Western Animation / The Powerpuff Girls Movie


The Powerpuff Girls Movie, released in 2002, serves as an origin story for the titular girls, showing not just how they got their powers but how they came into their own as crime fighters. It is the first and, as of this writing, only feature film to be spun off from a Cartoon Network original series.

The first few minutes show things going as they do in the opening sequence—using sugar, spice, everything nice, and an accidental dose of Chemical X, Professor Utonium brings his daughters into the world, as well as unknowingly imbuing his primate assistant Jojo with enhanced intelligence. After a disastrous game of tag wrecks their home, the City of Townsville, Utonium is carted off to prison, leaving the girls to wander the streets. Jojo finds the girls, takes them under his wing, and has them help build his base as well as a secret machine, having convinced them he only wants to help make the City a better place. Naturally, disaster ensues and the girls have to find a way to make things right.

The Powerpuff Girls Movie provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: There is a brief scene in which a robot operated by one of the Maniac Monkeys is spewing bombs around a baby carriage. Blossom rescues the baby just before the bombs go off, but still...
    • Also, the Professor gets sent to jail for creating the girls, and he has no idea where the girls are.
  • Anti-Villain: Mojo really wanted to make the world a better place for apes and monkeys. He believed that both himself and others apes were treated poorly, and that they had no freedom. However, he doesn't seem interested in any of that in the series.
    • Though he could be seen as a Hypocrite when he immediately starts ranting at his simian army to "obey him" when they start deviating from his plans to make plans of their own.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The girls and Mojo Jojo were this, until the end when the girls save the town from Mojo. Unlike the girls, Mojo actually deserved this trope as he became a recurring villain.
  • Arc Welding: The film reveals that Mojo was the very first villain the Girls fought after their creation and his mutation, and that Antidote X, a throwaway MacGuffin in this series, was created to defeat Mo'Mojo.
  • Arc Words: "Make [the town] a better place."
  • Artistic License: In Real Life the Kindergarten students would not have class in a building that had been so badly damaged that walls and portions of the ceiling and floor are missing, not to mention the sanitary aspects of having no water, electricity or access to food
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Mojo Jojo loads himself up on Chemical X at the film's climax.
  • Badass Boast: Mojo makes a good one after ruling the world.
    • I rock! I rock so hard! For I, Mojo Jojo, have succeeded in my first, greatest, and most brilliant plan ever! And I, Mojo Jojo, shall be King of the Planet of the Apes!
  • Badass Cape: Mojo Jojo as usual.
  • Badass in Charge: Mojo when he leads his army of apes.
  • Between My Legs: Discussed by Craig McCracken in the commentary.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mojo introduces himself to the girls by fighting off the Gangreen Gang as they're about to attack them.
  • Blame Game: While on the asteroid, Buttercup and Blossom begin to blame each other for being hated by everyone. Buttercup calls Blossom out for trusting Mojo, while Blossom tells Buttercup she started their game of tag which led to the whole mess.
  • Body Horror: The Chemical X transforms the monkeys into superpowered mutants, making their brains grow out of their skulls.
  • Book Ends: The movie begins with the narrator lamenting the state of Townsville pre-Powerpuff Girls, showing a bank heist in progress, the police lamenting at a doughnut shop, and a grocery store, where the Professor is beaten up by the Gangreen Gang. At the end of the movie, the same three places are shown in reverse order, this time showing how much Townsville has changed for the better thanks to the girls, all over the narrator giving the familiar opening and closing lines of the show.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: Invoked with the Powerpuff Girls' relation to Mojo Jojo. Inverted with the Professor and the secondary antagonists Fuzzy Lumpkins and the Gangreen Gang.
  • Break Them by Talking: Mojo Jojo pulls this and a multitude of its sub tropes.
  • Brought Down to Normal: It is seen that Mojo had lots of super powers that consistently overshadowed that Powerpuff Girls's powers, until the Antidote X removed his powers.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Had one as most movie adaptations do, made by the staff who was working on the DC Comic at the time.
  • Crapsack World: Townsville, pre-Powerpuff Girls. Crime is pretty much rampant and uncontrolled.
  • Creator Cameo: The people in the building shown after Mo'Mojo rips his claws through it are caricatures of the movie's staff.
  • Credits Gag: "No apes, monkeys, or talking dogs were harmed in the production of this motion picture."
  • Cue the Falling Object: The girls play a game of tag that ends up destroying much of Townsville. After they stop playing and realize what they have done, the camera pulls back to show the skyline in ruins, with the top one Space Needle-like tower breaking off and falling over.
  • Cue the Rain: When the girls think they've been abandoned by the Professor and are walking home, crying, a rainstorm kicks up. And then they have the misfortune to run into the Gangreen Gang (this was before they knew how to really use their powers).
  • Curse Cut Short:
    Hotta Watta: For I don't give a—
    Mojo Jojo: Watch your mouth!
  • Dark Reprise: Subtly. As Mojo finally sees his ultimate plan coming together, a sinister rendition of the theme song can be heard.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the series. Word of God states that this was done deliberately as they were encouraged by Cartoon Network to make a movie for "25 year old guys," so they toned down the comical side and made it more serious and action-packed.
  • Darkest Hour: The climax. The monkey minions are destroying Townsville, the Powerpuff Girls are Heroic B.S.O.D.-ing on a distant asteroid in space, and Mojo Jojo is on the cusp of triumph. Things start to turn around when the girls hear the Professor yell their names and rocket back to Earth to save him...
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Mojo Jojo doesn't speak in his usual redundantly repetitive fashion for most of the movie, but when his plans go awry he snaps and starts repetitively repeating himself as usual.
  • Didn't Think This Through: It never occurred to Mojo that his army of super-intelligent primates would challenge his authority.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Mayor publicly condemns the girls and the Professor only after the girls accidentally destroyed his favorite pickle stand.
  • Dvd Commentary: Done by Creator & Director Craig McCracken, Art Director Mike Moon, and Bubbles, Blossom, Buttercup, The Mayor, and Mojo Jojo. Why were Professor Utonium, Ms. Sarah Bellum, and Ms. Keene left out?
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After the girls defeat Mojo, they are finally accepted by the townspeople and are able to fight crime and save the day.
  • Easily Forgiven: At the end of the movie, once the girls have defeated Mojo Jojo, the townspeople heap praise on them. Even though they treated the girls extremely cruelly for the majority of the film, the Powerpuff Girls' instantly forgive the townspeople and agree to defend the town from then on.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mojo finds his minions ideas of villainy to be crass and off-putting.
  • Evil Genius: Mojo Jojo, even more than in the series.
  • Enemy Mine: Mojo saves the Girls from the Gangreen Gang, and teams up with them in order to create his lair.
  • Evil Old Folks: Pappy Wappy, who is an elderly monkey exposed to Chemical X and is seen weakly attempting to slap a human senior citizen.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Shortly after Mojo Jojo conquers Townsville with his army of apes exposed to Chemical X, all of them start betraying Mojo and trying to take over Townsville themselves. While they don't exactly fight each other, all of them clearly want to destroy or conquer Townsville and none of them are willing to have anyone other than themselves do the job.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Mojo when he puts Chemical X in his brain to become a giant mutant, and fights the Powerpuff Girls harder than ever before.
  • Eureka Moment: In the climax, initially the girls just focus on trying to save the people and get them out of harm's way. Buttercup becomes frustrated when a dog keep nearly getting crushed that she eventually just shocks one of the monkeys attacking it. She starts to apologize till the girls realize where they can put their strength to use.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The purpose of Mojo Jojo's secret machine is to create an army of superpowered monkeys to do his bidding.
  • The Exile: A self-inflicted one. After realizing that they helped Mojo Jojo to create his army of superpowered primates, seeing them destroying the town, and realizing that even their father doesn't think they're innocent, the Girls flee to a distant asteroid in space, planning to live there for the rest of their lives. They don't stay there long.
  • Expressive Hair: Bubbles's pigtails droop due to sadness a few times.
  • Face Palm: Mitch does this when Bubbles thinks she's been "infected" from a game of tag.
  • False Reassurance: Mojo tries to do this to the girls, but Bubbles causes him to pause and tell a bold-faced lie in order to keep reassuring them. Not that he sees it that way...
    Bubbles: This isn't making the town a better place!
    Mojo: Yes, it is — for me!
  • Foregone Conclusion: Due to its nature as a prequel, you know the Girls become the heroes of Townsville, and that Mojo's plan fails.
  • Freak Out!: How the girls realize they can effectively use their powers as, initially, they were just trying to save the townspeople. However, Buttercup gets so frustrated when a dog she keeps saving winds up in another perilous situation that she mindlessly just attacks the assaulter. Blossom and Bubbles then realize they can do it, too.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: An absolutely brutal one at the climax. After realizing the damage they did to the town by helping Mojo and being rejected by their father, the girls leave Earth and settle on an asteroid. Bubbles can't stop crying, Buttercup is enraged that she and her sisters were tricked by Mojo, and Blossom is torn between being angry at Buttercup for starting the messnote  and just plain broken by the sheer destruction they've indirectly caused, the rejection they've faced, and the fact that trying to fix their mistakes only made things worse.
  • Human Shield: When Mojo sees that the girls are learning the full potential of their power fighting the Chemical X-empowered primate army, he takes Professor Utonium with him back to his lair and uses the threat of snapping his neck to hold off the girls long enough to infuse himself with even more Chemical X.
  • Ironic Echo: When the girls meet Mojo for the very first time, he says that he's a monster, to which Blossom replies that he's not a monster, because "Monsters are evil"; in the final battle, they tell him that he is evil, and is a monster.
  • Knight of Cerebus: This time, Mojo Jojo is a more serious character with only a few humorous moments. He even has a Dark and Troubled Past that includes being discriminated to insanity. He also succeeded in awakening the ape apocalypse, nearly destroying humanity, and gotten much closer to killing the Powerpuff Girls than anyone else, and the only reason why he didn't succeed was that he got pushed from a tower, landing on a stack of Antidote X that removed his powers.
  • Large Ham:
    • Baboon Kaboom speaks loudly and dramatically when he appears.
    • Mojo is also this as usual.
  • Mad Bomber: One of Mojo's chemically enhanced apes, Baboon Kaboom. He piloted a Humongous Mecha who produced tossable "Butt Bombs".
  • Manipulative Bastard: Mojo Jojo for manipulating the girls into helping him take over Townsville.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Mitch has this look when the girls soar off in their tag game, leaving rampant destruction in their wake.
    • The Professor suffers from this when the girls (unknowingly) helped Mojo Jojo create an army of intelligent apes. He doesn't even know anymore if the girls he created are perfect little girls at all.
    • When Buttercup punches out Rocko Socko in a fit of rage in order to save the Talking Dog for the umpteenth time, she initially thinks she's killed him and is horrified, stammering to Blossom and Bubbles that she didn't mean to.
  • Naughty Is Good: Inverted. When the girls try to make the world a better place by allying themselves with Mojo Jojo, they wind up causing more damage. Played straight at the end when the Mayor allows the girls to dish out whatever punishment they want on petty crooks.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Mojo wouldn't have been able to set his plan in motion without help from the girls. Heck the fact that he even has his volcano lair is because of them.
    • Professor Utonium begins to feel this way himself during the ape attack, as he created the girls out of a desire to help the city, but indirectly made things even worse.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: ...Of course, as established in the show already, even when he was just Jojo, his chaotic destruction of the Professor's lab (as shown in the opening credits) is what ultimately created the girls in the first place.
    • Also, stopping his evil plan allows the girls to redeem their reputation with the people of Townsville and find their niche using their powers to fight evil.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • During the tag scene, the Professor has this look the whole way.
    • After Bubbles and Buttercup save Blossom from a needle attack by Mo'Mojo by putting a bus in front of her, the attack stops and Bubbles nervously asks, "Do you think he's finished?" before they hear Mo'Mojo say, "No..." and get an Oh, Crap! expression, just as Mo'Mojo adds, "BUT YOU ARE!"
  • One-Winged Angel: Mojo Jojo doses himself with Chemical X a second time to turn into a King Kong-sized monster ape.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: During his climactic speech to the Powerpuff Girls trying to convince them that They Can Rule Together, Mojo Jojo speaks normally and concisely as opposed to his usual Motor Mouth rambling.
    Mojo Jojo: Can't you see? None of them will ever understand you as I can. For we are kindred spirits, whose powers spring from the same source.
  • Origins Episode: Expands upon an episode of the series ("Mr. Mojo's Rising") by going into further detail about the circumstances that made Mojo Jojo the archenemy of the Powerpuff Girls. Conversely, it explains how the girls came to be recognized as the heroes of Townsville, and it was quite rocky.
  • Panty Shot: Buttercup, as the Professor puts her nightie on her.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Mojo's master plan revolves around this.
  • Poke the Poodle: The super-monkeys' plans include destroying the city with a tomato tornado, causing havoc with giant robots, and...throwing banana peels everywhere to make people slip on them.
  • Power Nullifier: Antidote X, which returns Mojo Jojo to his original form.
  • Rearrange the Song: BIS performed a punk rendition of their theme for the show.
  • Redemption Quest: The Powerpuff Girls have to save the day after Mojo Jojo tricked them into helping with his evil scheme.
  • Retcon: The Mayor from the timeframe of the show is shown also being the Mayor when the girls were created. The totally different Mayor from the What A Cartoon short "Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins" is nowhere to be seen. Unless they're meant to be the same character, in which case it's one hell of a case of Backported Development.
  • Scenery Gorn: Townsville is utterly devastated.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The Narrator performs the usual opening and closing but is otherwise completely absent from the film.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The News Flash logo is based on SESAME STREET NEWS with Kermit the Frog.
    • The two eyewitnesses that appear on TV after the Girls' disastrous townwide game of Tag are blatant references to Van Halen. The blond eyewitness's lines ("I was reaching down between my legs to ease the seat back..." and "Uh-oh, Jamie's crying") are lyrics from two of Van Halen's songs ("Panama" and "Jamie's Cryin'", respectively)
    • Mojo Jojo calls himself the king of the Planet of the Apes, and when Buttercup is freeing the trapped Talking Dog in Rocko Socko's metal grasp, she screams "GET YOUR STINKIN' PAWS OFF HIM, YOU DARNED DIRTY APE!"
    • When Mojo Jojo becomes a giant, he climbs the highest building in Townsville in a manner reminiscent of King Kong.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The girls' epic speech after Mojo tries forcing them to join him. All the while they talk back to him, they kick his ass all over the place.
  • So Proud of You: The Professor's reaction after the girls make things right by defeating the monkeys and saving the town.
    The Professor: (hugs the girls) Oh, girls, I'm so sorry for doubting you. You are good, good, perfect little girls, and I love you!
    Girls: We love you too!
  • Space Is Noisy: When the girls sulk on an asteroid, they're able to bicker with each other.
  • Start of Darkness: As mentioned, the Girls aren't the only ones with an origin story.
  • Theme Naming: Nearly every primate that Mojo Jojo exposed to Chemical X has a name similar to his, consisting of a pair of two-syllable rhyming words.
  • Tragic Villain: Mojo Jojo actually turns out to be one in this movie, for his belief of humans treating apes and monkeys like slaves.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Up until Mojo Jojo's monkey army rebels against him, he speaks in a very straightforward manner. Once it becomes apparent that the Chemical X-enhanced simians have their own plots for world domination, he flips out, and starts ranting in his trademark redundant speech-style;
    "Nooooo! Stop! Cease! Desist! Do not continue with the ramblings, for my ramblings are the ramblings to be obeyed. For I am king, supreme leader, and all-around dictator. Don't you see? All you monkeys are my plan, so your plans are my plans because you are my plan and my plan was to make you! I plan to rule the planet! Not to have my plans plan to stop me! I am your creator! I am your king! I am Mojo Jojo! Obey ME!"
  • Villain Song: Parodied. When Mojo's minions all start unveiling their own evil schemes, Hacha Cha Cha reveals his with a quick little ditty.
  • Volumetric Mouth: Bubbles is drawn with one as she says "I DON'T WANNA SLEEP ON A ROCK!"
  • We Can Rule Together: Mojo Jojo offer this to the girls, this being a prequel of course, the girls refused.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Mojo Jojo appears to be this. He mutates all apes and monkeys, and manipulates the girls to fight against the humans for discriminating his race.
    • For too long, apes and monkeys have been under the thumb of man. Well, the time has come to oppose that thumb, and take hold of what is rightfully ours.. The woooorld!
  • Wham Line: Parodied at the end. While the people of Townsville are expressing gratitude to the girls, a dog the girls rescued says "thank you". Any viewers who have seen the show before know that he's Talking Dog and thus always could talk, but anyone who hasn't will probably take it as a bit of a shock.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It isn't explained what happened to the other monkeys and primates that Mojo Jojo exposed to Chemical X after the Powerpuff Girls beat them up. This is especially jarring considering that this movie is a prequel to the series explaining the origins of the girls and Mojo Jojo.