Prayer Focus
Movie Review

The Powerpuff Girls Movie

MPAA Rating: PG for non-stop frenetic animated action

Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
STAFF WRITER

Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
10 to 18
Genre:
Animated Family
Length:
1 hr. 20 min.
Year of Release:
2002
Scene from “The Powerpuff Girls”

Starring: Cathy Cavadini, Tara Charendoff, E G Daily, Tom Kenny, Tom Kane | Directed by: Craig McCracken | Produced by: Donna Castricone | Written by: Craig McCracken, Amy Keating Rogers, Don Shank | Distributor: Warner Brothers

Blossom, commander and the leader
Bubbles, she is the joy and the laughter
Buttercup, she’s the toughest fighter
Powerpuffs save the day…
Fighting crime, trying to save the world
Here they come just in time, the Powerpuff Girls
Fighting crime, trying to save the world
Here they come just in time, the Powerpuff Girls
Powerpuff!

Warner Brothers has decided to try and build a movie success around the popular four-year-old Cartoon Network cult series “The Powerpuff Girls.” They have already enjoyed some modest success bringing “Pokémon” to the big screen.

Scene from “The Powerpuff Girls Movie”I’m sure most viewers will find this animated nonsense not worth a $29 million dollar budget or the price of full admission. The animation is your basic all-rectangles and circles, giving it a popular 50’s look. Our story includes a review of how Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup were created as the result of Professor Utonium’s frustration over crime in Townsville. He mixes together the ingredients of sugar, spice and everything nice, and no perfect girl would be complete without Chemical X. The result is three girls (a blonde, a redhead and a brunette) that can fly fast, lift heavy objects and slice through things with laser-ray eyes.

The plot behind “The Powerpuff Girls Movie” is full of stereotypical symbolism. The blonde is bubbly and Buttercup wears green because she is often envious of the other two. The Professor wants to be a good parent, so he leaves the three girls at home alone and immediately runs to the store to buy them gifts. His next concern is for their education, so he enrolls them in Kindergarten. The girls are fine until they learn how to play Tag and tear up the town. The citizens of Townsville are so upset that they put the Professor in jail. At that time, a monkey named Jojo convinces the girls that they are special and tricks them into using their super powers to create an evil devise. The machine quickly turns Townsville into the “planet of the Apes,” but the girls manage to redeem themselves just before the rolling of the closing credits.

If “Powerpuff” looks interesting to you, you may want to reconsider. Skip it. There are far too many negative messages present for our children. This trio is destructive, but with no consequences. The flik is simply a poor example of taking perfectionistic expectations for children and parenting to the extreme. The attitude and dialogue of the three is by far more “spice” than “sugar.” I also found the MPAA explanation of the “PG” rating very vague (“non-stop Frenetic Animated action”—what’s that!?!). Yeah, I know it’s just a cartoon, but there was way too much “puff” over “power”.

Viewer Comments
Negative—I am surprised at all the positive comments on this movie. I am a mother of four children and my youngest is 7, my oldest is 19. I feel like I am in a tug of war with this culture, and losing. I noticed that most of the positive comments were from young people. These four little girls are angry, violent and kill a whole lot of monkeys. It is extremely loud and psychadelic. Looking back I’m sorry that I sat through the whole thing. If you want to take your child to a movie that is enjoyable and promotes good family values go see Stuart Little 2.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 1]
—JoAnn Ruch, age 41
Positive—If you are an avid fan of The Powerpuff girls (as I am) I would definitely recommend it… It goes a long way in explaining how the girls become the superheros they are and why Mojo Jojo is their arch enemy… If you aren’t sure whether or not it’s for you, check out the cartoon on Cartoon Network… If you can’t handle a fifteen to twenty minute episode of PPG, a full length animated film of them is definitely NOT for you! I am a Spirit-filled Christian and I don’t see anything wrong with the Powerpuff girls, and when comparing it with a lot of the cartoons now, there is almost always a moral and I think kids will be able to relate to the mistakes the girls make and the lessons they learn. But, as with everything, parents of young children should definitely check it out before taking them to see it.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Stephanie K., age 20
Positive—Count me in as another young adult who loved this movie. I think perhaps the reviewer did not find the movie enjoyable because he misunderstood some of the plot points. This movie is filled with many positive messages. The girls are charming and pro active. The DO suffer the consequences of their destructive play. The town shuns them and their father is thrown in jail. One wonders what kind of consequences the reviewer had in mind for these five year old girls. jail, perhaps? The girls learn that with special powers come special responsibilities. Mojo Jojo tries to convince the trio that because they are stronger they should take over the town. The girls respond that because they are stronger they have the responsibility to take CARE of the town. The girls learn that although they did not mean to destroy the town they should as Buttercup says, “take responsibility for our actions and try to fix our mistakes.” With Blossom in the lead, the girls race back to save the Prof. and the town that called them “freaks.” The Professor does want to be a good parent and he admits that he made a mistake leaving the girls at home alone, “Note to self- ‘Good Fathers don’t leave their children at home alone’. Some might find the one joke about evolution objectionable, but I took it as a joke and it was made mostly to poke fun at Mojo Jojo and his disdain for people. All in all, I thought the movie was a very positive movie for young girls and boys. The pre-school set might be upset over Bubble’s tears and the “frenetic action,” as it is a bit dizzying. However, the older crowd will appreciate the retro 50’s design and the pop culture references to monkeys. Lastly, because Buttercup is my favorite Puff Girl, Buttercup is not dressed in green because she is envious (she is the “spice” in sugar and spice and everything nice). Rather the girls are dressed in the tri-colors of television pixels of yesteryear.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Andrea Gonzalez, age 23
Positive—…To say that the animation is bad because it looks like cell’s in the 50’s is wrong since it is DESIGNED to look like that. If you also don’t think that your kids should watch it because of it’s “mild” nnappropriateness… then you shouldn’t have your kids watching an “adult” cartoon to begin with. Whatever happened to “parents” raising children, not the TV.
My Ratings: [Good / 4]
—Steve, age 20
Positive—This was a good movie for Powerpuff Girl fans, but I mean, who doesn’t love the Powerpuff Girls! They’re awesome, kickevil’s butt girls that always save the day! This might not be very entertaining for adults taking their kids to see it, but I’m almost positive that if you like the show you’ll enjoy this flick. There was barely anything objection in this, but if the slightest bullying bothers you, you might not want to take the kiddies to see it.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3]
—Rachel Williams, age 13
Positive—First of all, I have to admit a dark secret. I am a college student, and I went to see this movie of my own volition. Now that the unpleasantries are out of the way, here is my take. This was a enjoyable movie. It followed closely to the theme of the television show, while slightly upgrading the visual effects and plot. However, I do not think that anyone who does not enjoy the show would enjoy the movie. As with all children’s movies, it had the standard “family, love, and team-work” message, but essentially it was an hour and a half of cotton candy. There were several off-color jokes (on the part of the villains) and some images would scare young children. I would recommend catching the matinee or waiting for video.
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—Ben, age 18
Positive—…The movie will satisfy the kids who regularly watch the show, as well as laughs for the adults. Unlike some other recent cartoons, the jokes aimed at adults aren’t crude or sex-orientated. There are strong messages in this movie about taking responsibility for one’s actions, and accepting people as they are. I recommend this movie with a few reservations. Some of the action may be too intense for very small children. The girls rock and sock their way through many scenes. Mojo Jojo, uses a lot of weaponry against them, and there is scene after scene of Townsville being destroyed. There is mild profanity, mainly from Buttercup. Bubbles cries a lot during some scenes, and that may upset some young viewers as well.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 5]
—Hillari Hunter, age 40
Negative—I sat through this for my daughter ONLY! This was sooooo boring. For all the action in the tv series there was none in the movie except for the last 10 minutes. My 4 year old loved it, but of course, she does not get out much!!
My Ratings: [Good / 2]
—Tina Coffey, age 30
Movie Critics
…what makes the film work and even come off as moderately entertaining—on its own level—is its good-natured sense, charm, and the presence of its young lead actor…
—ScreenIt!
…1 mild anatomical term, some name-calling…
—Kids-in-Mind
…Humanist worldview with the ingenuity of man and momentary decisions ruling with a secondary evolutionary worldview; mild but steady foul language (on the order of “butt”) and plenty of base body humor…
—Eric Rice, Movieguide
Comments from young people
Positive—I think that the only offensive thing that would be on this movie would have to be the violence, name calling, and some inappropriate outfits. But, if your over the age of, lets say 8-10, your old enough to take that. And if you’re a true Christian you wouldn’t copy any of the name calling anyway! I honestly think that it’s a movie that little kids can enjoy if they are a strong Christian and know better not to copy bad names. Also remember, this movie was not made only for Christian but for non-christians as well. If they had no violence, no fights, then it would be a perfect world. I think probably 10% of the movie is on the so-so side but the rest, is perfectly fine!
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3½]
—Lauren Skinner, age 12