The Powerpuff Girls Movie

Bomb Rating: 

I don't know how many seriously disturbing things one guy can pack into a single, animated kids' film, but director Craig McCracken does his best to push the envelope. One wonders if Craig is like Buffalo Bill in "Silence of the Lambs," with a basement full of children last seen on the sides of milk cartons, and he's used his three favorite captives as the models for the Powerpuff Girls. I'm sure many a critic branded this "delightful family fare," but I have a better quote for the movie poster: This movie and its entire strange universe is severely fucked in the head.

There's something wrong with a cartoon about a single, lonely man who creates three young girls in a laboratory and imbues them with superpowers. Those three girls are Blossum, Bubbles, and Buttercup, and their main function in "The Powerpuff Girls Movie" seems to be destroying public property.

In my estimation, this appears to be the first really frightening right-wing reactionary cartoon. I saw two black guys depicted in this film; one was a cop who was abusive and looked a whole lot like Al Sharpton. The other was a television reporter who had the features of a chimp. Now, I'm not saying there are any finely drawn white characters in the Powerpuff Girls' universe, but portraying a black guy as a chimp is something that hasn't happened in grownup movies for some time.

When the girls get lost after the Professor is arrested for creating them, they look for a cardboard box to sleep in. What they find are a bunch of criminals who try to do bad things to them. Fortunately for the Powerpuff Girls, the evil homeless people are beaten back by the more evil Mojo Jojo, a monkey with a large, exposed brain and a Japanese accent. Again with the monkeys. Now, I hate to bring up the past here, but depicting the Japanese as monkeys was a favorite pastime of the American World War II propaganda machine so that we wouldn't feel too bad about killing them.

And since when do we name a villain in a children's cartoon "Mojo"? Wasn't that a euphemism for Jim Morrison's erect monkey when he sang about "Mr. Mojo rising"? I'm all for empowering young women through strong images in popular culture, but having them eradicate the world's minorities and poor people sounds like a Nazi plot. This is more like the Aryanpuff Girls.

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