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Dan Povenmire
Dan Povenmire
Birth Name
Daniel Kingsley Povenmire
Gender   Male
Date of birth
September 18, 1963 (age 53)
Place of birth
San Diego, California, U.S.
Characters portrayed
Vinnie Dakota
Heinz Doofenshmirtz
Other projects
SpongeBob SquarePants, Rocko's Modern Life, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Hey Arnold!, Phineas and Ferb

Daniel Kingsley "Dan" Povenmire (born September 18, 1963) is an American television director, writer, producer, storyboard artist, and actor associated with several animated television series. He is one of the creators of the Disney XD cartoons Phineas and Ferb and Milo Murphy's Law. Born in California and raised in Mobile, Alabama,[1] Povenmire attended USC Film School. At USC, he wrote and drew a cartoon for The Daily Trojan called Life is a Fish.

In addition, Povenmire has been one of the main songwriters since the beginning of Phineas and Ferb, along with co-creator Jeff "Swampy" Marsh and fellow writer Martin Olson.

Povenmire was previously known for his work on Rocko's Modern Life and Family Guy. He was a well-loved animator on Family Guy and was given most of the show's musical numbers to do. He was also counted on to animate "something funny" when writers couldn't come up with a visual joke on their own. He described his job before Fox resurrected the show as "basically entertaining themselves" as a production staff.[2]

Early life

Dan makes a movie

Povenmire in his boyhood, filming a movie.

Dan was born in California but raised in Mobile, Alabama. Dan was a very creative child; during the summers, his mother always told him and his siblings that "Summer didn't last forever" and to experience every minute of it."[3]

Dan did so. He took an interest in filmmaking, constructing his own mini-films with his Super 8 camera, and draping black material through their living room as a backdrop for his space films. He would use rockets and other toys to act out the movie. Other activities he took part in was digging a hole.[4]

Dan was a childhood prodigy in art, as well. When he was two, he started to draw, and by age ten he was displaying and selling his work in art shows.[5] His inspirations animation-wise growing up were The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and Looney Tunes.[6]


Dan attended the University of South Alabama, concurrently making a living waiting tables and acting. He also started a comic strip. He was interested in filmmaking, so he left that university and transferred to the University of Southern California (USC). There, his comic strip Life is a Fish became a hit, though not without struggle; when he first pitched it to Daily Trojan editor Mark Ordesky. Ordesky practically "brushed him off." After seeing Povenmire's portfolio, he asked Povenmire to start making the strip for the paper.[5]

The strip continued to run every day in the paper. Povenmire never ran out of ideas, however, and was able to gain fourteen thousand dollars selling Life is a Fish tee-shirts, books, and even calendars at the campus craft fair. Povenmire, however, dropped out of USC.[5]


Early works

Now out of school, Povenmire used the money he made from Life merchandise to support himself and got a job as a street caricature artist to help. He received a call from an old friend from USC, who wanted him to help him with an animation. Tommy Chong eventually called him, asking him to do two minutes of animation for his new film Far Out Man.[5]

Dan and Swampy accept an award

Povenmire and Swampy Marsh receive an award for Rocko episode "Zanzibar!"

By the age of 21, Povenmire began working with the animation cast behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He began hopping around to other jobs as well, eventually landing a job as an animation director on the hit FOX show The Simpsons during the mid-nineties.[5] While working on The Simpsons, Dan met a fellow animator named Jeffery Marsh.[7]

Dan received a job on the 1990s Nicktoon Rocko's Modern Life after showing the creator Joe Murray his five years of extensive work for Life as a Fish.[5] On Rocko, Dan continued to work with his now friend Marsh, who shared a similar sense of humor.[7] In 1996, he and Marsh won an Environmental Media Association (EMA) Award for writing an episode called Zanzibar! one of Dan's first career accomplishments.[3]

Dan and Swampy began to develop an idea for a show of their own in 1993 called Phineas and Ferb. Phineas and Ferb grew a plot that was based on Povenmire's childhood. At a Wild Thyme restaurant, Dan drew the first drawing of titular character Phineas on the butcher paper laid out for the table. This began a domino effect of different characters, and they both began pitching the show around. Though every network they went to turned it down due to its complexity, the two's stubbornness caused them to not give up on it.[8]

Family Guy

Marsh and he began to dispatch on their own separate ways of animation, though still not giving up on Phineas and Ferb.[8] Dan went on to become a long-time and well-loved animator for the FOX hit Family Guy. There, he was given the role of most all of the songs, as well as animating a scene funny in order to gain comedy to a dry scene. He describes the experience on the FOX show as practically "entertaining themselves."[9]

Not giving up on Phineas and Ferb, Dan continued to pitch the show around throughout his work on Family Guy. However, he was still being bested by each network's worry of the awkward complexity they saw in the plot.[8]

Phineas and Ferb

Dan's persistence finally paid off. Marsh had recently returned from England, now going by the nickname Swampy, and the two proceeded in pitching the show to Disney. At first, Disney was uninterested, though they asked to keep Povenmire's packet of the show. Povenmire considered it over, as that usually, as he stated, "means they throw it in the trash later."[5][7] But Disney, however, thought otherwise, and actually considered the show. They asked them to "see if they could do it for 11 minutes," which they did, and then officially decided to pick up the show.[4] Now sixteen years after the initial creation of Phineas and Ferb, it was officially greenlit.[5]

Povenmire wrote a total of eleven episodes for the first season, directing nearly every one.[10] The show became a smash hit on the Disney Channel lineup, outranking shows like Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Povenmire as well began voicing the show's main antagonist Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz.[5]

Like on Family Guy, whenever Dan goes to work on Phineas and Ferb, he enjoys it, pretty much working "just to entertain themselves." He draws three-hundred to four-hundred pages of work to keep the show going,[5] presenting each storyboard to the Disney executives to get each episode produced.[11] The songs he, Swampy and writer Martin Olson write every Friday are, as he says, "their jab at immortality"[5][11]

On July 14, 2014, it was announced that Disney Television Animation extended its overall deal with Dan to develop new projects.[12]

Milo Murphy's Law

On May 7, 2015, it was announced that after Phineas and Ferb concludes its run, Dan, Swampy, and many other people on the Phineas and Ferb crew would work on a new series, Milo Murphy's Law. The series premiered on October 3, 2016, a little over a year after Phineas and Ferb aired its series finale.

Milo Murphy's Law has a crossover between Phineas and Ferb in its second season. Milo Murphy's Law is canonically set in the same universe as Phineas and Ferb.

Episodes he directed

Episodes he wrote

Personal life

As of 2012, Dan is married, with two children.[13] He has a young daughter named Isabella, whom he named character Isabella Garcia-Shapiro after.[14] He has a cat named Sprocket, who lives a "double life" with his neighbor, in order to get two helpings of food. This appears to be the inspiration for character Perry the Platypus.[5] He recently added his young daughter Melissa to the show as a young Fireside Girl about the age of five to seven, who made her first appearance in We Call it Maze.

Background Information



He can be seen (animated) in "Battle of the Bands", "The Race" and "Pace Makes Waste".


  1. Disney animator sees summers in Mobile as inspiration
  2. Hulu discussion of Family Guy
  3. 3.0 3.1 Original Pitch (2008)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Animation World Magazine interview, Pg. 2
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 USC dropout makes it big in animation 12 May 2008
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PP32
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Animation World Magazine interview, Pg. 1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Animation World Magazine interview, Pg. 3
  9. Producer-animator collaboration interview on Hulu
  10. Phineas and Ferb, Season 1 log
  11. 11.0 11.1 MSN's Day in the life of Phineas and Ferb
  13. The Geek Dads interview special
  14. Dan Povenmire Correspondence

External links

v - e - d Crew
Creators Jeff "Swampy" MarshDan Povenmire
Writers Jim BernsteinJeff "Swampy" MarshDan PovenmireKyle MenkeMartin OlsonScott PetersonJoshua PruettDani VetereMarja AdrianceValerie Breiman
Storyboard Artists Jacob HairDiana HuhKyle MenkeDan PovenmireEdward RiveraJoseph S. ScottAshley Michelle SimpsonCalvin SuggsSteven UmblebyChris YbarraLauren Andrews
Directors Bob BowenRobert F. HughesDan Povenmire