cannot Be Destroyed Not Even by a Naughty-Inator" - sung by Sal Tuscany
- "Christmas is Starting Now" - performed by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- "Thank You Santa" - performed by Mitchel Musso
One more song, "What Does He Want?", was written for Candace to sing about her dilemma of what to get for Jeremy, but was cut for time. It was reinstated in the Disney Channel and Disney XD's broadcasts of the special in 2010 and 2011, but is strangely not included on the DVD release.
As part of the special's publicity, the songs were played on Radio Disney in the holiday season of 2009, and clips of the songs appeared as music videos on the Disney Channel and Disney XD. The songs were made available to download on iTunes and Amazon.com the day after the special premiered. They, along with the cut song, were later released on the album Phineas and Ferb Holiday Favorites.
Promotion and availability
|“||It's a really sweet, warm special that we're really proud to have our name on.||”|
The special was promoted through a multi-platform campaign, which saw the seven musical numbers from the special broadcast on Radio Disney starting November 17, 2009, and Phineas and Ferb appearing in the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, broadcast by ABC on Christmas Day. Following its premiere on Disney XD, the special became available on video on demand systems, mobile platforms, the Xbox Live Marketplace, and the iTunes Store (where the songs are also available for download).
A DVD of the special, titled Phineas and Ferb: A Very Perry Christmas, was released on October 5, 2010. It featured the special (in its original, slightly shorter form) along with four regular episodes of the series, all centered on Perry - "Interview with a Platypus", "Oh, There You Are, Perry", "Chez Platypus", and "Perry Lays an Egg", plus a bonus episode, "The Doof Side of the Moon", which had not yet aired in the United States at the time (it was broadcast on the Disney Channel three days after the DVD's release). The DVD's bonus features also included a segment where Santa reads the characters' letters to him, a featurette on the making of the songs, and a virtual fireplace (akin to the WPIX Yule Log). The DVD was also packaged with a free Perry iron-on. In addition, copies of the DVD sold at Toys "R" Us came with an exclusive bonus disc featuring the episode "The Chronicles of Meap" with special audio commentaries.
- When Linda is at the airport, one of the flights on the board behind her is flight number 007, referencing James Bond.
- When Phineas shows the pictures of Santa to Candace, one is similar to a famous photo of Bigfoot. Another one is similar to a famous picture of the Loch Ness Monster, and the third is based on the Shroud of Turin.
- Doofenshmirtz's gift for Perry (a vase) calls back to a joke in the episode "Gaming the System", in which Major Monogram told this to Perry: "I've been monitoring Doofenshmirtz's internet activity. First, we know what you're getting for Christmas. Don't ask. Our lips are sealed. ...It's a vase." Additionally, Doofenshmirtz's family photo shows him wearing a dress, in reference to his flashback in that episode.
- Vincent Martella, the voice of Phineas, has mentioned that this is his personal favorite Phineas and Ferb episode.
- For the Christmas season of 2011, the Premiere Theatre in the Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park showed this special in rotation with Mickey's Christmas Carol and Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice from December 23-31.
References to other Christmas specials
- The scene of the yeti putting the star on top of a Christmas tree in the title sequence is a parody of the Abominable Snowmonster of the North doing the same thing in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
- Perry's entrance to his hideout involves putting a top hat on a snowman and bringing it to life, ala Frosty the Snowman.
- The music played when the lights come on sounds similar to "Suite from The Polar Express".
- The visuals in the end credits include a scene with the kids mimicking the dancing scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
When the special aired on ABC Family in 2009, the credits were not imposed on the ending sequence, but rather shown in a style similar to regular episodes of the show, with a big "Merry Christmas" graphic on the top half of the screen and snow falling all over the picture. This broadcast of the special was also accompanied by the episode "S'Winter" to fill out the hour.
When shown in half-hour form (such as on ABC), the following edits were made in order to fit the special within the time slot. For some reason, the half-hour version was initially how the episode was presented on Disney+; it was eventually replaced with the full-length version in July 2020.
- The first scene of Phineas and Ferb test-driving their beds as toboggans (after the opening sequence) is cut. In its place, an establishing shot of the Flynn-Fletcher household (not used in the full-length version) is used.
- Candace's conversation with Linda is shortened.
- Audio of Phineas saying "Well, [Ferb and I are] hardly lollygagging" is added to the shot of the parachute outside his window. The conversation between him and Candace following that is also shortened.
- Perry approaching Frosty is shortened down. The shot of Frosty's carrot nose rolling up to Perry after he gets run over is also cut.
- The second half of Monogram's video message to Perry (from "We don't know what Doofenshmirtz is up to" to "It's a party! Wa-hey!") is cut.
- Part of Candace's phone call to Jeremy (including Candace saying "Whatcha doin'?" to Jeremy on the phone (and Isabella sensing it), and Phineas and Ferb raising a picture of Santa onto the roof) is cut.
- Phineas's description of the inside rooms of Santa's rest stop is cut.
- Doofenshmirtz's speech about his plans to use the Naughtyinator is slightly shortened. The second verse of "I Really Don't Hate Christmas" is also cut. Also, a reaction shot of Perry is added in immediately after the song, replacing part of the shot of Doofenshmirtz walking to pick up the box he received the device in.
- The first verse of "That Christmas Feeling" is skipped. Phineas's announcement before the song is shortened, and Candace singing the song afterwards is also cut.
- The carolers skip immediately to "Now bring us some figgy pudding" in the edited version, and Doofenshmirtz's reaction is shortened.
- The scene of Blay'n receiving the report of Danville being naughty is cut entirely. As a result, the establishing shot of the North Pole's Naughty Investigation Unit building is moved to the middle of "Danville for Niceness".
- Candace trying to tell Phineas and Ferb to stop their "ridiculous efforts to thank Santa Claus" is cut. Additionally, in the same scene, Jeremy doesn't appear at all in the half-hour version. As a result, when Phineas is looking at his envelope and saying "Santa thinks everyone in Danville's been naughty?", Jeremy is completely removed from the shot. Also, in the original version, the Christmas lights in the background were turned on; in the shortened version, they've already been turned off.
- The news report about Danville's Christmas being cancelled is shortened down to one shot, with Gordon Gutsofanemu's line changed to "In case you're just joining us, Christmas has been cancelled in the city of Danville!"
- Phineas and Isabella's conversation at the mall is shortened, as is Buford and Baljeet's.
- Candace's argument with Jeremy and "Where Did We Go Wrong" are skipped entirely.
- Baljeet and Buford's verse of "Danville for Niceness" is skipped.
- Phineas only says "Well, [performing the song] was fun at least" in the full-length version.
- Phineas introducing Candace to Blay'n and Clewn't, and Candace and Clewn't discussing why they think the city was branded naughty, is cut.
- Baljeet, Buford, and Isabella giving their reactions to the idea that Christmas isn't coming is cut.
- The kids reacting to when Blay'n says "Santa's not coming to Danville" and him repeating the statement is cut.
- The rest of the gang and Candace agreeing to help Phineas and Ferb save Christmas is skipped, as well as the scene of Phineas explaining their position in the sleigh. In the syndicated version, this is replaced by a Gilligan's Island-style cut from Phineas saying "We're gonna save Christmas!" to a shot, exclusively made for this version, of the elves in the sleigh with the camera zooming out to show the kids in there with them. This shot even includes some dialogue not heard in the full-length version:
- Blay'n: By jingle, these kids can build things fast!
- Clewn't: I told you, I read their files!
- Candace pointing out that the computer still says Buford is naughty and Clewn't changing it is cut, skipping straight to Candace watching it change to say Buford is nice.
- "Christmas is Starting Now" is shortened.
- A brief cut to Clewn't when Candace sees Jeremy's Christmas wish is only in the full-length version.
- Wendy pointing out her mistletoe to Baljeet is skipped.
- Doofenshmirtz declaring "This is the best Christmas ever!" is only in the full-length version.
- Baljeet and Phineas's lines regarding the steam coming from the rest stop ("Not to alarm you, but your house is on fire." "That's not fire, it's steam! Come on!") is completely different in the edited version ("Hey look! Someone is using your clubhouse!" "Come on, let's check it out!").
- The shot of Doofenshmirtz throwing the Sal Tuscany CD to the ground is replaced by a nighttime establishing shot of his building. The shot of Doofenshmirtz then looking at the remains of the disc and noticing that Sal Tuscany's name is an anagram of Santa Claus a few seconds later is cut as well.
- Candace and Jeremy's conversation about their gifts is shortened.
- The group shot after Santa says "Merry Christmas, Phineas" is skipped.
- Much of the second half of "Thank You Santa" is cut.
|Vincent Martella||Phineas Flynn|
|Thomas Sangster||Ferb Fletcher|
|Ashley Tisdale||Candace Flynn|
|Dee Bradley Baker||Perry the Platypus|
|Caroline Rhea||Linda Flynn|
|Alyson Stoner||Isabella Garcia-Shapiro|
|Bobby Gaylor||Buford Van Stomm|
|Maulik Pancholy||Baljeet Tjinder|
|Mitchel Musso||Jeremy Johnson|
|Dan Povenmire||Dr. Doofenshmirtz|
|Jeff Marsh|| Major Monogram|
|Tyler Alexander Mann||Carl Karl|
|Jane Carr||Winifred Fletcher|
|Malcolm McDowell||Reginald Fletcher|
|Ariel Winter||Wendy Stinglehopper|
|Clancy Brown|| Santa Claus|
|Daran Norris||Random Elf|
|Django Marsh||Blond kid|
|Benita Scheckel||Becky the caroler|
Note: Lawrence Fletcher, Adyson Sweetwater, Ginger Hirano, Milly, Holly, Katie, Suzy Johnson, Irving Du Bois, and Meap make appearances, but do not have speaking roles. Stacy Hirano and Jenny Brown also appear as backup singers for "What Does He Want?" in the extended version.
- Phineas and Ferb Wiki: Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation!
- Disney Wiki: Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation!
- Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation! at TV.com
- Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation! at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation! at the Internet Movie Database
- Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation! at TV Tropes
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