Friday, November 18, 2011

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice

The Powerpuff Girls officially debuted on November 18, 1998

I often write about the cartoons of my youth, but fun animation didn't stop when I reached adulthood. Case in point, the Powerpuff Girls delivered quirky humor and classic superheroic action/parody.

The mastery of speculative fiction tropes was impressive. From tokusatsu thrills to infernalist horror, the writers knew how to turn genre expectations upside down, delivering stories that would entertain both children and exceptionally geeky adults. And the pacing was excellent, packing relentless mayhem into a mere ten minute short.

Although the protagonists, Buttercup (green), Blossom (red), and Bubbles (blue), were entertaining characters, the show really excelled with the "Rogues Gallery". Twisted parodies of supervillain archetypes, the recurring antagonists sealed the deal for me, whether it was the super-genius monkey, Mojo Jojo, turning the world's population into dogs or the spoiled super-rich girl, Princess Morbucks, ruining Christmas for kids around the world by switching Santa's "Naughty" and "Nice" lists.

Once again, the day is saved, thanks to the Powerpuff Girls!!!

And then there is the outrageous, over-the-top violence. This cartoon could get gruesomely brutal. But it was so absurd that you never stopped to consider that a monster was torn to pieces, limbs ripped off, eyeballs burst from within, and other assorted mutilations. And that the perpetrators of such mayhem were little girls only amped up the gonzo quality.

Toward the end of its run, the show started to lose steam, turning to episodes that were explicitly written for small children, losing the cheeky narrative complexities that made it so appealing to me. But the highlight episodes of the early seasons still retain their energy and entertainment for me even a decade later.

Meet the Beat Alls

Let's look at some vids:

Powerpuff Girls vs. the Legion of Doom

Candy Is Dandy

Mime for a Change

Powerpuff Girl Theme Song


1 comment:

  1. That's some "bad monkey mojo!" :) I'd of course heard of the PpGs but had never actually seen any of the shows. Hilarious stuff. Love how Aquaman and Womder Woman look a bit dazed and confused as the PpGs kick some butt.