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Powerpuff Girls revolves around the adventures of Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup, three kindergarten-aged girls with super powers. The plot of a typical episode is some humorous variation of standard superhero and/or tokusatsu fare, with the girls using their powers to defend their town from various villains, such as bank robbers, mad scientists, aliens, or giant monsters. In addition, the girls also have to deal with normal issues young kids face, such as bed wetting or dependence on a security blanket. The series is one in a long line of cartoons that derives a great deal of humor from pop culture references and parody. There is often a particular emphasis on cultural phenomenons and art styles from the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. For instance, the characters' dialogue often contain allusions to various classic rock and pop songs from these eras; there was even an entire episode whose dialogue consisted almost solely of lyrics from Beatles songs, while the episode's plot was a loose retelling of the Beatles' career (featuring the show's villains in roles alluding to the original band members). The show even once or twice, made references to Star Wars (especially in the episodes "Boogie Frights" and "Beat Your Greens")
The show has a highly stylized, minimalistic visual look, reminiscent of 1950s and '60s pop art. Movie critic Bob Longino of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution praised the style in his review of The Powerpuff Girls Movie by saying 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."
The show has been hailed for showing young girls as active and capable heroines. However, it has also 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.
The show mainly takes place in the fictional city of Townsville, USA. Townsville is depicted as a major American city, with an impressive cityscape consisting of several major skyscrapers. The physical location of Townsville has never been determined. Cities like LA, New York City, Seattle, Paris, London, and Tokyo have been shown throughout the series.
Craig McCracken, a student of California Institute of the Arts, created The Whoopass Girls in 1992 in his short film The Whoopass Girls in A Sticky Situation. Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation selected the short in 1993; McCracken submitted it to Hanna-Barbera's innovative What A Cartoon! shorts program (eventually to be produced for Cartoon Network as "The Powerpuff Girls in: Meat Fuzzy Lumkins" as part of World Premiere Toons) while working on Dexter's Lab. As the word "whoopass" was deemed verbally inappropriate for younger audiences, the word was replaced by "powerpuff."
The Powerpuff Girls' TV debut in 1998 was the highest rated premiere in Cartoon Network's history. For several seasons, the series consistently scored the highest rating each week for the network across a wide range of demographics—from young children to adults. In October 1998, Cartoon Network credited the Powerpuff Girls for its Friday night prime time ratings win among cable networks. By 2001, merchandising based on The Powerpuff Girls encompassed everything from T-shirts, toys and video games to lunchboxes and dishware. There was also a CD entitled Heroes and Villains, featuring original songs about the Powerpuff Girls characters by a number of artists, including the New Wave group Devo. 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." 
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 USA currently has no plans to air this show.
Opening and ending themes and sequencesJames L. Venable composed the opening theme of the series and Scottish band Bis performed the ending theme song, as played during the credits. Veteran announcer Ernie Anderson (more well known as "The Voice of ABC" in the 1970s and 80's) was the narrator of the two pilot episodes and would have likely continued to narrate. However, Anderson passed away in February of 1997, the year before the show became a series, which left the studio to hire voice actor and comedian Tom Kenny to be the series' narrator. Tom Kenny narrated the introduction, and also acted as narrator through the series era.
The opening narration reads as follows: "Sugar, spice, and everything nice. These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girl. But Professor Utonium accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction: Chemical X! Thus the Powerpuff Girls were born! Using their ultra super powers, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup have dedicated their lives to fighting crime and the forces of evil!"
As the narration reveals, Professor Utonium created the girls out of sugar, spice, and everything nice (a reference to the nursery rhyme "What Are Little Boys Made Of?"), plus the accidental addition of Chemical X. The opening of the series pays homage to the animated beginning of 1960s live-action television series, Batman, as both shows feature a pan across a gallery of villains, with the animated heroes running toward the viewer while striking the villains, who are tossed away in slow motion.
In the Japanese dub version, the first Opening Song, It's Up To You, was performed by The Brilliant Green, while the second Opening Song, Cream Puff Shuffle, performed by P.P.S. (Power Puff Soul).
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The Powerpuff Girls received widespread critical acclaim from critics and audiences, quickly becoming one of Cartoon Network's most popular and profitable franchises. It's often considered by many to be one of the greatest animated series of all time (in the same extent to Batman: The Animated Series, Steven Universe, and Ducktales), and it was heavily praised for its voice acting, contrasting art style, adult humour, pop cultural references, diverse character roster, and for breaking the mold in terms of gender roles and stereotypes. On IMDb, the series gained a 7.2/10 based on 24,711 votes, and on TV.com, it gained an 8.2/10 based on 1,641 votes (a stark contrast to its successor series).
It was Craig McCracken's second most critically acclaimed work (ahead of Wander Over Yonder and behind Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends), and his most popular work to date. Despite the series not being as popular as it once was, and being overshadowed by Cartoon Network through the reboot, the series still holds a cult following to this day.
- Main article: List of The Powerpuff Girls (1998) episodes
A total of 78 half hour episodes were broadcast, spanning across six seasons and one self-titled movie.
There was also a Christmas episode that aired in 2003, and one episode that was never aired in the U.S. There was also an episode that was in production entitled "Deja View" that was turned into a Powerpuff Girls comic instead.
On March 18, 2008, Tara Strong announced that there will be a second Powerpuff Girls movie in an interview with The Big Spoon. According to C' Raggio's blog, it will use Flash Animation. The movie's plot: The girls find out that the key to the world is coming to Townsville. The girls have hoped that the key will never come to Townsville because it gives the person who has it the right to rule the world. Every villain (except the Rowdyruff Boys) searches for the key in the town. The girls decide that they cant beat all the villains, so they look for the key themselves. They have no luck until Bubbles points out that the mayor is a complete idiot and probably left the key in his desk drawer. They race all the villains there and almost lose to Mojo Jojo. When Mojo Jojo loses the race he gives up with ruling the world and decides to be a normal citizen. The girls start to lose sight of what is important and decide that they want to rule the world with different ideas each. They start to fight over the key and all the villains show up and its a big fight with the girls winning. But then they start fighting each other for the key until they see all the townspeople looking down at them of how they look. The girls apologize and the Mayor takes the key and starts a speech. Mojo Jojo seeing his chance ask the mayor for the key and the mayor not paying attention gives it to him. Mojo Jojo starts to build his machine and puts the key into the machine. While the town is scared of what is about to happen Mojo turns the world into a happy place. Everyone is surprised of what Mojo Jojo wanted to do the whole time, including the girls. Then Mojo Jojo starts to get bored because there is nothing wrong with the world and starts to hate it. He starts to blow up the city, the Girls go fight Mojo and it ends. The movie's airdate: 1/23/09.CGI special titled The Powerpuff Girls: Dance Pantsed (Originally titled The Powerpuff Girls: Dance Pants R-EVIL-ution) starring the girls will premiere later in the year, but it was announced on December 16, 2013 that the special will premier on January 20, 2014. The special will feature Ringo Starr of the Beatles singing an original song "I Wish I Was A Powerpuff Girl" as well as voicing a new character named Fibonacci Sequins. The special was be directed by Dave Smith, who wrote and directed episodes for the series in the past, along with the original cast members returning to reprise their roles. This marks the first time series creator Craig McCracken had no involvement. The episode's plot has Mojo Jojo kidnap Fibonacci along with an opera singer and a badger. The girls rescue all of them, and defeat Mojo yet again with his kidnapping plan. Not deterred he then goes on to invent an evil video game called "Dance Pants R-EVILution," in order to steal Professor Utonium's chemical X and take over Townsville. 
- Main article: The Powerpuff Girls (2016 TV series)
On June 16th, 2014, Cartoon Network announced a comeback of the series that aired in 2016.. Nick Jennings serves as the executive producer. Creator Craig McCracken isn't involved, since he worked for Disney while the reboot was in production.
Tara Strong stated on Twitter that the girls themselves were being recast, and later said she, Cathy Cavadini, and E.G. Daly were beyond hurt, but held no ill will. Tom Kenny, Roger L. Jackson, and Jennifer Hale reprise their respective roles (though Hale has been replaced as Princess Morbucks).
Despite positive anticipations from audiences, the reboot ended up unsuccessful to live up to expectations. It received very mixed to negative reviews from critics, and was lambasted by audiences. Although it gained high ratings at the start of its runtime, its ratings slowly but drastically dropped. Since September of 2016, most of its newer episodes failed to reach over a million viewers. It is considered one of the worst cartoon reboots in modern television history.
Parodies and comics
A crossover parody of The Powerpuff Girls and 2 Broke Girls was done in Cartoon Network's TV series MAD's second season known as "2 Broke Powerpuff Girls". The parody which aired on January 30, 2012, is of Bubbles and Buttercup, who are broke and work for "Him" in a diner after the show got placed on permanent hiatus. Tara Strong (Bubbles) and Tom Kane (HIM) reprised their roles here. The MAD episode with the parody ranked #26/30 for the week with 1.903 million viewers. In February 2013, IDW Publishing announced a partnership with Cartoon Network to produce comics based on its properties and The Powerpuff Girls was one of the titles announced to be published. A fan-produced webcomic series called PowerPuff Girls Doujinshi was created in 2004 and released through Snafu Comics. The girls are shown to be a bit older than, but with the same personalities as, their T.V. counterparts, and the comic includes many characters from other cartoon shows. The story has the girls now going to school in a neighboring city of Townsville known as Megaville. The comic was the "Outstanding Superhero Comic" and "Outstanding Character Art" winner on the Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards in 2005. Shortly after the 2014 CGI special's release, a comic which was published by IDW Publishing was withdrawn after retailers complained that they wanted to boycott the issue. The comic, which shows the Powerpuff Girls with breasts and dressed in latex, was designed by an artist who works for Cartoon Network. The artist was "thinking of it more along the lines of 'female empowerment' than the kind of thing you guys are talking about". Cartoon Network said in a statement: "We recognise some fans' reaction to the cover and, as such, will no longer be releasing it at comic book shops."
The show has been nominated for an Emmy five times in 1999 & 2000 for "Outstanding Achievement in Animation". In 1999 the show won the Emmy for episode 1.09 - "Bubblevicious" & "The Bare Facts." In 1999 & 2000 the show also won Emmys, both juried for non-nominated selections.
The show has also been nominated for an Annie award nine times, winning it twice.
WatchMojo.com ranked the (original) series #2 on their list of the Top 10 Cartoon Network Shows. In addition, the series also made other WatchMojo.com Top 10s as well.
- Main article: List of episodes and VHS/DVD releases#VHS/DVD releasesThe series has been released on VHS tape and DVD in Episode highlights, The Christmas Special, and seasonal DVD releases respectively, with the second season coming soon to the USA. There is also a complete series DVD release that was released on January 20, 2009 to celebrate The Powerpuff Girls 10th anniversary.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Awards for The Powerpuff Girls". IMDB.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0175058/awards. Retrieved 2007-03-26.
- ↑ Longino, B. "The Powerpuff Girls Movie." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 
- ↑ Nechak, P. "Violence overpowers 'Powerpuff Girls'." 2002
- ↑ "Animator Profile: CRAIG McCRACKEN". CartoonNetwork.com. http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/ap/cmccracken.html. Retrieved 2007-03-26.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 "The Powerpuff Girls' Phenomenal Merchandising Mantra". Animation World Magazine. http://www.awn.com/mag/issue5.07/5.07pages/demottppg.php3. Retrieved 2007-03-29.
- ↑ "Cartoon Network Tops Weekly and Friday Prime Ratings for the Week of Oct. 2-8". TimeWarner. http://www.timewarner.com/corp/newsroom/pr/0,20812,667918,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-29.
- ↑ "Template:Citation error". http://cartoonnetworkblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/the-powerpuff-girls-soar-again/=IMDB.com. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- ↑ http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/the-powerpuff-girls-to-return-with-new-series-in-2016-1201221202/
- ↑ http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/cartoon-network-starts-kids-upfront-with-bears-together-powerpuff-reboot-1201436744/
- ↑ https://twitter.com/CrackMcCraigen/status/544220376071667712
- The Powerpuff Girls Movie, a feature-length film
- Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z, an anime spin-off
- The Powerpuff Girls (2016 TV series), the new reboot
|Episodes and VHS/DVD releases - The Powerpuff Girls Movie - Powerpuff Girls Z|
| Characters: The Powerpuff Girls (Main: Blossom - Bubbles - Buttercup Other: Bunny - Bullet) - Professor Utonium - Mayor - Ms. Bellum - Ms. Keane|
Mojo Jojo - Fuzzy Lumpkins - HIM - Princess Morbucks - The Rowdyruff Boys (Brick - Boomer - Butch) - The Amoeba Boys - Sedusa - Gangreen Gang - Minor characters
| Video Games: Fifth Generation Games: Chemical X-Traction (PS, N64) - Bad Mojo Jojo (GBC) - Paint the Townsville Green (GBC) - Battle HIM (GBC)|
Sixth Generation Games: Relish Rampage (PS2, GCN) - Mojo Jojo-A-Go-Go (GBA) - HIM and Seek (GBA)
Seventh Generation Games: Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z (DS)
PC Games: Mojo Jojo Clone Zone - Princess Snorebucks - Mojo Jojo's Pet Project
|Misc. Superpowers - Townsville|
|Creator: Craig McCracken|