The Powerpuff Girls (1998 TV series)
- For other uses, see The Powerpuff Girls.
|The Powerpuff Girls|
|Created by:||Craig McCracken|
Cartoon Network Studios
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release:||November 18, 1998—March 25, 2005|
|Run time:||22 minutes|
|Narrated by:||Tom Kenny|
|Executive producer(s):||Craig McCracken|
|Music composed by:||Thomas Chase|
James L. Venable
Jason Butler Rote
Collette Sunderman (voices)
|← Previous||Next →|
The Powerpuff Girls is an American animated superhero-comedy television series created by Craig McCracken. It was produced first by Hanna-Barbera (seasons 1-4) and then Cartoon Network Studios (seasons 5-6) for Cartoon Network. It ran from 1998 to 2005, airing a total of 78 episodes that spanned six seasons. It is the first series in the Powerpuff Girls franchise, with its huge popularity spawning a 2002 theatrical movie, and three TV specials (two of them post-series).
Professor Utonium was determined to create the perfect little girl, who would be made up of "sugar, spice, and everything nice," but the experiment was contaminated when he accidentally knocked into a vial of Chemical X. What appeared to be a disaster inadvertently created an even better result, as he created three little girls: Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. Born with extraordinary "ultra superpowers," these little girls, dubbed the Powerpuff Girls, have taken the job of defending the city of Townsville.
During Craig McCracken's first year in the character animation program of CalArts, he wanted to make a short film using a wrestler-type character he called "El Fuego." At the same time, he also drew three large-eyed girls, visually inspired by the art of Margret Keane, on a small sheet of orange construction paper as a birthday card design for his brother. Intrigued by the girls' "cute" appearance, McCracken ditched El Fuego and made them child superheroes called "The Whoopass Girls". The short, Whoopass Stew! The Whoopass Girls in: A Sticky Situation, was created in 1992, and was later shown at Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation in 1994. McCracken also made other three shorts at that time (all of them starring the three girls) but were never finished.
While working as an art director for 2 Stupid Dogs, McCracken showed his student short to Fred Seibert, the head of Hanna-Barbera at the time. The two negotiated and the short was picked up as a series by Cartoon Network, where it became part of its What a Cartoon! animated shorts showcase. However, Cartoon Network executives believed that no one would make a kids' show with the partial word "ass" in it, so the title was changed to The Powerpuff Girls. The name "Whoopass" was renamed "Powerpuff" by McCracken's suggestion, and the "can of whoopass" (the substance that made the girls) was changed to "Chemical X". McCracken's new short, entitled "The Powerpuff Girls in: Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins", aired as part the network's World Premiere Toon-In on February 20, 1995. It was not popular, being surpassed by another short titled "Dexter's Laboratory"; a pilot of which McCracken and former classmate Genndy Tartakovsky worked together on. "Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins" also received a negative reaction from test screening, with McCracken claiming that it didn't fare well with an 11 year-old male audience. While Dexter's Laboratory was the first one greenlit into a full series, CN executive Mike Lazzo showed interest in The Powerpuff Girls, which McCracken stated that they were "more interested in a negative reaction than a lukewarm reaction." He allowed McCracken to produce a second short titled "Crime 101", which aired on What a Cartoon! in January 28, 1996.
The main title theme and music were composed by Thomas Chase, Steve Rucker, and James L. Venable. The end credits song was performed by the Scottish indie-pop band Bis.
|Title||Number||Original air date|
|"Twas the Fight Before Christmas"||1||December 12, 2003|
|"The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!"||2||January 19, 2009|
|"Dance Pantsed"||3||January 20, 2014|
- Catherine Cavadini as Blossom Utonium
- Tara Strong as Bubbles Utonium
- E.G. Daily as Buttercup Utonium
- Tom Kane as Professor Utonium
- Tom Kenny as the Mayor and the Narrator
An anime adaptation known as Powerpuff Girls Z was produced by Cartoon Network Japan and Aniplex, and animated by Toei Animation. It aired in Japan on TV Tokyo in 2006-07, while an English Dub (in association with Ocean Productions in Canada) aired on Cartoon Network in the Philippines, and Boomerang in Australia and New Zealand in 2008.
Between 2016 to 2019, a reboot of The Powerpuff Girls aired on Cartoon Network. This series took on a new art style, while also having a completely different cast and tone. Unlike the original show, it was met with mixed to negative reviews from critics.
In 2020, a live-action TV series was announced in the works for The CW. After the pilot was filmed, it was shelved until the correct tone could be achieved.
In 2022, it was announced that Craig McCracken would be on board for a reboot for The Powerpuff Girls, in association with Hanna Barbera Studios Europe.
In popular culture
- Craig McCracken's next series for Cartoon Network was Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, which included some references to The Powerpuff Girls. For instance, the teenage caretaker Frankie Foster wears a t-shirt with silhouettes of Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup in their trademark colors. In the first episode, "House of Blues, Part 1," Wilt shows Bloo and Mac an imaginary friend resembling Mojo Jojo while a lazy kid watched TV.
- Main article: Robot Chicken
- "Celebrity Rocket:" During a three-second channel flip, Professor Utonium (voiced by Abe Benrubi), who's spiraled on the floor of his lab, comments to the Powerpuff Girls, "All thanks to stem cell research," with the girls (voiced by Seth Green) either cheekily or sinisterly replying, "Uh huh."
- "I Love Her:" In the segment "Perfect Little Girls Who Flip The F&%$ Out," while creating the Powerpuff Girls, Professor Utonium adds cocaine to the recipe, causing the girls to go crazy and ravage the town.
- "May Cause a Squeakquel:" Mojo Jojo is thrown into jail when the Powerpuff Girls realize that the town's judicial system is unfair and doesn't rehabilitate its criminals and so they break into the mayor's office and beat him up.
- Main article: MAD
- "WWe Bought a ZOO/2 Broke Powerpuff Girls:" During "2 Broke Powerpuff Girls," Bubbles and Buttercup are left broke and jobless in their apartment after being fired from their job as waitresses. They turn to Blossom for help and she employs them to work for her company which owns a restaurant, leaving them at square one again. Tara Strong reprises Bubbles for this skit.
- "Taking Nemo/Once Upon a Toon": During "Once Upon a Toon," Samurai Jack trims a bush in the shape of the Powerpuff Girls.
In other languages
|Japanese||パワーパフガールズ (Pawapaffu Garusu)|
|Spanish||Las Chicas Superpoderosas|
- ^ Wineman, Daniel (November 15, 1998). "SIGNOFF; Never Underestimate the Power of a Puff". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
- ^ Townsend, Emru (Summer 1995). "Craig McCracken on Stupid Dogs and Powerful Girls". Frames per Second Magazine (6). Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
- ^ a b c The Powerpuff Girls: Who, What, Where, How, Why... Who Cares? (DVD bonus feature). Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. 2009.
- ^ Lucas, Michael P. (February 28, 1999). "Power to the (Little) People". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
- ^ Milligan, Mercedes (18 July 2022). "Original creator Craig McCracken is on board to reboot his hit series 'The Powerpuff Girls' and 'Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends' TELEVISIONWORLDWIDE Hanna-Barbera Studios Rebooting Craig McCracken Classics 'The Powerpuff Girls' & 'Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends'". Animaton Magazine.