The Powerpuff Girls Movie
|The Powerpuff Girls Movie|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Craig McCracken|
|Produced by||Donna Castricone|
|Based on||The Powerpuff Girls
by Craig McCracken
|Narrated by||Tom Kenny|
|Music by||James L. Venable|
|Edited by||Rob Desales|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$16.4 million|
The Powerpuff Girls Movie is an American animated action film based on the Cartoon Network animated television series of the same name. The film was directed by series creator Craig McCracken, produced by Cartoon Network Studios and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, and was originally released in theaters on July 3, 2002. It is a prequel to the series that tells the origin story of how the Powerpuff Girls were created, and how they came to be the defenders of Townsville. In theaters, a Dexter's Laboratory short titled "Chicken Scratch" was shown prior to the film, which later aired as part of the series' fourth season.
The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics, but was a box office failure. The film made its television debut on Cartoon Network on May 23, 2003.
Professor Utonium creates a mixture of sugar, spice and everything nice in hope of producing the perfect little girl to improve Townsville, a city plagued by crime and injustice. He is shoved by his laboratory assistant, the destructive chimpanzee Jojo, causing him to accidentally break a nearby flask of a mysterious substance called Chemical X, which spills into the mixture and explodes in Jojo's face. The experiment is successful, producing three little girls whom the Professor names Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup. He discovers that the girls also have superpowers from the added Chemical X. Despite the girls' recklessness with their powers, they all immediately grow to love each other as a family.
During their first day of school, the girls learn about the game tag and begin to play among themselves, which quickly grows destructive once they use their powers. The girls take their game downtown, accidentally causing massive damage to the city until the Professor calms them down. The next day, the girls are treated as outcasts by the citizens of Townville as a result of the destruction they have caused, and the Professor is arrested for creating the girls. Realizing that using their powers again will only anger the townspeople more, the girls try to make their way home from school on foot. They become lost in an alleyway and are ambushed by the Gangreen Gang, only to be rescued by Jojo, whose brain has been mutated by the Chemical X explosion, which gives him superintelligence.
Planning control of the city, Jojo gains the girls' sympathy by saying he is also hated for his powers. Jojo convinces the girls to help him build a laboratory and machine powered by Chemical X, which he claims will gain them the affections of the city. Jojo rewards the girls with a trip to the local zoo, where he secretly implants small transportation devices on all the primates there. That night, Jojo transports the primates into his lab and uses his new machine to inject them with Chemical X, turning them into evil mutant primates like himself. The next morning, after the Professor is released from prison, the girls show him all the "good" they have done, only to discover the city under attack by the primates. Jojo, renaming himself Mojo Jojo, publicly announces the girls as his assistants, which further damages their reputation and even turns the distraught Professor against them. Dejected, the girls exile themselves to an asteroid in outer space.
Mojo Jojo announces his intention to rule the planet, but becomes frustrated when his minions begin concocting their own plans to terrorize the people of Townsville. Overhearing the turmoil from space, the girls return to Earth and rescue the citizens, realizing they can use their powers to fight the primates. With his army defeated, Mojo injects himself with Chemical X and grows into a giant monster, overpowering the girls after an intense battle. Rejecting Mojo's offer of alliance against the people who have shunned them, the girls push him off a decrepit skyscraper as soon as the Professor arrives with a newly developed antidote for Chemical X to help the girls. Mojo lands on the Antidote X, which shrinks him down to his original size, battered and defeated.
The girls consider using the Antidote X to erase their powers, thinking they would be accepted as ordinary girls. The people of Townsville protest, apologizing for misjudging the girls and thanking them for their heroic deeds. At the insistence of the Mayor, the girls agree to use their powers to defend Townsville with the Professor's permission, becoming the city's beloved crime-fighting superhero team who are dubbed "the Powerpuff Girls".
- Cathy Cavadini as Blossom, the intelligent and dutiful leader of the Powerpuff Girls
- Tara Strong as Bubbles, the sweet and cheerful member of the Powerpuff Girls
- Elizabeth Daily as Buttercup, the tough and brash member of the Powerpuff Girls
- Roger L. Jackson as Mojo Jojo, a chimpanzee mutated by Chemical X who becomes the Powerpuff Girls' archenemy
- Tom Kane as Professor Utonium, the Powerpuff Girls' creator and surrogate father; and the Talking Dog
- Tom Kenny as the Mayor of Townsville; the Narrator; Mitch Mitchelson, the Powerpuff Girls' classmate; and Gangreen Gang members Snake and Lil' Arturo
- Jennifer Hale as Ms. Keane, the Powerpuff Girls' school teacher
- Jennifer Martin as Ms. Sarah Bellum, the Mayor's secretary
- Jeff Bennett as Gangreen Gang members Ace, Big Billy, and Grubber
- Grey DeLisle and Phil LaMarr as additional character voices
- Rob Paulsen, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Frank Welker as various evil primates (credited as "Whole Lotta Monkeys")
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The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Based on 100 reviews, the film has received a 63% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with its consensus reading, "It plays like an extended episode, but The Powerpuff Girls Movie is still lots of fun". On Metacritic, the film achieved a rating of 65 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Bob Longino of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution praised the film, writing, "The intricate drawings emanate 1950s futuristic pizazz like a David Hockney scenescape. The inspired script is both sinfully cynical and aw-shucks sweet". He also called it "one of the few American creations that is both gleeful pop culture and exquisite high art." However, the film received some mild criticism for some of its violence, which many felt was too extreme for a family-oriented film, especially in the wake of the September 11th attacks of the previous year. Ebert & Roeper gave it "two thumbs down", saying that the movie was too violent.
The Powerpuff Girls Movie earned $3.5 million and ninth place in its opening weekend and ultimately grossed $16 million in North America against its $11 million budget.
The film was released on Region 1 DVD and VHS on November 5, 2002 in the US. The DVD included extras such as deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage and audio commentaries. Despite being filmed in 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the DVD and VHS are in fullscreen only, much akin to that of the original series. The Region 2 DVD release presents the film in its original widescreen aspect ratio, but omits the audio commentary, and the bonus features. The behind-the-scenes feature on the DVD reveals an extended version of Mojo Jojo's rant on the monkeys for plotting against him.
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- Ebert & Roeper, season 5 episode 3, July 6, 2002
- "DVD Verdict Review - The Powerpuff Girls Movie". DVD Verdict. Retrieved May 17, 2015.