After an absence from the airwaves for far too long, The Powerpuff Girls are back on Cartoon Network in an all-new series, which premieres this week. So how does this new iteration of the series differ from the beloved show Craig McCracken created back in the day? Turns out, not too much. This feels very much like the PPG of old, although we do have new voice actors for each of the girls. The new voices are fine…but if you’re an old school fan, the difference is notable and you have to wonder why they were replaced at all, given that the original voice actors were very willing to return to the roles.
All that aside, this is PPG for 2016 and the differences are pretty slight, mostly in some slight redesigns of the characters and a new opening and closing theme song. Hey, even Scooby-Doo changes his theme song with every new show, so we get it. The other major difference is that each episode is only 11 minutes in length, instead of 22. This seems to be Cartoon Network’s go-to running time now, usually coupled together with another 11-minute episode. They do it for Teen Titans Go, which is very much the spiritual cousin of the show, and they’re doing it for the upcoming Justice League Action too.
So how do the new episodes stack up? Let’s discuss!
The first eleven-minute episode finds Buttercup making a new group of friends, a series of Roller Derby girls who call themselves The Derbytantes. These feisty chicks are totally up Buttercup’s alley, and she ends up spending more time with them than her own superhero sisters. Of course, this is the perfect opportunity for Princess Morbucks to step in and try to become part of the team.
There’s a great gag in this episode where Princess Morbucks calls up a monster to attack Townsville with an Uber-like “Monster App” on her phone. It’s pretty funny, although it feels like the producers trying to sneak in as many contemporary references into the episode as they can to make it relevant to today. But hasn’t PPG always been that way? The first episode is a fun re-introduction to the girls, though, and proves that PPG will always be relevant.
ESCAPE FROM MONSTER ISLAND
This next episode is fun because it totally skewers boy bands, and while that may be an easy target, if it’s funny, who cares? In this ep, the girls are obsessed with boy band “Sensitive Thugz”, who produce such songs as “I Wanna Listen To Your Problems Girl.” When Bubbles wins concert tickets, both of her sisters vie to be her plus one at the show. Of course, duty inevitably calls and the girls are summoned to Monster Island when the Mayor’s airplane crashes there. Can Buttercup and Blossom stop fighting with each other long enough to save the Mayor?? This is another cute episode, if not quite as fun as the first one.
FINAL VERDICT: 4.5 out of 5 Burritos
The Powerpuff Girls are as great as ever, with both episodes hightlighting everything you loved about the classic show. Sure, I wish it were longer, and I miss the older voice cast, but if you loved the old show, chances are you’ll love these new episodes as well.
The Powerpuff Girls premieres Monday, April 4, 2016 at 6 p.m.
IMAGES: Warner Brothers Animation