The Motion Picture Association of America, in their policy to specify why a movie receives its rating, gave a PG to the animated feature The Powerpuff Girls Movie for this reason: "non-stop frenetic animated action." Boy, they got that right. Based on creator Craig McCracken's popular Cartoon Network series, this tale of America's cutest superheroes is chock-full of flashing, bullet-fast action sequences as three little girls cause trouble, wreak havoc, and, of course, save the day. As a whole, the film is not as quickly paced as its parts, but the adventure is great fun nonetheless.
And that can be chalked up to the single element that differentiates the heavy-duty action in The Powerpuff Girls from, say, a Pokémon feature: humor. Just like the entertaining television series, the Powerpuff movie has laughs to spare, some aimed at the grade school set and many targeted at their parents.
For this first feature about the powerful tots, we get a prequel of sorts, a story of their auspicious beginnings in the troubled city of Townsville. It all begins when a tall, gentle professor mixes sugar, spice, and Chemical X and gets three adorable little tykes, each with giant puppy dog eyes and color-coded outfits. He names them Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup (that really is pretty cute), and quickly finds that they can fly (really, really, really fast), with enough strength to make Superman wanna hit the gym. And you thought the Spice Girls knew about girl power!? Heh.
Well once the Professor gets used to instant fatherhood and enrolls the girls in kindergarten, all hell breaks loose. A game of tag by the energetic triplets results in the destruction of the entire city. The angry townspeople turn against the family, imprison the Professor, and things get even worse. The girls, dejected, lost, and trying to find their way home through the rain, meet Jojo, an outcast monkey with a freakishly huge brain (physically, I mean) who recruits the girls to help make Townsville a better place. Are you kidding!? That's just what he tells our little heroines, but he has a bigger plan for horrible wrongdoing.
While some of the fun and laughs suffer a lull at about the halfway point, a sure result of the show's creators not usually having to fill this much screen time, the movie really kicks in when Jojo begins executing his evil plan. When the world's primates begin taking over the city and Jojo proclaims himself Mojo Jojo(!), the action flies with even greater speed and the script fills with a barrage of sharp jokes. The silliness of it all has the kids involved and the wordplay has the adults laughing out loud. A favorite line from Mojo, after explaining that monkeys have lived under the thumb of humans for too long: "It is time for us to oppose that thumb!"
Preceded by an entertaining (and gross!) short episode of Dexter's Laboratory -- another Cartoon Network hit -- The Powerpuff Girls Movie will deliver to little fans of the show exactly what they want while the older viewers need a little more patience. Like the residents of Townsville, they just need to get used to the girls and their powers in order to see how special they really are! (Grin!)
The DVD includes tons of power-packed extras, including deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, various commentaries, test sequences, and plenty more. In other words, perfect for kids to watch over and over again and perfect for Powerpuff geeks to dig deep into the film.
More than just a puff.