Monday, 3 March 2014

Powerpuff Girls

by Charlie Albuery

I’ve recently had to begin wearing glasses. Now, I don’t really have a problem with this. Well, that’s a lie; I didn’t up until yesterday, when my cousin pointed out to me that, to her eyes, they make me look like Dexter.
No, not the weirdly charismatic serial killer (that would have been cool) but the tiny, nerdy child who is secretly a genius in the 90’s cartoon ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’. Following this, I went back and watched an episode of the show. Given what I found, and how this was compounded by looking back at other cartoons I watched as a child, I’m completely I amazed I grew up a relatively grounded human being.

You’re probably confused – I’ll explain:

I had three favourite cartoons as a child, the aforementioned ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’, ‘The Powerpuff Girls’ (about three superpowered sisters who are a dubiously veiled metaphor for feminism) and ‘Pinky and the Brain’, the nightly attempts by two mice to take over the world, one of whom is an autistic megalomaniac the other a subnormal imbecile.
I’d just like to take a moment to discuss exactly how disturbing that is. However, one of these three stands out above all others as the epitome of disturbing, childhood-destroying chaos: ‘The Powerpuff Girls’.
There are three aspects of this show that warrant it being banned from television forever (in my opinion):

3 – Bunny

The titular superheroines literally build themselves a clearly (I hate to use this word twice in one article but it’s simply the only apt description) subnormal sister who is aesthetically most similar to Quasimodo in a purple dress - I’m not even exaggerating; see for yourself:

2 – There’s an episode called ‘Bubbleiscious’, in which Bubbles, the sweetest and kindest of all of the girls, is underestimated by the others and so reacts in a rational way and deals with her self-image by talking it through with her sisters.
I a quote from the official plot synopsis: ‘The Mayor is stuck on a huge traffic by Talking Dog, and Bubbles brutally beats him. Then her sisters appear and are surprised and not happy about Bubbles' new behaviour and try to cool her down, but Bubbles does not listen and proceeds to beat them too. Soon, she goes on a destructive rage in Townsville, senselessly beating up people for mainly minor crimes (e.g. Littering, stepping on the grass).

To me that sounds like an awful lot of beating for a five year old girl who (it should be pointed out) is supposedly a role-model for young girls and THE NICEST CHARACTER IN THE SHOW.

 3 – HIM

All right, any of you with even the vaguest recollections of the show (or who frequent tumblr) knew this was coming. I can hardly list all of the borderline-damaging creepy elements of ‘Him’ without far exceeding my word limit and your patience. However, I’ll try cover the key points.

'Him' is one of the girls’ many enemies and ‘he’ is, in a word, disturbing - a cross-dressing, nameless embodiment of all that is evil, ‘His’ voice ranging from a cheerful, exuberant lisp to an explosive roar to an insidious whisper, with a constant creepy reverb applied to it throughout. Moreover, ‘His’ appearance is always accompanied by a Scare Chord (google it). The narrator openly admits that he is terrified of HIM. Let that sink in...

‘He’ lives in a rundown apartment building. His room is illuminated only by an eerie pink light. The walls and the floor are pink. There is no furniture, there are no appliances (except a TV), logic or causality. It's less a bachelor pad and more an entrance into the Eye of Terror.
Somehow that was BEFORE it got re-designed. Later seasons show it to be a world gone mad, with assorted pieces of chaotic debris vaguely resembling real-world architecture swirling randomly through a formless void while unrelated live action clips (in a cartoon show) inexplicably play against the background. Just like everything else about ‘Him, ‘His’ abode really crosses the line between outright silly and absolutely horrifying - however, horrifying certainly wins out the majority of the time. Oh, and let’s not forget the episode where ‘Him’ brainwashes the whole of Townsville in hating, hunting down and eventually nearly murdering the girls.

Worst of all ‘He’ is the only recurring villain not obsessed with ruling Townsville or monetary gain. No, his aspirations are far more nefarious. Him simply wishes (and devotes all ‘his’ time and energy) to utterly breaking the girls' spirit for no reason other than because he's just plain EVIL.

At this juncture, I should remind you that THEY ARE FIVE-YEAR-OLD GIRLS AND HE IS A CRAB-CLAWED DEMON OF CHAOS.


1 comment:

  1. Great read! I still watch most of these shows, they discontinued them but you can find them on the internet if you look carefully!


Comments with names are more likely to be published.