It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since three superpowered girls first showed up on our television sets. Indeed, this is exactly what fans of "The Powerpuff Girls," both die-hard and casual alike, feel as we watch "The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!", a revisiting of the series from yesteryear. Since it went off the air, fans have been begging for new episodes, even after experiencing the lackluster episodes from the later seasons. Indeed, the series remains extremely popular today, with magnificent fan art appearing all over the web, and a popular reimagining of the series in Japan guaranteeing that the girls will never be forgotten.
With the voice actors reunited and a new animation technique applied, series creator Craig McCraken set out to revisit the show for its 10th anniversary. Cartoon Network, not forgetting a show that attracted so many viewers, ran a full day marathon for the fans, counting down the top ten worst villians and even showing us Craig's top 10 episodes. Our hearts filled with nostalgia, it is only natural that some people were disappointed by the new episode at the end of it all. The plot of the episode is rather absurd, though this isn't much of a drastic shift in tone, as episodes in the past have ranged from broccoli aliens to evil cockroaches. In this, the key to the world has been misplaced, and the villians of Townsville are tearing the city apart to try and find it, leaving the Powerpuff Girls to find it before anyone else does. While they may be fighting against the sinister Mojo Jojo and countless other villians from almost every one of their 78 episodes, the greatest threat to the girls is you, the viewer, and your expectations.
The pacing of the episode is fast and frantic, barely stopping to take a breather. Even with 44 minutes worth of dialogue packed into a 22-minute-long episode, many of the jokes miss their marks. Craig McCraken himself admitted that he during the development of "The Powerpuff Girls Movie," he lost sight of how "silly" the show was, and as such, "fully embraced silliness and enjoyed being funny at all costs" for this project. While this may seem like a good thing, McCracken seems too caught up in the "silliness" and neglects the more serious undertones that the early episodes carried. Looking back, the mature themes were what drew me to the series as a child and continues to bring me back to this day.
I also found that though the visuals were sharp, the animation was of poor quality. Maybe it's the years of being spoiled by classic cartoons and anime, but I have always found Flash-animated shows to be rather cheap. I think it's okay to use Adobe Flash when creating something like a website or internet cartoon, but unless a definite artistry is implemented, such as with "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" and "6teen", then the end result ends up flat. Though McCraken himself said in an interview that he wanted the show to look "the way it was always supposed to look," he seems to have overlooked the harsh critisisms George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have gotten from revisiting their old franchises.
However, putting these critiques aside, "The Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!" is a solid episode that any die-hard fan of the show will enjoy, as well as getting casual viewers to buy the 10th anniversary box set to experience the magic all over again. An episode that can clearly be defined as "love it or hate it." I myself breathed a heavy sigh of disappointment at the end credits, remembering better days.