Cartoon Network/ Warner Bros.
If you're among the un-cabled and haven't been following the cartoon feminist femme-fatales series The Powerpuff Girls on the Cartoon Network, here's a little background: It's a carefully constructed cartoon that combines a '60s "Jetsons" style, crossbred with a '50s documentary delivery, and a post-modern Starship Troopers approach to action. That these divergent elements are brought together in a deceptively simple fashion makes the TV show and the movie ripe for repeated viewing by kids over 20 years old.
The angry frown on the girls' faces in the film's ominous poster says it all: These tots kick butt and take names. Though it features a post-apocalyptic landscape complete with an army of deadly exposed-brain monkeys viciously attacking the good people of Townsville, and characters that really die (breaking with the comedy/cartoon genre norm that perpetually gives all characters eternal life), the film still lives up to its "PG" rating.
The story starts out with the kindly professor Utonium (voice by Tom Kane) mixing sugar and spice in his lab to create a trio of little girls. But the Professor's lab monkey corrupts his innocent creation by breaking a jar of "Chemical X" into the formula, thus creating three little girls with laser beam eyes, kung-fu fighting ability, and the gift of super-fast flight. The delighted professor immediately bestows the girls with names that fit their personalities.
As a responsible dad, the professor takes his girls to kindergarten for their induction into the cruel world of society where their first game of tag ends in the accidental destruction of Townsville.
A newspaper headline announces, "Freaky Bug-Eyed Weirdo Girls Broke Everything," and the girls learn very quickly the nature of discrimination and hostility. When the professor gets jailed while the girls are at school, the newly outcast trio fall into bad company with a diabolical vagrant monkey named Jojo. Here, the movie shifts to a decidedly dark palate and the girls are forced to into shepherding their superpowers with a greater sense of responsibility.
With the girls' assistance, Jojo creates an army of multi-breed monkeys for him to lord over as King Mojo Jojo. But it seems that every other monkey shares Jojo's lust for domination, and an all out war between the Powerpuff Girls and the monkey troops explodes in the streets and airspace of Townsville. . . etc.
Will Mojo Jojo take over the city and rule the world???
Or can the Powerpuff Girls SLANG, PUNT and SHOOOM Mojo's butt into the pavement and save Townsville before bedtime???
The only thing for sure is that the Powerpuff Girls will probably generate yet another billion dollars in merchandise sales (they've already grossed a cool bill in the seven years they've been around). And that's what nonstop frenetic animated action' is all about.
-- Cole Smithey