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New Powerpuff Girls Series Disappoints on All Accounts

When you watched The Powerpuff Girls as a kid, didn’t you watch it with distain, shake your head and say, “This is great, but why aren’t there more memes?”

Of course you didn’t! However, Cartoon Network’s reboot of the 1998 series about three adorable super heroines now has Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup twerking, texting and spouting outdated memes.

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There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with a reboot of PPG. It was one of my favorite shows as a kid, but since it only shows on Boomerang, a new series of kick-butt action for kids today seems like a great idea. I loved watched the girls beat up monsters, use their powers and save Townsville every day as a child (remember how many teeth flew out of people’s mouths? It was pretty violent!) and it made me want to be a super hero, too!

However, the problem with the new PPG series lies in its concept; it focuses on the girls’ domestic lives rather than being a crime-fighting show.

Remember when Teen Titans Go came out and disappointed lots of fans of the original show, because the concept was no longer about the Teen Titans crime fighting? Teen Titans Go, if you aren’t aware, is a reboot of the crime fighting cartoon Teen Titans, but rather than actually being about a super hero team fighting villains and doing what you want super heroes to do, it’s about their goofy lives outside of crime fighting. Sometimes they actually go and fight people, but the main focus is on their lives outside of crime fighting. And it sucks.

They eat pizza and watch movies and spend an entire episode just saying the word “waffles” because apparently kids find that funny. On its own it’s not a horrible show, but it’s the fact that it’s based on one of the most thoughtful, beautiful and action-packed shows Cartoon Network has ever run that adds insult to injury. The Teen Titans are mean to each other and don’t act like themselves, making fans of the original show wonder what happened to their favorite crime fighters.

People want to watch super hero shoes to watch super heroes. Apparently Cartoon Network doesn’t know this, as the new PPG series follows the same style as Teen Titans Go. Sure, not every episode of the original PPG had them fighting crime, but it was still the main focus of the show, because that’s why people want to watch super hero shows.

The only thing I can compliment about the new show is the voice acting. It’s actual children voicing Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup now, which I actually kind of like. These girls are pretty good voice actresses who actually do a great job capturing the original styles of their character’s voice actresses. It’s a little disjointed for original fans when you hear these new voices, and there’s no other new ones (The Professor and The Mayor, for example, are still voiced by the same people) so that may end up getting on some people’s nerves.

However, the voice acting is the only thing I can praise about this series.

First, the animation is beyond lazy. I’m not a big fan of flash animation anyway, but even ignoring that, the art direction itself is catastrophic. Animators routinely forget their own rules on how to animate their characters, leading to a disjointed style that just comes across like the animators don’t care.

The biggest example I can use is that in the original series, any time the Powerpuff Girls blinked, their eyes stayed circles and you saw their eyelids, which were an off-purple color. So their whole eye didn’t squish into a semi-closed shape. The new series sometimes does this, but sometimes doesn’t. Half the time they have eyelids, and half the time they don’t, sometimes in the same shot.

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The art also suffers from errors that shouldn’t happen in a professional studio, usually with perspective. My favorite example is in the first episode; Buttercup knocks the villain back so he flies to the background. So, obviously, he gets smaller as he moves away from the viewer, but when he jumps back to the foreground, he’s still tiny. I honestly thought he was just that little, but you see him next to Buttercup and he’s supposed to be the size of a full grown man. The animators just forgot to make him bigger once he came back toward the viewer.

I could go on for hours about how bad the writing is aside from the fact that the Powerpuff Girls use phrases like “OMG” and “Yaaaas” and “Literally Can’t Even” (because that will never be dated) or the fact that the writers tried and failed to tackle transgender issues in the third episode (trust me, we’ll get to that on LGeekBT), but it really would be beating a dead horse at this point to bring up that this “millennial” writing style is dated as soon as it airs and doesn’t make for good characters development or story telling.

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If you want my take, skip the Powerpuff Girls reboot. The writing is annoying, the animation atrocious, the focus isn’t where it needs to be and, plus, they got rid of Miss Bellum! That’s the final straw. I’m going to go watch the Powerpuff Girls anime now, since at least they got the theme of the show correct. That, and no one twerks.

About Shelby Watson

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5 comments

  1. When I was a kid I didn’t have to read reviews about a cartoon to enjoy it. The worst part about getting older is seeing how negative people are in general. Times have changed and try to remember, the main audience of cartoons is for children and they hardly care about the quality of art etiquette as you do.

    • Oh, we remember. We just don’t see that as an excuse. I’ll admit, kids don’t need to be expected to appreciate things the same way older people do, and cartoons are no exception. But when they grow up and look back at the cartoons of their youth, which ones would they be? The ones that make them go “Wow, I can’t believe I used to like that garbage”? Or “Wow, that was way better than I thought it was as a kid”? If we can agree on one thing, it’s that times have changed: now the people who grew up on old, enduring cartoons are making new cartoons that are more than just 30 (or 15) minute distractions to pacify kids and get with the times. And this show is certainly not one of them.

  2. Charles Roland Stevens III

    They could have used more episodes because they didn’t make enough, plus they keep rearing the same ones over and over again. They did do an episode where there old nemesis came back, but that was a talent show. I appreciate the new villains, it’s a nice change of pace. I guess they are trying to be more “edgy”, but they will need to produce more to keep me interested.

  3. Teens titans is still going on because it took off . Teen titans go they can bo more with the storey line and teach new things about life .

  4. I can’t praise the voice acting. I can’t get behind children voicing characters just for the sake of them being children and it also being a children’s cartoons. There isn’t very much plot to children cartoons, most of the character development has to come from the effort they put into their voices. Everyone loves tom Kenny because of his crazy and comical voices. children generally suck at acting and put no effort into changing their voices for the role.
    I actually like teen titans go because the characters have the same voice actors, so their interpersonal chemistry is pretty much the same, and most of the jokes make me laugh.
    The new PPG could be ok, but none of the jokes make me laugh, and the voice acting of bubbles and buttercup is just effortless. maybe the no me gusta joke could have been funny with bubbles old zany manic depressive voice style.