“Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today!” Phineas tells his brother every day of their seemingly endless summer.
According to big sis Candace (and confirmed by the mischief and mayhem witnessed on the hit Disney Channel TV show Phineas and Ferb), the boys have built a giant roller coaster in their backyard, made robot versions of themselves, trapped Candace in a video game and a variety of other shenanigans—much to Candace’s chagrin.
But somehow, while creating all this nonstop fun, the boys have missed something quite crucial: Candace isn’t having nearly as much fun as they are. In fact, she’s spent the majority of her endless summer tattling on the boys and trying to catch them in the act so their mom will punish them.
It’s not that Phineas and Ferb are purposely trying to irritate their sister, it’s just that she doesn’t feel included in all the chaos. Everyone thinks her brothers are amazing, but this makes Candace feel small and alone.
However, all that changes when Candace gets kidnapped by an alien race.
But it’s not what you think.
Turns out, Candace is the “Chosen One,” destined to save planet Feebla-Oot from destruction. Here, her every need is catered to, her every desire met. So, when Phineas and Ferb arrive to “rescue” her, she has to decide whether she wants to be “special” or return home.
With two little brothers who get away with everything, Candace feels like the universe is working against her. This feeling is amplified after she gets singled out and kidnapped by aliens. However, she realizes that her obsession with getting her brothers into trouble is really just a distraction from the larger problem at hand—the fact that she feels like an insignificant speck compared to them. (Candace later helps another character reach a similar epiphany.)
So, when Phineas and Ferb arrive on Feebla-Oot to rescue her, Candace is touched. She regrets trying to ruin their summer by getting them grounded and realizes that despite occasionally disagreeing with her brothers, she actually loves them very much.
In turn, Phineas and Ferb realize how they’ve neglected Candace in all their fun-making. They give her a gift to prove to her how much they actually enjoy having her around. And together, the siblings decide to save the world.
Perry (the pet platypus of Phineas and Ferb who also doubles as a secret agent) winds up saving his owners on several occasions as well as his arch-nemesis, Dr. Doofenshmirtz (who teamed up with the boys after learning his daughter, Vanessa, was kidnapped along with Candace). Although the boys never realize Perry’s true identity, Doofenshmirtz thanks Perry for his help.
An adult learns that just because he is older, it doesn’t necessarily make him wiser or more qualified to lead, and he allows a young (but infinitely more capable) girl take charge. Phineas and Ferb teach several cowardly aliens how to be brave. Despite knowing the dangers, several friends agree to help Phineas and Ferb rescue their sister.
A young girl tells a man to “pray” he doesn’t learn what she’s capable of. A man believes in astrology and reads his horoscope.
We see two females in bikinis.
Although we see many animated injuries take place onscreen (such as characters falling off cliffs, getting crushed beneath large objects, falling down ladders, crashing several vehicles, etc.) most of these aren’t permanent and are only played for comedic effect. That being said, Doofenshmirtz limps, has a black eye and wears several bandages after falling down a hill. A few aliens get swallowed whole by a monster.
The aliens that kidnap Candace explode from the waist up whenever they get excited. It is explained that their top halves grow back, and we even see their legs walking around on their own.
An alien creature attacks Earth, damaging several buildings and tossing many people around. Perry fights a giant robot. Several jokes are made about human sacrifice. Someone talks about the variety of violent creatures that might attack them on Feebla-Oot (and we see flashes of these creatures). Characters shoot cannons (though again, never causing real injuries) and hit each other with baseball bats. An alien’s face is held against a moving treadmill causing “the worst pain” he’s ever felt.
There is no cursing. However, we do hear “heck” three times, and twice a character stops short of saying it again. We hear the acronym “OMG” twice. And we also hear “shut up,” “holy cow,” “doofus” and “freak.”
Candace tries to remain positive and not let her brothers get to her for just one day. However, she fails terribly after seeing they’ve built yet another crazy invention, and she tries to get them into trouble with their mom.
Candace’s mom appears to be very out of tune with what’s going on in her children’s lives. Despite Candace’s multiple claims that the boys are up to something, her mom thinks Candace is making it all up (no thanks to the boys somehow always erasing the evidence of any mischief). This makes Candace feel even worse about herself since her mom treats Candace as if she’s crazy.
Some alien creatures are a little scary in appearance. Several characters are mind-controlled by spores from an alien plant. A girl is handcuffed to a treadmill. A girl thinks she and her friend will be eaten by aliens. People are wrongfully thrown into prison. People lie. There are jokes about prison gangs, violating someone’s personal space and toilets. A reference to the size of someone’s rear-end is made.
If there’s one thing Phineas and Ferb didn’t expect to do today, it was probably saving the Earth from an alien invasion after their sister got kidnapped by said aliens.
Candace Against the Universe comes with some mild, slapstick bangs, scuffles and monsters (some slightly scary for littles), just as fans would see in regular episodes of the show. But other than that, it’s a pretty clean and entertaining movie that the whole family can enjoy. There’s no drug use, foul language or overt sexual references (other than one joke about a character’s behind making him look “fat”).
And although there is some animosity at the beginning between Candace and her brothers (and later between an alien queen and her own brothers), these differences are all resolved by the end. Candace and her siblings band together, serve justice to the alien invaders and save the world.
As Candace says, “It’s amazing how an afternoon of blasting aliens, foiling villains, and sipping smoothies can really change your perspective.”
Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.