Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup

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Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup
The Powerpuff Girls character
Powerpuff girls characters.jpg
The Powerpuff Girls: Bubbles (left), Blossom (middle), and Buttercup (right)
First appearanceWhoopass Stew: "A Sticky Situation!" (original series)
"Escape from Monster Island" (reboot)
Last appearance"The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!" (final episode of the original series)
Created byCraig McCracken
Voiced by
Information
GenderFemales
FamilyProfessor Utonium (creative father)
Blisstina Utonium (creative half-sister)
Bunny (creative sister (deceased))

Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup are a fictional animated trio and titular characters of the animated series The Powerpuff Girls and its 2016 reboot on Cartoon Network. They are also the dubbed name of the characters in the anime Powerpuff Girls Z.

Characters[edit]

As depicted in the opening sequence of each episode, the Powerpuff Girls Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup were created by Professor Utonium in an attempt to create the "perfect little girl" using a mixture of "sugar, spice, and everything nice" (shown in respective fields of light blue, light green, and pink). However, he accidentally spilled a mysterious substance called "Chemical X" into the mixture, creating, instead of the "perfect little girl", three girls (each possessing one of the above elements dominating her personality), and granting all three superpowers including flight, superhuman strength, super speed, near invulnerability, x-ray vision, super senses, heat vision, energy projection, invisibility, and control over lightning. In the original pilot, the accidental substance was a can of "Whoopass", which was replaced by "Chemical X" in the aired version.[1]

The three girls all have oval-shaped heads, abnormally large eyes (inspired by Margaret Keane's art[2]), stubby arms and legs, and lack noses, ears, fingers, necks, and flat feet with toes (McCracken preferred them to look more symbolic of actual girls rather than going for a "realistic" look, meaning fewer body parts were needed[3]). Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup wear dresses that match the colors of their eyes with black stripes, as well as white tights and black Mary Janes. The closing theme to the cartoon offers a nutshell description of the Powerpuff Girls' personalities: Blossom, commander and the leader. Bubbles, she is the joy and the laughter. Buttercup, she is the toughest fighter.

Blossom[edit]

Blossom (voiced by Jennifer Fried in the Whoopass Stew pilot, Cathy Cavadini in the What a Cartoon! episodes and the series and Maria Darling in the British dub) is the tactician and self-proclaimed leader of the Powerpuff Girls. Her personality ingredient is "everything nice", her signature color is pink, sometimes known as red, and she has long red hair with a red bow. She was named for having spoken freely and honestly to the Professor shortly after her creation as shown in The Powerpuff Girls Movie. She is often seen as the most level-headed, and composed member of the group and also strong and determined. [4] Her unique power is freezing objects with her breath as seen in the episode "Ice Sore".

In Powerpuff Girls Z the anime version of Blossom is named Momoko Akatsutsumi (赤堤 ももこ, Akatsumi Momoko) / Hyper Blossom (ハイパー・ブロッサム Haipā Burossamu) in the original Japanese version while being called Blossom in the English dubbed version. She is depicted as the first member of the Powerpuff Girls Z. She uses a yo-yo as her signature weapon, but she can use her bow as a weapon if she doesn't have her yo-yo. Like the original, she's the self-proclaimed leader of the team. However, she is extremely ditzy, a bit boy-crazy, given to crushes and romantic fantasies. She is very familiar with the mahou shojo genre, along with some typical anime/super sentai concepts and is regarded as a "hero maniac" in school, especially by Buttercup. Blossom also has a strong appetite for sugary foods. Blossom was the first to encounter Mojo Jojo at the park after buying candy. If she doesn't eat sweets for a long time she can get very cranky. But she is getting used to it. Although often distracted and has been known to whine, Blossom tries her best to protect New Townsville, lead the girls, and help her friends regardless of her situation. (In one instance, when Blossom is unable to transform, she tries to fight alongside Bubbles and Buttercup wearing a sentai hero mask). Often she can be very clever and crafty when needed, usually being the first to come up with a plan to trick or defeat a monster that the girls are having trouble with. She has a younger sister named Kasey. She plans to be married in the future. She is represented by hearts. Voiced by: Emiri Katō (Japanese); Nicole Bouma (English)

In the reboot, voiced by Amanda Leighton, the 2016 version of Blossom is once again depicted as the leader of the Team. Her appearance is similar to her original counterpart with the exception of her bow, which is more rounded. She loves organization and hates when things are messy and out of order. She has a perfect attendance record and is an overachiever. She can be stubborn at times, but still comes through. She also has ice breath like her 1998 counterpart. Her trail is bright pink with little squares. Her unique abilities are: Ice breath, genius-level intelligence, microscopic vision, natural leadership skills, and intuitive aptitude. She also can project bright pink energy and manipulate it into various household and office items; an ability her 1998 counterpart in the original show does not possess.

Bubbles[edit]

Bubbles (voiced by Tara Strong in the series, Emma Tate in the British dub and by Kath Soucie in the What a Cartoon! episodes) is the cute and sensitive one. Her personality ingredient is "sugar", her signature color is blue, and she has blonde hair in pigtails. She was named for her "bubbly" personality. Bubbles is seen as kind and very sweet but she is also capable of extreme rage and can fight monsters just as well as her sisters can. Her best friend is a stuffed octopus doll she calls "Octi", and she also loves animals. She exhibits the ability to both understand multiple languages and communicate with various animals (squirrels, cats, monsters), and her unique power is emitting supersonic waves with her voice. [4]

In Powerpuff Girls Z the anime version of Bubbles is named as Miyako Gōtokuji (豪徳寺 みやこ Gōtokuji Miyako) / Rolling Bubbles (ローリング・バブルス Rōringu Baburusu) in the original Japanese version while she is still named Bubbles in the English dubbed version. She is depicted as the second member of the Powerpuff Girls Z team who uses a bubble wand as her signature weapon. Compared to her original counterpart, who is known for being the most childish of the three, Bubbles is comparatively mature and often acts as the mediator in many situations and tries to calm her teammates down when in such situations. However, she is the ditziest member of the team, often appearing a bit clueless, and doesn't seem to understand her powers completely, along with a few other things. She is also very polite and always uses honorifics at the end of names and ends most of her sentences with "desu wa". She is more concerned with shopping, her appearance and her outfits, and perhaps because of this, she seems to be very popular among her male classmates. While she seems oblivious to the many boys that love her, she's already in love with a boy named Cody, a boy on whom she has had a crush ever since she was six years old. She retains her hairstyle during the reimagining, but her pigtails are slightly longer, and curl into ringlets. She also uses curlers (3 balls on each pigtail) when going to bed. Like her American counterpart Bubbles is a compassionate, gentle and innocent character, possessing a love for animals and her favorite doll, Octi (her American counterpart has the same octopus doll of the same name). She is represented by bubbles. Voiced by: Nami Miyahara (Japanese); Maryke Hendrikse (English)

In the reboot voiced by Kristen Li, the 2016 version of Bubbles has blonde hair and two pigtails just like her original counterpart, except with new blue hair ties and the pigtails being set slightly higher-up than previously. Bubbles is an animal lover like her 1998 counterpart and usually tries to save the day the nice way. Like her 1998 counterpart, she can be a bit naive but can also get angered very easily. When in bed she has Octi by her side. Her trail is blue with little circles. In "Viral Spiral", she is shown to have talent with computers and can even create and program her own video games which have become extremely popular among the children in Townsville, including her sisters. Her special abilities include: Animal telepathy, animal empathy, zoolingulism, sound manipulation, sonic waves, sonic blasts, vocal mimicry, hypnotic singing, and multilingualism. She also can project bright blue energy and manipulate it into various animals due her love for them; an ability her 1998 counterpart in the original show does not possess.

Buttercup[edit]

Buttercup (voiced by E. G. Daily in the What a Cartoon! episodes and the series and Jo Wyatt in the British dub) is the toughest of the three. Her personality ingredient is "spice", her signature color is green, and she has short black hair in a flip. She is a fun-loving tomboy who loves to get dirty, fights hard and plays rough; she does not plan and is all action.[4] Buttercup is the only Powerpuff Girl without a unique super power (aside from being able to curl her tongue as shown in the episode "Nuthin' Special").[5] McCracken originally wanted to name the character "Bud" until a friend suggested the name Buttercup.[6] According to The Powerpuff Girls Movie, Buttercup really dislikes the name she was given and developed her surly personality at that point.

In Powerpuff Girls Z the anime version of Buttercup is named as Kaoru Matsubara (松原 かおる Matsubara Kaoru) / Powered Buttercup (パワード・バターカップ Pawādo Batākappu) in the original Japanese version and is still just named Buttercup in the English dubbed version. She is depicted as the third and final member of the Powerpuff Girls Z who uses a giant mallet as her signature weapon. Like the original Buttercup, she is a tomboy and is the most easily enraged of the three. Buttercup is known at school for being the most athletic girl as she plays tennis, practices martial arts, and numerous other activities, and spends a great deal of time watching sports on television. She is especially good at soccer due to her strengthened determination after receiving new soccer cleats when she was younger. This may be part of the reason why she has so many fangirls, much to her dismay. She detests anything girly, particular skirts, which makes wearing the Powerpuff uniform a bit more awkward. She speaks with a hard and masculine edge and rarely uses honorifics when speaking. Buttercup lives with her parents and her two brothers, the father of which is a professional masked-wrestler. She is represented by stars. Voiced by: Machiko Kawana (Japanese); Kelly Metzger (English)

In the reboot voiced by Natalie Palamides, the 2016 version of Buttercup's appearance is almost exactly like her original counterpart except she has a cowlick on the back of her head. She is depicted as a tomboy who loves to get into action and likes to play sports, hanging out with boys and having fun like her 1998 counterpart, She has a fear of spiders like her 1998 counterpart as well. She has a temper that can usually get out of control. She is also the main archenemy of Manboy, who called her "princess", which she hates the most, Blossom and Bubbles attempt to stop her. Her trail is green with little triangles. Unlike her two sisters, she does not possesses any special abilities of her own. However, she, like her sisters, can project bright green energy and manipulate it into various weaponry; an ability her 1998 counterpart and her sisters in the original show does not possess. She also excels at mathematics in "Buttercup vs. Math".

Creation and conception[edit]

In June 1991, Craig McCracken, a student of animation program of CalArts,[6] initially created a drawing of three girls on a small sheet of orange construction paper as a birthday card design for his brother.[7][6][8] The following year he included the two girls as the main characters of his short film Whoopass Stew! The Whoopass Girls in: A Sticky Situation.[9] Which was intended to be part one of four Whoopass Girls shorts, but only one came to be.[6][9][10] McCracken felt that he wanted to make a superhero student film but felt that the muscular guy standard was already played out. Then after drawing the three little girls he started imagining them in superhero situations.[7]

McCracken's Whoopass Girls short was picked up for a series by Cartoon Network in 1993. Although the name Whoopass had to be dropped for the channel to include it in the What a Cartoon! showcase. Instead they were renamed Powerpuff. The Powerpuff Girls then appeared in two What a Cartoon! shorts and later had their own series after popular demand.[6][11]

Reception[edit]

TV Guide chose the Powerpuff Girls as No. 13 in a list of the 50 Greatest cartoon characters of all time.[12]

Merchandising based on the characters encompassed a whole variety of products, including T-shirts, toys, video games, lunchboxes, and dishware.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b DeMott, Rick (October 2000). "The Powerpuff Girls' Phenomenal Merchandising Mantra". Animation World Magazine. Animation World Network (5.7). Archived from the original on 2012-03-07. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  2. ^ Townsend, Emru (Summer 1995). "Craig McCracken on Stupid Dogs and Powerful Girls". Frames Per Second Magazine (6). Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  3. ^ Lloyd, Robert (November 22, 2000). "Beyond Good and Evil: To the utterly adorable kicking superheroics of the Powerpuff Girls!". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on 2012-10-12. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Powerpuff Girls Characters". Cartoon network.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-18. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "Nuthin' Special Episode". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 2013-03-06. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e The Powerpuff Girls: Who, What, Where, How, Why... Who Cares?. 2009.
  7. ^ a b Wineman, Daniel (November 15, 1998). "SIGNOFF; Never Underestimate the Power of a Puff". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  8. ^ McCracken, Craig (January 20, 2008). "1st PPG Drawing". CMcC's DeviantArt Gallery. Archived from the original on 2011-08-13. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Lenburg, Jeff (2006). Who's Who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award-winning and Legendary Animators. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 231. ISBN 978-1-55783-671-7. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  10. ^ "Spike and Mike's – A Brief History". SpikeandMike.com. July 3, 2011. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  11. ^ "Animator Profile: CRAIG McCRACKEN". CartoonNetwork.com. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
  12. ^ "TV Guide's 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time". CNN. July 30, 2002. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2014.