Pardon me. This a kid's show?
With a plethora of pop-culture references only a few children
around the ages of 8+ would grasp, it seems more likely the Powerpuff Girls
came to be angled toward older adolescents and even adults. References range
from obscure movies out of the sixties and eighties to the well-recognized
Star Wars and Batman. One excerpt of dialogue from the self-repetitive Mojo
Jojo is reminescent of Monty Python: "There will be one Mojo Jojo, and the
number of Mojo Jojos will be one. Two Mojo Jojos is too many, and three is
right out!" Also, the pan on the disco ball of "Boogie Nights" is clearly
parodying the Death Star, and the Mayor's office is an item-for-item copy
of the Mayor's office from Batman. How many children would catch all the
Beatles allusions (ala the "Beat Alls" episode), would have seen "The Big
Lebowski" or have read "The Princess Bride"?
There is something unmistakably alluring about it from the
offbeat, simplified style (as if drawn from a child's perspective, perhaps)
to the original plot ideas. And it is a wholesome and innocent show ...
For a "kid's" show, it certainly does seem to deal with a lot
of deeper issues that children are generally not subjected to. Some of the
most glaring illustrations that come to mind are the psuedo-horror moments
from "Speed Demon": a ruined and barren Townsville, the mutated and hideous
citizens chanting 'your fault, your fault', and Him - an effeminate satanic
villain - taunting the girls that the entire world had "gone to HECK!" before
transforming into a huge, twisted monster. Another issue is the blatant cruelty
that seems to spring up everywhere in the episodes. The Professor psychologically
torturing an overly-enthusiastic Powerpuff collector by destroying his items
one-by-one ... the girls senselessly beating up Mr. Mime after he had turned
good again ... After the girls had been saved by a villain called "Big Billy,"
who then feigned to be in danger later on, they pulverized him anyway and
sent him to jail.
A second point is the sexual innuendo. While not always obvious,
it does exist. In the episode "Something's A Ms" something certainly was
amiss ... the voluptuous secretary Ms. Bellum was having an adulterous affair
with the Mayor, who definitely had a wife that he did not prefer. She would
come in and kiss him each day, asking for the day off, and increasing the
kisses when she needed a longer period of time. There was also one point
where the Mayor complained of the lead of his pencil breaking. She put her
hand over his, and guided the pencil to the pencil sharpener, and the Mayor
made a low sound of pleasure as it vibrated. Later on, we find out that the
real Ms. Bellum was kidnapped and that a seductive villain aptly named Sedusa
had been masquerading as her. The episode closes with the Mayor going to
visit her in prison leaving a stunned Ms. Bellum and the Powerpuff Girls
There are also other controversial occurrences. One of the
Rowdyruff Boys, Brick, flies under a shrieking girl's skirt in a chase scene;
"Ima Goodlady" in "Mommy Fearest" tries to seduce the Professor away with
smoldering looks; the infamous "And some of these ... " quote given by Buttercup
as she tucks a box into the Professor's pocket before he goes on a date;
Him licking the Professor's face in the "Tough Love" episode; at the end
of the "Tough Love" ep, we see prisoners looking lustily at a defeated villain
and the narrator commenting, "Yes, love is tough."; the very title of "Mo
Job"; and the "Bare Facts" episode which shows brief nudity from behind.
In the "Candy is Dandy" episode, we learn that the Powerpuff Girls get high
off of candy. What? Yes, that's right, addiction and all. They purposely
beat up bad guys to get more candy out of the Mayor. In another episode of
"Mojo Jonesin'", we see the same theme. Kids get hooked
on Chemical X with "something in it" and set out to destroy the Powerpuff
Girls. There is also some cross-dressing by Mojo Jojo. in "Slumbering With
the Enemy" which is nothing new in the wake of Bugs Bunny. We
also see evidence of the show admitting that the cartoons have functions
include the tiolet such as Bubbles having a bed-wetting
And Mojo Jojo shouting "Dang!" in "Criss Cross Crisis" as he
was about to be skewered by a hook (in the body of a fish, of course) seemed
just a little out of place ...
In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls is hardly a show to be watched
solely by little girls. It is a wonderful viewing for people of all ages,
and it's not one to be ashamed of.