The Powerpuff Girls (2016 TV series)
|The Powerpuff Girls|
|Based on||The Powerpuff Girls|
by Craig McCracken
|Narrated by||Tom Kenny|
|Theme music composer||Tacocat|
|Opening theme||"Who's Got the Power?", performed by Tacocat|
|Ending theme||"The Powerpuff Girls", lyrics and performed by Tristan Sedillo and Hannah Watanabe-Rocco|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||106 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||11 minutes|
22 minutes (3 episode segments and specials only)
55 minutes ("Power of Four")
|Production company(s)||Cartoon Network Studios|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Picture format||1080i (16:9 HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||April 4, 2016 –|
The Powerpuff Girls is an American animated superhero action-comedy television series and a reboot of the Cartoon Network series of the same name. It was first announced in June 2014; a year later, it was announced that it would feature new voice actors for the main characters. The series premiered on April 4, 2016 in the United States and Latin America, April 19, 2016 in Italy, and April 25, 2016 in the United Kingdom.
- Blossom (voiced by Amanda Leighton)
- Bubbles (voiced by Kristen Li)
- Buttercup (voiced by Natalie Palamides)
|First aired||Last aired|
|Shorts||10||February 15, 2016||TBA|
|1||39[nb 1]||April 4, 2016||December 24, 2016|
|Special||June 30, 2016|
|2||43[nb 2]||March 3, 2017||May 13, 2018|
|3||TBA||May 13, 2018||TBA|
Cartoon Network announced on June 16, 2014, that they had rebooted The Powerpuff Girls in a new series, which was to be produced by Cartoon Network Studios. In their 2015 upfront on February 19, the network announced that Nick Jennings, who was an art director on SpongeBob SquarePants and Adventure Time, would be its executive producer. Bob Boyle, who previously has produced Clarence, has created Jetix's Yin Yang Yo! and Nick Jr.'s Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! and also former producer and art director of Butch Hartman's animated series The Fairly OddParents and Danny Phantom would also produce. Meanwhile, Craig McCracken, the creator of the original series, would not work on the series. McCracken has stated on Twitter that the executives at Cartoon Network had considered bringing him back to do the reboot, but his contract with Disney prevented him from doing so. Amanda Leighton, Kristen Li, and Natalie Palamides were announced as the new voice actors of the main characters, playing Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, respectively, replacing the original voice actors Cathy Cavadini, Tara Strong, and Elizabeth Daily. However, Tom Kenny reprises his roles as the Mayor and narrator, while Tom Kane reprises his roles as Professor Utonium and Him. In April 2016, Jennings revealed that the producers had considered bringing back the original voice actors for the new series, but decided that recasting the roles would infuse new energy. After the network revealed multiple promotional images from the new series in June 2015, writers from news sites described the visual look as similar to the original series, despite the 15th anniversary special Dance Pantsed, which was broadcast on January 20, 2014, featuring a different art style rendered in 3D. Meanwhile, Roger L. Jackson reprises as Mojo Jojo and Jennifer Hale reprises as Ms. Keane, but not as Princess Morbucks. On May 26, 2016, Natalie Palamides confirmed that the show has been renewed for a second season. The reboot had a crossover with Teen Titans Go! that aired on June 30, 2016. On September 17, 2017, a new and fourth Powerpuff Girl named Bliss was added in a 5-part special of the reboot, "The Power of Four". Prior to the announcement, a one-shot footage of Bliss was leaked on Cartoon Network Russia.
The series premiered in the United States and Canada on Cartoon Network on April 4, 2016. The series was released across the Asia-Pacific region on April 9 and in Africa on April 30. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it premiered on Cartoon Network on April 25 and on November 7 on CITV and aired on its sister channel Boomerang on 17 October 2016. In Australia, the series premiered on Cartoon Network on April 9 and additionally airs on 9Go!. In the Philippines, it debuted on Cartoon Network on May 2, 2016 in English. On free TV, it premiered on October 15, 2016 on 5 as one of the two new Cartoon Network shows on the channel along with We Bare Bears and is dubbed in Filipino/Tagalog. Both shows also premiered on CNN Philippines as part of their morning block starting September 1, 2018 alongside two other shows from Cartoon Network: Ben 10 and Adventure Time. However, they are broadcast in English language, not a Filipino dub.
The series has been met with average reviews from critics and negative reception from many fans of the original series, who criticized the show's severe drop in quality. Henry Solotaroff-Webber of The Badger Herald enjoyed the series, saying "Overall, this new rendition of a classic animated program is a triumph in my eyes. It recaptures much of what made the last show so important for kids to see while still thoroughly scratching a nostalgia itch for those looking to go back." IGN gave the premiere episode "Man Up" an 8.0 out of 10, saying "While the new voice cast will take some getting used to, and the absence of Cathy Cavadini, Tara Strong and E.G. Daily is strongly felt, the show still manages to capture the essence of the Powerpuff Girls." The Nerdist gave the first two episodes a 4.5 out of 5, saying "if you loved the original show, chances are you'll love these new episodes." Screen Rant gave it a positive review, saying "Although the revival doesn't quite hit the mark on what made audiences fall in love with McCracken's original series, The Powerpuff Girls is an excellent addition to the franchise." Collider gave it 4 stars, saying "it’s worth viewing the new version of The Powerpuff Girls on its own merits because it’s a solid cartoon that delivers on its promises."
The Occidental Weekly lamented that the series "lacks the impeccable comedic timing and wit of the original" and called the voice acting "mediocre at best", while also criticizing the writing, which it deemed subpar. Slate was critical of the show's "self-conscious feminist overtones", and compared the show unfavorably to the original, particularly the second-season episode "The Powerpuff Girls' Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever". Polygon criticized that the show lost what they considered made the original so special: "fighting seems like an afterthought, as if Cartoon Network wants to keep the Girls a safe distance from the fray", and that the show was a "step backward, not forward". Jessica Swartz of Inverse said that new viewers might not know who the villains are or what their motivations are, as no introduction was given to the characters. Swartz also went on to say that the show focuses too much on the main characters, and overall called it a "mediocre cartoon". Shelby Watson of The All State praised the show's voice acting, but criticized the show's increased focus on the girls' domestic lives rather than fighting crime, and was especially critical of the animation, writing: "The animation is beyond lazy... the art direction itself is catastrophic. Animators routinely forget their own rules on how to animate their characters, leading to a disjointed style that just comes across like the animators don’t care." Watson also noted other technical problems in the series, such as inconsistencies in character design or misuse of perspective, saying that they "shouldn't happen in a professional studio."
Viewers have also criticized the show for its appropriation of Internet slang and memes, such as "can't even" or the character Bubbles yelling "no me gusta!" while her face turns into one commonly associated with the meme. These references have been called out on being out of place and "being forced", as well as referencing fads of which popularity have faded long before their appearance in the show; the aforementioned "me gusta" and other derivatives of rage comics had their peak popularity in early 2011.
Despite its poor reception in its native United States, the reboot has been received more positively and met with higher viewership in Europe since being free-to-air in the United Kingdom, France and Poland.
Original cast and crew
Before the show aired Cavadini, Daily, and Strong were displeased to learn the main characters had been recast; Strong called it "a stab in the heart" on Twitter. Strong had announced after the upfront in February that this was a "strictly creative" decision by the network, though in June of the same year said that the network had never contacted any of the three actresses prior to the decision to recast. In an interview with The Comic Book Cast in May 2015, Kenny claimed that McCracken "does give it his blessing", but in May 2016 McCracken denied doing so on his Twitter posts, commenting that he had never given the new reboot his official blessing. McCracken said that he wished that Cartoon Network had stopped their plans for a reboot of the original Powerpuff Girls property but also acknowledged from a financial view why the new series was commissioned. However, at the 2017 New York Comic Con, Strong stated that she had no ill will towards the new cast and had given the show her blessing.
The season one episode "Horn, Sweet Horn" received scrutiny from the media after the episode's handling of transgender themes prompted criticism from LGBT viewers. Sulagna Misra, writing for Fusion's official website, described the character Donny as an "interesting metaphor for transgender identity" but saw poor judgment in the choice to present the transformed character as a monster. She found the larger topic of identity reversed by making the plot so "convoluted" and preferred if the character's monstrous transformation had been a temporary gag instead. Marie Solis of Mic also viewed the episode as a failed attempt to convey social issues, on par with the "Twisted Sister" episode from the 1998 Powerpuff Girls series, in which the main characters conjure up a mentally challenged and physically deformed sister. Dorian Dawes of the magazine Bitch was extremely critical of the episode, calling its message questionable and dangerous in the wake of the House Bill 2 controversy. Dawes denounced the episode as irresponsible to the series' primary demographic and felt it was written solely to make the producers feel righteous about their inclusion of transgender themes. It was eventually revealed that the episode's writer did not even intend for the episode to be about gender identity, and it was merely marketed as such.
Female modifications were also made which included the character Ms. Bellum being written off the show. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Nick Jennings explained "We felt like Ms. Bellum wasn't quite indicative of the kind of messaging we wanted to be giving out at this time, so we sort of had her move on... And that was a good choice I think on our part". This change caused a negative response from critics and fans of the original show, who complained that the removal of Ms. Bellum's character negated the feminist message of the reboot.
Awards and nominations
|2016||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Short-format Animated Program||Unknown (for "Once Upon a Townsville")||Nominated|
|2017||Gracie Awards||National Family Series||The Powerpuff Girls (2016)||Won|
|2018||Annie Awards||Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production||Mike Reagan & Bob Boyle (for "Home, Sweet Homesick")||Nominated|
|DVD title||Season(s)||Aspect ratio||Episode count||Total running time||Release dates|
|Tiara Trouble||1||16:9||12||132 minutes||February 14, 2017|
|The Last Donnycorn||1, 2||16:9||12||143 minutes||August 15, 2017|
|DVD title||Season(s)||Aspect ratio||Episode count||Total running time||Release dates|
|Important Friends||1||16:9||4||44 minutes||July 4, 2018|
|Battle!||1||16:9||4||44 minutes||July 4, 2018|
|Cute Trouble Edition||1||16:9||4||44 minutes||July 4, 2018|
|Hidden Secret Hen||1||16:9||4||44 minutes||July 4, 2018|
|Always Gently Knows||1||16:9||4||44 minutes||July 4, 2018|
|DVD Box||1||16:9||20||220 minutes||July 4, 2018|
|DVD title||Season(s)||Aspect ratio||Episode count||Total running time||Release dates|
|Tiara Trouble||1||16:9||12||132 minutes||December 1st, 2016|
|Season 1||1||16:9||39||470 minutes||October 25, 2017|
In other media
Before the show premiered, a toy line for the series was announced to be released in 2016 by Spin Master, with more toys set to be released in 2017. The toys include the new 2-in-1 playsets and more.
A McDonald's Happy Meal promotion for the series ran from June 14 to July 5, 2016 in the United States, including mini action figures, rings, and collectibles.
In April 2016, it was announced that a new line of Powerpuff Girls comic books would be released in July of that year, being published by IDW Publishing (who has also published comic books for the original series).
Cartoon Network has released three mobile games based on the series titled, "Flipped Out", "Glitch Fixers" and "Ready, Set, Monsters", the latter two are free but the former is $2.99. All games are available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
A pair of Powerpuff Girls-themed packs for the toys-to-life video game Lego Dimensions were released on September 12, 2017. These include a Team Pack, containing playable Blossom and Bubbles figures and constructable Octi and PPG Smartphone items; and a Fun Pack, containing a playable Buttercup figure and a constructable Mega Blast Bot. The packs add a new Powerpuff Girls-themed open-world area and battle arenas to the game. Also, there was a crossover exclusive Teen Titans Go! episode for Lego Dimensions that included the "Powerpuff Girls" fighting the Gremlins in Jump City.
- This season plus the shorts equal 40 episodes.
- This season plus the shorts equal 44 episodes.
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