Powerpuff Girls is the most stylish cartoon on TV. Think Rocky and Bullwinkle meets Designer's Republic. Slick lines and curves, minimalism and the use of unusual palettes make the show even more entertaining on a different level.

"The PowerPuff Girls" is not a show for children. I just realised that. Well, I'm sure most children don't care, but still...

I take evidence from an episode I just saw where "The Professor" meets Ms. "Ima Goodlady". He's going on a date with her, y'see. The girls are helping him get ready. Innocent enough stuff. the then line and visual comes; the lil' blue 'girl says:

"..and one of these..."

...and slips a small, white square (with a circle on it?) into his breast pocket. Yes, we all know what it was. Children won't get it; adults just blush.

This event, however, does not detract from the fact that The PowerPuff Girls kick extreme ass.

The coolest thing about this cartoon is that they sneak in references to popular culture where you least expect them. For instance, one show was done entirely in rhyming couplet (Oh no! I spilt wine on my doublet!). Included in the poetry was the following:

Prof. Utonium: It's time for bed, girls, and I mean it!

Bubbles: Anybody want a peanut?

Gotta love a cartoon that plagiarizes The Princess Bride!

PPG has a lot of sexual innuendo. There was this one episode where "love is in the air" (that's all I can remember about it, can't even remember who the villain is), and at the end, the villain is in prison, and his big, burly cellmates are starting at him lustily, and the narrator says, "Yes, love is in the air!"

It was wrong. It was brilliant. It kicked ass.

Oh, and then there's the really angsty, pathos-filled ones... like the evil imaginary friend one, BubbleVicious (where Bubbles shows how much of a badass she can be if she's pissed enough), the one where Buttercup stops taking baths and, as a result, goes freelance (and eventually gets kicked out of Townsville, complete with an homage to the good ol' monster movies)...

PPG is actually quite intellectual. Kids almost certainly can't get most of the humor in it.

Actually, according to a The Onion interview with the creator (Craig MacKracken), the original title of the show was "The Kick-Ass Girls,"[1] and it was never intended for kids, but Cartoon Network liked the idea anyway (pending a name-change, for obvious reasons).

Cartoon Network rules. PowerPuff Girls is a BIG part of the reason why.

this has been an incoherent bunch of discombobulated rambling by Magenta, who's currently feeling completely disoriented and dizzy.


[1] According to commentary on one of the DVDs, the original name was "The Whoop-Ass Girls". It may be that he tried both. An investigation is under way. -- C-Dawg

Theme Song: - Bis

(closing credits)

Blossom, commander and the leader
Bubbles, she is the joy and the laughter
Buttercup, she's the toughest fighter
Powerpuffs save the day
Fighting crime, trying to save the world
Here they come just in time, the Powerpuff Girls
Fighting crime, trying to save the world
Here they come just in time, the Powerpuff Girls...
Powerpuff!

In the above-mentioned "The Onion" interview with Craig MacKracken (the creator of the show), apart from saying that the show was originally called "The Kick-Ass Girls" he also noted that it was mainly aimed at college kids doing drugs in their dorms and watching the show.

So true.

The show's humor can be compared to The Simpsons, as a large number of jokes in it will not be understood by kids. Oh so good.
The Powerpuff Girls are the Triple Goddess!

Those of you who don't know what that means, click on the link before continuing.

Okay. First, we have Bubbles, cute and, well, bubbly. She's the happy, bouncy one, and plus she has blonde hair - a common look for maidens because it's light and airy.

Next there's Blossom, the leader. She's bossy and Always Right (TM). And who doesn't know a mother who acts like that? Plus, she has red hair, and red is the Mother's color because of blood.

And finally, Buttercup. Rude, witty, sarcastic. Her black hair is the Crone's color (represents night).

By the way, there are cartoons made just for children; in general, we think they're lame.

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 ... right?

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 behind.

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 problem.

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.

Actually, one of the most interesting subtexts in the show is how intelligence and rationality are subtly promoted (VERY much in 'period' with the overall look and feel of the show, which seems to be a generalized high end 1950's). To wit, many villains are given names that connote "superstition", "ignorance", and the like: Mojo Jojo, The Boogie Man, and, (my favorite for sheer cojones) "Him", while "good" characters are not only "smart", but sexually attractive (as well as being sexual, and attractive, which is something altogether different). I didn't see the "Ima Goodlady" episode, but it's clear that Professor Utonium (modeled after J. Robert Oppenheimer -- Oppenheimer??) has a functional male body under that lab coat. (Such a pity the REAL Oppie's sex life was such a flop...now had Craig MacKracken chosen Richard Feynman...HMMmmmm...) The same is true of Miss Keane, their kindergarten teacher, and of course, the faceless (but far from brainless) Sarah Bellum, who has on some occasions, counselled the 'Girls on adult behavior.

VERY sneaky! And most probably empowering for children (not just girls), the way the old Felix the Cat was for me in the real early Sixties: few remember that the Cat was an exemplar of Twenties "can-do" and intelligence, unlike the Depression-era "little guy's revenge" cartoons like the wince-inducing Tom and Jerry.

FWIW, my take on the 'Girls is not that they're the Triple Goddess, but an extension of the concept of "Mens et Manus": here, they symbolize Head, Hands... and Heart.

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