Powerpuff Girls: 10th Anniversary
Collection – The Complete Series
(Warner/Cartoon Network DVD)
B- (Seasons 1-3) B (Seasons 4-6)
Sound: B- Extras: C+ Episodes: C+
love to sit here and bash The Powerpuff Girls into oblivion, but like
their moronic archenemies I just can’t do it.
Though the series never shaped up to be as fun or engaging as other
Cartoon Network series like Johnny Bravo
or Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls still have the
makings of an adventurous and creative animated series.
series stars Buttercup, Blossom, and Bubbles who were created accidentally by
Professor Utronium when his efforts to make the ‘perfect little girl’ went
wrong (or perhaps very right) when Chemical-X fell into the mixture of sugar
and spice and everything nice. Blossom
is the leader, Buttercup kicks butt, and Bubbles is the cute one. The girls use their powers for good as they
protect the city of Townsville from ferocious monsters and evil doers
alike. Professor Utronium is the girl’s
father and mentor, while the mayor sends them out on all their crazy missions
to save the city from all kinds of ‘certain perils.’
animated series ran for a surprising 78 episodes, which surmounted to a total
of 6 seasons. The first two seasons are
undeniably better than the rest, but throughout all six seasons there never
seemed to be a lacking of quality. The
plots were solid, but never demanded too much attention from the audience. Being a mostly child oriented series (save a
few references they would never get) the viewer could walk into any given
episode and never feel lost as to what is going. For that matter, you could walk into the
middle of an episode and know what is going on; little super powered girls are
fighting bad guys, end of story.
episode features the girls fighting a new villain or perhaps one of the many
villains that keep returning to reap havoc.
That is not to say the series was stale or uninventive. The girls always seem to get a new life
lesson each episode and many times the episodes used creative filming/animating
techniques to propel that episode and the entire series to the next level. Whether it was a unique ‘camera slow down
shot’ or the story told from multiple perspectives or even an all villain centered
episode; The Powerpuff Girls tried
out many different modes of animated styles to keep it fresh and the kids on
the edge of their couches. The best and
my favorite episode had to be the insanely bizarre ‘Rock Opera’ episode, where
an all singing cast battled it out like an unusual twist on Tommy or something. In the end, what can be said is that though The Powerpuff Girls is not a work of
art, it is fun from beginning to end with its light sense of humor and girl
power aura that gives even the smallest child a dose of superhero goodness…and
bubbly technical features don’t blossom into anything amazing, but they might
build you up more than me…buttercup. The
picture is presented in a clean, crisp, and brightly colored Full Screen that
only improves with time. The earlier
episodes tend to be dull, especially when compared side-by-side with the later
seasons. The later seasons are exquisite
with vivid colors and deep inky blacks; heightening the actions sequences and
making the whole series look like a piece of crisp visual art. The sound is adequate at best in its Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo track and does not do the series justice. The sound presentation is clean, strong, and
gives a pristine dialogue track, but often times the action noises seem overly
subdued and take away from what is going on in that episode.
extras are not very stimulating, but do offer a number of features to look at.
Whoopass Girls: A Sticky Situation! (Full Color & Pencil Test)
Shorts Interview with Craig McCracken, Show Creator
Ghost Coast to Coast World Premiere Toon In
Interview with Craig from World Premiere Toon In
The extras presented on the first
disc (Season One) are not overly exciting, but are nice to have for the
animation library. First up is The Power
Puff Patrol, which is an early promo that was never released before. Other extras include early Powerpuff Girls
Animatics (previously the Whoopass Girls), McCrackens first full color episode
of the Whoopass Girls, the two episodes that were pitched to the network, an
interview with McCracken that is pretty goofy and fun, and two other nostalgic
pieces that include a CNN report on the early days of Cartoon Network’s
animation and Space Ghost premiering The
Commentary- Slumbering with the Enemy
Commentary- Something’s a Ms.
Jojo’s Evil Bio
& Tell- Blossom
& Tell- Buttercup
& Tell- Bubbles
This season features a pair of
promos with Staylongers and Anger Management, as well as two commentary
tracks. The problem with the commentary
tracks are that they are done IN CHARACTER by the Mayor and Mojo Jojo; making
for a cute, but not so exhilarating experience.
There are also bios on Mojo Jojo and the Mayor that are not very good,
but informative for the series characters.
The three final and new additions (not previously seen) are the three
girls in three separate features doing “Show and Tell” about themselves. The
three features are cute, but I asked myself in the end “who cares?”
Knife- I’m a Super Girl
Stereo- Signal in the Sky (Let’s Go!)
The extras here are two music
videos that are rather catchy songs, but not very good videos; though Apples in Stereo does use a nice mesh
of music and monsters. Reflections is
just a Cartoon Network promo that placed the cartoon girls into a reality
in the Life
Flight Before Christmas
This season features two more of
the ‘reality like’ promo spots from Cartoon Network, but it is the main extra
here with the Powerpuff Christmas Special, Twas the
Flight Before Christmas (44min), that really makes it worth while. It had been previously a stand-alone release.
Simply just four Cartoon Network
promo spots again that are interesting, but have little substance.
Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!
The Season Six Disc holds the best
extras in the entire set. First it
delivers the traditional ‘who cares’ Cartoon Network promo spots, but then moves
in the real ‘meant and potatoes’ by offering a BRAND NEW Powerpuff Girls
episode and a 34 minute series documentary with Craig McCracken. The episode is fresh and feels like the old
days of Power Puff Girls as it is filled with great action and a solid
storyline. The documentary covers
everything about the series from pig tails to piggy toes on the Power Puff
Girls. McCracken reunites many people
who worked on the series to tell how it all came together and also talks about
his career and where he has drawn his inspiration and talents. An excellent way to end the set.
end, my main problem with the extras is not in the quantity, but rather in the
quality. There are some real gems mixed
into the plethora of extras here, but really there is a lot of junk too. This is not to say they shouldn’t be there,
they most certainly should, because we as fans want a full catalog; but there
should also be more new, good features present as well. There is in addition the issue that there
were more commentaries on previous DVD releases that are not found here. So
this begs the question, where are they and why aren’t they here?
The Powerpuff Girls is a great series that left at a
good time. The series was still fresh
and inventive, but was showing wear. The
girls will always be remembered, because even though their cartoon is
gone…there merchandise will be around FOREVER!!
- Michael P. Dougherty II