This has to be one of the better feature-length adaptations of Disney Channel cartoons. As was the case with the first Phineas and Ferb movie, Across The 2nd Dimension, too often do these films rely on 'large-scale' action, without remaining faithful to the essence of the actual show, often for fear of just being an extended TV episode.
However, Candace Against The Universe is different, as it manages to tell an engaging feature-length story while still retaining the original show's brilliantly zany sense of humour and imagination. What's more, with a heartfelt story and an uplifting message in the end, it's a pleasant and joyful kids' movie that has something for all to enjoy.
But most importantly, if you've not seen Phineas and Ferb before, you'll be completely lost from the start of the movie. To its credit, this film is designed first and foremost for fans of the original series, and doesn't spend any time explaining the characters, their back stories and relationships.
That means it gets straight into the action, impressively using every second of its 86 minute runtime to tell a fun, action-packed story. If you've never seen Phineas and Ferb before, though, you'll likely be bemused at every second, from why the relationship between Candace and her brothers seems so strained to why they have a secret agent platypus for a pet.
Fans of the show, however, will love the heaps of references to the original cartoon, as well as its faithful revival of the series' core qualities. Unlike Across The 2nd Dimension, which often took itself a little too seriously, Candace Against The Universe is a feature-length episode of the show, with all the same humour, imagination and heart on display.
There is sci-fi and action that you wouldn't normally see in a 10-minute episode, but that's secondary to the film's fun factor. From non-sequitur jokes galore to moments of really surprising, heartfelt drama, this movie has pretty much everything that you love about the show, with the exception of some really catchy songs.
But the main thing that makes this movie so fun is that it really doesn't take itself seriously. The story isn't particularly thrilling, but it is entertaining and engaging throughout, even when it doesn't make a lick of sense. Couple that with a screenplay that puts faith in your connection to the characters, and Candace Against The Universe proves an utterly delightful watch from start to finish.