If you’ve visited Cartoon Network recently,. You may have noticed the change in tone of the cartoons. They’ve become more colorful and slice-of-life cartoons have become more common. In addition, Cartoon Network has developed a habit of taking older shows that have ended or were canceled, and rebooted them. An example of this is “Teen Titans Go!”, a reboot of the Teen Titans. But recently, Cartoon Network has rebooted another classic show: The Powerpuff Girls. Like any reboot, this show contrasts with the original in several ways.
The first major difference is the art style. The original Powerpuff Girls use thicker, sharper lines, whereas the reboot uses thin lines and tends to round off edges. For example, professor Utonium’s head used to be very square. Now, he has a rounded off appearance that is very common in modern cartoons. The most obvious change is visible in the theme song. In the original, the theme song was colored in a similar manner to the show’s content: Soft, pastel colors without too much saturation. The 2016 reboot’s theme song visuals consist of neon green, pink, and blue. Everything else is in black and white. In addition, all visual violence has been censored. When the Powerpuff Girls punched someone, they used to knock out teeth and send them flying. Now, every time someone is injured, the animation isn’t even shown. Instead, the screen is replaced with a “Bam!” or “Pow!” whenever any violent, physical contact is made.
The next major difference is the soundtrack. The original Powerpuff Girls had a nice instrumental theme song that could accompany any fight scene perfectly. If the theme song didn’t fit, then they would compose a short instrumental for that scene. The new theme song, a mixture of rock, pop, and heavy metal screaming, awkwardly plays in every fight scene, usually sounding out of place.
Next, the plot. The new Powerpuff girls created several, bland villains as temporary threats and only used the original villains as background characters. The reboot is not as much a superhero show as it is a slice of life show with floating children as the main characters. Speaking of the main characters, unlike the original series, which established the Powerpuff Girls as somewhat complex characters, the reboot takes archetypes, applies them to each character, and exaggerates them, making them the only trait they possess. Buttercup’s the tomboy, Blossom is the leader with OCD, and Bubbles is the happy character. Even with these traits being the only traits the Powerpuff Girls have, they still manage to break character. We see Buttercup playing with a plush octopus and Bubbles being a brat when things don’t go her way. This inconsistency makes the characters unlikeable.
Overall, the Powerpuff girls reboot doesn’t do justice for the original. However, compared with other “okay” modern shows like “Clarence” and “Uncle Grandpa”, it is up to par. It’s not “cancel the show forever” bad, but it’s not “wake up early on Saturday to watch it” good. It could have been a lot worse, but it could have been a lot better too.