The Super Heroes, The Super Villian, and the Super Sweetest Suit-Up Scene!

Our Review

'The city of Townsville!'

Those of you familiar with that particular introduction are already well acquainted with Craig McCracken's endearing and ingeniously stylized Powerpuff Girls. The hyper editing, break-beat techno infused, minimalism of the Cartoon Network series makes the movie a fun treat that features the origin of the girls' most arcane of arch-enemies (and his very first suit-up scene!)...Mojo Jojo!

The scene begins after the Powerpuff Girls have accidentally destroyed their beloved city during an enthusiastic game of tag. Feeling depressed because of their freakish superpowers and the unintentional harm they created, the girls stumble upon a homeless, intelligence-enhanced chimp who understands isolation from cold, indifferent society. He urges the girls to help him prove to the people of Townsville that super smart chimps and cutesy little kids with superpowers can do a lot for the city. Thus begins the mighty Mojo Jojo's plot to create an army of crazed, super monkeys to ensnare the Mayor as well as hold the whole city ransom...and take over the world directly afterward.

The Powerpuff girls have unknowingly assisted in the evil genius's scheme -- but they are excited to get dressed the next morning and take their father, Professor Utonium, to see the mayor about using their powers for good deeds. The scene is cross cut with Mojo Jojo suiting up for his revenge...

This scene earns all five stars because it only exists as a pure indulgence; an ode to all suit-up scenes, masterfully crafted into a tight 19 second duration.

It is a very playful scene loaded with great sound design, unity of idea through cross cutting, geometrical abstraction, and color: the girls wake up and fly about happily cheering 'today's the day! Today's the Day!! TODAY'S THE --' (and we cut to Mojo Jojo) He belows 'DAY!' Both heroes and villain are eager to meet the Mayor but for very different reasons. As the girls peruse row after row of identical outfits pondering aloud 'what to wear? What to wear!? WHAT TO WEAR?' (a quick cut to Mojo's closet of identical outfits) He cries 'Ooo, that's nice!' The repetition of sound design with sudden variation is as pleasant to the ear as it is clever to the brain. A barrage of close ups show boots being pulled on, gloves, fastening a hair clip, utility belt, smoothing out a dress, sliding a helmet over a brain: all have a minimalistic interplay of form and color. The animation is simplistic so close ups become abstractions of things (a simplification of something already simple) and the movement is a sensory experience of staccato sounds and geometrical shapes -- a kind of shorthand of idea or conceptualization. It make me giddy like a kid on his third bowel of Lucky Charms who then uses the sugary leftover milk to sweeten a pot of coffee and chase it all down.

And when Mojo Jojo's plan backfires on him? Well! The chemically mutated army of super monkeys all suit up to gain leadership of the assault on the city...another suit up scene only minutes away...

Comments

Kirk's picture

Congrats on bringing us our first animated suit-up scene. What I love about this scene is the minimal art style of The Powerpuff Girls is technically in opposition to the concept of most suit-up scenes. The typical scene is an a study in detail, but with such simple artwork you end up experiencing a very abstract series of images.