From 1998 to 2005, the ‘Powerpuff Girls’ were the Cartoon Network’s diminutive superheroes, who dished out plenty of wide eyed punishment to unsuspecting villains in Townsville. Now the series is set to return to the station in 2016, rebooted for a whole new generation. But if you’re unfamiliar with Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup, or if you’d just forgotten about them (how?) here’s a brief history of the littlest ass kickers in town.

Powerpuff GirlsBubbles, Blossom, Buttercup! The Powerpuff Girls

The ‘Powerpuff Girls’ first kapow-ed their way on to the Cartoon Network in 1995 as part of their ‘World Premiere Toons series’. The show was created by Craig McCracken, who had first conceived the characters years earlier while studying at the California Insittue of the Arts. McCracken had produced a short entitled 'Whoopass Stew', starring the crime fighting Whoopass Girls, which he’d submitted to the Cartoon Network. The station loved the concept but felt the name was a little inappropriate for younger viewers. Thus the Whoopass Girls became the 'Powerpuff Girls'.

As the story goes, Professor Utonium, wishing to create ‘the perfect little girl’, mixed a concoction of sugar, spice and everything nice. But his plan went awry when a mysterious substance called ‘Chemical X’ fell into the mixture (in the original short it was a big can of Whoopass that caused the problem.) Instead of creating ‘the perfect little girl’ Professor Utonium was left with three girls with each one represent the three elements of sugar, spice and everything nice. But they also had the added bonus of superpowers, which would turn them into ass kicking crime fighters.

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Blossom is the ‘everything nice’ of the three girls with long red hair and wearing pink as her signature colour. She’s the level headed leader of the trio and posses the ability to freeze objects with her breathe. The group's ‘spice’ is Buttercup, the serious ‘tough’ girl, who has short black hair, wears green and loves nothing more than fighting dirty. Then there’s the blonde Bubbles, the sugary Powerpuff, who’s a lot tougher than she looks, Bubbles can communicate with animals and understand foreign languages all while wearing baby blue and keeping her hair in pigtails.

The debut of the ‘Powerpuff Girls’ on the Cartoon Network in 1998 was the highest rating premiere in the channel's history. By the time the millennium hit the show was drawing high ratings from a broad span of demographics, ranging from young children to adults. ‘Powerpuff Girls’ merchandise was also everywhere with t-shirts, backpacks and badges worn by fans of all ages. In 2002 the girls hit the big screen with The Powerpuff Girls Movie which detailed the trio's backstory. However despite the positive reviews from critics, the movie failed to be a hit at the box office.

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By 2005 McCracken felt the series and run its course and The ‘Powerpuff Girls’ ended their run, leaving behind six seasons and 78 episodes. They would return in 2008 with a special to celebrate their 10th anniversary entitled 'The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!', which pleased fans but was sadly a one of. But then last year a new special aired featuring the girls looking slightly different thanks to CGI animation and no input from series creator Craig McCracken.

Now the girls are set for a return in 2016 though we're not sure how much a rebooted series will differ from our childhood memories. Let's hope the Cartoon Network can get that perfect mix of sugar, spice and everything nice (plus a giant can of whoopass) just right once again, to create a whole new generation of Powerpuff fans whilst making us old ones want to come back for more.