It’s been a few weeks since Cartoon Network launched it’s 2016 reboot of The Powerpuff Girls (unoffically known as Powerpuff Girls 2016), and I’ve seen the first crop of episodes. Now, there are folks out there who vehemently hate this show, but myself, I don’t love it, but I don’t feel like it’s the worst thing to happen since the ebola virus either. As far as I’m concerned, this is just another mediocre reboot of a beloved classic.
This isn’t going to be one of those “Old VS New” deals where we try to determine which incarnation is better, as both versions have their strengths and weaknesses and also because I have zero interest in doing that. However, there are a few curious points concerning this show that I’d like to address here. Some things about PPG 2016 that left me scratching my head wondering “Why?”. Before I proceed, I just want to say right off the bat that I won’t be talking about the PPGs new voices, nor will I be talking about “Horn Sweet Horn”, aka, the infamous unicorn episode. It’s overtones are touchy subject matter and discussing it here would be akin to opening Pandora’s Box. I’m not opening that can o’ worms here. If anyone wants to read complaints from fans about that episode, there’s literally everywhere else on the internet. Take your pick. That said, it’s nitpicking time!
- OK, so on PPG 2016, Blossom, Buttercup and Bubbles are a little older this time. No longer attending Pokey Oaks Kindergarten, but are instead attending elementary school (possibly middle school). I could deal with that, except…
…the Girls still look exactly like they did before! Why age them at all if they’re still going to look like 5-year-olds?
2. What was the point of writing out the Mayor’s assistant Sara Bellum? I thought that the whole point of PPG was to emphasize “Girl Power”, so why get rid of a female character who’s smart, resourceful and totally capable?
3. Jennifer Hale is still on hand to reprise her role as Ms. Keane, but another character previously voiced by Ms. Hale, Princess Morebucks, is being voiced by someone else. Why? That would be like rebooting Futurama and bringing Billy West back to voice Fry and Dr. Zoidberg, but then hire someone else to voice Professor Farnsworth.
4. In the episode “The Wrinklypuff Gals”, the Girls use super science to age themselves to better fit in the older kids (who actually look their age) after being bullied by them and as a result, end up aging themselves into senior citizens. A passable plot, except that everyone in Townsville loves the Powepuff Girls and everyone in Townsville knows about them and that they have super powers. Who in Townsville would want to bully a Powerpuff? And who’d be stupid enough to try?
5. In the episode “Strong Armed”, Bubbles breaks her arm while battling a giant monster. Professor Utonium constructs a robot cast for her and during her 6 week healing process, Bubbles grows attached to the cast and treats it as though it were a person. OK, I can buy one of the Girls being injured by someone in their own strength class, but Bubbles breaks her arm and has to wear a cast for six weeks like a regular person? the Powepuff Girls are super beings! It was established back in the short “Cop Out” that even getting dipped in acid doesn’t hurt them. You’d think that being a Powerpuff, Bubbles would heal considerably faster than a normal human would.
I knew from the very beginning that fans of the original PPG would hate the rebooted series with the fury of 1000 suns. After all…
…However in this particular case, I can see why they would have some complaints. A lot of the things in PPG 2016 just seemed to be changes for change’s sake alone, which is never a good reason for change. Different doesn’t always mean better, or even as good. I could accept some of these creative changes if there were logic and reason behind making them, but as it stands, while I’m not declaring war on PPG 2016, I’m not going to declare my fandom for it either.
One more thing, despite of the mixed reception that PPG 2016 has been receiving, apparently this show is a hit with kids, as Natalie Palamides (the new voice of Buttercup) has confirmed that the show has been renewed for 2nd season, and that PPG 2016 will be crossing over with Teen Titans GO! in it’s 2nd season.