If The Powerpuff Girls cartoon is the Star Wars: A New Hope of Cartoon Network, then the movie is The Phantom Menace of the cartoon.
Craig McCracken began the show as a test reel in 1992 before he submitted it to Cartoon Network, making him re-write it as “kid-friendly” for its premiere on 1998. The show was a major success and gave Craig McCracken to do a theatrical prequel for a 2002 release with the same voice cast.
Unlike the show that was the basis of the film, it is notably a bit more violent because of Craig McCracken’s creative differences with the marketing. The film showcased the creation of the Powerpuff Girls and their enemy, Mojo Jojo, who used to be the professor’s lab monkey.
It is a well written and well animated origin story to an iconic cartoon but became a box office bomb due to low marketing and that the film was released nine months after the September 11th, 2001 attacks. Unlike other films released near it, it never had any post-9/11 changes.
The cartoon violence in two scenes can be a bit over-the-top, but luckily the entire film is sixty-eight minutes long and the message is that the girls have to control their abilities and use them when necessary.
But, The Powerpuff Girls Movie helped bring super heroines to the big screen including Halle Berry in Catwoman (2004), Jennifer Garner in Elektra (2005) and Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman (2017).