|“||It's a really sweet, warm special that we're really proud to have our name on.||”|
— Dan Povenmire
Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation! is an expanded Christmas spepisode of the Disney Channel animated series 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 18th, 2009, as part of the 25 Days of Christmas programming stunt (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-founders Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, along with the special's director Zac Moncrief, have announced their hopes that the special will become a holiday classic.
The special's 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 this special on Disney XD drew 2.62 million viewers, making it the most watched telecast ever on Disney XD. Its Disney Channel premiere made it the most watched episode of the series to date, 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 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. 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 as a way of mocking 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 admits there 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 grows 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 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 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 then the foggy clouds that were created by the Naughtyinator block 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 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, he 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 in the mix"), 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!" pipes Buford), 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 seven songs were written for the special, making the most songs featured in a Phineas and Ferb episode at the time. Among them are:
- Winter Vacation - Bowling For Soup
- I Really Don't Hate Christmas - Dr. Doofenshmirtz
- That Christmas Feeling - Olivia Olson
- Where Did We Go Wrong - Phineas, Baljeet, and Isabella
- Danville for Niceness - Cast
- Christmas is Starting Now - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
- Thank You Santa - 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 will be reinstated in the 2010 Disney Channel and Disney XD broadcasts.
As part of the special's publicity, the songs were played on Radio Disney in the Christmas 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 on December 7th, the day after the special aired. They, along with the cut song, are also included on the album Phineas and Ferb Holiday Favorites.
Promotion and availability
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 has become available on video on demand systems, mobile platforms, the Xbox Live Marketplace, and the iTunes Store (where the songs are 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 and four episodes of the series, 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 of the DVD's release (it was broadcast on the Disney Channel four days later). The DVD's bonus featured also included a segment where Santa reads the characters' letters to him, and a featurette on the making of the songs. In addition, the DVD was packaged with a free Perry iron-on. Copies of the DVD sold at Toys R Us also came with a 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 picture of Bigfoot. Another 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 series 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.
- When shown 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 version of the special was also accompanied by the series episode "S'Winter" to fill out the hour.
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 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.
Syndicated version edits
When shown in half-hour form on ABC affiliates, the following edits were made in order to fit the special within a half-hour time slot:
- The first scene of Phineas and Ferb test-driving their beds as toboggans (after the opening sequence) is cut.
- Candace deciding to get Jeremy to write a letter to Santa is shortened.
- Candace saying "Whatcha doin'?" to Jeremy on the phone (and Isabella sensing it) is cut.
- "I Really Don't Hate Christmas" is shortened.
- The first verse of "That Christmas Feeling" is skipped.
- The scene of Blay'n receiving the report of Danville being naughty is cut. 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 make Phineas and Ferb stop their "ridiculous efforts to thank Santa Claus" is cut. Additionally, in the same scene, Jeremy doesn't appear at all in the syndicated version. As such, the shot of Phineas looking at his envelope and saying "Santa thinks everyone's been naughty?" is done differently to remove Jeremy from the scene.
- The news report about Danville's Christmas being cancelled is shortened down to one shot.
- Candace's argument with Jeremy and "Where Did We Go Wrong" are skipped entirely.
- Candace's line "You gotta be kidding me" (in response to being introduced to Blay'n and Clewn't) is only in the full-length version.
- The rest of the gang and Candace agreeing to help Phineas and Ferb save Christmas is cut, 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.
- "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.
- Baljeet delivering Wendy's hat is shortened (Wendy pointing out her mistletoe to Baljeet is cut).
- The shot of Doofenshmirtz throwing the Sal Tuscany CD to the ground is replaced by a nighttime establishing shot of his building.
Note: Lawrence Fletcher, Adyson Sweetwater, Ginger, Milly, Holly, Katie, Suzy Johnson, Irving, and Meap make appearances, but do not have speaking roles. Stacy Hirano and Jenny also appear as backup singers for "What Does He Want?" in the extended version.
- Phineas and Ferb Wiki: Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation!
- Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation on Wikipedia