The Powerpuff Girls Movie (2002)

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Released 11-Feb-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Interviews-Character
Featurette-The Director's Chair: Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Dexter's Laboratory
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 70:44 (Case: 77)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Craig McCracken
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Bubble
Blossom
Buttercup
Mojo Jojo
Professor Utonium
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music James L Venable


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

I've already reviewed two discs filled with episodes of the Powerpuff Girls (maybe you should check my review of The Mane Event before reading this review). This movie is set before any of the episodes. This movie is concerned with the origin of the Powerpuff Girls, and of their arch-enemy Mojo Jojo.

This movie was made after the series became a success, but it is set before the series, and I like that. It gives the movie scope to cover something bigger than the episodes do, without having to invent some new enemy or disaster too many movie spin-offs take the latter tack, and never fit completely with the show that the fans know so well.

It's interesting that this movie is the first to show what lies under Mojo Jojo's turban wait and see! I don't know if his origin was discussed in any of the episodes of the show, but it has some nice irony. The only other of the regular villains to appear in the movie is the Gangrene Gang.

The Powerpuff Girls are created fairly early in the movie, but they don't start as super-heroes. They begin with a game of tag that nearly destroys the entire city of Townsville, and then things get worse. So, a lot of this movie is about how they go from unwelcome nuisance to popular super-heroes. That makes for a decent storyline, and a good end to the movie. The movie even manages to squeeze in justification for some of the show's taglines.

If you like the show, you'll like the movie. It captures the feel of the series well, and adds a little bit of polish.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

Good news: unlike the episode discs, this disc is in PAL, so you can play it on any Australian TV.

This DVD's transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced (even though the menu isn't). The original aspect ratio was 1.85:1 (and the case is labelled with that ratio), so this is quite close.

The image is sharp and clear. Shadow detail is not a consideration for this kind of animation. There is no film grain, and no low level noise.

Colour is bright, cheerful, and perfectly rendered. There are no colour-related artefacts. A number of the scenes are rendered in unusual colours, but this is mimicking the effect of coloured lighting, and it looks good.

The borders to the characters, which are very heavy black outlines, show some aliasing, but it's quite limited. There is no moire, no shimmer, and no MPEG artefacts. There are no film artefacts.

There are subtitles in English, and English for the Hearing Impaired. I watched the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles. They are quite easy to read, well-timed, and accurate.

The disc is single sided and single layered. That's OK, because the movie is quite short, and the extras don't take up a heap of room. There's plenty of space for everything on a single layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The soundtrack is only provided in English. It is a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, and it uses all of the channels.

The dialogue is easy to understand (even when Bubbles gets shrill). There are no obvious slips in audio sync, but animation is always difficult to judge.

The music is an important part of this show it is beautifully melodramatic and sometimes silly. The score was written by James L. Venable.

There's plenty of directional sound in this soundtrack. It's marvellous stuff. The subwoofer is also used well (check out the rumbling of the giant ball early on).

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

There are some decent extras on this disc.

Menu

The menu is animated, with music behind the main menu, and a nice introductory transition. It's easy to navigate. Strangely, it is a 4x3 menu (it looks OK in 16x9, though).

Cast Interviews

These are fun: interviews with some of the main characters, but with the animated character drawn over a real-life background. We get interviews with:

Featurette The Director's Chair: behind the scenes (4:06)

This fairly short featurette conveys quite a bit of information about the process of making this film, probably because it doesn't have a lot of filler. I liked seeing the voice actors at work.

Short Dexter's Laboratory: Chicken Scratch (6:13)

An episode of a show called Dexter's Laboratory. This episode concerns Dexter catching chickenpox.

Theatrical Trailer (1:00)

This is rather interesting it starts in live-action, not animation. Well worth a look.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 version of this disc is scheduled for release towards the end of April 2003. The front cover art looks to be the same as the Region 4.

The Region 4 disc is missing:

The Region 1 disc is missing:

So the Region 1 disc has more extras (they were probably left off the R4 to keep it on a single layer), but it's not a widescreen transfer. That's the deciding factor for me I have to recommend the R4 because it shows the whole picture as shown theatrically. If you have a widescreen TV, it will fill the screen (how often have we heard the argument about wanting the pan-and-scan picture to "fill the screen"?).

Summary

A well-made and entertaining movie about the Powerpuff Girls and their origin, on an excellent DVD.

The video quality is excellent.

The audio quality is excellent.

The extras are considerably less than on the R1 disc, but what we get is decent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Amy F
AllZone4DVD - Magalie S
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Ricky L

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