Flashback Review: The Powerpuff Girls Movie (WB’s Flops Vol. 1 #1)

During the 1990’s a channel called Cartoon Network was introduced to young viewers across the globe. The channel rapidly gained notoriety on airing old school cartoons like The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, as well as originally created animated tv shows under the name “Cartoon Cartoons” which is the equivalent of Nicktoons with big hits such as Ed, Edd n Eddy, Dexter’s Lab, Johnny Bravo, Courage The Cowardly Dog etc.

One particular cartoon was a big success. It was beloved by both boys and girls alike. Spawning merchandise, music soundtracks, toys, video games and other crud. The show I’m talking about is “The Powerpuff Girls.” Those were the good ol’ days back when I was a little kid, I remember coming home from school to watch Cartoon Network while drinking and eating Capri-Sun and Oreo cookies.

The show aired in November 1998, it quickly became an instant classic. The Premise of the series is about a scientist who accidentally created them with an experiential chemical causing them to be born with gifted powers. They use their powers to protect The City Of Townsville from evil doers like their arch nemesis Mojo Jojo. Besides fighting crime, each episode tackles a specific subject such as  fitting in, peer pressure, rivalary and two episodes under the name “Equal Fights” and “Member Only” surprisingly focused on a serious subject, sexism. For a kids show, it manages to take on mature themes, not in a shove it in your face kinda way.

In 2002, around the same year Spider-Man came out. A film adaptation based on the tv show, was released, it received mixed reviews and it didn’t generate enough revenue at the box office.

With the release of Wonder Woman, I thought about writing a review involving The Powerpuff Girls Movie, because they’re the first to release a decent female driven superhero film. Halle Berry’s Catwoman film doesn’t count plus a Supergirl film from The 80’s is not legit.

If you’ve never seen Cartoon Network’s first theatrical film, feel free to read my non-spoiler review.

Positive & Negative Aspects

Positive: The voice actors including E.G. Daily, (Buttercup) Tara Strong, (Bubbles) & Cathy Cavadini (Blossom) all did an outstanding job for their respective performances.

Other Cast Members such as Roger L. Jackson, (Mojo Jojo) Tom Kane, (Professor Utonium) Jennifer Hale (Ms Keane) & Tom Kenny (The Mayor/The Narrator) also did a good job for their voice-over performances.

Fun Fact: Did you know that E.G. Daily & Tara Strong also voiced Tommy and Dil from Rugrats? What a coincidence.

Action Sequences are a combination of The Matrix & Dragon Ball Z all in one. I think The Wachowskis came up with the idea which inspired them to write and produce The Animatrix. An anthology of short films expanding the mythology of The Matrix Trilogy.

Unlike the show when the trio were established as seasoned crime fighters, the film shows them as a less experienced team. It felt appropriate for them because it gave them time to develop. They’re beginning to adapt into the real world.

The film shows the origins of The Powerpuff Girls and their archenemy Mojo Jojo.

The animation looked very gorgeous adding detail to the characters, environment & fast pace action. I’ll give it Bonus Points for all that hard work for the animators. Somebody give them a Christmas Bonus!

There’s a pause worthy moment of Mojo Jojo reading the newspaper. The date on it is July 3, 2002. The release date of the film. It’s also Tom Cruise’s birthday. He turned 40 when the film came out.

Two people resembling Jay & Silent Bob are depicted in cartoon form.

No Secret’s “That’s What Girls Do” is used as the theme song for the movie. It was also used in Rob Schneider’s god awful The Hot Chick movie which also came out the exact same year as The Powerpuff Girls Movie.

A news montage about the girls, parallels the post-9/11 atmosphere, indicating reality ensues for superheroes like Superman that being a savior will cost you bad publicity and people defending them.

The movie finally reveals how Mojo Jojo became a criminal mastermind in the first place.

We see familiar characters such as The Mayor, Ms. Bellum, (whose face is never shown onscreen) Ms. Keane, The Gangrene Gang, Fuzzy Lumpkins, just to name a few.

Similar to Osmosis Jones inspiring Inside Out, Mojo’s evil plan might’ve inspired Ceaser from Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, nine years before the reboot came out. Both Mojo & Ceaser’s motive is to gather primates to take over Earth as a civilized community.

The David Vs. Goliath scenario is way over the top and hilarious at the same time.

Negative: Professor Utonium never figured out what happened to his loyal assistant in the opening scene. If you’ve seen the episode about why his close friend went missing by the time the girls were reated, you’ll probably understand if you’re a fan of the original series.

There’s a Deus Ex Machina (contrived plot device) near the end, I won’t tell you what it is.

The Final Verdict: B, FOR BRILLIANT!

If you grew up watching the original show like me and not the crappy reboot, I highly recommend this and the movie for you and your kids. One day, I hope Cartoon Network can revitalize the trio back to their old roots for longtime fans who deserve to see the trio in their prime.

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