The Powerpuff Girls is an American superhero animated television series created by animator Craig McCracken and produced by Hanna-Barbera (later Cartoon Network Studios) for Cartoon Network. The show centers on Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, three kindergarten-aged girls with superpowers. The girls all live in the fictional city of Townsville, USA with their father and creator, a scientist named Professor Utonium, and are frequently called upon by the city's mayor to help fight nearby criminals and other enemies using their powers.
McCracken originally developed the show in 1992 as a cartoon short entitled Whoopass Stew! while in his second year at CalArts. Following a name change, Cartoon Network featured the first Powerpuff Girls pilots in its animation showcase program What a Cartoon! in 1995 and 1996. The series made its official debut as a Cartoon Cartoon on November 18, 1998, with the final episode airing on March 25, 2005. Excluding the two pilot shorts, the series ran for a total of six seasons, totaling 78 episodes. Along with the episodes, a Christmas special and a feature film, The Powerpuff Girls Movie, were also made concurrently. Two additional specials were made after the show ceased to air in 2005 which included a tenth anniversary special (2008), and a CGI special (2014) which was made without McCracken's input.
Various spin-off media include an anime, three CD soundtracks, a home video collection, comic books, a series of video games, and a 2016 reboot, as well as various licensed merchandise. The series has been nominated for six Emmy Awards, nine Annie Awards, and a Kids' Choice Award during its run. In all, the series won four awards and generally received positive reception.
The show revolves around the adventures of three kindergarten aged girls with an array of various superpowers: Blossom (pink), Bubbles (blue), and Buttercup (green). The plot of an episode is usually some humorous variation of standard superhero and tokusatsu shows, with the girls using their powers to defend their town from villains and giant monsters. In addition, the girls have to deal with the normal issues that young children face, such as sibling rivalries, loose teeth, personal hygiene, going to school, bed wetting, or dependence on a security blanket. Episodes often contain hidden references to older pop culture (especially noticeable in the episode "Meet the Beat Alls", which is a homage to the Beatles). The cartoon always tries to keep different ideas within each episode with some small tributes and parodies thrown in.
The show is set mainly in the city of Townsville, USA. Townsville is depicted as a major American city, with a cityscape consisting of several major skyscrapers. In his review of The Powerpuff Girls Movie, movie critic Bob Longino of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said, "the intricate drawings emanate 1950s futuristic pizzazz like a David Hockney scenescape," and that the show is "one of the few American creations that is both gleeful pop culture and exquisite high art."
- Mojo Jojo