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Troy Story (Phineas and Ferb series), S04E24. Directed by Robert F. Hughes. Disney Television Animation, September 20, 2013. 12 min.
lol.disney.com (accessed: May 18, 2020).
In Poland on HBO GO (accessed: May 18, 2020).
Animated television programs
Children (and cross-over)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Anna Mik, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert F. Hughes
, b. 1961
Before he realized his dream of being an animator, Hughes worked as an apartment building manager. In the 1990s he started working for Nickelodeon in the US. In the early 2000s he moved to Germany to take up the position of an animation consultant for the Berlin Film Group. After that experience, he moved back to the US to work on Phineas and Ferb series, as well as on Bunnicula (2016-), for which he is best known. He was nominated several times for Emmy Awards for directing Phineas and Ferb (in 2008, 2014, and 2015).
Author’s official website (accessed: May 18, 2020).
Bio prepared by Anna Mik, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Phineas Flynn – Vincent Martella,
Candace Flynn – Ashley Tisdale,
Ferb Fletcher – Thomas Brodie-Sangster,
Linda Flynn-Fletcher – Caroline Rhea,
Lawrence Fletcher – Richard O’Brien,
Isabella Garcia-Shapiro – Alyson Stoner,
Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz – Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh,
Perry the Platypus – Dee Bradley Baker,
Norm – John Viener.
Multiple books about other adventures of Phineas and Ferb, e.g., Phineas and Ferb: Chill Out! (Megan Bryant, 2011), Phineas and Ferb: The Sky’s the Limit! (Ellie O’Ryan, 2013).
Video game: Phineas and Ferb for Nintendo DS, 2009.
Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs
Previous episode (23): Thanks but No Thanks.
The following episode (25): Druselsteinoween.
Phineas and Ferb are step-brothers around the age of 10, living in the suburbs. As in all the other episodes of this series (see the other Phineas and Ferb entries in this Survey), the title characters present a new invention or idea that they came up with during the long days of the summer vacation. Their creativity does not match young boys’ realistic capabilities or safety rules (they build a rollercoaster, robot trees, a ski resort, etc.). Every time they construct something extraordinary, their sister Candace tries to “bust them.” Curiously, every time their parents come home, the inventions are miraculously gone. Candace is getting more and more frustrated, while the boys already plan something new to build.
Meanwhile, we follow the adventures of their pet – Perry the Platypus. Every time the boys come up with a new idea, the usually dull creature transforms into a secret agent whose mission is to stop Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, an evil character who wants to rule ‘the three-state area’. At the end of each episode, when the boys’ inventions are gone, Perry reverts to his role of a household pet.
In the episode, Candace is about to read Homer’s Iliad for her book club to impress a boy she has a crush on named Jeremy. Phineas and Ferb recall the story with their friends (everyone tells their favourite part) and decide to recreate the Trojan War in their own style. The children build a fortification around the house and divide the group into two “armies”. In the meantime, Candace struggles with reading The Iliad and prefers to watch the children’s play instead.
“The War” is performed with the use of pudding, dirty socks, and water balloons. It is also accompanied by a rock song Troy:
"There was a hottie named Helen and she launched a thousand ships with her face
Paris took her home to Troy, and to the Greeks this was a slap in the face
The Trojans stole Helen!
Agamemnon got mad 'cause that just wasn't right
He said, “Hold your Trojan horses, now we're having a fight!
And I haven't sacked or pillaged since at least last Saturday night.
And for ten years they were all
Slamming! And jamming! And clashing! And gashing!
And brawling! And mauling! And trashing! And smashing!
When they finally figured out they couldn't take 'em by force
The Greeks all got together, and they hid in a horse!"
Even though it was Menelaus, Agamemnon’s brother, who “got mad,” when Paris stole his wife Helen, Agamemnon was the true initiator and organizer of the war. The children replay the main aspects of the classical story, including the appearance of the famous horse – or rather in this case, a giant wooden T-Rex, with children hidden in it. After the last “battle,” all the props disappear and the house returns back to its normal state.
Troy Story is filled with multiple pop cultural references. The title Troy Story alludes to the famous Pixar animation Toy Story from 1995 (dir. John Lasseter, Josh Cooley, Lee Unkrich) and its sequels. The Trojan War is rather loosely recreated by the children (by extension – by the authors) and is used only for its iconic characters (Paris, Helen, Achilles) and events (the offering of the Wooden Horse). War, as it often happens when children play, becomes a game, during which the two parties try to eliminate each other. War as play is a controversial topic among some scholars (on whether war, a horrific event, should be part of children’s imaginative play, see: Miedzian, 2002: 276). What is more, children’s play replaces the book and becomes a source of knowledge (rather superficial) for Candace. This substitute might provoke another question for the viewers: should popular interpretations be favoured over original texts the children are not yet familiar with?
Troy Story consist of a plethora of popular references. Perry the Platypus falls down the rabbit hole (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) to get orders from his boss, the ancient battle is styled on the model of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and the song Troy is similar to AC/DC music. Next to these secondary references, there is the main inspiration, The Iliad. The reading experience of a teenager is substituted by a children’s play, demonstrating the potential of this text for introduction to various age groups.
Bignell, Jonathan, Postmodern Media Culture, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000.
Kelen, Christopher and Björn Sundmark, eds., Child Autonomy and Child Governance in Children’s Literature: Where Children Rule, London, New York, NY: Routledge, 2017.
Miedzian, Myriam, Boys Will Be Boys: Breaking the Link between Masculinity and Violence, New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2002.
Parandowski, Jan, Mitologia. Wierzenia i podania Greków i Rzymian [Mythology. Beliefs and Legends of Greeks and Romans], Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, 1989 (ed. pr. 1924).
Singer, Dorothy G. and Jerome L. Singer, eds., Handbook of Children and the Media, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publication, Inc., 2012.
Translations: multiple languages