Chances are, anyone who receives Cartoon Network is aware of toon phenomenon The Powerpuff Girls, in which a trio of cute, big-eyed heroines beat the steaming crapola out a variety of freakish bad guys. And, chances are, they're already looking forward to this movie. But non-fans should also catch this sparky animation, because, like its small-screen parent, it totally rocks.
Rather than attempt an all-new adventure, creator Craig McCracken goes back to the 'Puffs origins, opening with their creation by Professor Utonium, tracing their journey from ultra-superpowered, city-levelling pests to bona fide heroweenies, and charting the rise of their chimp nemesis Mojo Jojo. Which means newcomers can treat it as a Powerpuff primer, while fans can enjoy having the blanks filled in.
Although lacking some of the sharper gags of the TV episodes, it's still immense fun for adults as well as sprogs. McCracken is a master at pounding out dizzyingly spectacular action sequences, throwing in some surprisingly explicit violence, and displays an unerring talent for timing - both for comic and tension-cranking purposes.
It's also unashamedly lo-tech, staying true to the show's striking, Manga-influenced, 2D look. The result? The most inventive, action-crammed, hyperkinetic ani-movie of the year.