The Powerpuff Girls
2 out of 5 stars
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The whole concept behind this cartoon is a bit warped, because its anarchic destruction is quite obviously aimed at boys ... and yet it's about three giggly little girls! Hmmm. Don't think about it too much, but it's pretty easy to guess that the primary audience is 20-something men. Anyway, the plot here tells how the Powerpuff Girls came to be, when Professor Utonium (voiced by Kane) creates three little girls by mixing together sugar, spice and everything nice. But his mischievous little monkey Jojo (Jackson) knocks a dose of Chemical X into the mix, and the little girls emerge with mondo-superpowers. Soon, Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles (Cavadini, Daily and Charendoff) start to destroy Townville with their roughhousing antics. And just as they're learning to control their strength, Jojo goes all megalomaniac with a plan to take over the world.

The boxy, vivid animation is at first intriguing and catchy, but eventually it wears us down with its simplicity and a general lack of inventiveness. Hilarious jokes, movie references and sight gags go whizzing by us amid the dull-witted mayhem and simplistic story. Basically, this isn't much more than a souped-up Pokemon movie--action and violence for their own sake alone. And to be honest, it's far too violent. Sure, the filmmakers try to assure us that no one actually gets hurt, but frequent images of damaged skyscrapers raining debris down onto the panicked city dwellers, who are screaming and running for cover, is just a little disturbing in today's political climate. The sugary sweet side-plot about the happily bonding Professor and his girls just doesn't gel with this; it feels like a crass and juvenile attempt to be hip and cool, juxtaposing wide-eyed cuteness with video-game destruction, South Park-style (as if!). Sure, there's plenty of wacky energy, but if you look even a little closely there's nothing else at all.

cert PG themes, violence, innuendo 15.Oct.02

dir Craig McCracken
scr Charlie Bean, Lauren Faust, Craig McCracken, Paul Rudish, Don Shank
voices Catherine Cavadini, EG Daily, Tara Charendoff, Tom Kane, Tom Kenny, Roger L Jackson, Jennifer Hale, Jennifer Martin, Jeff Glen Bennett, Grey DeLisle, Phil LaMarr, Rob Paulsen
release US 3.Jul.02; UK 18.Oct.02
02/US 1h20

Sugar and spice. Buttercup uses her laser-vision to rescue the girls' creator/father figure...

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2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall