Phineas and Ferb: The Movie: Candace Against the Universe

Phineas and Ferb: The Movie: Candace Against the Universe ★★★½

Movies have been around since the late 19th century, but only now — after more than 100 years of failure — has someone finally made one that hinges on the invention of a ray gun that replaces anyone it shoots with the nearest available chicken. The device is called “The Chicken Replace-inator,” and it’s the latest weapon created by the mad scientist Dr. Doofenshmirtz (of Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated fame) in his never-ending quest to kill the fedora-wearing secret agent who always foils his plans and also happens to be a platypus — Perry the platypus.

The cackling lovechild of Abe Vigoda and the Wicked Witch of the West, Doofenshmirtz has come up with all sorts of cockamamie schemes to destroy Perry over the years — one for each of the 222 episodes of “Phineas and Ferb” that aired on the Disney Channel between 2007 and 2015 — but the Chicken Replace-inator has to be among the dumbest and most inspired. Decades after Jeff “Swampy” Marsh and Dan Povenmire first hit upon the basic idea behind their wonderful animated series for kids of all ages, they’re still finding new ways to have fun with it.