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Trivia / The Powerpuff Girls Movie

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  • Acclaimed Flop: Though the film was a box office flop, it gained mostly good reviews from critics, garnering a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Box Office Bomb: Performed horribly at the box office due to very little advertising for the film outside the Cartoon Network channel (largely the fault of Warner Bros). As well being paired against Men in Black II, a hotly anticipated sequel at the time, on opening weekend plus waning interest in the series. In some countries, such as Japan, it was released Direct-to-Video.
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  • Creator Backlash: Craig McCracken doesn't outright hate the movie, but has come to think the tone was excessively dark.
  • Creator Killer:
    • Zigzagged. Both Craig McCracken and Cartoon Network easily survived and continue to produce cartoons to this day, but the film's failure convinced the latter not never venture out to theatrical features any further, instead choosing to stick with television. As of this writing, an Adventure Time movie has been in Development Hell since the show's seventh season. The only wide-release theatrical feature film even tangentially related to CN that has released since is Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, which was produced solely by Warner Bros. Animation and based on a WBA-produced show that airs domestically on the channel.
    • The film's failure was one of the many failures which caused WB's parent company, AOL Time Warner, to sell off AOL the year after the film's release.
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  • Doing It for the Art: Craig McCracken wanted this to be an "animator's film" and insisted that the writing staff be made up exclusively of people who were capable of drawing.
  • Official Fan-Submitted Content: Cartoon Network held a contest in which fans were encouraged to send in their own drawings of the girls and the Professor for a chance for it to appear in the movie. The two winning pieces show up as the crayon drawing Bubbles made that the Professor picks up after she falls asleep and the "wanted" poster that appears on the news.
  • Too Soon: The fact that the film was released about a year after the 9/11 attacks is often believed to be a contributor to its financial failure, seeing as how the film features the destruction of a big city and as well as a lot of general violence.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Craig McCracken originally pitched the movie to have the show's regular villains argue over who would rule Townsville. Craig found that it left little screen time for the girls, so he pitched the origin story.
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    • The movie bore the secondary titles "First Flight" and "Maiden Voyage" during production.
    • McCracken has stated through his social media that he originally intended for the movie to be even darker, originally shooting for a PG-13 rating. This was actually due to Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. going through the early phases of their experimental "adult animation" period that would lead to the creation of [adult swim] (other products of this including the likes of the John Kricfalusi-esque The Flintstones on the Rocks and the live action Scooby-Doo movie originally being intended for older audiences with an R rating). However Warner Bros. later backed down from this idea and requested the film be toned down to a PG rating (the Scooby Doo movie was similarly affected by having much of the adult humor cut out of the final film in order to get a PG rating).
    • It was planned for other shows such as Codename: Kids Next Door and Ed, Edd n Eddy to have theatrical films following this movie. But due to the film underperforming, Cartoon Network backed away from feature films and have since stuck with made-for-TV movies for their shows. This is also why the Samurai Jack Grand Finale movie languished in development hell for over a decade, before it was decided to produce a fifth season.
    • McCracken stated that he met with the band Gorillaz and asked if they could do a song for the film. But that never came to pass due to scheduling conflicts.
  • Writer Revolt: When the film was greenlit, McCracken had become increasingly frustrated at the Misaimed Marketing, which passed PPG off as any other "girly" girls' show, with tie-in products such as makeup kits and jewelry, and sought to emphasize the show's roots as The Whoop Ass Girls by making the film as violent as possible. As stated above, he has since voiced regret about taking the movie in such a direction.

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