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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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The Powerpuff Girls - The Good Episodes!
After we use mouthwash to wash the taste away of those last 10 episodes, it's time to reveal what I think are the top 10 best episodes of The Powerpuff Girls. This was way harder to make than the worst list for many reasons, but I believe I found my top 10.
The same rules I used for the worst list apply to this list.
Once again, it has to be either an episode or a special of the original Powerpuff Girls. I decided The Powerpuff Girls Movie would have been too easy to put here.
I have to say one bad aspect about the good episodes as well. They're going to be pretty minor, and fixing them could potentially be bad for the episode, but I still think there's got to be something that could be considered bad.
This is my opinion and my opinion alone. There were some episodes everyone loves that I didn't like as much (Power-Noia, for example), and vice versa. If someone felt these episodes weren't that great, I respect their opinion.
Let’s begin!
10. Telephonies
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This is the series' first villain team up episode, and it's a bold decision to make it after each of the villains involved in this only appeared in one episode each. One would think this would be better if they fleshed out the villains in different storylines before deciding to put these villains together. However, with Telephonies, it just works. A part of this may be due to how simple and clever this plot is, with the Gangreen Gang making prank calls to the Powerpuff Girls, falsely saying that a villain has run amok, and the Powerpuff Girls rush in to beat up the villain despite them not actually doing anything evil.
The calm scenes of the villains in their off-duty are all clever, with Mojo Jojo sleeping on the couch, Fuzzy Lumpkins just having a nice bath, and Him just sweating to the oldies. Mojo Jojo's reaction to this gets a special mention here that I must quote: "Oh goodness, I better not SNORE!" It all ends with a fight scene, and it's not the usual one. It's not the absolute best villain team up this show has ever done, and that would be pretty sad if it was as this was the first one, but the way the villains are used puts Telephonies among the funniest episodes of Season 1.
Bad thing: Maybe it's because of his strong competition with the usually amazing Mojo Jojo and the eccentric Him, but Fuzzy is the weakest link of the three victims.
9. City of Clipsville
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I do want to be fair to the post-McCracken era of The Powerpuff Girls. Sure, Season 5 and 6 are the weakest of the six seasons for many reasons, but once in a while, there are episodes that hit it out of the park. City of Clipsville is an episode that pokes fun at shows that ran for so long that they found excuses to just reuse old clips because, back in the day, nobody could just pull up an old episode unless they religiously taped it. After using clips from Cover Up and both of the Monkey See episodes, the episode shows its true colors by showing off clips from episodes that both don't exist and probably shouldn't exist.
We get it all: scenes with the Powerpuff Girls as babies, the Professor getting married, the Powerpuff Girls as boy-crazy teenagers, and even short little comedic scenes like the Powerpuff Girls losing the ability to fly and the Mayor remembering the Professor making a giant pickle. I almost wish there were more scenes to talk about, which is why this is relatively low, but what is there is really good. A shining spot in what is otherwise a rather dull season.
Bad thing: I know this is going to be controversial, but I'll say it anyway: I think they spent a little too much time on the teenager scene. I'd trade a lot of that scene for just more rejected Powerpuff ideas. I know why they did it, I know they wanted to make it even longer, and I know everyone wanted to see even more scenes with the Rowdyruff Boys. Maybe it's how some fans actually took it seriously and wanted them to expand on this concept despite the scene lampooning the whole idea of grown up Powerpuff Girls acting like stereotypical teenagers. I guess with that upcoming CW show, they got what they wished for in the end!
8. Bought And Scold
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Bought And Scold's premise is pretty solid in itself: Princess takes control of Townsville and, in revenge for not being allowed to be a Powerpuff Girl, decides to make crime legal so the Powerpuff Girls are out of a job. It's perfect for Princess; a petty law she made out of vengeance against her enemies, not really caring that making crime legal would affect not only Townsville's economy, but possibly affect her economy in the end as well. While I do like how they handled crime being legal by showing a bunch of little scenes of criminals with the decree in their hands, and the contrast between those scenes and the scenes in the end, it's really the second part of the episode that makes this one of the best episodes.
After we see a rather long scene showing the effects of this new law in Townsville, Bought and Scold becomes one of those "from the villain's point of view" episodes, which is not too common with this series, and the latter half of the episode does very well with that aspect. One could argue Stuck Up Up And Away, her debut episode, also shows this off with Princess, but that's just her whining to her daddy to give her superhero-grade super suits. Here, we get to see where she sleeps, how she yells at her daddy, and, for the only time ever, we even get to see her in utter fear at her father's potential anger when her house gets robbed. That last one is really something that puts this episode near the top for me; once this episode gets to the ending, it adds an extra dimension to her spoiled brat character that sadly just doesn't appear anywhere else.
Bad thing: What was next for Princess in this plan to rule over Townsville? Just delight in being the ruler of a crime-not-only-ridden-but-encouraged city? Yes, there is implication that Princess promises her daddy that she's going to be the best town ruler ever, but they don't go beyond that.
7. Forced Kin
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Season 4 suffered a lot from having episodes that were a half an hour long, but here's a plot that is somehow good enough to deserve all the time it gets despite having a high-concept plot. Alien comes in, Powerpuff Girls can't beat the alien, they have to get Mojo's help, they basically try to out-evil each other, Mojo eventually goes crazy and defeats the alien, the end. There's no story to the alien, there's no complicated plot, just Mojo Jojo vs. an alien. They could have easily put this in 12 minutes.
It's the way everything comes together that makes this episode great: the alien being this prophet who can predict all of the Powerpuff Girls moves and counter them, Mojo Jojo teaching the girls the way of the evil genius, how wacky Mojo Jojo's evil plans are and how they manage to work in the end, and Mojo Jojo's unpredictable-even-by-the-alien tantrum in the end. Combined with the rather epic scale of the alien invasion, this is a must watch for sure.
Bad thing: Apparently, this nameless alien is the most evil being they have ever encountered? Why? Because it can beat them? What about Him? Maybe they're not counting the more psychological villains.
6. The Bare Facts
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The Powerpuff Girls' main character are three girls that are supposed to represent three different aspects of one's personality, and there's no episode of Powerpuff Girls that really treats it that way more than this episode. We get to see each of the Powerpuff Girls lay down those titular bare facts to the Mayor, who was kidnapped by Mojo, each with their own different way of telling that story. Each Powerpuff Girl gets their own art style, too, a highlight being Bubbles' cutesy crayon drawings. Each of these perfect little girls tell the truth, each in their own little way.
There's plenty of jokes along the way, too. Bubbles keeps going off the record to talk about flower drawings or clouds, Buttercup just keeps trying to get to the end, and Blossom keeps trying to make the story all about herself. And, of course, there's the ending, which really shows why this episode is called The Bare Facts and gives the episode some rewatch potential. It's one of the more unique episodes of the series, and one that plays to its strengths. If one watches this episode and doesn't know who their favorite Powerpuff Girl is, I don't know who that person is.
Bad thing: Bubbles has those aforementioned crayon drawings, Buttercup has this dark comic book style, and Blossom's is just...pink. I get it, the joke is that the pink Puff is making it all about herself and her leadership skills, but it does seem like the weak link of the three, just like that pink villain from Telephonies.
5. Just Another Manic Mojo
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Going from one Mojo Jojo episode to an episode with Mojo Jojo to another Mojo Jojo focused episode, one could probably argue from this list that Mojo Jojo is my favorite recurring villain in the show. As silly as saying the arch-nemesis is my favorite villain, though I do have some villains I wish were featured more often, it's hard not to think he is with episodes like this. Even beyond his first appearance in Monkey See, Doggy Do and his origin story in Mr. Mojo's Rising, this is the quintessential Mojo Jojo episode. Much like the second half of Bought And Scold, this is a day in the life episode, this time featuring everyone's favorite evil genius monkey.
An episode about a villain going to the grocery store can only really be good as the villain and his reactions to everything. Also, this episode heavily focuses on his famous catchphrase, using it as a really good running gag. It's not all just regular stuff, either. We get to see the machine that dresses and gets him ready for the day, he yells at kids to get out of his evil moat around the volcano, and he eventually just can't help himself to do a plan to exterminate those "bugs" once and for all once he gets the chance. This is the best spotlight on a particular villain this series has ever done, and it's only fitting that it was a spotlight on its most notorious.
Bad thing: The Powerpuff Girls themselves don't get that much of a role besides being annoying to Mojo, which is for this episode's plot, but it's not really playing to any of their strengths.
4. Something's A Ms.
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Something was a miss, and this episode sure wasn't! The episode starts as a big mystery, as the girls have to figure out how these mysterious thefts were happening, all while Miss Bellum is acting so odd. All between, this episode reminds us what Craig McCracken's favorite movie is. I still haven't watched that movie, and that should be a testament to how good this episode is that it's still this high. It's as if references don't ruin episodes if they're good enough!
The mystery, the hidden jokes, and the final fight scene all add to the quality of the epsiode. Not just the final fight scene with the girls, but with a character that deserves a lot more respect than she got a decade-and-a-half later. It's also a breath of fresh air that the Powerpuff Girls managed to figure out what was really happening, and it's not just the villain just suddenly revealing themselves to their utter shock. An excellent ending to what would be a potential Sedusa arc, even if it's not quite the last time we ever saw her.
Bad thing: The fireplace scene, while great looking, isn't really something that The Mayor would do. That did take me out of the episode to think, "yeah, that's got to be a Big Lebowski reference." It is, by the way.
3. Meet The Beat-Alls
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Lately, it's been a recent controversy among Cartoon Twitter that cartoons nowadays are just trying to reference popular things like Sonic the Hedgehog just to make people go "oh my goodness, they're nerds like me!", and I never got why that was inherently bad. If I was making cartoons, I would totally be sneaking references to my favorite games in them. Well, after that Big Lebowski-O-Rama that was Something's A Ms, here's an episode that's nothing but Beatles references. It's not even subtle about it. Song titles, album covers, parts of the Beatles history, and even the Beatles themselves in their 60's cartoon designs make a probably unauthorized cameo in the middle of the episode. It is a laugh riot.
I did say Telephonies was not the best villain team-up, and that's because that honor goes to this episode. Even if one doesn't know about the Beatles, and that could be more likely than one might think among today's youth unless they grew up on the Beat Bugs and would apply to me as a kid, the episode is still entertaining. It's not like the villains are out of character, I could see Mojo Jojo ending up in a Yoko Ono situation. This episode doesn't need any help to be as good as it is.
Bad thing: Him has always been betrayed as someone who is way beyond the other villains, but he's just another villain that just happens to shoot lasers out of his hands in this one. Even in an episode like Birthday Bash, another contender for greatest villain team-up episode of the series, he was treated as a villain far beyond the villains in the jail cell, taking over the news and Professor Utonium's mind.
2. Uh Oh Dynamo
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Giant monsters? Awesome. Giant robots? Also awesome. Giant robots fighting giant monsters? Even Jet Jaguar led to that amazing flying kick scene in Godzilla Vs. Megalon. There's no giant lizard monster seemingly skidding on his tail here, but that doesn't mean this half-hour of power deserves any less respect.
I haven't even touched upon an episode that put a major focus on the Powerpuff Girls' father figure, and putting this near the top may be me trying to make up for that. The first half does make one kind of feel for the Professor's plight, as, while the girls can easily handle crime themselves, he doesn't want to see his children get hurt. The second half is just as good in a different way, with lots of creative scenes. The attacks from both the giant fish balloon, which became kind of a recurring character in their own right even for just two episodes, and the giant robot Powerpuff Girl. Monster fights, city destruction, family issues, this episode has it all and more. I should also give a special mention to this episode's sort-of-sequel.
Bad thing: This episode does have a little bit of that issue everyone had with Daylight Savings, which was an episode I thought was just in the mediocre category, in that the Professor's insistence on being an overprotective dad does cause the episode's problems. I'd say it's the least justified here, even if it does lead to the giant robot.
It was so hard to make this list, because there's so many episodes just as deserving to be in a best list. Here's the next best thing: an honorable mentions list. All of these could have been the 11 spot, or at least the first four, anyway.
Bubblevicious - The danger room scene that really pushed the envelope on TV-Y7-FV violence and Bubbles turning into a vicious monster leads to a great character study for the little blue one.
Speed Demon - With its dark atmosphere that would only be matched by Samurai Jack years later, it's hard to forget this one, as much as our minds really wanted to.
Child Fearing - I almost put this episode in the list, but I felt there was too much Jojo. I still think about "if I was a bunny I'd HOP HOP HOP!"
Him Diddle Riddle - There's so much variety in Him's riddles, one may ignore that some of them seemingly make no sense.
Bubble Boy - This episode's idea of having Bubbles try to hang out with the gross boys is a really good one. Most of the Rowdyruff Boys' post-"The Rowdyruff Boys" appearances have been hit or miss, but this one's the biggest hit. I would talk about the first Rowdyruff Boys, but I felt Bubblevicious was superior.
I See A Funny Cartoon In Your Future - I already mentioned Live and Let Dynamo, so I'll go with this one. An amazing Rocky & Bullwinkle parody that really nails it down. Having the late great June Foray appear as the villain helps, too.
The Powerpuff Girls Rule - Hooray, I justified the rule of including specials! I was surprised on how much I liked this one. Maybe it is a good watch after watching the rest of the series, as there's tons of in-jokes. The fast pace didn't bother me as much as I thought it would.
Finally, #1. I wanted to surprise everyone, but...
1. The Powerpuff Girls Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever!
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That GIF's "Fly fly fly fly, pow, bye bye bye bye bye" was an intended name for this blog, but I felt that was really annoying, so I shortened it, and that's how Fly Pow Bye was born: from this episode. It's a relatively simple concept, too: it's a rainy day, and not even the criminals want to be outside, so the Powerpuff Girls have to pretend to fight crime using toys. After 2020 and the seemingly eternal quarantine it caused, this episode is even more relevant!
There are so many scenes in this that will stick in anyone's memories. Buttercup as the monster that surprises, Blossom's Miss Bellum impression, the Professor filling in for Bubbles and just wants to get it done, Bubbles and Buttercup dressing up as Fuzzy and Him, respectively, and even near the end, where, in a scene that is definitely similar to what happens in childhood playdates, Bubbles and Buttercup just decide to play video games during Blossom's epic Mojo Jojo impression/hide and seek game. During this project, I wanted to find an episode I can say that was more memorable, more quoteworthy, and more relatable than the very episode that gave Fly Pow Bye its name, and, while there were episodes that were very close, I'm still going to give the gold to this one. The Powerpuff Girls Best Rainy Day Adventure Ever is the Powerpuff Girls' Best Adventure, period.
Bad thing: If there's any bad thing to say about this episode, it's that I'd wouldn't recommend it as a first episode. Viewers of this episode need to know what the Powerpuff Girls usually do.
The Powerpuff Girls is a classic cartoon, and one of several cartoons that defined Cartoon Network in its classic era. It's no wonder why Cartoon Network just didn't want to let the Powerpuff Girls go, whether it be wanting to force a Season 7 despite the crew not wanting to do one, to that rather unfortunate event that happened in 2016, to letting it get the Riverdale treatment. Whatever happens next, all I can say is hurrah for Cartoon Network and the Powerpuff Girls. Bye.
See you on February 27th!
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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Powerpuff Girls - The Bad Episodes
I've been doing mini GIFsets of every episode of the original Powerpuff Girls, along with short summaries and reviews of them. That was the original intention of Fly Pow Bye, and I just never did it until now. Finally, after completing a rather different mission that wasn't nearly as entertaining, at least, not intentionally, Fly Pow Bye's original mission has been completed. I had to do something special to celebrate that, so why not do two different top tens? Worst is first!
Setting down three rules for both of these lists.
It has to be either an episode or a special of the original Powerpuff Girls.
I have to say at least one good aspect about the bad episodes, and one bad aspect about the good episodes.
This is my opinion and my opinion alone. There were some episodes everyone hates that I didn't hate as much (Town and Out, for example), and vice versa. If one liked any of these episodes, I respect their opinion.
Anyway, let's begin with the episodes I did not like.
10. Prime Mates
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I do remember watching maybe one or two Droopy cartoons when they aired on Cartoon Network back when they had entire blocks dedicated to old cartoons, but I don't remember much about them. However, I at least know enough about Droopy to know what Mopey Popo was referring to with his style of voice.
Younger me found this episode boring, and current me's opinion has not changed, and it's all because it feels really repetitive. Mojo Jojo tries to do something, Mopey Popo gets in the way, Mojo gets angry, repeat, repeat, repeat. They do throw a curveball in the end, and it does provoke some thought into how the ending happened, but it's not a great payoff for the slog that precedes it.
Good thing: One thing that does outshine the ending is that, despite this running on cartoon logic, they actually show the damage the previous scenes did. For example, if a giant ray gun gets lasered in half, it's in the next scene with a giant bandage on it. I thought that was a neat touch.
9. Monkey See, Doggy Two
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No, not Monkey See, Doggy Do, that's a good episode, and this episode sure knows it. Doggy Two is a direct sequel to Doggy Do where Mojo Jojo does the exact same plan with a few alterations. It is so exact, that almost half of the episode is just stock footage from Doggy Do. Not just the shots from Mojo Jojo's VHS tape of the events of the previous episode, but it even lifts entire jokes from the opening scene and just does them as if nobody saw them before. I know this was before the days of Netflix, as only the truly dedicated would be able to just pull up a funny moment from a particular episode and would benefit from clip shows, but why do a clip show with just one episode?
I get what this episode was doing besides save some money on animation: it is basing its humor on the silliness of the first Doggy episode. It all hinges on Mojo Jojo deciding the two things he did wrong were not protect his butt with a metal block and not have the Powerpuff Girls turn into dogs. This could be good for a minute-long promo like they did with the Super Friends, but not for 12 minutes. The predictable ending does not help in the slightest. I'm glad there's no Doggy Three.
Good thing: The episode isn't entirely worthless, as it does have maybe three or four decent lines from Mojo Jojo when he's watching that VHS tape. I like the part when Mojo Jojo has to explain to the girls that, yes, he does have a lot of cameras around Townsville that can replicate those camera shots. If only there were more moments like that; a self-targeted MST3K episode could potentially work.
...speaking of Super Friends...
8. Superfriends
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The Powerpuff Girls get a new friend for this episode named Robin Snyder, who was apparently an accident, too. Robin gets sad that the girls are so busy, so she ends up becoming friends with Princess instead. Princess decides to get Robin to steal a gumball. As Robin gets captured by Princess in an attempt to show that she can be a Powerpuff Girl that can fight crime, Princess just decides to yell about it and make it obvious that she set her up for it, and the Powerpuff Girls just forgive her. The end. Just stretch that out to a half an hour and that's this episode. Honestly, this episode would be boring even as a normal episode!
This episode does suffer a problem a lot of the half-hour Powerpuff Girls had: there's not enough material here for a half hour, and, as the Powerpuff Girls seemed to have a strict ban on B plots, they have to stretch out scenes to the point where they get boring. This one goes beyond even beyond those episodes; there's a reason why this is the only one on this bottom 10. Three minutes of this episode is dedicated to a music video set to that Apples In Stereo song which wasn't as catchy as I remembered it being, and about a third of it is a still image of a Powerpuff Signal! There's a lot of overly long scenes that add nothing, too. It's a shame, Robin Snyder could have been a decent addition to the cast, but this episode doesn't make me wish she appeared again.
Good thing: Besides the aforementioned "I was an accident, too" line, I do like the idea of the Powerpuff Girls having an ordinary classmate to be friends with. Really, who else do they have? Mitch Mitchelson? He's a bully! Harry Pitts? He's gross! Elmer Sglue? Did anyone even know he appeared in more than one episode without them explaining how he demutated from his glue monster form? He appeared more than Robin, that's for sure. No, that girl from Stuck Up Up And Away wasn't Robin.
7. Slave The Day
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Slave The Day is the Powerpuff Girls' take on a cliche plot. The Powerpuff Girls save Big Billy's life, Big Billy decides to become their personal servant, and he ends up being more of a nuisance than anything else. There are episodes that use cliche plots throughout the Powerpuff Girls, but usually they do a spin on it. The spin here is that the Powerpuff Girls beat up Big Billy at the end. Unlike a certain other episode that gained a lot of infamy over the Powerpuff Girls beating up someone, they try their hardest to explain why Big Billy deserved that beating, and it just comes off as awkward. There's not much else to say; it's just another boring episode.
Good thing: The scene where Big Billy gets rescued is pretty well done. I like how we just see a bunch of swooping camera shots, and a graffiti bottle getting mangled by the train, giving a sort of G-rated blood splatter effect with its contents.
6. The City of Frownsville
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(tw // 9/11)
The most interesting part of this episode is a piece of trivia associated with this episode that claims that this episode was supposed to be this show's 9/11 tribute. I almost put that one in the review, but then I realized I didn't remember seeing any kind of memoriam card. Not on the DVD, not on TV recordings, and not on any of my contemporary sources. Turns out, this trivia came from one person who decided to edit a bunch of wikis, sometimes even including a "Memoriam card" that is littered with spelling and grammar errors, is in the wrong aspect ratio, and has a rest in peace to the "World Trade Centre" (sic) itself. Remember kids, research before trusting wikis.
(tw over)
As for the episode, it's an episode that really banks on seeing people cry endlessly being a good source of entertainment. It isn’t. Yes, the villain slips on a banana peel, and that somehow ends the episode on a happy note, but that banana ends up getting set up for a very long time. The one joke that might have been great, and it's ruined by this episode's seemingly glacial pace. I wouldn't cry about it, but I would not want to watch this episode again.
Good thing: It's not an idea I've seen before, I'll give them that.
5. Toast of the Town
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There is one character that really suffered from the seasonal rot of Seasons 5 and 6, and that is the once as-lovable-as-he-was-not-too-smart Mayor. In most of the Season 5 and 6 episodes he was in, they essentially turned him into a toddler with a moustache. They were also really obsessed with him being in the nude, making me think they were mistaken on why everyone liked The Bare Facts. Thankfully, this is not one of those episodes, but there's little else to be thankful for in this one.
The Mayor is just not a great character here; here, that comparison to him being a toddler with a mustache far more fitting, as he actually acts like, and is rightfully treated like, a toddler in this one. I would slightly forgive this if they explained that the Chemical X-induced growth didn't apply to his brain, but judging by later episodes, I would have had a hard time believing it. It doesn't help that this "character growing into a giant and causing mayhem" plot was done much better and a little more creatively in What's The Big Idea.
Good thing: It has a really neat reference to Dee Dee from Dexter's Lab and her catchphrase.
4. Sweet N Sour
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It's a devil in plain sight episode. Next.
In all seriousness, I went into this episode with an open mind. Sure, this episode has the plot of the worst episodes of any cartoon, but, hey, Mommy Fearest could be considered a devil in plain sight episode, and that episode's good! After rewatching it, my opinion has certainly changed: this episode is even worse than I remembered! The usual Devil In Plain Sight plot has the devil usually not committing crimes in the sight of the people they're fooling. Here, they do the crimes, and nobody wants to arrest them because they're so adorable!
Even Save Mojo was a better episode than this, because at least I can say that episode was meant to be a commentary on how certain animal rights groups would see the Powerpuff Girls.
Good thing: There is a minute of catharsis in the end, where it's implied that these animals are being hugged to death. It does feel a little stretched out, but I think of all the scenes to stretch out, I'd take that over still shots of the Powerpuff Signal.
3. Fallen Arches
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I'm just as surprised that, of all of the episodes that could be considered to be worse than Sweet N Sour, it could be an episode from the McCracken age. Remember when I said Frownsville had a seemingly glacial pace? Here's an episode that intended to have a glacial pace, and succeeded far more than they should have. That GIF is a pretty good representation of the episode: almost nothing happens until the end, and the end is almost as bad as the rest of the episode. It's not funny.
I mean, I get it, they're old! Old people move very slowly! That's the joke for the entire episode when it's not focused on the two superheroes bickering until the episode decides to just have them make up. It really doesn't help that it came out a year after the much better Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episode. It may be a coincidence, but let's just say there's a good reason why Fallen Arches didn't become its own series of episodes.
Good thing: I do like the idea of other superheroes being around, especially in Townsville's pre-Powerpuff Girls days.
2. Say Uncle
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The Powerpuff Girls confuse a taffy-loving sasquatch to be their uncle. That idea could work, and they must have had plenty of ideas because this episode feels like a hodgepodge of a bunch of them. A bunch of incomplete ideas that don't really lead to anything that could be called comedy, but ideas nonetheless.
Throughout the episode, one just wants to scream at the television, as if they weren't already animated to do what they were going to do next, that this guy is not a human being. Even the people who should know better, like Blossom or Professor Utonium, are still going along with it because the episode just wouldn't be as long. The whole taffy part of the character feels forced, and so does all of the taffy related events that have to happen to make this bigfoot go bananas. In the end, they forget to actually tell a joke. Also, what was with the turtle race? Is this supposed to represent how slow this episode is? That's the best I can come up with. Terrible.
Good thing: The sasquatch just barging into Ms. Keane's class is the only time I cracked a smile at this.
First, some dishonorable mentions:
Tough Love - Having all of Townsville be against the Powerpuff Girls is a neat idea. Too bad it just ends with Him just giving up for no real reason. I almost put this at #10 just because I wanted to have an episode from each season for variety's sake, but I didn't feel like leaving out Prime Mates for the sake of an episode that's more disappointing than bad.
Getting Twiggy With It - Gee, I hope Mitch Mitchelson isn't a bully to Twiggy! Uh oh! Gee, I hope Mitch Mitchelson isn't a bully to Twiggy! Uh oh! Gee, I hope Mitch Mitchelson isn't a bully to Twiggy! Uh oh! Oh, he's getting what he deserved. The end.
Mojo Jonesin' - A very special episode about kids getting hooked on Chemical X. Played as straight as possible and not really good at all, but I can appreciate the moxy of doing an anti-drug episode that blatantly to leave it out of this list.
Film Flam - An episode about a fake film about the Powerpuff Girls is more convoluted and slow than anything else. It has a good Professor expression, though.
Pee Pee G's - No, I don't want a plot about the Powerpuff Girls potentially wetting the bed.
Custody Battle - One will remember the classic line near the end of the episode, and the beginning is really good. Too bad most of the episode is just a naked Mayor crawling around acting like a toddler!
Finally, the #1 worst episode...it's Sun Scream. I tried to hide it to not spoil this list, but come on.
1. Sun Scream
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However, a few months before this experiment, I was utterly convinced Sweet N Sour would be my least favorite episode. A special thank you to younger me for completely blocking this episode from my memory. This episode feels more like a creepypasta than anything resembling even bad comedy. This evil episode has the Powerpuff Girls writhe in pain throughout the entire episode, and after watching it, a photorealistic Powerpuff Girl jumps out the screen and beats the tar out of the viewer with their many, many tiny hands that make up their supposedly handless arms. Okay, maybe I just imagined that last part, but it sure felt like it.
It's not that I hate gross out humor. It's not that I hate overly preachy episodes. It's not that I hate that even Blossom apparently felt sunscreen is for nerds when she's the nerdiest one herself. Not only is Sun Scream the worst episode of the original Powerpuff Girls, it may actually be the worst episode in the entire franchise! Coming from me, that should say a lot.
Good thing: Uh, the card game playing crook's name is Monty? I guess that's kind of clever.
It was kind of easy to pick out this list because there actually aren't that many episodes I would call horrible. One may notice I've called some of the episodes on this list just "boring", and how that could make an episode worthy of being on this list is, in itself, is a testament to how good The Powerpuff Girls is. Next week, we look at the good episodes!
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fly-pow-bye · 4 years ago
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The Powerpuff Girls - “Dance Pantsed”
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My promised last review for 2017. Better late than never, I'd say.
After the end of the original Powerpuff Girls, it was clear Cartoon Network was not willing to let it go. In fact, it was the writers that kept the original from having a Season 7, as shown in the documentary. Because of Cartoon Network's unwillingness to let such a successful show for them go, there were two specials. The first was "The Powerpuff Girls Rule!", a special that served as a grand finale for the show, made by its very creator. If you haven’t read the title, this isn’t "The Powerpuff Girls Rule!". That’s something I have to save for much, much later.
Despite the “Created By” in the title sequence, this special does not involve series creator Craig McCracken, who left Cartoon Network around the time of the CN Real debacle and is, to this day, under contract by Disney. In his place is David P. Smith. To his credit, he wrote and storyboarded a few episodes of the original, including the rock opera “lost episode” See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey. He even composed “Love Makes The World Go Round”. Maybe it won’t be that bad, right?
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We start this special with a recreation of the original show’s opening…or at least half of it as it just suddenly cuts to the title after the Powerpuff Girls start flying. We will never know if this special would have kept the blood coming out of Him’s face. Oh, and what any of the other villains would look in this style, but that’s my skewed priorities.
Speaking of style, this special is done in a new CGI art style that reminds me of Foster’s with more bloom than a late 2000s HD remaster. While I was put off by this when this first came out, nowadays I can see the quality in it, especially in the backgrounds. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t look anything like the thick-lined generic style every western cartoon uses now.
However, looks aren’t everything. There’s already a hint on how low we’ll have to set our expectations: when the Powerpuff Girls are flying, they use a really generic sounding deep laser gun sound effect that doesn’t sound anything like the original’s. This sound is heard all throughout this special, and it feels out of place. Sure, this is extremely minor, but it’s a bad sign nonetheless.
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There is a possibility that this could be considered a pilot for the reboot. Here's a point against that: this episode actually starts with a "The City of Townsville".
Narrator: The City of Townsville, a hustling, bustling whirlwind of comradery, friendliness, and friendship!
(ironic shot of a heavy traffic jam)
We already start off with a cutaway gag, setting the tone for this special. What also sets the tone is the rather quick pace of this scene and many others. I have a feeling this special was meant to be longer than the half-hour they were given and/or could afford, so some scenes seem to go in hyper-speed. It's the exact opposite problem as Twas the Fight's, come to think of it!
After that redundant friendship talk, the Narrator talks about how there's special people all around Townsville. After assuring a hot dog vendor that he's not one of them, another tone-setter in hindsight, I think I'm pretty safe in saying that we're starting with the most expensive Powerpuff Girls character in history.
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We see “Townsville’s most flamboyant mathematician”, Fibonacci Sequins, voiced by none other than Ringo Starr. It's cool that a show that had an episode dedicated to Beatles references now has a special with a Beatle in it! He even sang a new song for the special, which only appeared in promos and has nothing to do with this special at all.
Why do I get the feeling he was expensive? I’ll give you a hint: the other two special people that fill just as much of a role as Ringo's does are an opera singer named Wendy Bags, and the Calcutta Stinkbadger. If "Ringo Starr, an opera singer, and a badger..." sounds like the opening of a bad joke...well, I can't say that's wrong. They all get captured by a giant robotic terror. Thankfully, the Mayor is certainly on the case!
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...or he just wants to have his pickles in peace, unaware of the monster as it rampages behind him. Miss Bellum tries to point it out, but it's always off screen in that classic gag. The Mayor decides to tell Miss Bellum that she must be out of her mind in a very not-out-of-line way.
The Mayor: The only giant robotic terror here...is you! Now, stop teasing me and let me eat my pickles!
See, isn’t the Mayor so charming? I get that the Mayor is supposed to be not too bright, but seeing this falling out is not funny. It feels out of character, and I know I should not be worrying about this in a reboot special, but when we compare this to the original, it is a downgrade. This leads to a sort of subplot where Miss Bellum gets mad at him that only leads to one good joke and wasted time, something this special desperately needed. The window does break, and he has to make the call.
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We cut to the Powerpuff Girls' house, where Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup are at the dinner table, eating broccolini served by their creator and father figure Professor Utonium. I should point out that the Not-Yet-The-Reboot Puffs are voiced by Cathy Cavadini, Tara Strong, and E.G. Daily. Despite being the brand new Powerpuff Girls, they didn’t feel the need to replace the original's voice actors. I can imagine they walked into the sound booth thinking about voicing these characters for a new generation. If I continue, I’ll just be more sad.
The dinner time is interrupted by a phone call from the Mayor, much to Buttercup's delight. But the city be damned, the Professor tells Buttercup that she can't leave the table until she finishes her broccolini. Blossom and Bubbles instantly stop eating, and help Buttercup out with "Powerpuff Teamwork". Using their ultra-super-powers, Bubbles freezes it with her ice breath, Buttercup rapidly punches the ice to pieces, and Blo...
...wait, what?!
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In the original show, alongside the Flying Brick power set and pretty much any power they can think of, each Powerpuff Girl has a established unique power. Bubbles has the innate ability to speak animal and Spanish, Buttercup can roll her tongue, and Blossom has ice breath. While they can do everything else, the original made sure that Blossom would have to learn languages, and nobody else can blow ice out of their mouth. In this special, Bubbles uses ice breath like it’s no big deal. It seems like a minor thing, but so many people got angry over this.
What’s Blossom to do? Eye laser the cold broccolini pieces into a gummy bear. No, there’s no answer to any question that raises. Thanks to this, and the Professor not minding this at all as long as they save the world before bedtime, Buttercup is able to pick up the hotline and immediately say they’re on it and hang up the phone. That does seem like a Buttercup thing to do, but it’s likely this is another time saving measure. They fly towards the robotic monster talking about how easy this fight is going to be, and we get a rather unusual sight.
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Oh no, not the Monster Punch Girls Down, that's pretty common. It's the creativity of those scenes; it's not just a crater in the ground. Blossom gets punched through a bunch of buildings and lands on a fly-swatter billboard, Bubbles gets punched into a pillow, much to the chagrin of the other two, and, in a huge highlight, Buttercup ends up being punched through the core of the Earth, screaming until she reaches China. It's very well done shot, and it got a cruel chuckle out of me.
Thankfully, it's more like the original where the Powerpuff Girls aren't instantly taken out in one hit. They realize they have to work as a team, and they do Plan Broccolini. It's not just a one time thing; the Broccolini plan is a central part of this episode.
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And that, of course, means that Bubbles using the power she should not have is a central part of this episode. If there's any Powerpuff Girl that should be the one turning things into gummy bears, it's Bubbles. She's literally made of sugar! There is a sort of reason why Bubbles has to make the first move, but I'll get to that later.
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After they free the three very famous hostages, Mojo Jojo pops out of the gummy bear that Blossom was able to turn the giant robot into. I’ll still call him Mojo Jojo here, but it’s not to say that the regression to Discount Jojo isn't apparent. He doesn’t really get into any long tirades, and most of his lines are just exposition of what's happening on screen. He talks really fast, but that's not out of place with anyone in this special. It's plainly obvious which scenes they needed to cut down for those all important angry Bellum scenes; it's distracting.
After Gummy Jojo gets laughed out of town for threatening that he'll be back, the Professor decides to take them to the store to buy them a treat for being such great superheroes. The next morning, the Powerpuff Girls wake him up, just as excited as they were after that fateful game of tag. But first, he has to get his wallet.
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We get this "spy going into the secret lab" scene with all the spy cliches, as his wallet happens to be right next to the highly guarded vial of Chemical X. What seems like a really odd way to spend time is actually important to the plot, as Chemical X will be the object of desire for Mojo Jojo. What do you know, this chemical that can make superheroes out of sweets and give people power is a major plot point! Feels like something that should be a plot point more often.
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At the store, the girls decide on a video game called Dance Pants Revolution, an obvious parody of Dance Dance Revolution. It’s funny, that game got referenced a lot in the mid 2010s; even Gravity Falls talked about “the game that tricks you into exercising.” The Professor doesn’t really see the point of buying a dance game, so Buttercup decides to do a plan they apparently do very often: “Team Tantrum.”
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As the name suggests, they throw a massive tantrum, just like a 6 year old problem child on Supernanny, except that problem child can lift buildings full of people. I get it; they're preschoolers, and I could see Bubbles and maybe Buttercup doing this, but is this really something Blossom would do? Since it would be pretty hard to send three girls that can survive falling through the Earth’s core to the naughty stool, the Professor caves and gets them the game.
Blossom: Works every time.
See kids, if you want something really bad, just destroy everything in sight! At least some karma appears to be coming, as Mojo Jojo happened to be in this store, disguised with some glasses and a different shirt. This is so we don’t have to ask how he knew about any of this later.
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The Powerpuff Girls play the game, which is DDR with Guitar Hero's scrolling style, and pants. Blossom and Buttercup aren't getting into it. Bubbles, on the other hand, is an instant expert at the game. Along with the pillow scene, I think this special is painting her as the lucky one.
This gaming session is interrupted by a call from the Mayor. Blossom answers this time, the only time she does in this special. Bubbles stays back because she's just so addicted to that game, Blossom and Buttercup apparently not noticing. I can already guess the moral of this one.
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It turns out to be the classic "the Mayor needs his pickle jar opened" scene. Unfortunately, it's also on a very high shelf. They ask why, and that leads to that aforementioned one good joke in this "Miss Bellum is angry at me" subplot: a shot of Miss Bellum crossing her arms and shutting the door. It’s a cutaway gag that is a great example of showing rather than telling.
Instead of just flying up to the pickle jar and giving it to the Mayor, they decide to do Team Broccolini with this job. That plan worked so well for the broccolini and the monster, surely that's the only plan they're going to do from now on. Were they going to smash the pickle jar into pieces and turn it into a gummy bear?
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That question will not be answered, because Bubbles has to be the first person to do this Broccolini plan, and she's still playing DPR. Here it is: the main conflict of this episode. Not a monster, just Bubbles and her video game addiction. In fact, this is essentially a Bubbles special, not really a special Powerpuff Girls special. Buttercup is just here to make snarky remarks, and Blossom doesn't even get much of a role. She can't even keep her unique power!
Blossom and Buttercup leave, Blossom apologizing for not getting the pickles. I'm not alone in thinking they could just grab the pickle jar from the shelf with their ability to defy gravity, as even the Mayor tells Blossom that she could do just that. Blossom responds in a very not-out-of-line way.
Blossom: I said sorry, now deal with it! (breaks Town Hall's ceiling)
See, isn't Blossom charming? There's so many lines like this.
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Buttercup flies into the house, with an absolutely great point of view tour of her flying across the neighborhood, and unplugs the evil video game. Bubbles and Buttercup almost get into a fight that involves their fists, but Blossom convinces them to use their words instead.
After an argument that takes all night, in another beautiful shot, Bubbles suddenly decides not to play the game anymore. They decide to offer the evil thing to the Professor, but he’s scared off by it due to a shocking secret that we never knew or was even remotely hinted at before...
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...see, in his past, he was a dancer. The original show didn't go too far into his past beyond his days as a young rascal, so anything goes. On an episode of Soul Hayride, he tried his best to be the king of the hoedown floor, but he ends up embarrassing himself. After getting a pep talk from Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, and a non-copyrighted version of Slim Goodbody, he decides to do science instead.
Yeah, not the Powerpuff Girls in a time travelling incident, it was Slim Goodbody. Maybe this took place in a different timeline.
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Back in the present, the doorbell rings. Bubbles answers the door, only to find a new game called Dance Pants R-Evil-Lution 2. Blossom and Buttercup show up to be the angel and...angel to tell Bubbles not to play it. I don’t think that’s how the cliche works. Bubbles doesn't get it either, and decides to put the new pants on.
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Of course, the pants reveal themselves to be evil. She gets seemingly electrocuted as wires surround her body, and her body turns into metal. It's kind of like that scene from Superman III that gave all the kids nightmares, right down to the eyes being all grey at the end of it. It sure beats ordinary rope, that’s for sure.
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She turns into a robotic evil version of herself, who knows know to dance and to follow Mojo Jojo's order. There's no subtlety with that: Mojo Jojo shows up and outright tells the viewer this is part one of his diabolical plan. Bubbles is commanded to, and we get a relatively funny scene where the evil Bubbles does a dance-off with a surprisingly. It ends with her punching him out with a "SERVED" hit flash. That'll age well.
Blossom gets a call from the Mayor, and she goes downstairs only to be distracted by the "cool" dance pants. I have no idea why she likes Dance Pants Revolution now, but I guess we'll have to go with it. She gets transformed too, and she steals the badger. I don't really need a screenshot for that; all there really is is a Shining reference that kind of fits.
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After that, there's a scene where Blossom and Bubbles are dancing against their will, including a move involving shaking their rear ends, while Buttercup is disgusted. Hmm, that sounds familiar. Buttercup almost immediately gets captured as well, averting the "boyish one has to save her two sisters" plot, but ending up with the "superpowered girls have to be saved by someone else" plot.
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All three of them go after Fibonacci Sequins in a scene where Ringo Starr can say his most lines. It's just him watering his math-based plants. The shining moment: the Powerpuff Girls punching a mathematician voiced by a Beatle in the face, causing him to say the actual Fibonacci sequence as he falls down his staircase that looks like the Fibonacci spiral. A good bit of edutainment for you.
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Back at the Powerpuff home, the Professor cooks up a nutritious breakfast of bacon everything. After no response from his calls for breakfast, he runs up to the Powerpuff Girls’ room, only to find the three hostages. He trips over a box, and is horrified to see said box is Dance Pants R-Evil-Lution 2: The Game Only MojoJojo (sic) Can Enjoy, as said by the back of the box that Bubbles decided not to read. Minus the (sic) part, of course.
By this, he instantly figures out why he needed the three hostages, and it fits in very well with the getting the wallet scene. The badger eats through the doors, Fibonacci uses his suit to reflect the lasers, and the opera singer breaks glass in that classic opera singer breaking glass cliche. It would be a great way to end this special, but you’ll see.
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The Professor tells the Mayor about all of this as Mojo Jojo shows off his new robot-controlled dancing Powerpuff Girls, and the Mayor asks him if he freed the hostages, which he didn't. Thankfully, the badger’s teeth are strong enough to tear through the rope they were tied in, so the Professor didn't have to do anything. Except for the opera singer's mouth, as Fibonacci tells the badger to...
Fibonacci: Nah, Let It Be.
I would put a “ba dum tsh” in this review, but they have the badger laugh and give Fibonacci a high five over it. It is a little odd that the only Beatles reference in the whole special boils down to "let that rag around that woman's mouth be so she can stay quiet". There was a running joke that he was getting annoyed by her when they were captured earlier, so I guess that was the payoff for that.
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Getting over his fear of dancing, he makes up a dance team consisting of the Mayor, Miss Bellum, and himself to fight the evil dancing Powerpuff Girls robots. History eventually repeats itself, literally as the same girl who hasn't aged a day or changed her outfit tells him the same exact line. He goes into a fetal position, crying.
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The robotic Powerpuff Girls see this, and start getting flashbacks. It’s kind of a cliche; the mind-controlled and/or amnesiac looks at something and instantly regains their memories back. We see four different scenes where the Powerpuff Girls helped the Professor get over something, ending with a reminder of when this cartoon was being animated. If you don’t remember the Double Rainbow craze…just Google it.
This causes the girls to break out of their DPR-caused trance...outside of the pants. Mojo Jojo orders the pants to start running. After yelling at Bubbles for a bit, making her learn her lesson, they decide to do more of the Team Broccolini. Which, of course, starts with…
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...you-know-who using you-know-what. You might be wondering, if Bubbles has ice breath now, what does Blossom have? After Buttercup rapidly punches her sisters in the pants, I'll just pause so that settles in, we get our answer.
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Which is this. I can’t say it’s not creative!
Freed from their pants, again, I’ll pause so that settles in, they confront Mojo Jojo, only to the special to reveal its most shocking ending. I would think “Blossom shooting lasers out of her mouth” was good enough, but they had to throw in something completely insipid, too.
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He just wanted to make a baseball team. With a badger. This will somehow make him rule Townsville. I can imagine they wanted to reference the underpants gnomes joke from South Park, but they didn't. The ending is a huge cop-out that makes no sense. Sadly, this causes the special to not end with the Powerpuff Girls beating up Mojo Jojo and throwing him in jail; he just loses the baseball game and gets thrown in jail.
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A familiar ending is here, and one I was really starting to miss: this version’s rendition of the “so once again, the day is saved” scene. This is also the last time we got to see this rendition of the Powerpuff Girls. It’s kind of sad; the new designs aren’t bad at all visually. I should say: this special won an Emmy because of its art, and I can't say it was undeserved. I should also say: it certainly deserved its lack of Emmy for anything else.
Does the title fit?
The game is called Dance Pants Revolution, and you can say they’ve been Dance Pantsed. Maybe not the actual term, but still.
How does it stack up...and does it still hold up?
I wasn't sure whether to rate this as a PPG 1998 episode, as it does share at least one person who worked on the original, or a PPG 2016 episode, as this special apparently got good enough ratings to justify a revival. It's a little more interesting to watch now, but outside of the gorgeous artwork, it's okay by reboot standards, and not very good by the original's.
I wish you all a happy new year, as we look forward to all the wonderful events that will happen next year, like
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fly-pow-bye · 4 years ago
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Powerpuff Girls - “Twas the Fight Before Christmas”
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Written by: Lauren Faust, Craig Lewis
Storyboarded by: Lauren Faust, Greg Colton, Brian Larsen, Paul McEvoy
Music by: James L. Venable, Thomas Chase, Steve Rucker
Art Direction: Paul Stec
Animation Direction: Robert Alvarez, John McIntyre, Randy Myers
Seasons Beatings!
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Narrator: ‘Twas the City of Townsville, and all through the town
all the townsfolk are stirring, as snow is falling down
It's bitter and freezing in the dead of December,
But there's reason for joy, if you can remember.
For it's this time of year that our story unfolds,
When our hearts are the warmest, despite all the cold.
Yes, it is Christmas, just two days before,
And all through the town, none can wait anymore...
No doubt about it, this is a Christmas special. Not only is it snowing and freezing, the Narrator speaks entirely in rhyme. Fitting, as this plot is similar to a Dr. Seuss classic that took place during Christmas. Well, sort of.
The special starts two days before Christmas, as Townsville awaits that “one certain fat guy”. This is especially true for the kids at Pokey Oaks Kindergarten. Ah, Pokey Oaks. Not only does the Narrator say it, we see the sign right there.
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Bubbles is singing Deck the Hells as she’s taping drawings of Santa on the bulletin board. Buttercup is gloating about her long Christmas list, the only readable word being “Gimme.” Got to love the subtle background jokes.
Not so subtle is a reference to the Red Ryder BB gun as made famous by A Christmas Story. This was long before A Christmas Story was mass-marketed to the point where they made an awful sequel to it more than a decade after the original. Hmm, sounds a bit familiar. No points for anyone who can guess the response to this, courtesy of Princess.
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Parodying so many movie posters that it’s hard to tell which one its referencing, Princess comes up to the Powerpuff Girls to tell them that, since Daddy gives her everything she wants anyway, she only has one thing on her list: to be a Powerpuff Girl. Duh, she’s naughty, and the Powerpuff Girls even give a list that is essentially a best of for the people who aren’t familiar with her:
She bought the city and legalized crime! (Bought and Scold)
She hired Mojo Jojo and tried to destroy the Powerpuff Girls! (Mo Job)
She gave the Powerpuff Girls a bomb for their birthday! (Birthday Bash)
She teamed up with three felons and went on a crime spree! (Meet The Beat-Alls)
She tricked their friend Robin into stealing, and then tattled on her! (Super Friends)
I believe this is the only episode that actually mentions Robin outside of Super Friends, actually. I can understand why: new characters being added late in the show is a great way to jump the shark. Still, such super friends! As Blossom walks away, she tells Princess to change her ways, or else she's getting coal in her stocking. For the record, even in the original, a walking Powerpuff Girl looks awkward.
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Princess completely scoffs at this idea that she’s spoiled and naughty, as she steps on Ms. Keane’s foot on her way out. She asks her driver if she’s naughty, and we get a whole skit. It could have been a short all to itself, it’s a classic.
The same scene happens with a servant and a nanny, and this episode’s biggest problem shows its head here. This special is 44 minutes long, four times the length of a normal Powerpuff Girls episode. Season 4′s problems with pacing in certain episodes due to their double-episode length are exacerbated here, as I feel a lot of scenes are here just to fill time. This is far from the worst example.
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After opening her closet to get more pillows, as her maid quickly decided not to say anything and leave the room at her "naughty or nice question", only to be completely covered in a mountain of coal apparently stored from previous Christmases. She uses the coal to put lines under her eyes, and she puts on an all black outfit. Princess is planning something big, the Narrator fears in rhyme. But first, we got to take a detour.
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Some people put up their decorations early, and some people put them up really late, and the Powerpuff Girls home is certainly in the latter, waiting until at least Christmas Eve Eve to finally put up all the decorations. Then again, when your kids can fly super fast, there’s no need to spend a whole day putting up everything.
Indeed, we see the Powerpuff Girls decorating in a super hero way, all in a race to see who gets to put the star on the top. Does this actually add to the plot? Not really, but it’s still a great scene to show off the more mundane ways the Powerpuff Girls use their powers. It is also a great way to have footage a promotional music video would use.
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The Professor is here to make this not-so-generic tree lighting day special by lighting up the tree. Unfortunately, he has a bit of trouble with the lights, as we see for the next minute. I can see what they could have taken out if they wanted to condense this into a regular episode. A 22 minute episode, but still.
Professor Utonium: I can make three girls out of seasoning, but I can’t get these lights to work!
Thanks, I needed this quote.
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We get a small tour of Townsville awaiting for the next day, which is used for contrast with future scenes, but is mostly just filler. Highlights include a shot of a My Little Pony parody being awaited by the Mayor, doubly funny considering one of the credited writers of this special, and Mojo Jojo trying to hang an ornament on a metal tree.
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Princess infiltrates Santa’s workshop in a way similar to a spy movie for the next three minutes. I will say, wearing all black was probably not a good idea in the bright and cheery Santa's workshop, but it works anyway. There's some creative imagery, being Santa's workshop and all, but I didn't remember too much about this scene. We're only waiting in suspense to learn the obvious that she couldn't realize.
She gets to Santa's private office, and is horrified to see the truth: all of the girls she hated are on the nice list, and she's on the naughty list. Actually, there's a lot more to it than that!
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See, Princess was so naughty, that she’s the only person on the naughty list. He didn’t even need to make a list; he just has the naughty sticky note. She was just that bad; everyone else is nice by comparison; even Mojo Jojo is going to get something for Christmas. Remember that when you got presents even though you totally stole from the cookie jar: Princess sinned for your sins.
That, and it’s pretty convenient for Princess’s plot.
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Using a magic pencil that can erase ink, she swaps the two headings. Hey, it is Santa Claus we're dealing with, he probably has an eraser with a blue part that actually does erase ink. Of course, Santa can’t possibly think that every person except for one kid was naughty, right?
At the Powerpuff home, we cut back to the Powerpuff Girls slowly going to sleep. Bubbles wakes up early because she heard sleigh bells, only to find the cookies not eaten, no presents, and a lump of coal in her stocking. Bubbles decides to investigate further.
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Bubbles flies around every house in the residential area of Townsville, looking at other people’s presents with her x-ray vision. She goes to one house, she goes to another house, and then another, and another, and another, and so on. Remember when I said "worst example"? I didn’t get out of my seat and yelled "okay, I get it already!" I only thought it loudly. Honest.
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At least there’s some payoff to this, as Blossom and Buttercup tell Bubbles that she must have gotten coal because she looked through other people’s presents. Buttercup tells her this again later on, leading to this great reaction from Bubbles. It’s just the way it’s animated; there’s no need for No Me Gusta. Well, there's a quarter for the "reboot jabs in original reviews" jar.
Rewinding a little bit, once they see that they got coal in their stockings, too, Blossom and Buttercup realize something is terribly wrong, too.
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The Powerpuff Girls, after changing into their normal outfits off-screen, yeah, that’s it, go up the chimney to find Princess. Princess is flying, and it’s not because they didn’t know she couldn’t. Since Princess is the only nice girl in the entire world, Santa decided to give her what she always wanted, and give everyone else coal.
She threatens to fly all the way to Santa Claus to tell him that those three jealous girls that always denied her is now going to destroy Santa’s workshop in retaliation for their much deserved coal. Why would he believe her? Because she’s the only nice child in the entire world, silly! As she starts flying off, the Powerpuff Girls chase after after her.
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There are boring ways to fill time, and there are good ways to fill time, and while the driver scene is close, there is no better way to fill time in the Powerpuff Girls than with an action sequence. They must have known this, too; almost an episode’s worth of time is spent with them racing towards the North Pole, them fighting, pulling each other’s hair, and much, much more.
There are so many highlights I can bring out of this, but I got to leave something out of the review or I'll be here forever. I should highlight one scene in particular, though: Blossom has ice breath, Bubbles has the ability to talk to animals, Buttercup can roll her tongue, what does Princess have?
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Crown-controlled telekinesis! Well, Bliss isn’t so special, is she? Alright, fine, enough with the reboot jabs; I'm running out of quarters to put in the jar. As she throws this giant ice ball, she ends up splitting this ball into three, shaping it into her face. A neat touch.
Princess: Cool it, girls!
Even Princess is good at the one-liners.
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In a speed more rapid than eagles, 8 minutes to get to the North Pole from somewhere in the US is rather impressive, they finally arrive at the North Pole. Yes, I timed it. They destroy everything in sight thanks to a hair tug caused fight. Princess ended up being right about the Powerpuff Girls destroying the workshop, as said earlier, though it was all her fault.
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We get to see ol' jolly Saint Nick himself, except he isn’t so jolly. He's sad that every kid in the entire world is bad except for one kid. Maybe he shouldn't have skipped over the whole "he sees you when you're sleeping" part in the beginning. Considering how Bubbles is demonized for doing so earlier in the episode, maybe they didn't want to point out the hypocrisy.
How did they get Santa to believe that Princess is wrong, and they are right? Simple: all Santa needed to hear was that they were the Powerpuff Girls. Knowing who they are, but not knowing what they looked like; what kind of Santa are you? He's still cool.
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Then again, Princess calling him "Santa Clod" probably helped with his next decision.
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Santa realizes that, no, he doesn’t have to follow a list to know who's naughty or nice when it's clear to him. He tears the sticky note up. Who's to think that the only person that learns a lesson in this special is Santa? I can't even think of a time where that has ever happened before.
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Well, there is one list that he will follow: the crew vanity Permanent Naughty List, as Santa noses Princess’s name on it. Maybe I should explain that: when he pokes his red nose, Christmas magic happens. I feel sorry for poor Bill and Ryan; Santa taught of them before thinking of that next guy.
Santa: Bum bum bum!
No, really, he says “bum bum bum” as the camera zooms into this face when he does this. Even with his utter lapse of judgment, I can still say this is one of my favorite portrayals of Santa Claus.
Another "bum bum bum" is that it's just too late; he's already done his journey. The fact that the workshop is in ruins doesn't help at all, but he doesn't hold it against the Powerpuff Girls. If only there were someone that can fly super fast.
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The Powerpuff Girls become Santa for a year, saving Christmas like all those characters in the 80's. We don't see them go all around the world, just through Townsville's residential area. We can just assume the rest of the whole world didn't wake up to coal in their stocking, as the Narrator does.
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We almost end on a joke with the Professor trying to wake the girls, but they're too tired having to do Santa's job in an inkling of the time it took Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, and et cetera. It could have ended with that, but that wouldn't have been as cheerful for a Christmas special, so they wake up and celebrate Christmas after all.
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The Narrator ends the show like how every Powerpuff Girls episode ends, in a more rhymey and Christmassy way. Just wanted to highlight that because I miss it so much. Maybe I should make some plans for the new year.
Does it still hold up?
Minus a few scenes that lasted a bit too long, it’s a great special from start to finish with lots of actions and some creative humor. There’s not a lot of Christmas specials that can claim that, especially the former.
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All I can say to end this review is...
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Marry Krismas, Ms Kene.
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fly-pow-bye · 4 years ago
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The Powerpuff Girls - “Twisted Sister”
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Original airdate: May 26, 2000
Storyboard by: Clayton Morrow
Art Direction: Don Shank
Directed by: John McIntyre, Craig McCracken
Well, this is going to be an interesting experiment.
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Narrator: The City of Townsville! ...on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The perfect day to put your feet up, have a picnic, take a drive up the coast, or just kick back, relax, and let all your troubles wash away with the tide. Everyone is taking it easy.
I just want to say: I’m so happy to be hearing a Narrator monologue again after all of these years. Well, one and a half. We get to see everyone relaxing, seeing scenes of people sleeping on hammocks, someone driving across the mountains, and a pan shot of people relaxing on the beach. This is all, of course, a setup for the first act.
Narrator: Everyone except for...the Powerpuff Girls!
Simply put, they can't relax! We start out with Bubbles getting tied up by a tentacled slime sea monster, screaming for help. Speaking of things I’m not used to, Buttercup decides to help her out by telling the monster that he's a bad monster.
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Or tear this monster’s tentacle off, freeing Bubbles so they can team up to quickly give the monster a beating! Blossom then flies in and tears through this monster’s gut, and we even get to see the monster's organs spill out. Oh, the joy of being able to show blood and gore if it’s colored differently and not coming out of a person.
This is the beginning of a montage of the Powerpuff Girls fighting crimes all day, some of the scenes connected with some neat transitions. After the monster falls into the ocean, the splash goes away to reveal the Gangreen Gang holding someone at knifepoint. They have to save a train from falling into a hole in the bridge by bending the tracks downward, bridging the gap with their own bodies, and the train wipes the screen to reveal someone cleaning a window on a ill-fated platform. It's a neat effect, even if it's only shown in the beginning and the very end.
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Speaking of the end, just when they catch a breath, the camera zooms out to see Townsville on fire. Even when they get back home, the Professor welcomes them home with a bunch of chores to do. While he’s rattling all of the chores in rapid fire succession, the Powerpuff Girls decide to talk about how they desperately need help, as they’re getting too pooped to puff. But that's a different episode.
After Bubbles says three Puffs are not enough, possibly echoing focus groups who would have suggested the same thing to improve ratings, they get an idea. If this sounds like a start of one of those dreaded "cloning machine" episodes, I would list the good examples of that trope if there were any, it's not exactly that.
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The Powerpuff Girls sneak in the lab, which just so happens to have a whole book on how their father did it. Gotta say, that might not be the best idea to publish how you make something that could easily destroy humanity if it was told to. I guess the Professor must be pretty confident in the rarity of Chemical X.
Unfortunately, they couldn't find the actual ingredients, so they settle for artificial sweetener, dirt and twigs, and their own definitions of everything nice. This is the scene that really shows off their individual personalities, Blossom being the smart one who puts in books, Bubbles being the sweet one and putting in crayons and lots of flowers, and Buttercup being the rude one and putting in lizards, a mackerel, and a knuckle sandwich. Funny how it's Buttercup that puts the most random things in.
After all of that, they have to accidently add Chemical X to the concoction. Blossom picks up the Chemical X, which is a blueish green in this episode and this episode alone, They get knocked back in a cool call-back to the intro, and they slowly open their eyes to see that she may not be as perfect as they thought.
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Gross closeups. It's not just a Spongebob thing.
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This is the result: a huge purple Powerpuff Girl with the body of a linebacker, crooked teeth, and the voice of Sloth from The Goonies. They ask for her name, and according to her, her name is BLAHHHHH! Since that's hard to pronounce, Bubbles gives her the name Bunny, which they all go with. To address the elephant in the room: the most charitable explanation is that they were trying to go for a "Frankenstein's monster" approach.
Bunny: (flying, singing to a slower version of the Powerpuff Girls theme) Duh, duuuh, diggity duuuh, duh! Duh, duuuh, diggity duuuh, duh!
See, it’s just like the Putting On The Ritz scene from Young Frankenstein! Yeah, that's it! Just before that scene, the Powerpuff Girls give her responsibilites as a Powerpuff Girl: she has to fly around, beat up bad guys, and throw them in jail. Bunny flies off to do what the Powerpuff Girls have tasked her to do. The Powerpuff Girls decide not to join her, because they have TV to watch! I guess they were just that tired.
She flies around, remembering what the Powerpuff Girls told her, until she hears a nearby alarm. We even get a shot of her deformed ear, because we haven't gotten enough hints that she's supposed to be ugly with features Powerpuff Girls don't have.
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Scenario: You just came into this universe less than a few minutes ago. You were given the task to fight bad guys, so you come to these guys. There's two angry people wearing blue with things that are definitely made to harm people. There's two other people, only holding bags with S and C symbols on them, wearing masks to hide from these angry blue people who are shouting at them. Who would you think the bad guys are?
Man, that does sound like something vaguely political. Not intentional, honest!
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At the Powerpuff home, after the Professor asks them how they're not out fighting crime, which never seems to come up again, they see a report from the "Powerpuff Girls messed something up" breaking news room. She’s been freeing all the prisoners, and putting the police in jail!
Narrator: Hurry girls, hurry! You created a monster!
It's not wrong, but he probably shouldn't say that. The Powerpuff Girls confront Bunny, who is beating up a police officer, and asks her what has she done. Bunny responds that she’s doing good. Or, in her words, "Bunny do good! Bunny do good!" They decide to correct her in a way they question later.
Buttercup: No, Bunny do bad! Very bad!
Blossom: I guess you're not cut out to be a Powerpuff Girl after all.
Bunny: No Powerwuh?
Girls: No.
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That doesn't end well. On one hand, Bunny was doing bad. On the other hand, the Powerpuff Girls were being pretty negligent. It's the superhero equivalent of letting a kid drive a car.
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As karmic retribution, the Powerpuff Girls get beat up by a ton of regular criminals. This is a scene that I remember very well; it’s a good example of the Powerpuff Girls strength fluctuating throughout the original. In other episodes, they can punch out dozens of giant monsters, lift mountains, and, in one episode, was able to beat up everyone in Townsville to snap them out of a Him spell. Not in this episode, all it takes to put the Powerpuff Girls in submission is about fifty regular tough guys!
Anyone can figure out how this is going to turn out. It’s actually a pretty by-the-numbers scenario for cartoons: a character becomes an outcast because of either their actions or something about them, the group gets in trouble, and the outcast comes in to save the day, whether or not this will end with the group accepting the outcast in the end. The X-Men. Flik from A Bug's Life, or any other Liar who gets Revealed. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
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...and, of course, Powerpuff Bunny, who easily takes care of all of the criminals that were able to take the giant monster-goring superheroes down. Bunny do good, indeed. Admittedly, she is a huge Powerpuff Girl. Her head nearly touches the ceiling in the lab scene, and even the biggest of the criminals only comes up to slightly above her head. 530 lbs, 7′4″, might have had a posse.
Immediately after this is the twist, and while it's one of the most well-known endings of a Powerpuff Girls episode, I’ll put in the ellipsis anyway. It’s not just for spoiler reasons.
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I’ll be honest: when I rewatched this, I realized I forgot how heartbreaking this scene was. I knew it was sad, but I was taken aback at how sad it really was. So Bunny's body wobbles around, and she explodes in complete silence. Silence is such a rarity in cartoons, and it has such an effect on this scene. It's a moment of silence for a fallen friend, both literally and figuratively.
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The Powerpuff Girls wake up from being knocked out, and see all the criminals lying unconcious. They correctly guess that Bunny saved them, but only find a small fragment of her shirt floating down to the ground. They say that Bunny was just too unstable to live. Just a reminder, in case this wasn't sad enough, the last words they said to Bunny besides their cries for help was that she was not cut out to be a Powerpuff Girl.
Bubbles: She was good after all...we were the ones who were bad.
Wow, what a line to end the episode. Fade to black.
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Okay, it's not really the last line, as they still have to do the hearts. That is what this show's formula requires; it just wouldn't be the Powerpuff Girls otherwise. However, to make it fitting, we get sad music, and a really sad Narrator.
Narrator: (sobbing) It’s so sad, I can’t take it! So, for the first...and final time...the day is saved...thanks to Powerpuff Bunny!
Bunny: BWAAAH!
Narrator: (sobs uncontrollably) Why? Why? Oh, go to a commercial!
Rest in peace, Bunny.
Does the title fit?
It's an obvious reference to the metal band Twisted Sister. It’s about a new sister, and calling her "twisted", while questionable, is not exactly wrong.
How does it stack up?
Reminder: I grade on a bell curve based on other episodes of the show. If I lumped in episodes of a certain other show, there'd be few Neutrals and maybe three Disgusteds at most. This wouldn't be either, for the record.
It's a mostly predictable episode. We knew the Powerpuff Girls were going to mess up, we knew Bunny was going to mess up, and we knew Bunny was going to save them in the end. If it wasn't for the ending, it probably would have been a Neutral. But I can't really give it a Happy either, for pretty obvious reasons.
This episode was the first I've reviewed to really show a huge problem with ratings based on emotions: good episodes don’t always make you happy. I can’t put a Happy Anyone at this, because it's not inappropriate. I'm sure something similar is going to happen with the reboot eventually. You know, DuckTales 2017. I mean, it's Disney, if it hasn't happened yet, it will happen eventually.
So, it's a decent episode. Not in my Top 10, but a memorable one nonetheless. That's my rating.
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