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The Powerpuff Girls movie
“The Powerpuff Girls Movie”
Powerpuff girls movie

The movie's DVD cover.

Credits
Director: Craig McCracken
Producer: Donna Castricone
Writer: Charlie Bean
Lauren Faust
Craig McCracken
Paul Rudish
Don Shank
Starring: Cathy Cavadini
Tara Strong
Elizabeth Daily
Tom Kane
Tom Kenny
Jennifer Hale
Jennifer Martin
Music: James L. Venable
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Info
Release: July 3, 2002
Rated: PG
Language: English
Length: 73 Minutes
Budget: $11 million
Gross: $16.4 million


The Powerpuff Girls Movie is a 2002 feature-length film based on the Cartoon Network animated television series The Powerpuff Girls. Produced by Cartoon Network for Warner Bros. It was released in the United States on July 3, 2002.

The film is a prequel of the television series, telling the story of how the Powerpuff Girls were created and how they came to be the defenders of Townsville.

In theaters, a Dexter's Laboratory short entitled "Chicken Scratch" was shown prior to the film, which later aired as part of that series' fourth season. 

Plot

The girls' birth

The girls (From left to right: Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup) in their birth appearance.

Townsville is terrorized by criminals and villains. We're soon introduced to Professor Utonium who returns to his home where he attempts to create the perfect child using sugar, spice and everything nice. Little did he know that his experiment would become his most famous of all. But his experiment goes wrong when his mischievous chimpanzee, Jojo, collides with the Professor, making him accidentally spill Chemical X into the mixture, causing a massive explosion. Though the Professor has some distance between him and the chemical reaction, Jojo, in his less-than-brilliant form, stands near to look more closely at the specimen and gets the explosion head on, throwing him out of a window.

After the explosion, Professor Utonium regains consciousness and finds himself before three tiny girls who introduce themselves as his creations. Utonium proceeds to name them Blossom (for being polite and the first to speak to him), Bubbles (for giggling as he named Blossom and seeming cute and bubbly), and Buttercup (because it also begins with a B, much to her displeasure and the first frown). Professor Utonium discovers quickly that his daughters have superpowers, including super speed and flight when he rushes out to get them presents and comes back, nearly tripping down the stairs, but with Blossom catching him and Bubbles and Buttercup catching the presents. The following day, the girls help Utonium paint the house walls (accidentally painting almost all over him in the process, which then causes him to paint his own face), load the furniture in, and make the windows in their room. They then make lunch, and have a happy day before bedtime.

Utonium takes his girls to school and comes back to pick them up at noon on the next morning. But the girls learn of the game "tag" and take it into overdrive when they start using their super speed to flee from one another. The girls fly about madly destroying various structures, with Utonium chasing them in his car all the while the girls seem oblivious to the havoc they're causing in the city until they collide with the mayor who was about to eat a pickle. Utonium eventually bundles the girls back to their house, telling them they should not use their superpowers in public for their own safety. The three understand, but they have no idea what consequences there will be for their reckless actions.

Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup are treated as outcasts (especially in school) while Utonium is ambushed by the mayor and his guards and taken to prison for creating the girls. The mayor, being an idiot, only did this because of not getting a pickle, while the other townsfolk believed the three are too dangerous to be around. The girls wait for their father after school until, after he does not arrive, they are convinced that he hates them as well and they sadly try to find their way home on foot (because the Professor had told them not to use their powers, and flying counted as use of them). On the way, they see a nearby television making horrible remarks from citizens of the city, including the mayor who shrieks about them being "Pickle Cart Killers" and the main newspaper say that they're "Bug-Eyed Freaks." Eventually the girls are caught in a heavy rainstorm. Having no way into their house, the girls try to take shelter in some boxes in an alley, but the Gangreen Gang attacks them. The girls are saved by none other than Jojo, now an intelligent monkey with an oversized brain and the ability to speak with a Japanese accent who hides in fear. The girls are moved by his speech on how people resent him. Then, Jojo cries out to the Girls that he wishes to build a better city but cannot do it because he has no help and is a homeless beggar. The Girls, who are saddened by his poor life, decide to help him, however, they had to first use their powers again to activate a machine in a volcano, and starts to take structures from all over the world. The girls offer their help and Jojo accepts the offer.

Together, the four build a new building on top of a volcano in the middle of the city that has a giant machine in its center. As a "reward" for their help, Jojo sneaks the girls into the local zoo, taking pictures of the primates in the zoo behind their backs. It is revealed by a gorilla-shot that he has sent them with teleportation devices that are microscopic, but are shown very big in screen. The Powerpuff Girls start to reuse their powers again and fly back home. The girls manage to get into their home and Utonium is thrown in through the front door and complains of arrest, lawsuits and other such difficulties. During the course of the night, Jojo activates teleporting devices he attached to the monkeys through his camera at the zoo and teleports them to his lair (the volcano in the middle of the city) where he uses Chemical X to mutate them into intelligent primates like himself. He makes them more evil, rips their heads into bigger brains, changes their skin to green and their eyes to pink, and give them dialogue like how it happened to him in the beginning.

The next day, the girls believe that the public will accept them, and travel with Utonium towards City Hall. Then, Jojo (now calling himself "Mojo Jojo") attacks with his primate army. Mojo Jojo announces that Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup helped him with his plan. The city has thousands of citizens abused, attacked, wounded, flooded, punched, strangled, bitten and spitted on by monkeys start to blame the Girls all over again since they did their game of tag around the city. The girls try to convince Utonium and the citizens that they were tricked, but the people called them "liars" and Utonium is heartbroken beyond conviction. Dejected, the girls blast off into space finally deciding they actually are evil, and were only created for destruction. And there is no hope for the entire planet, with the girls exiled.

Vlcsnap-00001

Mojo Jojo

Mojo Jojo announces that the primates will rule the world in the human race's place, with himself as their king. The primates, however, all having been rendered evil geniuses by the Chemical X, all wish to be the future ruler of the primate race. Mojo Jojo tries to regain control of his army (doing his very first repetitive speech in the process), but fails as the primates collapse into infighting. Frustrated, Mojo Jojo decides to kill a depressed Professor Utonium.

Ojo
Up in space, the banished girls are on an asteroid traveling away from Earth, resigning themselves to isolation. Then, Blossom and Buttercup start yelling at each other, blaming each other over their game of tag and for trusting Mojo in the first place, while Bubbles is crying like crazy while being sad. However, when they hear the screams coming from Townsville and particularly Professor Utonium's yell, the girls fly back to Earth, where they have to save all the people. They eventually realize that they can use their powers to fight all of the monkeys, each with a gimmick more bizarre than the other, to save the professor and the town. However, they realize none of the monkeys have the Professor, meaning they've got "one last monkey to get off [their] backs."

Eventually they take the fight to Mojo, who uses the Professor against them declaring his intention to rule the world, "even if it means taking EXTREME MEASURES!!!" At that moment, Mojo pumps so much Chemical X into himself that he grows to the size of a giant. Mojo then proceeds to rip off the dome of Townsville City Hall and places it on his brain as his new helmet. In the fight that follows, Mojo catches the girls in his humongous hand as he scales a skyscraper (an obvious reference to King Kong). 

Dirty ape

Buttercup punching her 'favorite target.'

He tries to make the girls join him by reminding them how much the town feared and hated them, but they break free from his grasp and push him off the skyscraper ("we are stronger, we are invincible and you are ... it"). The Professor appears with an antidote for Chemical X that will shrink Mojo Jojo back to normal size. Mojo is about to fall directly on the Professor, but the girls push him out of the way, making him drop the antidote which shatters on the road. Mojo crash-lands on the antidote and shrinks back to normal. Mojo is in pain from the fall, or possibly in shock, and is not moving, only groaning.
The first loving hug between the Girls and the Professor

The first Utonium embrace

The professor apologizes for doubting the girls and says that he loves them which the girls also confess their love for him. They then apologize for their actions and decide to get rid of their powers with the remainder of the antidote so the town will like them as ordinary girls, but the townsfolk protest. The Mayor apologizes on behalf of the whole of the city over their misunderstandings and asks the girls to become their local superheroes. The girls happily accept the job.
PPG 8

Introduced in this movie.

The movie ends with the girls defeating the Gangreen Gang (the first villains they ever met), kick-starting their new career as the city's official superheroes. Plus, the narrator gives them their official name: the Powerpuff Girls.

Transcript

For the movie's transcript click here.

Timeline of Events

The Powerpuff Girls Movie Events in Timeline
Day Time Event
Day 1 Morning Professor Utonium is seen shopping for sugar, spice, and everything nice; Fuzzy Lumpkins is seen threatening a shopkeeper. Professor comes home after being beaten by Gangreen Gang (not shown, but implied).
Afternoon Professor starts working on the perfect girl formula. Jojo, his lab monkey, breaks items in the lab (also the opening credits roll). Jojo then finally pushes the Professor, which causes him to accidentally break a glass container of Chemical X which then spills on the formula, creating the perfect little girls with superpowers (Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup). Professor rushes out to buy gifts for their "birthday."
Evening Professor returns with the girls' birthday gifts, which they happily accept. They then make dinner, and decorate their room (including making the windows).
Night Professor tucks in the girls in bed after a happy day.
Day 2 Morning Professor drops off girls at kindergarten school. All the children like them and they make good friends.
Noon Break time; the children start playing tag. The girls play tag with their superpowers and destroy most of Townsville in the process. The Mayor of Townsville also notices the damage done by the girls.
Night Professor tucks in the girls in bed and advises them not to use their superpowers in public.
Day 3 Morning Professor drops off girls at school again. This time, the classroom is in a mess and all the children avoid them.
Evening Professor is arrested as he leaves to pick up the girls from school. The three girls try to reach home on foot, being not allowed to use their powers, and eventually are lost in Townsville.
Night The girls are attacked by Gangreen Gang but are rescued by Jojo. The girls then help Jojo build a "help the town to make it a better place" machine (in reality, the future lair of Mojo Jojo), in the hopes that they will make everyone in Townsville love them instead of hating them.
Day 4 Morning Girls take Chemical X from the Professor's lab for completing the "help the town to make it a better place" machine.
Afternoon Jojo takes girls to the zoo. There, unknown to the girls, Jojo plants microscopic teleportation devices on all the primates using a special gun concealed inside his camera.
Night The girls return home, and the Professor is also released and thrown home (literally). Jojo starts infusing the primates with Chemical X using his machine.
Day 5 Morning The girls assure the Professor that everything is fine, and that they helped the town to make it a better place to live with the help of Jojo. Jojo, on the other hand, releases the Chemical X-mutated primates into Townsville en masse, causing havoc.
Forenoon The girls fly the Professor into Townsville, where they are dismayed with Jojo's idea of "helping the town to make it a better place." Jojo announces the girls as his helpers, and renames himself to Mojo Jojo. Professor is in disbelief; the townsfolk hate the girls even more. The girls fly off into space.
Afternoon Total mayhem in Townsville with the now highly intelligent and evil primates of Mojo Jojo's creation reeking havoc. Mojo Jojo and the other primates argue over who rules the world; Mojo Jojo tries using his repetititve style of speech to get their attention but fails.
Evening Mojo Jojo kidnaps the Professor. The girls return to Townsville and try to rescue the Professor and all the townspeople from the mutant primates. Then they start using their powers to defeat all the primates, except for Mojo Jojo.
Night The girls break into Mojo Jojo's observatory. Mojo Jojo uses Chemical X to grow into a huge monster. The girls with the help of the Professor defeat Mojo Jojo. They are then hailed as heroes by the people of Townsville, especially the Mayor, Ms. Bellum, and Ms. Keane, their kindergarten teacher.
Day 6 and After All Day The girls, now the heroes of the town, help protect Townsville from villains, starting with the Gangreen Gang. As sunset approaches, the girls go home to the Professor and the ending sequence follows, in which they are named the "Powerpuff Girls."

Cast

Home video

The film was released on Region 1 DVD and VHS on November 5, 2002 in the US. The DVD included extras such as deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage and audio commentaries. Despite being filmed in 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the DVD and VHS are in fullscreen only, much akin to that of the original series. The Region 2 DVD release presents the film in its original widescreen aspect ratio, but omits the audio commentary, deleted scenes and bonus features.

Production notes

During production, The Hollywood Reporter reported that voice actresses Cathy Cavadini, Tara Strong and E.G. Daily had gone on strike, protesting that they weren't being paid enough to star in a feature. The studio publicly mulled replacing them with new actresses, not just for the movie, but for the rest of the series too. Eventually, a deal was reached and the trio returned to voice the Powerpuff Girls again.

The behind-the-scenes feature on the DVD reveals an extended version of Mojo Jojo's rant on the monkeys for plotting against him.

The movie was originally going to be released in August 2002. It was changed to July 3, 2002 for unknown reasons. The film was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for non-stop frantic animated action.

Gallery

For the gallery of the movie, click here.

Design

The film featured substantially revised designs for many of the TV show's characters, with a much more angular look and the girls recieved new and friendlier designs, replacing the old circle and oval designs, which had been in place since April and May 2000 respectively. The circle and oval designs of the girls were designed back in the year 1999 and looked pretty dated by that time because when the new designs of the girls were introduced, the staff felt the old designs were "so Japan and so 1999" and would no longer be needed as a result. Many of these changes were incorporated in the future seasons of the show, such as the Professor's new eyes and Ace's sharper teeth. Also, at the end of the movie before the closing credits begin, the end graphic with the pulsating and concentric hearts and the girls appearing in an explosion of stars switched to the slightly more elaborate version (this will be like that in the future seasons of the show. Also, the ending is much longer than usual (running at a length of almost 40 seconds, longer than any other episode outros in the series) and for the first time since "The Headsucker's Moxy", the "THE END" sign does not appear at all in this movie as the practice for using these two words at the end of a movie had pretty much ceased by now), meaning the girls in their normal poses stay on-screen in place of the "THE END" sign for the rest for the newly introduced animated episode outro for this movie. Also, unlike other episodes, the episode outro for this movie cuts to black instead of fading.

Reception

Reviews of the film were mixed. On Rotten Tomatoes, it currently has a rating of 63% from selected critics with an average reviewer score of 6.1/10 and a slightly better rating of 69% from top critics on the site with an average reviewer score of 6.2/10. The site's consensus states "It plays like an extended episode, but The Powerpuff Girls Movie is still lots of fun." On Metacritic, the film currently has a rating of 65 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews." On IMDb, it gained a 6.5/10 rating based on 7,874 votes.

Bob Longino of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gave the movie perhaps the highest praise of all, saying "The intricate drawings emanate 1950s futuristic pizazz like a David Hockney scenescape. The inspired script is both sinfully cynical and aw-shucks sweet." He also called it "one of the few American creations that is both gleeful pop culture and exquisite high art."

However, it was also criticized by some for its violence, which many felt was too extreme and highly inappropriate for a family-oriented film. The most negative review was from the show "Ebert and Roeper." Roger Ebert said the film was upsetting to watch after the 9/11 attacks, and Richard Roeper called it a freaky and annoying little film. Controversy surrounded the movie, mainly that the movie was released the first summer after the September 11th attacks and people said the buildings being destroyed reminded them of the attacks. Although this is only an animated feature, the buildings the girls destoyed could set a bad example.

Despite the decent reviews, however, the film flopped at the box office due to poor marketing and publicity, and the fact that the show lost much of its popularity. It was released straight-to-VHS and DVD in some countries. Shortly after its poor commercial performance, a Samurai Jack movie that had been in development was canceled. The Powerpuff Girls Movie grossed only $11 million against the same amount of its budget. It ended together with foreign box office with $16 million, making it unsuccessful. Since then, the TV series lost much of its popularity.

Trivia

  • Production on this movie began in October 2001 and ended sometime in May 2002.
  • During the PPG argument, the first channel shown in this movie say CTN News. It might stand for Car(C)toon(T) Network(N) and a parody of CNN News and the CTW (from Sesame Street (until Season 32)) sign. It was later seen again as Buttercup flew upward and left the Talking Dog in front of the building.
  • The Movie takes by the flashback in Prime Mates where Mojo Jojo saws a mutated monkey with no brain.
  • This deleted scene is the first extra from The Powerpuff Girls Movie when the girls fights Mojo and saves the Professor by the new effects and the original Color of the Season 1 to 4.
  • Fuzzy Lumpkins makes a cameo appearance at the beginning, robbing the grocery store. And at the end, he is seen in jail with Mojo Jojo, and The Gangreen Gang. Also, he does not speak whatsoever.
  • The Powerpuff Girls Movie is the first Hollywood film to be based on a Cartoon Network property.
    • The Powerpuff Girls Movie is also the first movie to be produced by Cartoon Network..
  • The drawing Bubbles drew of herself, her sisters and the Professor and the wanted poster of the four are pieces of fan art used in it. They were winners of a drawing contest Cartoon Network held.
  • At the end of this movie, during the newly introduced 2002-2005 animated episode outro, the Narrator doesn't say the "once again" part of "The day is saved" narration because the movie explains how the girls were first created, The Narrator says "for the very first time" instead.
  • Townsville gets the most destruction in the movie, more than any other time in the series.
  • Bubbles was the only Powerpuff Girl glaring at the camera.
  • According to a deleted scene on the movie DVD, the timeline of the movie was supposed to be two weeks, with the time-span of the girls helping Jojo build the volcano-top lair taking place over four nights, instead of one.
  • This movie seems to contradict the flashback scenes in "Mr. Mojo's Rising", however the beginning of the movie could possibly reflect how much Jojo was being ignored and forgotten, given that we never see him.
  • Mojo Jojo's Mo' Mojo form makes another appearance as his special attack in Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion.
  • Professor Utonium didn't wear his overcoat the first day.
  • It is unknown why the powers Mojo gained when the Powerpuff Girls were created weren't drained away by the antidote X.
  • Bubbles beats up Snake and Grubber at the end of this movie in the exact same way Blossom beats them up in the episode "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey".
  • Dexter made a cameo on a car when Blossom said that the people are safe.
  • This is the only time The Gangreen Gang go to jail.
  • As the Powerpuff logo zooms out, the word "Movie" dosen't appear on the bottom.
  • The Narrator only narrates the beginning and end of the movie.
  • Despite being a major box office bomb during original theatrical release, the film was soon rushed to home video and has managed to gain a cult following ever since among Powerpuff Girls fans.
The Powerpuff Girls
This box: view  talk  edit
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

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