The new 'Powerpuff Girls': 5 fun facts about the reboot
MANILA, Philippines – Sugar, spice, everything nice, plus a dash of Chemical X made The Powerpuff Girls, a trio of young superheroines, beloved and legendary on the airwaves.
Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup's adventures and courageous battles against evildoers, who terrorized the city of Townsville, captivated young viewers.
But these siblings had relatable struggles as well: they had petty squabbles among themselves, and they loathed broccoli – among several experiences kids could relate to. The show turned these into comedic fodder.
More than anything, the show championed girl power, and it was revolutionary in this regard. "The notion that young girls could be cute and tough crime-fighters was still a novel idea," Tracy Brown wrote in the Los Angeles Times.
Around a decade after the show signed off from Cartoon Network, the trio is back – reimagined – and as always, trying to save the world before bedtime.
An all-new series of The Powerpuff Girls premieres on Saturday, April 9, with 6 episodes starting at 10am.
As the old closing theme tune goes: "Fighting crime, trying to save the world, here they come just in time: the Powerpuff Girls!"
1. The original series ran for almost a decade
Created by Craig McCracken, The Powerpuff Girls premiered in 1996 and aired until 2005. It had a historical run across 78 episodes – grabbing 2 Emmy Awards, among other accolades along the way.
It spawned a spin-off feature film in 2002, and its 10th anniversary was celebrated with a special called The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!! in 2008.
2. There was a Powerpuff anime and a 3D-animated special
Several spin-offs carried on the legacy of the Powerpuff Girls without the involvement of creator McCracken.
After the original run, Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z debuted in 2006. Done in Japan, the character designs were updated with more detail – akin to popular animé shows.
The Powerpuff Girls: Dance Pantsed, a 3D CGI-animated (computer-generated imagery) special that aired in 2014, featured the voice of The Beatles member Ringo Starr. It also brought back the original voice actors: Catherine Cavadini (Blossom), Tara Strong (Bubbles), EG Daily (Buttercup), Tom Kane (Professor Utonium), Roger Jackson (Mojo Jojo), and Tom Kenny (narrator), among others.
3. Subtle and big changes for a 'reimagining'
The revived series is helmed by new showrunners, Nick Jennings and Bob Boyle, who take over from McCracken.
There are subtle updates to the character looks that might go unnoticed and would make the girls appear the same. Blossom still sports a bow, but is rounded out at the edge. Bubbles' signature pigtails are propped up a little higher. Buttercup now has a tuft of spiky hair.
However, it isn't only the look that is changed for the new run.
"We decided, for this reimagining of The Powerpuff Girls, to infuse a new tone and energy," Jennings said in a Q&A with Turner, the parent company of Cartoon Network.
This means a new cast of voice actors – save for Tom Kenny who reprises his role as the Mayor of Townsville. Amanda Leigh plays Blossom, Kristen Li plays Bubbles, and Natalie Palamides plays Buttercup.
Evildoers return to terrorize the magnificent city of Townsville: Mojo Jojo, Fuzzy Lumpkins, Princess Morbucks, and the Ganggreen Gang.
4. Girl power for a new generation
Jennings and Boyle have been in charge of putting a modern, updated spin on the beloved characters.
"The original series was more of a bigger, broader comedy, and the girls relied on fighting monsters to move story along," Jennings told Wired. "Now a lot of the shows we produce are more sincere, character-driven stories."
Jennings told the Los Angeles Times, "By developing [Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles] as stronger personalities and understanding them more as characters, we were able to write stories that are more relatable to people."
Wired culture writer KM McFarland argued, "The girls were always defined in broad strokes – Blossom the leader, Bubbles the sensitive one, and Buttercup the tough one – but in their new incarnation they’re much more nuanced and deal with actual issues young girls face."
For instance, the girls attend elementary school, where they have to "deal with different social situations like cliques and clubs and different teachers and peer pressure," Boyle shares with Wired.
Longtime fans can still find a celebration of girl power in the revived series, but it pushes the envelope for a whole new (most likely younger) audience, making use of "social commentary" in an accessible manner.
"We explore those issues in a context that kids can get as well as adults," Boyle said.
Furthermore, Jennings and Boyle estimate that 50 to 65% of the crew are women: "Animation in the past has generally been a white-male dominated field, but times are changing."
"If you’re working with just white males, it’s easy to fall into putting that type of character into the cartoon, but that’s not reflective of the world or our audience these days."
5. You can #PowerpuffYourself!
You don't need, sugar, spice, and everything nice – plus Chemical X – to create a Powerpuff version of yourself.
Powerpuff Yourself is a website that allows you to create an avatar of yourself in the style of The Powerpuff Girls – big eyes and all.
Entertainment Weekly turned the boys of One Direction into citizens of Townsville.
Captain America: Civil War star Chris Evans – looking ever dapper:
Drake, Beyoncé, and Adele:
The full series will air every weekday starting May 2 as part of Laughternoons on Cartoon Network.
Don't you just miss The Powerpuff Girls? Are you excited to see the revival series? Let us know in the comments! – Rappler.com
Culture and beyond
We love pop culture. Whether it is TV, movies, or music, we seek to go beyond the news by providing deep dives and explainers on the latest trends happening locally and around the world.
Serious work goes into our brand of cultural journalism. However, to continue exploring the entertainment landscape, we need your support.
By joining Rappler PLUS, you will get exclusive event invites, industry reports, and Rappler Shop discounts.
But more than that, you will enable us to continue telling more stories.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.