The Powerpuff Girls Movie (titled onscreen as The Powerpuff Girls) is a 2002 American animated superhero action-adventure comedy film based on the Cartoon Network animated television series of the same name. It is produced by Cartoon Network Studios and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film debuted in the United States on July 3, 2002. It is a prequel to the series, telling 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 entitled Chicken Scratch was shown prior to the film, which later aired as part of the series' fourth season. It received mixed to positive reviews from critics, but performed poorly in domestic sales, earning only $11.4 million at the box office on its $11 million budget. It fared better overseas, however, with a total worldwide gross of $16.4 million. The film made its TV 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 fictional city plagued by crime. He is shoved by his laboratory assistant, the destructive chimpanzee Jojo, causing him to accidentally break a 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, giving 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 Chemical X-empowered machine over a volcano in the middle of town, 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 volcano 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 is being attacked by the primates. Jojo, renaming himself Mojo Jojo, publicly announces the girls as his assistants, turning everyone—including the distraught Professor—against them. Dejected, the girls exile themselves to an asteroid in outer space.
Mojo Jojo announces his intentions 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 his offer to join him against the people who have shunned them, the girls push him off a decrepit skyscraper as the Professor arrives with a newly developed antidote for Chemical X to help the girls. Mojo lands on the antidote, 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 blessing, thus becoming the city's beloved crime-fighting superhero team: the Powerpuff Girls.
- Cathy Cavadini as Blossom
- Tara Strong as Bubbles
- E.G. Daily as Buttercup
- Roger L. Jackson as Mojo Jojo
- Tom Kane as Professor Utonium
- Tom Kenny as Narrator, The Mayor
- Jennifer Hale as Ms. Keane
- Jennifer Martin as Ms. Sara Bellum
- Jeff Bennett as Ace, Big Billy, Grubber
- Grey DeLisle as Linda, Woman at Zoo
- Phil LaMarr as I.P. Host, Local Anchor
- Rob Paulsen as Hota Wata, Killa Drilla, Blah-Blah Blah-Blah, and The Doot Da Doot Da Doo Doos
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Rocko Socko, Ojo Tango
- Frank Welker as Whole Lotta Monkeys
- Tom Kenny as Snake, Li'l Arturo, Mitch, Cha-Ching Cha-Ching, Pappy Wappy
- Jeff Bennett as Baboon Kaboom, Go-Go Patrol, and Hacha Chacha
- Dee Bradley Baker as Tonsa Muncha, Rolla Ova, Bongo Bango, Whacko Smacko , an unnamed newscaster, and a screaming telephone man.
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, deleted scenes and bonus features.
The Powerpuff Girls: Heroes & Villains: Music Inspired by The Powerpuff Girls features songs made for the film, performed by Bis, Frank Black and No Secrets.
- "The Powerpuff Girls (End Theme)" - Bis
- "Pray For The Girls" - Frank Black
- "The Powerpuff Girls (Main Theme)" - James L. Venable
- "That's What Girls Do" - No Secrets
During production, The Hollywood Reporter reported that voice actresses Cathy Cavadini, Tara Strong and E.G. Daily had gone on strike, protesting that they weren't being paid enough to star in a feature. The studio publicly mulled replacing them with new actresses, not just for the movie, but for the rest of the series too. Eventually, a deal was reached and the trio returned to voice the Powerpuff Girls again.
The behind-the-scenes feature on the DVD reveals an extended version of Mojo Jojo's rant on the monkeys for plotting against him.
The movie was originally going to be released in August 17, 2000. It was changed to July 3, 2002 for unknown reasons. The film was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for non-stop frantic animated action.
The film featured substantially revised designs for many of the TV show's characters, with a much more angular look and the girls received new and friendlier designs, replacing the old circle and oval designs, which had been in place since April and May 2000 respectively. The circle and oval designs of the girls were designed back in the year 1999 and looked pretty dated by that time because when the new designs of the girls were introduced, the staff felt the old designs were "so Japan and so 1999" and would no longer be needed as a result. Many of these changes were incorporated in the future seasons of the show, such as the Professor's new eyes and Ace's sharper teeth. Also, at the end of the movie before the closing credits begin, the end graphic with the pulsating and concentric hearts and the girls appearing in an explosion of stars switched to the slightly more elaborate version (this will be like that in the future seasons of the show. Also, the ending is much longer than usual (running at a length of almost 40 seconds, longer than any other episode outros in the series) and for the first time since "The Headsucker's Moxy", the "THE END" sign does not appear at all in this movie as the practice for using these two words at the end of a movie had pretty much ceased by now), meaning the girls in their normal poses stay on-screen in place of the "THE END" sign for the rest for the newly introduced animated episode outro for this movie. Also, unlike other episodes, the episode outro for this movie cuts to black instead of fading. The film ended up having a maximum budget around $15-20 million despite for the style of limited animation.
Reviews of the film were mixed to positive. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has received an approval rating of 63% from selected critics with an average reviewer score of 6.1/10 and a slightly better rating of 69% from top critics on the site with an average reviewer score of 6.2/10. The site's consensus reads: "It plays like an extended episode, but The Powerpuff Girls Movie is still lots of fun." On Metacritic, the film currently has a rating of 65 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews." On IMDb, it gained a 6.5/10 rating based on 7,874 votes.
Bob Longino of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gave the movie perhaps the highest praise of all, saying "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, it was also criticized by some for its violence, which many felt was too extreme and highly inappropriate for a family-oriented film. The most negative review was from the show "Ebert and Roeper." Roger Ebert said the film was upsetting to watch after the 9/11 attacks, and Richard Roeper called it a freaky and annoying little film. Controversy surrounded the movie, mainly that the movie was released the first summer after the September 11th attacks and people said the buildings being destroyed reminded them of the attacks. Although this is only an animated feature, the buildings the girls destroyed could set a bad example.
Despite the decent reviews, however, the film flopped at the box office due to poor marketing and publicity, and facing rough competition with Spider-Man, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Lilo & Stitch, Stuart Little 2, Men in Black II, which was released on the same day, and other films. And the fact that the show lost much of its popularity. It was released straight-to-VHS and DVD in some countries. Shortly after its poor commercial performance, a Samurai Jack movie that had been in development was canceled. The Powerpuff Girls Movie grossed only $11.4 million domestically and $5 million internationally, grossing $16.4 million worldwide.
Box office performance
The film earned $3.5 million and ninth place in its opening weekend, and had ultimately grossed $16 million worldwide against its $11 million budget. The film is considered to be a box office bomb.
- Main article: The Powerpuff Girls Movie/Transcript
- Main article: The Powerpuff Girls Movie/Gallery
- Production on this movie began in October 1999 and ended sometime in May 2002.
- During the PPG argument, the first channel shown in this movie was CTN News. It might stand for Car(C)toon(T) Network(N) and a parody of CNN News and the CTW (from Sesame Street (until Season 32)) sign. It was later seen again as Buttercup flew upward and left the Talking Dog in front of the building.
- During the part where all three girls lose their self-esteem from watching the news, Master Shake, Meatwad and Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force make a cameo in one of the TV screens.
- The Movie takes by the flashback in Prime Mates where Mojo Jojo saws a mutated monkey with no brain named Mopey Popo.
- This is the 1st theatrical film with a wide release to be based on a Cartoon Network TV series, followed by Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (2003), Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi 2 (2006), Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (2007), Camp Lazlo The Movie (2008), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) and Regular Show: The Movie (2015).
- Fuzzy Lumpkins makes a cameo appearance at the beginning, robbing the grocery store. And at the end, he is seen in jail with Mojo Jojo and The Gangreen Gang. Also, he does not speak whatsoever.
- The Powerpuff Girls Movie is the first Hollywood film to be based on a Cartoon Network show.
- The Powerpuff Girls Movie is also the first movie to be produced by Cartoon Network and Moving Pictures.
- The drawing Bubbles drew of herself, her sisters and the Professor and the wanted poster of the four are pieces of fan art used in it. They were winners of a drawing contest Cartoon Network held.
- At the end of this movie, during the newly introduced 2002-2005 animated episode outro, the Narrator doesn't say the "once again" part of "The day is saved" narration because the movie explains how the girls were first created, The Narrator says "for the very first time" instead.
- The British virtual band Gorillaz makes a cameo in a newspaper.
- Townsville gets the most destruction in the movie, more than any other time in the series.
- Bubbles was the only Powerpuff Girl glaring at the camera.
- According to a deleted scene on the movie DVD, the timeline of the movie was supposed to be two weeks, with the time-span of the girls helping Jojo build the volcano-top lair taking place over four nights, instead of one.
- This movie seems to contradict the flashback scenes in "Mr. Mojo's Rising", but the beginning of the movie could possibly reflect how much Jojo was being ignored and forgotten, given that we never see him.
- Mojo Jojo's Mo' Mojo form makes another appearance as his special attack in Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion.
- Professor Utonium didn't wear his overcoat the first day.
- It is unknown why the powers Mojo gained when the Powerpuff Girls were created weren't drained away by the Antidote X.
- Bubbles beats up Snake and Grubber at the end of this movie in the exact same way Blossom beats them up in the episode "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey".
- Dexter made a cameo on a car when Blossom said that the people are safe.
- This is the only time The Gangreen Gang went to jail.
- As the Powerpuff logo zooms out, the word "Movie" doesn't appear on the bottom.
- The Narrator only narrates at the beginning and end of the movie.
- Despite being a major box office bomb during original theatrical release, the film was soon rushed to home video and has managed to gain a cult following ever since among Powerpuff Girls fans.
- Buttercup saying the phrase "Get your hands off him, you darn dirty ape!" is a reference to the 1968 film Planet of the Apes.
- In theaters, a Dexter's Laboratory short entitled "Chicken Scratch" was shown prior to the film, which later aired as an episode of that series' fourth season.
- The film was reserved poorly by critics because it was dark. The film also bombed at the box office.
- This is Phil LaMarr's first theatrically released animated film, later he'd go onto voice the Prawn Shop Owner in Shark Tale (2004), the Fabric Merchant in Battle for Terra (2007), a tour guide in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008), Ernesto the Rat and Wood the Pig in Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs Evil (2011), the Announcer Bird in Zambezia (2012), one of the elders in Khumba (2013), Numbuh 328,329 in Codename: Kids Next Door - Operation: M.O.T.I.O.N.-P.I.C.T.U.R.E. (2016), Chomly, Flurr, Tentro and Skrubz in Mixels: The Movie, Mixing It Up A Notch (2018), and Helectrix, Krushaur, and the Judge in Incredibles 2 (2018), and Wilt in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: The Movie (2018) as well as appearing as an additional voice in TMNT (2007), Bolt (2008), Cars 2 (2011), Monsters University (2013), Inside Out (2015), Minions (2015), Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017), Cars 3 (2017), The Emoji Movie (2017), and Smallfoot (2018).
- The film tells the origin story of how the Powerpuff Girls were created and how they became the defenders of Townsville.
- The film could possibly explain why later on the series the Girls have some pity on Mojo Jojo despite he always tries to destroy them. But in the other side, it could also explain why they deeply hate the Gangreen Gang and rarely pity them, although they are very dumb.
- During the scene when the girls were on the asteroid, at the part when they were doing the "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" pose, Blossom (who did "speak no evil") and Buttercup (who did "hear no evil") were sitting in the wrong positions. such that the order became "See No Evil (as done by Bubbles), Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil". The order (from left to right) should be Bubbles, Buttercup, and Blossom.
- The Professor tucks in Bubbles and gives her Octi (her octopus doll). As the Professor cleans up, Octi is clearly seen on the den floor.
- When building JoJo's machine, Blossom takes a bottle of Chemical X from Professor's laboratory. When she puts the bottle in the machine she flips it upside-down but the words Chemical X are still right side up.
- During the "tag" game in the City of Townsville, the subway exit sign above where Blossom comes out reads "Subway West". When Bubbles brakes to a stop just before Blossom tags her, it changes to "West Subway". Then after Bubbles flies off (and just before the Professor drives up), it becomes "Subway West" again.
- The Baboom-Bot activates its cannon while Blossom and Bubbles are seated on each of the machine's hands. But in the machine's interior shot, the monitor shows Blossom and Bubbles as standing - together - on the street.
- The crater that Buttercup makes during the tag scene moves from under her to behind her before the street is moved.
- During the movie's climax, when Mojo has the girls' gripped in his hand as he climbs the skyscraper, they switch from his right hand to his left and back again between shots.
- ^ "Detail view of Movies Page". afi.com. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
- ^ "The Powerpuff Girls Movie (2002) – Box Office Mojo". boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
- ^ "Carton Network airs 'Powerpuff Girls Movie'". Herald-Mail.com. May 23, 2003. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- ^ J. Paul Peszko (July 3, 2002). "Powerpuff Girls: From Small Screen to Big Screen". Animation World Network. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- ^ Jump up to:a b "PPG Movie, Serious VS Funny". April 24, 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
- ^ "DVD Verdict Review – The Powerpuff Girls Movie". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
- ^ "The Powerpuff Girls – The Movie". www.rottentomatoes.com. June 22, 2002. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- ^ "The Powerpuff Girls". Metacritic. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- ^ "The Powerpuff Girls Movie Movie Review", Common Sense Media at CommonSenseMedia.org
- ^ "Violence overpowers 'Powerpuff Girls'". seattlepi.com. Retrieved May 17, 2015.