I was away from my laptop for FIVE MINUTES the other day and suddenly some CW exec has announced they’re planning a…gritty live-action Powerpuff Girls reboot. Supposedly, it will explore the girls as 20-somethings who are recognizing that their childhoods were stolen by crime-fighting,
This not only shows these people are totally out of ideas, have no respect for animation as a medium, no understanding of the source material but also no idea what people want.
And here’s why out of all the animated shows that could get live-action reboots, picking The Powerpuff Girls is a particularly baffling and terrible choice.
- Who is the audience for this?
Usually, when a children’s show is rebooted – it’s still for kids. The original audience is all grown up, and they need to appeal to a new generation. That’s what they did with the animated reboot.
But when you turn it into a show that’s not for kids, you usually try to appeal to older fans. Except that the original Powerpuff Girls ended in 2005. Most of the fans of the original have outgrown the teen drama genre.
And since the newer series was from 2016 to 2019, the fans are probably way too young to be watching the CW.
So who are they going to market this show to? And if it’s going to be an audience that’s not so familiar with the show… why not just create original heroes who deal with the subject, instead of using characters and continuity that they won’t be familiar with?
- The show already has a controversial reboot
The rebooted PPG was not well-received among the older fans, myself included. I had some hope for it at first – but then they got rid of Ms. Bellum and Sedusa, basically saying that they didn’t like the message these characters were giving – and had no input from Craig McCracken.
The animation…wasn’t very good – though I was fine with the new character designs. But then the show also didn’t include a lot of fighting, which didn’t do much with the established villains, had a creepy self-insert from one of the writers who used to have a crush on Blossom.
And there was that , very cringy episode that utterly failed at trying to handle LGBT issues.
The original show was very feminist: they had episodes discussing gender roles and gender-related issues, and allowed its young female characters to be characters. Sure, some of the episodes could be a little on the nose – but most episodes and their messages would still hold up today.
- The girls did get to be kids
Did the people who chose to reboot this remember that their whole shtick was “saving the world before bedtime?” Like yes, the girls were superheroes, but they still went to kindergarten, got grounded, played with dolls… They were very much allowed to be kids. There was one episode where the girls weren’t allowed to go fight crime, because they got grounded.
They fought crime because they wanted to. They weren’t forced to – and the original series even discussed this in an episode where the girls gave up helping people because the citizens of Townsville were asking them for help with everything.
And the citizens learned to be thankful
- The show actually already did this plot.
No . The original series had an episode where the girls imagined themselves as teenagers.
They hung out at the mall, talked about boys, flirted with the Rowdyruff Boys…and completely ignored the monster attacks. Why do we need to actually make this a serious concept? Hell…The old YouTube channel Animation Domination did this concept, as a parody SIX YEARS ago.
Besides, I can already tell you the personalities of these disillusioned 20-somethings.
Blossom: burned-out former gifted student, living back at home. She’s passionate about social justice and is frustrated her superhero antics haven’t achieved world peace. She’s probably debated whether many her and her sisters’ past antics were police brutality.
Bubbles: Promiscuous. Very promiscuous. She probably has an OnlyFans. The show forgets about her social intelligence and just makes her ditzy.
Buttercup: Estranged from her sisters. Drug-addict. She probably went to prison once or twice and is possibly now a super-criminal of her own. She may have even joined the Gangrene Gang – she did temporarily join when she had a crush on Ace.
At least one of them will have had a fling with one of the Rowdyruff Boys that they regret and probably had an abortion not wanting to bring a super baby into the world.
- How are we going to deal with the animation and character designs?
Are the girls going to look like normal 20-something? Or are they going to some weird CGI to give them the weirdly proportioned bodies, huge eyes, and fingerless hands? And if they don’t have that design, are they really the Powerpuff Girls?
Seriously. Just…don’t do this.