Flashback Review: The Powerpuff Girls: (1998) Season 1

Animation in The 90’s was another “Golden Age Of Animation” filled with memorable movies by Disney such as “Beauty & The Beast,” “Aladdin,” “The Hunchback Of Norte Dame,” “Hercules,” “Mulan” & “Tarzan” as they were part of “The Disney Renaissance.” Besides Disney, notable non-Disney cartoons aired by Nickelodeon such as “Rugrats,” “Ren & Stimpy,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “Rocket Power,” “Hey Arnold” & “The Wild Thornberrys.”

Other than Disney & Nickelodeon, an animation studio known as “Cartoon Network” paved the wave of airing original content most notably, “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Ed Edd N Eddy,” (my personal favorite) “I Am Weasel,” “Cow & Chicken,” “Courage The Cowardly Dog” & “Johnny Bravo.” One cartoon in particular gathered many families alongside their children about a trio of girls made accidentally with a combination of sugar, spice and everything nice and of course, “Chemical X.”

The Powerpuff Girls’ first season officially aired in 1998. (same year Blade came out) It became an instant success among television critics, kids and their parents. When I was a kid, I used to watch The Powerpuff Girls all the time alongside Ed, Edd N Eddy, Cow & Chicken, Dexter’s Lab, Courage The Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, KND, Billy & Mandy, Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends just to name a few.

The Powerpuff Girls ran from 1998-2005. The series spawned merchandise, a theatrical origin movie and a reboot aired in 2016. The reboot however, is the equivalent of R. Kelly giving The Girls a “golden shower” in a distasteful manner.

Despite the fact some cartoons lack a cohesive story arc. I’ve decided to give this one a chance. YouTube animation critic, Mr. Enter (whom I have a dislike towards him on certain reviews) stated he used to watch this back when Cartoon Network was good. He did a positive review on episode, “The Powerpuff Girls Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever.”

For those who aren’t aware of watching some episodes back in Cartoon Network’s prime or never got a chance to watch it, this will be filled with SPOILERS. Some episodes have already been brought up using memes, familiar with the show’s outline, some of the tropes are repetitive etc.

I thought about looking back at The Powerpuff Girls’ first season before “Wonder Woman 1984” comes out.

The Entire Season

Positive: Cathy Cavadini, Tara Strong & E.G. Daily all did a fantastic job for their respective voiceover performances.

Other cast members including Tom Kenny, Tom Kane & Jennifer Hale all did a great job for their respective voiceover performances.

Humor contains elements of visual gags, pop culture references, well written jokes, hilarious characters especially the villains.

Craig McCracken did an awesome job taking full responsibility as a showrunner, writer, producer & animator shepherding the real Powerpuff Girls, not that god awful 2016 reboot.

Animation looks so dang good matching the action sequences and environment. It deserves Bonus Points for holding up.

Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Lab, Samurai Jack, Hotel Transylvania) collaborated on the show. He’s good friends with Craig McCracken.

Buttercup is my favorite of the trio. Gotta love her sarcastic sassy brassy no nonsense tough girl attitude. I miss the old Buttercup. Why did she have to turn into a gassy obnoxious idiot in the 2016 reboot? Now I now how the cop from “Half Baked” cried over his diabetic horse also named Buttercup.

My favorite episodes from the first season are Buttercrush, Boogie Frights, Telephonies, The Bare Facts, The Rowdyruff Boys, Uh Oh Dynamo. The last one is my personal favorite from Season 1.

Some episodes teach The Girls a valuable lesson. It’s not quite cheesy as in “Full House.”

The show has some self-aware humor delivered by Tom Kenny voicing The Narrator.

Negative: In some episodes, the jokes may have more than one pun. This is on the same level as Mr. Freeze’s ice puns from “Batman & Robin.”

Some of the episodes can be repetitive using the same formula over and over again.

I know it’s a cartoon, but some certain scenes are visually illogical.

Episode 1 – Monkey See Doggy Do

Yay: Episode’s title is a play on word of the phrase, “Monkey See Monkey Do.”

The first episode introduces The Girls’ archenemy Mojo Jojo.

The first episode was also retold in “Monkey See Doggy Two.” It’s lampshaded by Mojo & The Girls.

Nay: No con spotted.

Episode 2 – Mommy Fearest

Good: Sedusa a recurring villain makes her first appearance.

Sedusa’s name and appearance is an obvious reference to Medusa.

The title of this episode is a reference to “Mommy Dearest.”

Bad: Sedusa’s undercover name is “Imma Goodlady.” That’s one of the stupidest false names I’ve ever heard in my life. If this were real life Sedusa’s cover would’ve been blown.

Episode 3 – Insect Inside

Clean: Utonium brings up a moral lesson. It’s played for laughs at the end.

Ms. Bellum’s first name is Sara.

A song about a hot dog made me chuckle. Alongside Blossom using a massive jar to literally catch many roaches.

Gross: No single con spotted.

Episode 4 – Powerpuff Bluff

Spot-On: If you have a keen eye, Dexter can be seen.

Bluff: The Police think the actual girls committed crimes, but they ignore the fact three grown men wearing a mask and dressed like the trio are obviously them. The cops in Townsville are incompetent like the cops from “Reno 911.” Even The Mayor fails to look through the crooks’s cheesy disguises. Nobody acts like a dummy in real life.

At the end, The Mayor will send the actual girls in jail. He’s a dumbass alongside the donut patrol.

An animation error with Ms. Bellum’s neck way over a frame.

Episode 5 – Octi Evil

Good: This episode introduces Him. a recurring character who’s the equivalent of Satan. I think Bill Skarsgård based Him’s voice for his iteration of Pennywise from “It.”

Him attempts to manipulate Bubbles by taking control of her new toy and jeopardize Blossom & Buttercup’s partnership.

Blossom & Buttercup learn to overcome their differences.

Evil: After a giant monster collapsed towards a senior citizen, how the actual heck did she survive from being squashed?

Episode 6 – Geshunfight

Healthy: The Amoeba Boys make their first appearance. They are a trio of wannabe criminals trying to hard to become dangerous foes.

The Amoeba Boys unwittingly spread a disease across Townsville infected countless citizens.

Sick: The episode shockingly predicts the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. I hope a cure is made.

Episode 7 – Buttercrush

Soft: Buttercup develops a crush on Ace, the leader of The Gangreen Gang. Ace uses this to his advantage in order to overthrow Blossom & Bubbles.

Buttercup learns a lesson not to have feelings for a lowlife thug.

Hard: Not con spotted.

Episode 8 – Fuzzy Logic

Smart: Fuzzy Lumkins, a pink hairy redneck goes on a rampage. Speaking of which, this is Fuzzy’s first appearance, he’s a recurring enemy to The Girls.

Stupid: An animation error is shown. Buttercup attempts to lure Fuzzy into a fireplace, Blossom & Bubbles aren’t wearing any socks.

Episode 9 – Boogie Frights

Brave: 9th episode’s title is a play on word for Paul Thomas Anderson’s film, “Boogie Nights.” The film is also named after a disco song.

The Boogie Man’s voice sounds an awful lot like Barry White.

The final scenes pays homage to the climatic Death Star scene from “A New Hope.”

Bubbles overcomes her fear of monsters.

The Mayor has a real name. I’ll give you a hint, he shares the same name as Fred Flintstone’s best friend and also a walking purple dinosaur.

Scared: No cons spotted.

Episode 10 – Abracadaver

Real: A magician is resurrected (no explanation why) who seeks revenge on a little girl who accidentally killed him during botched magic trick.

Fake: The magician’s name is Al Lussion Really, a lame pun?

Episode 11 – Telephonies

Normal: The Gangreen Gang partake in prank calling.

Utonium freezing standing still throughout the episode made me chuckle.

Abnormal: No con discovered.

Episode 12 – Tough Love

Beloved: If you’re a Republican or Democrat, this is gonna piss your off. Him manipulates the entire population of Townsville to act evil as I describe the hypnosis as an amalgamation of real life famous douchebags such as Ezra Miller, Brett Ratner, Olivia Wilde, Ben Shapiro, Alec Baldwin, Louis CK, Shia LaBeouf, Whoopi Goldberg, Andrew Tate, Christian Bale, Cardi B, Lea Michelle, Ellen DeGeneres, Charlie Sheen, Gordon Ramsay, Amber Heard, Abby Lee Miller, 6ix9ine, Billy Bush, Danielle Bregoli, Amy Schumer, Dan Schneider, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, John Lasseter, Dustin Hoffman, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Jeffrey Epstein, R. Kelly, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Woody Allen, Jared Fogle, Judd Apatow, OJ Simpson, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, The Kardashians, Caitlyn Jenner, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Lena Dunham, James Franco, Michael Moore, JK Rowling, Rush Limbaugh, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Russell Crowe, Cuba Gooding Jr. Sean Penn & Mel Gibson. Phew! To quote Dark Helmet from “Spaceballs,” “I’m surrounded by assholes!”

Hated: Nothing bad found.

Episode 13 – Major Competition

Promote: The Girls are overshadowed by a new hero named, Major Man. An amalgamation of Superman, Captain America & Johnny Bravo.

Turns out Major Man is a con man seeking for attention similar to Paris Hilton whoring her way to fame. So did The Kardashians & The Jenners.

George Jetson makes a quick cameo.

Demote: Nothing bad spotted.

Episode 14 – Mr. Mojo Rising

Rise: We learn about Mojo’s backstory. It was also retold in The Powerpuff Girls Movie.

Mojo tricks Utonium to build a machine allowing Mojo to copy The Girls’ powers in order to combat them.

Utonium realizes Mojo is the one who made him accidentally create The Girls.

Fall: No con spotted.

Episode 15 – Paste Makes Waste

Organic: A boy is mutated as a giant sized glue lookin’ monster.

The way Buttercup is obligated to apologize to Elmer, kinda reminded me of Squidward reluctantly trying to apologize to Spongebob from that April Fools episode.

A joke based on an opera singer using a high note got me laughing my butt off.

Stale: After The Girls frees themselves from glue, they never freed Ms. Keane. No wonder she put a curfew on them in a later episode. Karma in a nutshell.

Elmer’s last name is Glue. You know, named after a glue brand? Ugh! Stupid pun!

Episode 16 – Ice Sore

Cold: Blossom develops a new power to breath ice like Superman. It later becomes a permanent addition.

Blossom acts cocky using her ice breath. She later learns her lesson to never overshadow Bubbles & Buttercup.

The Tom & Jerry short ice skating short “Mice Follies” is mentioned.

Hot: No con discovered.

Episode 17 – Bubblevicious

Prey: Utonium’s simulation room is a reference to The Danger Room from “X-Men.”

Bubbles pushes her limits to overcome challenges in an attempt to prove herself she ain’t a baby. Resulting in her beating the crap outta people as if she’s Russell Crowe throwing a phone at a hotel.

Predator: Nothing found.

Episode 18 – The Bare Facts

Fact: The Mayor seeks an explanation on what happened to him after Mojo kidnaps him.

Each girl explains their own version of Mayor’s kidnapping reflecting a specific personality. In the words of Obi-Wan, “From a certain Point Of View.”

The final shot is worth a pay off. I’ll give you guys and gals a chance to view the visual punchline. It deserves Bonus Points for making me laugh my butt off.

Episode 18’s title has something to do with an aforementioned punchline.

False: I couldn’t find nothing wrong with this episode.

Episode 19 – Cat Man Do

Yay: A cat manipulates Utonium using him to perform a grand master plan.

I can’t believe they got away with a joke with the mayor literally licking pussycat. I never understood the joke when I was little. I mean damn!

Mark Hamill has a guest voiceover as the cat.

Nay: Couldn’t find a flaw in the episode.

Episode 20 – Impeach Fuzz

Legal: Fuzzy steals Mayor’s hat automatically becoming the new mayor.

Mayor & Fuzzy participate in a wrestling match to win the election. Not a joke.

Illegal: A Plot Hole involving a law based whenever a person steals somebody’s title. He/She immediately becomes a leader. If this is real life, it would never happen.

Episode 21 – Just Another Manic Mojo

Sane: 21st episode’s title is a play on word for “Just Another Manic Monday.”

The episode focuses on Mojo’s everyday life when he’s not planning an evil scheme.

Insane: No flaw found.

Episode 22 – Mime For A Change

Nice: The episode’s signature scene is The Girls performing “Love Makes The World Go Around.”

The Mime acquires a power to change the environment, citizens to black & white as the opposite of “Pleasantville.”

If you have a keen eye, George Jetson can be seen.

Naughty: No flaw found.

Episode 23 – The Rowdyruff Boys

Easy: The titular evil counterparts are introduced.

The Girls combat their male counterparts.

The Rowdyruff Boys have weakness. It’s played for laughs.

Hard: I couldn’t find nothing wrong with this particular episode.

Episode 24 – Uh Oh, Dynamo

Huge: The Girls are forced to pilot a giant robot built by Utonium.

This episode pays tribute to Kaiju films, especially Godzilla.

If you have a good eye, Dexter can be seen in a large crowd.

Tiny: Nothing found.

The Final Verdict: B, FOR BRILLIANT!

The Powerpuff Girls’ first season still holds up, regardless of some flaws present in some episodes. If you want to introduce your kids to the actual show not the 2016 reboot, I highly recommend it on HBO MAX.

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