The New Powerpuff Girls is Actually Great

By: Dylan Hysen

 

newppg

Who’s got the power? We’ve got the power!

Much to my surprise, I really, really love the new Powerpuff Girls. It’s everything I never knew I wanted from a PPG reboot. The show is unapologetically young, feminine, feminist, kick-butt, very modern, and super super cute. It’s a joy to watch and I’m so glad it exists.

This is a show for today’s young girls, moreppgbubbles2 than any show I’ve ever seen. Many shows now-a-days have feminist themes, but no show embraces young females like this one does. Yes, girls can do anything boys can, but also things girls like are very legitimate in their own right. Bubbles has shown a love for rainbows and unicorns, and she’s not presented as anything less than awesome.

Incredibly, this show also portrays youth culture as completely legitimate. It’s a somewhat shocking move in a society filled with a mocking of new slang and trends. Here’s an exchange in the fourth episode:

pd142

  • Trippy colorful panda: “Want a hug?”
  • Bubbles: “Omg yaaaas!” “I cant.”
  • Buttercup: “Can’t what?”
  • Bubbles: “Even.”
  • Buttercup: “Can’t even what?”
  • Blossom: “Ooh like she literally can’t even.”

The show embraces new lingo and really captures the way kids actually talk and behave. Watching this show, I feel like it’s aimed at kids, but I don’t feel like it’s talking down to them in any way. The show shows Buttercup making butt jokes to her classmates, because that’s how kids behave, but it’s not aiming for a kids’ level of humor with those jokes.

A modern feeling is really essential to all of this and is what I think brings the show together. The girls use iPhones, even receiving the Townsville call for help on them. We’ve gotten two parodies so far on the show: one a monster-calling app in the style of Uber, a very modern move for a cartoon, and a The Hangover parody episode, which is less current, but still a movie relevant to today’s culture.

And of course, the show is super feminist. Episode 6 cemented this (the previous five episodes had a much more low-key feminist portrayal), featuring a villain who was literally toxic masculinity personified. This episode was actually the least successful of the ones aired so far, probably because it was too explicit in its moral aims, setting aside the show’s big appeals. But it was still a welcome presence in painting a larger picture with the show as a whole.

Combined with a bright, cute, and colorful aesthetic to further the appeal to young girls and even just the modern feel, all of these elements combine to make a cohesive, appealing unit. One for young girls in a unique and refreshing way, and also one with a wider appeal because of that refreshing portrayal. I’ve certainly gotten a ton out of this show so far, and we’re only one week into this new Powerpuff Girls era.

Dylan Hysen, a software developer from the DC area, hosts the Overly Animated podcast discussing everything animation.
 

One Comment

  1. Nate April 9, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    I feel compelled to comment here to clarify Bubbles’ superpower: She speaks Spanish–and squirrel. (I’m glad I was alone when I was shouting “she talks to squirrels” into my iPod.)

     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *