It almost doesn’t seem fair to call this new Powerpuff Girls show a “reboot,” since this clip makes it clear that this version will bear striking similarity to the original show. Several of the voice actors have gotten recast (much to the disappointment of the original cast), but little else appears to have changed. Based on this super-short clip, I think that the new actors have been told to mimic their predecessors as best they can. Plus, the animation style—and the late-90s “girl power” feminism 101 spirit of the show—doesn’t seem to have changed a ton, either, if this clip is any indication.
Whether you think that’s a good or a bad thing hinges on how much you liked the original show, of course. It’s been over a decade since the first Powerpuff Girls show went off the air, and since all six seasons of the original show are on Netflix now, you can re-watch for yourself and decide whether you think the concept holds up.
As for me, I’ve re-watched the show on Netflix recently, and while I still get a nostalgic kick out of it, it definitely doesn’t feel as revolutionary now as it did at the time—especially not compared to stuff like Steven Universe. Featuring an all-female superhero team originally made this show a Big Deal, but the show’s undeniable whiteness is something that was already a problem back then, and I predict that even more people will notice that problem this time around (particularly with a show like Steven Universe featuring a much more diverse three-woman superhero team, thereby serving as a very obvious counterpoint).
Maybe the show will introduce some new characters. Maybe. The problem with reboots is that if you change anything, you’re going to be faced with criticism for it, even if it’s just changing the voice actors, as we’ve already seen. This new clip looks cute, but cartoons have changed a lot in the past decade, and Powerpuff Girls could stand to push the boundaries a little further than basic “girl power” messages this time around. They’ve got a second chance here, and it’d be really cool to see them take advantage of it.
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