The Powerpuff Girls (2016)
The Powerpuff Girls is an animated series based on the BTSW by Craig McCracken. It is a reboot that aired on Cartoon Network on April 4th, 2016, and reruns formerly aired on Boomerang until January 2018.
Why It Sucks
- Addressing the elephant in the room, the reboot sucks out the charm of the original, as it has less crime-fighting and more slice-of-life-ish scenes related to what the characters do when "they are not saving the world". Like Teen Titans Go! and Ben 10, it lacks the action-packed tone of the original.
- Speaking of Teen Titans Go!, it even had a crossover with that show called “TTG vs PPG”, which also sucks and barely qualifies as a team-up.
- Awful and questionable script-writing and writing in general that comes off being nonsensical.
- Neither Cathy Cavadini, E.G. Daily, nor Tara Strong reprised their roles as Blossom, Buttercup, or Bubbles respectively. Instead, they are voiced by stand-ins Amanda Leighton, Kristen Li, and Natalie Palamides for their youthful looks.
- Buttercup's new voice actress, Natalie, in particular sounds absolutely nothing like Daily as she makes the character sound way too tomboyish than usual, while Kristen Li's impression of Bubbles sounds whiny.
- The original voice actors were not even consulted when the network decided to recast the girls.
- The animation is noticeably slow.
- Usage of outdated memes and internet slang in the first season, such as the "No Me Gusta!" meme as seen in "Tiara Trouble", and the Mojo Jojo Meme Maker. One scene from "Painbow" even showed Bubbles saying, “OMG! Yaaaas!”
- Ms. Bellum, the mayor's assistant, is absent because Nick Jennings thought that having a beautiful, warm-hearted, motherly, intelligent and strong-willed woman on the show was offensive to the new generation and stated getting rid of her was "a good choice", yet they added a villain who only cares about fashion, another sexist stereotype. It's painfully obvious Ms. Bellum was eliminated to appease moral guardians who found her inappropriate based solely on her busty appearance, and not her personality.
- The characters from the original series are wildly different and completely out-of-character compared to their original counterparts:
- Blossom is now a OCD perfectionist neurotic geek. She is also way too obsessed with Jared Shapiro (whenever he is involved, except in "Phantasm Chasm").
- Bubbles is now an immature stereotypical annoying "girly" girl who lacks any real character development.
- Buttercup is now a even more unlikable jerk who bullies her sisters and people around her and mostly cares about butt jokes (just because her name has 'butt' in it).
- The Professor has been changed from a caring and responsible father to an unfunny idiotic dad trope.
- Mojo Jojo no longer does his famous language and speech patterns. Instead he acts like a stereotypical illeist who speaks in 3rd person almost all the time for example: "Mojo pays good money for high-speed Internet", "Mojo is not hideous! He is at least a solid... eight", "Chelsea, crush the last Puny Puff Girl! And her dopey unicorn friend".
- The singing and songs are bad, "Tiara Trouble", "Once Upon a Townsville", and "Snow Month" for examples.
- The villains from the original such as Sedusa aren't introduced to the new generation and they just appear randomly with no explanation of who they are or why they're even there.
- Some of the original villains have also been resorted to being crammed into scenes for no reason such as the pointless cameo of The Rowdyruff Boys in the episode "Total Eclipse of the Kart".
- Many scenes contain unfunny humor that is cringeworthy.
- Some of the character redesigns are unnecessary, such as Professor Utonium having round corners around his face, arms, and hands, and Ms. Keane, the Girls' teacher, lacking her breasts, though they reappear in the episode "Save the Date".
- Blossom and Bubbles actually twerk in one scene, seemingly in a horribly misguided attempt to be "hip" and "with it". To make matters worse, they are little girls, making this a minor child sexualization offense. This also comes off as extremely hypocritical. This is okay for showing on a family network, but not Ms. Bellum?!
- What makes this even worse is that the episode was storyboarded and even written by Julia Vickerman (creator of 12 Forever), who is an actual pedophile.
- Speaking of sexualizing underage children, Blossom was given a love interest named LCW. Jared appears much older than her and she's frequently seen having weird fantasies about him. This is very creepy, especially since the character has the same given name and similar appearance to ex-Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle, who was arrested for child pornography charges shortly before the reboot aired.
- Jared was actually modelled after and voiced by series lead writer Jake Goldman, which was done as an in-joke by the other writers. Even so, the interactions between the character and Blossom are no less creepy. Many accused Jared of being a self-insert of Goldman, when that's not really the case.
- Pokey Oaks Kindergarten has been destroyed all because the class hamster mutated from a potion and the girls are strangely now in middle school despite being 5/6 year olds.
- There are numerous animation errors in almost every episode such as this one. In fact, this show has so many animation errors that even a blog was made pointing them out.
- The Girls are given multiple facial expressions that are too over to the top and felt like they don't suit the characters' normal faces.
- Boring and soft action scenes. This is because the girls can't hit anybody without a flash being used to censor it, in yet another attempt to appeal to today's increasingly-conservative moral guardians, Which clearly failed since Infinity Train had a bloody death scene years later.
- There is the infamous 4th Powerpuff Girl named Blisstina Utonium, who was not well received by fans.
- It was really unnecessary when the original series already had a 15th anniversary special called “Dance Pantsed” that came out in 2013.
- Even though The Powerpuff Girls have new voice actresses, some of the voice actors such as Tom Kenny, Tom Kane, Roger L. Jackson and Jennifer Hale reprise their roles as The Narrator, Professor Utonium, Mojo Jojo, The Mayor, and Miss Keane.
- Decent and okay characters such as The Derbytantes and Bliss.
- The theme song is amazing, and the full music video had great animation and more action than the actual show.
- The voice acting is decent like Amanda Leighton's, Kristen Li's and Natalie Palamdies'.
- Meme references like "No me gusta!" are removed in the second season.
- At least the redesigns of the characters are minor and still stay true from the original designs.
- Some funny moments here and there.
- The animation can sometimes be decent, if not slow.
- Ace of the Gangreen Gang is being utilized better outside the series by filling in as bassist for Gorillaz while Murdoc is incarcerated.
- Some of the new villains are unique and creative for what they are, like Packrat, Jemmica "Jemoire" Thrash, and Silico.
- Some episodes are decent or even good like "Find Your Bliss".
- Decent art style, which was also due to Bob Boyle being involved as co-executive staff.
- The 1998 version of Bubbles had a cameo in “The Wrinklegruff Gals” despite her being voiced by Kristen Li instead of Tara Strong.
- PPG (2016) was the main topic for an episode on the cooking show, Cake Wars.
- PPG (2016) was one of the sets available to purchase for the game LEGO Dimensions, alongside another WB/CN cartoon, Teen Titans Go!.
- As of 2020, no Season 4 has been announced, nor has there been announcements of The Powerpuff Girls reboot getting cancelled.
- As with the original series, the reboot is popular in Japan. With having their own events in most cafés, a crossover online game event with the anime, Love-Live!, boba tea at Pearl Lady, ect.
Despite having mixed reviews from critics, it received negative reception from Internet reviewers, viewers, and fans alike from the original. On iMDB, it has 3.6 out of 10 and TV.com has 4.2 out of 10.
The Occidental Weekly lamented that the series "lacks the impeccable comedic timing and wit of the original" and called the voice acting "mediocre at best", while also criticizing the writing, which it deemed subpar. Slate was critical of the show's "self-conscious feminist overtones", and compared the show unfavorably to the original, particularly the second-season episode "The Powerpuff Girls' Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever". Polygon criticized that the show lost what they considered made the original so special: "fighting seems like an afterthought, as if Cartoon Network wants to keep the Girls a safe distance from the fray", and that the show was a "step backward, not forward". Jessica Swartz of Inverse said that new viewers might not know who the villains are or what their motivations are, as no introduction was given to the characters. Swartz also went on to say that the show focuses too much on the main characters, and overall called it a "mediocre cartoon". Shelby Watson of The All State praised the show's voice acting, but criticized the show's increased focus on the girls' domestic lives rather than fighting crime, and was especially critical of the animation, writing: "The animation is beyond lazy... the art direction itself is catastrophic. Animators routinely forget their own rules on how to animate their characters, leading to a disjointed style that just comes across like the animators don’t care." Watson also noted other technical problems in the series, such as inconsistencies in character design or misuse of perspective, saying that they "shouldn't happen in a professional studio."
Viewers have also criticized the show for its appropriation of Internet slang and memes, such as "can't even" or the character Bubbles yelling "no me gusta!" while her face turns into one commonly associated with the meme (as seen in "Tiara Trouble"). These references have been called out on being out of place and "being forced", as well as referencing fads of which popularity have faded long before their appearance in the show; the aforementioned "me gusta" and other derivatives of rage comics had their peak popularity in early 2011, in a desperate attempt to be relevant. Fortunately, though, the production staff got the message, and meme references have been removed.
Saberspark considered this as the worst show to ever air in Cartoon Network, placing it on #1 on his Top 10 WORST Cartoon Network Shows.