The Powerpuff Girls
The Powerpuff Girls intertitle
Genre Animated series
Created by Craig McCracken
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky
Craig McCracken
Voices of Cathy Cavadini
Tara Strong
Elizabeth Daily
Tom Kane
Tom Kenny
Narrated by Tom Kenny
Theme music composer James L. Venable
Ending theme The Powerpuff Girls!
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 80 (List of episodes)
Running time 22 minutes approx.
Original channel Cartoon Network (1998-Present for special)
Boomerang (2008-present)
Original run November 18, 1998 – March 25, 2005 (pilot aired on February 20, 1995 as part of the World Premiere Toon-In)
Related shows Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z
External links

The Powerpuff Girls is an American animated television series about three kindergarten-aged girls who have superpowers. Created by animator Craig McCracken, the program was produced by Hanna-Barbera until 2001 when Cartoon Network Studios took over production for Cartoon Network. The show has been nominated for an Emmy Award five times, in the category Outstanding Achievement in Animation.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Powerpuff Girls revolves around the adventures of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, three little girls who gained superpowers when they were accidentally created with Chemical X. The plot of a typical episode is some humorous variation of standard superhero and tokusatsu fare, with the girls using their powers to defend their town from villains and giant monsters. In addition, the girls also have to deal with normal issues young children face, such as bed wetting or dependence on a security blanket. Episodes often contain more or less hidden references to older (circa 1950s to 1980s) pop culture.

The show mainly takes place in the fictional city of Townsville, USA. Townsville is depicted as a major American city, with a cityscape consisting of several major skyscrapers. The physical location of Townsville has never been determined. Cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, Paris, London and Tokyo have been shown throughout the series.

The show has a highly stylized, minimalistic visual look, reminiscent of Hanna-Barbera's previous limited animation including The Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi Bear and The Flintstones. In his review of The Powerpuff Girls Movie, movie critic Bob Longino of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that "the intricate drawings emanate 1950s futuristic pizazz like a David Hockney scenescape", and that The Powerpuff Girls is "one of the few American creations that is both gleeful pop culture and exquisite high art".[1]

The original 78 episodes were hand-drawn and produced at Rough Draft Studios in South Korea[2], but for the 2009 special episode The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!! was animated with Adobe Flash at Cartoon Network Studios.[3] The show's animation director was Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack), who also directed many episodes himself.

James L. Venable composed the opening theme of the series and Scottish band Bis performed the ending theme song, as played during the credits.

The show has come under criticism for its rather excessive violence (including images of characters gushing blood from their mouths when hit), and for what have been perceived as morally questionable actions on part of the main characters, such as sometimes using more brutal force than necessary.[4]

History[edit | edit source]

Craig McCracken, a student of California Institute of the Arts, created The Whoopass Girls in 1992 in his short film The Whoopass Stew! A Sticky Situation. Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation selected the short in 1994; McCracken submitted it to Hanna-Barbera's innovative What A Cartoon! Show shorts program (eventually to be produced for Cartoon Network as "The Powerpuff Girls in: Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins" as part of World Premiere Toons) while working on Dexter's Laboratory.[5] Announcer Ernie Anderson, the narrator of the pilot episode, died in 1997 before the show became a series. "Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins" first aired in 1995, followed by a second short, "Crime 101", a year later.

The Powerpuff Girls TV debut in 1998 was the highest rated premiere in Cartoon Network's history. The series consistently scored the highest rating each week for the network across a wide range of demographics—from young children to adults.[6] In October 2000, Cartoon Network credited the Powerpuff Girls for its Friday night prime time ratings win among cable networks.[7] By 2001, merchandising based on The Powerpuff Girls encompassed everything from T-shirts, toys, and video games to lunchboxes and dishware.[6] Concerning the Powerpuff Girls success, Craig McCracken has stated, "I thought it would get on Cartoon Network and college kids would watch it and there would be a few random T-shirts out there in the rave scene or in record shops. But I had no idea that it would take off to this extent." [6]

In April 2005, plans for an anime version, Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z were announced and the series premiered in Japan the following year. The series deviates highly from its American predecessor in terms of style, storyline, and characterization. Cartoon Network in the United States currently has no plans to air the adaptation.

In August 2008, McCracken revealed on his DeviantArt account [2], as had been announced in that year's Comic Con, that he was working with Cartoon Network on a new half-hour Powerpuff Girls special to celebrate the series' 10th-year anniversary. The special aired on the Pan-Euro version of Cartoon Network on November 29, 2008 on the Powerpuff Girls Birthday Marathon, and in the US on January 19, 2009 on North America Cartoon Network, part of its PPG 10th Anniversary marathon.

Characters[edit | edit source]

As depicted in the opening sequence of each episode, the Powerpuff Girls were created by Professor Utonium in an attempt to create the "perfect little girl" using a mixture of sugar, spice, and everything nice. However, he accidentally spilled a mysterious substance called "Chemical X" into the mixture, granting the girls superpowers commonly including flight, super strength, super speed, semi-invulnerability, super senses, heat vision, and energy projection. Each girl is similar in appearance, having oval-shaped heads, abnormally large eyes, stubby arms and legs, and lacking noses, ears, fingers, and flat feet with toes. They wear matching dresses with a black stripe in each that match the colors of their eyes, as well as white pantyhose and black Mary Janes. The closing theme to the cartoon, performed by Bis, includes the lyrics Blossom, commander and the leader; Bubbles, she is the joy and the laughter; Buttercup, she's the toughest fighter. This offers a nutshell description of the three Powerpuff girls' personalities.

Blossom[edit | edit source]

Blossom (voiced by Cathy Cavadini) is "the smart one" and self-proclaimed leader of the Powerpuff Girls. Her signature color is pink, and she has long orange hair with a red bow. She was named for having spoken freely and honestly to the Professor shortly after her creation. She is often seen as the most mature, level-headed and composed member of the group, although she can also be fussy, overbearing, vain, and overly analytical at times. She tends to "parent" Bubbles and Buttercup, and often tries to play peacemaker between the two if they fight (though she is very quick to argue with Buttercup). In the episode "Ice Sore," she showed the ability to blow ice, and at the end, blow fire. However, even though Blossom said her ice breath was "all used up", she has been seen using it frequently in later episodes.

Bubbles[edit | edit source]

Bubbles (voiced by Tara Strong in the series and by Kath Soucie in the What-a-Cartoon! episodes) is "the cute one". Her signature color is light blue, and she has short blond hair in two pigtails. She was named for her cute and bubbly personality. She tends to act like the baby of the group, despite being the same age. Her best friend is a stuffed octopus doll she calls "Octi". She exhibits the ability to both understand foreign languages (Spanish, Japanese) and communicate with various animals (squirrels, cats, monsters). She will always stand up for (and cuddle with) animals except cockroaches which she (along with her sisters) finds "icky". She displays and is defined by innocence, playfulness and gentle demeanor, having a tendency to be naïve, ditzy, submissive, timid and sensitive. She is also more loving to her father figure, Professor Utonium. That leads to her often being regarded, by friends and foes alike, as the group's weak link. She can become very independent and aggressive when pushed, however, and among the girls, she is most feared by Mojo Jojo after having single-handedly taken him down in a fit of rage in the episode "Bubblevicious". She also loves to color, draw, and sing.

Buttercup[edit | edit source]

Buttercup (voiced by Elizabeth Daily) is "the tough one". Her signature color is light green, and she has short black hair in a flip. She was named because "Buttercup" begins with the letter "B" like her sisters, much to her chagrin. She is a tomboy and is easily enraged. Sometimes her aggression gets the better of her, making her reckless and stubborn. She possesses a mean and somewhat vindictive streak not shared by her sisters. She has, however, shown a softer side in several episodes. For example, in the episode "Cover Up", she had a soft green blanket that she was obsessed with that she would hug that gave her the confidence to be a better fighter, and she is quite protective over her sisters. She hates baths and loves getting dirty.

Interestingly, Buttercup is the only Powerpuff Girl without special powers (Blossom has her ice breath, and Bubbles can speak several languages). However, for not being special, she is the toughest. In "Nuthin' Special", it is revealed that Buttercup is the only Powerpuff Girl (and Townsville citizen) who can curl her tongue.

Episodes[edit | edit source]

A total of 80 half-hour broadcasts have been made, one of which has never been shown in the USA and one which aired during the 10th Anniversary special in 2009. Most broadcasts consist of two episodes, while others contain a single episode that spans the entire half hour. The show spanned six seasons. In addition, a self-titled feature film was released in 2002, and an hour-long Christmas special was released on DVD in 2003. One episode in production, "Deja View," was never finished. A special titled The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!! aired during the 10th Anniversary special on Cartoon Network on January 19, 2009 (although it aired before in Europe and Asia).

Awards[edit | edit source]

The show has been nominated for an Emmy five times in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, & 2005 for "Outstanding Achievement in Animation". In 1999 the show was nominated for the award for episode 1.09 - "Bubblevicious" & "The Bare Facts". In 2000 & 2005 the show also won Emmys, both juried for non-nominated selections.[8] The show has also been nominated for an Annie Award nine times, winning it twice.[8] And in 2001, the show was nominated for the Blimp Award for Favorite Cartoon at the 2001 Kids' Choice Awards.[8]

Music CDs[edit | edit source]

There have also been three officially released CD soundtracks, one entitled Heroes and Villains, featuring original songs about the Powerpuff Girls characters by a number of artists, including the New Wave group Devo. Another entitled City of Soundsville featuring Electronica style character themes and a third CD entitled Power Pop, which borrows heavily from Heroes and Villains.

DVD releases[edit | edit source]

Season releases

The entire first season of the show was released in America on a 2-disc set on June 19, 2007.[9] Bonus features include the original pilot pitch and never before seen animatics. French and Spanish language tracks are also included. It was released in Australia April 16, 2007.[10]

Title Listed episodes DVD Release
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Powerpuff Girls:
Complete Season 1
13 June 19, 2007 April 16, 2007
The Powerpuff Girls:
Complete Season 2
13 April 9, 2008
The Powerpuff Girls:
Complete Season 3
13 June 3, 2009

Complete Series

The complete series of The Powerpuff Girls was released on January 20, 2009 for the series' 10 year anniversary.

Title Listed episodes DVD Release
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Powerpuff Girls:
The Complete Series
78 January 20, 2009

Episode highlights

Title Listed episodes DVD Release
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Down 'n' Dirty "Dream Scheme," "Just Another Manic Mojo," "Down 'n' Dirty," "The Mo Job," "Major Competition Birthday Bash," "Beat Your Greens," "Los Dos Mojos," "Paste Makes Waste," "School House Rocked" November 7, 2000 TBA February 11, 2003
The Mane Event "The Mane Event," "Boogie Frights," "Slumbring With the Enemy," "Ice Sore," "Twisted Sister," "Something's A Ms.," Power Lunch," and "Helter Shelter" April 3, 2001 May 15, 2006 February 11, 2003
Meet the Beat-Alls "Meet the Beat-Alls," "Jewel of the Aisle," "Equal Fights," "Bubblevision," "Collect Her," "Bought & Scold," and "Buttercrush" October 23, 2001; December 4, 2001 (Reissue) August 21, 2006 TBA
Powerpuff Bluff "Cat Man Do," "Uh-Oh, Dynamo," "Mr. Mojo's Rising," "Powerpuff Bluff," "Bubblevicious," "Monkey See, Doggy Do," "Mommy Fearest," "Telephonies," "Mime for a Change," and "The Bare Facts." November 7, 2000 TBA September 7, 2001
Boogie Frights "Boogie Frights," "Slumbering With The Enemy," "Ice Sore," "The Rowdyruff Boys," "Helter Shelter" and a music video for Shonen Knife's "Buttercup (I'm A Super Girl)" April 3, 2001 TBA TBA
Dream Scheme "Dream Scheme," "Just Another Manic Mojo," "Down 'n' Dirty" ," "Mo Job," "Major Competion" and a Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Journey to the Center of Nowhere" November 7, 2000 TBA TBA

Christmas special

Title Listed episodes DVD Release
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
'Twas the Fight Before Christmas "'Twas the Fight Before Christmas" October 7, 2003 TBA November 8, 2005

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:The Powerpuff Girls Template:Cartoon Network Original Series

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