A Look at Disney Halloween: Night of The Living Pharmacists (Phineas and Ferb Episode Review)
Lots of Me Lots of Me
Hello & welcome back to the Halloween celebration here on A Look at Disney and today, we head to Danville to see if Phineas and Ferb can survive the Night of The Living Pharmacists. Phineas and Ferb is no stranger to Halloween episodes as they’ve done quite a few in the past but they went all out on this Night of The Living Dead inspired special to the point that they got George A. Romero of the news reporter, Don Adaded and Nick Frost and Simon Pegg from Shaun of The Dead to seemingly reprise their characters from that film. Now, let me preface this review with that I haven’t seen either of these movies but the news of these cameos was so rampant that I could not ignore them. And seeing as I have no knowledge of Romero’s famous zombie film, I will be judging this episode on it’s own as a Phineas and Ferb Halloween special.
And in that regard, this is perhaps one of the best Phineas and Ferb Halloween specials. Heck, I’d go so far as to say that is one of the best Disney Halloween specials.
Night of The Living Pharmacists
I love the title here for two reasons as one, it’s such an obvious pun on Night of The Living Dead and also refers to a running joke within the series where people think that Doof is a pharmacist because of his lab coat.
Well, Doof has finally achieved success with one of his inventions. An invention that can make people repulsing and ugly. Our trusty Agent P is informed that Doof’s brother, Roger will be unveiling the new Danville Water Tower and it’s conveniently placed across Doofenshmirtz Evil Inc. And we see the transformation it is actually pretty funny. Meanwhile back at the Flynn- Flecther backyard, Phineas and Ferb have invented a new device that can make their bodies rubbery. This will come in handy later.
And Isabella is trying to earn her emotional bravery patch for the Fireside Girls and she wants to do this by admitting her feelings for Phineas. This will also come into play later. Just to take note, this special had a lot of subplots going on. Meanwhile, Candace thankfully for a change is not trying to bust her brothers. Instead, she is looking at a teen zine and runs into Vanessa, Doof’s daughter. Vanessa is getting some snacks for a party that she is having that night and Candace is invited and we see her trying to fit in with older girls. Now, I hadn’t watched the show for a few seasons and the fact that Vanessa actually knew Candace threw me off because I didn’t know of any past interaction between the two characters. Anyways, this is a cute subplot and Candace’s best friend, Stacy has one of the funniest subplots, where she is trying to set up an HD TV set working in her house to watch a horror movie and is oblivious to the Doof zombie apocalypse going on around her.
Back at Doof’s Evil Lair, Perry arrives and is trapped in a disco ball as Doof and Norm celebrate before Doof reveals his latest invention, Repulse-inator. We’ve already established what this device can do and it is the catalyst for the events being set in motion here. And honestly, the transformation sequence of seeing Mayor Roger turn into the first Doof zombie while funny was also creepy for it’s intended target audience of ten year old kids. That is one thing I admire about this special, it was not afraid to hold back on the scares.
Meanwhile back at Flynn-Fletcher backyard, Phineas, Ferb and friends get zapped with the rubberization ray and their bodies are now rubbery. And after the rubberization is done, the kids decide to go bounce around town. And Isabella comes across her fellow Fireside Girls and informs the girls that she’s not sure that she’s ready to tell Phineas that he has a crush on him. Then second in command of the Fireside Girls, Gretchen tells Isabella that she needs to jump right in and tell Phineas how he feels and actually breaks into song. Now, this is one complaint that I have with the special. Phineas and Ferb is known for their songs and alongside shows like My Little Pony, they have great songs but the songs felt out of place in this special and took me out of the story. I get the the songs were meant to do that on purpose and normally I’m not one to complain about songs and while I understand that all of the songs intentionally clashed with the dark tone of the special but it just seemed odd with the rest of the special. The songs weren’t bad but I think the special would’ve been better without them. Meanwhile, Candace is basking in the awesomeness of hanging out with older girls and is rather impressed with their taste in music. And Candace has to call Stacy to tell her how cool it is to be hanging out with older girls, while Stacy thinks that she has gotten her TV set figured out but that isn’t the case.
Meanwhile back upstairs, Doof has trapped Perry again and this is where things really get going and Perry gets free and Doof asks if they can fight quietly so as not to disturb Vanessa’s party and they have a pillow fight. And this is when Mayor Roger is turned into the first of many Doof zombies and then we start the rampage of Doof zombies going on in Danville.
And the night of the Living Pharmacists has begun. Later, Isabella who had separated from the gang catches up with Phineas, Ferb, Baljeet, & Buford only to hear a scream from the founder of the Fireside Girls. She had been shouting pharmacists and the kids are wondering what she meant and soon discover what had happened after a quick gag cameo from Irving
Phineas quickly figures out after seeing the pharmacists that just being touched by one will turn a person into a pharmacist and one of the pharmacists/Doof zombies touches Baljeet but his rubbered body protects him from being turned into a mindless zombie. Meanwhile Doof Prime (we will call him as not to confuse him with the zombies) is watching a news report about the zombie invasion and is delighted that there are now so many Doof’s, that he has his own army to control and we see an entire news crew turn into Doof zombies including the cameo from George Romero.
However, this doesn’t go as planned for Doof Prime as the zombies don’t follow him because well, they’re mindless zombies. The boys are at a loss as they get back the house and find that the Doof zombies had destroyed their rubberization ray. Their rubbery time was running out and causes Buford to go into a long panic, which leads to a funny gag where Phineas goes into a long panic after he realizes that Isabella had been left out in the town. Stacy had finally gotten her TV system set up blissfully unaware of what is going on around her. Baljeet deduces that Isabella is perhaps at the Fireside Girls lodge and the boys get rubbered up with rubber items around the Flynn-Fletcher house and head out to find her. Oh, and I forgot to mention that power had gone out.
In another part of town, we have the Shaun of The Dead cameo, where the characters from said movie question t. he logic of turning into pharmacists and how does that even work. I gotta admit, this was one of my favorite recurring gags in the special.
Perry gets a call saying that all of the agents had fallen before Major Monogram and Carl are turned into zombies. Phineas, Ferb and the boys come across the animal agents and discover that the disease effects them differently by making the pharmacist shaped and more aggressive then the Doof zombies. Meanwhile at Doof’s place, the girls have to fight off the zombies and the friends of Vanessa decide to split up. Only to turn into Doof zombies. Meanwhile back the Fireside Girls lodge, we learn that these young scouts have been getting by as disguising themselves as Doof zombies. We learn the girls also haven’t seen Isabella since the first song.
The boys make their way to the lodge but the girls will only let them in after answering, “friend or pharmacist” and they answer friend and are let in. Buford is worried that she had been turned into a Pharmacist but Isabella reveals herself and through triangulation figured out where the source for the Doof zombies originated from. At Doof Evil Incorporated and the kids decide to head there but not before the Doof zombies attack through an unboarded window.
They finally make it to the building and things seem to be going well until of the rubber ducks that Buford had been wearing as protection squeaks setting a car alarm. The gang sans the Fireside Girls make it to the lobby and the girls are turned into Doof zombies.
Isabella wants to go back for the girls but it’s too late for them now and he is soon attacked and his sleeve is ripped. Isabella gives him the Emotional Bravery patch to cover up. Baljeet gets infected and for Buford, this is the last straw and he goes out to face the Doof zombies head on and turns into one of the pharmacists. Agent P/Perry finds himself surrounded by Doof zombies but Doof Prime saves him from the zombies. The gang thinks that they are safe but one pharmacist had made it’s way into the lobby. And come across Vanessa and Candace. Stacy is still sitting at home blissfully unaware of the zombies as she is pointing out how oblivious the lead character in the horror movie she is, she’s watching is.
Phineas, Ferb, Isabella, Candace, and Vanessa make it to the lab and discover the device that created the Doof zombies. In the chopper, Agent P and Doof have to fight off an animal zombie. Isabella surmises that they need a conductor to neutralize it and they figure that can use water. So, they use the new water tower and lead the pharmacists to the water tower. But it’s too late as as the ones that have not been turned into mindless zombies are soon caught including Phineas.
It’s all up to Isabella now to save the town and she actually got to admit her true feelings for Phineas but after being doused in water, no one remembers anything. The town is safe but as the special pans out, we see that the zombie disease has spread beyond Danville and hit the world.
All in all, this was a fun special and one that I look forward to watching again and again.
Phineas voiced by Vincent Martella
Phineas was a true hero in this special leading his friends through the dangerous zombie invasion and trying to be the voice of reason until he realized that Isabella further hinting that Phineas does have feelings for her and would go to the ends of the earth to protect her.
Isabella voiced by Alyson Stoner
Aside from the whole zombie invasion, the biggest story line of this special was Isabella trying to admit her feelings fro Phineas. Now, this isn’t the first time that the show has worked this into the story of a special as they’ve done it in the past with the movie and other specials. But just like the movie, at the end, Phineas doesn’t remember Isabella revealing her true feelings and that annoys me.
Ferb voiced by Thomas Sangster
Ferb admittedly didn’t get a lot to do in this special but he was entertaining
Perry/Agent P voiced by Dee Bradley Baker
Perry’s story was a lot of fun and I felt bad, when he got infected and became one of the Doof zombies. All throughout, you knew that he was going to do anything to protect his family.
Dr. Heniz Doofenshmirtz voiced by Dan Povenmire
This was perhaps Doof’s most successful scheme but it seemed to work too well as the Doof zombies were spreading throughout the tr-state area and the was no way to stop them and Doof couldn’t corral them.
Candace voiced by Ashley Tisdale
Writers, thank you for giving Candace a story other than trying to bust her brothers as that is what drove me away from the show but with specials like this and the Star Wars special, you are slowly winning back a former fan. The story of her trying to fit in with the older girls was a refreshing change of pace. More like this and less of her busting her brothers.
Vanessa voiced by Olivia Olson
I can’t really pinpoint what Vanessa’s role in the special was but I’ve always had that trouble with her character. She’s not a bad character but she seems to be mostly defined as being Doof’s daughter that gets annoyed by his inventions.
Buford and Baljeet voiced by Bobby Gaylor & Maulik Pancholy
Buford and Baljeet were at best, just supporting characters and didn’t really serve much more purpose than that.
Jump Right Into It
Now to be fair to this song, this is set before the whole zombie invasion thing happens and it’s not bad but I’m not a big fan of it. It just happens and then we move onto the next scene and that’s pretty much it.
Now, this one is a little better as it’s a lot of fun and pretty funny and does a good job of defusing the mood in the special but again, not the biggest fan of it.
Yeah, no. Phineas and Ferb, there is contrasting the mood of the special with an upbeat song and then there is going to far. This song on it’s own is actually perhaps the best song in the special but the problem is that the happy cheerful tone contrasts way too much with dark tone that the special had set. And yes, I realize that was the intent but that does not excuse it from basically stopping the special’s dark tone for this brief song that while good does not fit in with the rest of the special.
Lots of Me
The end credit song is pretty funny and a lot of fun. It’s dumb and silly but it is also quite enjoyable.
My Final Thoughts
Other than the music, I really liked this special and I’m slowly warming up to Phineas and Ferb again. I had stopped watching it as it had gotten stale after a while but stuff like this and the Star Wars special give me hope that the writers are willing to try plots other than the boys building things and Candace trying to bust them for their invention of the week. It was really good and if you are a fan of the show, I think that you’ll enjoy it. Join me tomorrow as e head to Canterlot High to look at Sunset Shimmer and explore why she’s one of my favorite villains from My Little Pony.