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 paintings 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 as 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 its test screening, with McCracken claiming that it didn't fare well with an 11 year-old male audience; "They were saying, 'This is stupid, little girls can't be heroes'", he recalled in 1999. They also found the girls' designs to be disturbing, which caused McCracken to panic and attempt to redesign them in a more realistic style. While Dexter's Laboratory was the first one greenlit into a full series, CN executive Mike Lazzo showed interest in The Powerpuff Girls, and insisted McCracken to stay true to his original vision; McCracken stated that the network were "more interested in a negative reaction than a lukewarm reaction." Lazzo allowed him to produce a second short titled "Crime 101", which aired on What a Cartoon! in January 28, 1996.
Following the second short, Cartoon Network picked up The Powerpuff Girls for a regular animated series. McCracken claimed that the show did not go through a large development process, but he was advised to change the name of the three main characters to Pink, Blue and Green, since the network executives found it hard to differentiate them by Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup. Instead, he put together a bible for the show, explaining the essential aspects of the characters.
|Title||Original air date|
|0x01||February 20, 1995|
|0x02||January 28, 1996|
|1x01||November 18, 1998|
|1x02||November 25, 1998|
|1x03||December 2, 1998|
|1x04||December 9, 1998|
|1x05||December 16, 1998|
|1x06||December 23, 1998|
|1x07||January 6, 1999|
|1x08||January 13, 1999|
|1x09||January 20, 1999|
|1x10||January 27, 1999|
|1x11||February 3, 1999|
|1x12||April 7, 1999|
|1x13||May 27, 1999|
|2x01||June 25, 1999|
|2x02||August 6, 1999|
|2x03||August 20, 1999|
|2x04||September 10, 1999|
|2x05||September 24, 1999|
|2x06||October 8, 1999|
|2x07||November 26, 1999|
|2x08||February 13, 2000|
|2x09||March 17, 2000|
|2x10||April 28, 2000|
|2x11||May 26, 2000|
|2x12||June 2, 2000|
|2x13||June 30, 2000|
|3x01||July 28, 2000|
|3x02||August 18, 2000|
|3x03||September 8, 2000|
|3x04||September 15, 2000|
|3x05||September 22, 2000|
|3x06||October 6, 2000|
|3x07||October 20, 2000|
|3x08||November 10, 2000|
|3x09||December 1, 2000|
|3x10||January 5, 2001|
|3x11||February 9, 2001|
|3x12||February 9, 2001|
|3x13||April 3, 2001|
|4x01||April 20, 2001|
|4x02||May 4, 2001|
|4x03||June 21, 2002|
|4x04||June 8, 2002 (Kids' WB)|
August 8, 2002 (Cartoon Network)
|4x05||June 15, 2002 (Kids' WB)|
July 26, 2002 (Cartoon Network)
|4x06||June 22, 2002 (Kids' WB)|
August 9, 2002 (Cartoon Network)
|4x07||June 29, 2002 (Kids' WB)|
July 19, 2002 (Cartoon Network)
|4x08||July 5, 2002|
|4x09||June 28, 2002|
|4x10||July 12, 2002|
|4x11||December 6, 2002|
|4x12||December 13, 2002|
|5x01||September 5, 2003|
|5x02||September 12, 2003|
|5x03||September 19, 2003|
|5x04||September 26, 2003|
|5x05||November 6, 2003|
|5x06||January 20, 2009|
|5x07||November 13, 2003|
|5x08||November 25, 2003|
|5x09||January 9, 2004|
|5x10||January 16, 2004|
|5x11||April 2, 2004|
|5x12||April 9, 2004|
|6x01||April 16, 2004|
|6x02||April 23, 2004|
|6x03||April 30, 2004|
|6x04||May 7, 2004|
|6x05||May 14, 2004|
|6x06||June 25, 2004|
|6x07||July 2, 2004|
|6x08||July 9, 2004|
|6x09||July 16, 2004|
|6x10||July 23, 2004|
|6x11||July 30, 2004|
|6x12||August 20, 2004|
|6x13||August 27, 2004|
|6x14||March 25, 2005|
|6x15||March 25, 2005|
|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. The pilot was picked up to be filmed for the 2021-22 season, but was put on hold to be reworked, before being cancelled altogether in 2023.
In popular culture
- In the Moesha episode "The Player," Dorian teasingly asks Myles if he wants to watch The Powerpuff Girls after Myles wants to watch something different than horror movies. Myles wants to know what's wrong with cartoons and admits that "Buttercup is fine."
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Body," a pink shirt with The Powerpuff Girls logo is seen inside of Willow's closet, while she panics over what clothes to wear to her mother's funeral.
- In the Everwood episode "Extra Ordinary", Amy watches the episode "Mommy Fearest" in her room, specifically the scene where the girls are shopping at Malph's and Professor Utonium first meets up with "Ima Goodelady."
- In the 2003 Christmas film Elf, one of the toys that Michael mentions in Santa's list is a Powerpuff Girls playset.
- 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, who was created by a lazy kid who watched TV.
- In Kid Cosmic, the Planet Protection Group is a direct reference to the Powerpuff Girls, as they share the same acronym and the same voice actresses in the series; Both shows are created by Craig McCracken.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
- One of the locations of the series is named the "Powerpuff Mall," and uses the same building as the mall in "Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins," until it was later renovated in the episode "Last Dance for Napkin Lad."
- "Universal Remonster:" Oglethorpe creates several T-shirts featuring a Powerpuff Girl, who resembles Blossom with a hot pink mohawk. When his friend Emory pointed this out, Oglethorpe denied that it was a Powerpuff Girl, claiming that "they're not getting sued".
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters: In a flashback sequence, Meatwad's parachute has pictures of the Powerpuff Girls on it, with Bubbles decorated on the top.
- "Eggball:" While the Aqua Teens land on Death Island to capture a rare animal, Meatwad uses the same Powerpuff Girls parachute as the one in the movie.
- "Run Away Little Boy:" When Lorelai talks to Rory about long awaiting the day, they save up enough to buy some Powerpuff Girls shot glasses.
- "Lorelai Out of Water:" Lorelai writes a message on a Powerpuff Girls postcard.
Evil Con Carne
- "Ultimate Evil:" The Powerpuff Girls make a cameo in this episode when General Skarr forces Boskov to watch their show.
- "Hector King of the Britons:" The Lady of the Lake asked Hector to impersonate a fight between Huckleberry Hound and Mojo Jojo. Hector also mentions the Powerpuff Girls while impersonating Mojo.
- 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, 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.
- 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.
- Craig McCracken's Oral History of The Powerpuff Girls. CBC Radio. April 17, 2018. Event occurs at 4:46-5:24. Archived from the original on December 23, 2021.
- 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.