[MOVIE REVIEW]Sugar, spice and nice battle the simian mojo

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[MOVIE REVIEW]Sugar, spice and nice battle the simian mojo

Girls are sugar and spice and everything nice. Girls are cool, and they kick butt, too.

The three female cartoon stars in "The Powerpuff Girls" are kindergartners. They are young, naive and sometimes bratty. They get in all sorts of trouble, but when it comes down to it, they are good citizens. And they're superheroes.

"The Powerpuff Girls," as a cartoon on the U.S. cable station Cartoon Network, is hip and witty. The animation, created by Craig McCracken, is simple, but the colors are as cool as the girls. And the adventures are fully addicting.

But as a movie, "The Powerpuff Girls," directed by McCracken, loses some of its attitude. Still, the movie is cute and has plenty of energy. It retells how the superheroes came into being.

In the crummy town of Townsville, Professor Utonium (voiced by Tom Kane) tries to create something good for mankind: the perfect little girl. While he is mixing sugar and spice and everything nice, his lab monkey, Jojo, bumps into him. They fall and crack a jar of Chemical X into the mixture, creating a huge explosion.

In the aftermath, the professor sees three perfect girls. Blossom (voiced by Cathy Cavadini) is the goodie-two-shoes leader. Bubbles (Tara Strong) is the sensitive baby. Buttercup (Elizabeth Daily) is the no-nonsense bold one.

The professor quickly finds they have superpowers, such as eyes that shoot laser beams and the ability to fly.

The monkey Jojo has also been transformed, into a superintelligent but evil monkey who now goes by the name Mojo Jojo (voiced by Roger L. Jackson). He flees the professor's home. His brain has swelled to gargantuan porportions and he speaks effusively -- fast enough to mask his illogic.

Out in Townsville, people don't understand the girl's superpowers, especially after they destroy the city playing a high-scale game of tag.

When the people of the town reject the girls as freaks, they befriend Mojo Jojo. The monkey cons them into helping him become more "mojo" than before, create more intelligent simians, and take over the town.

At one point, in a characteristic display of his deceptive verbosity, he yells at his monkey army: "All you monkeys are my plan. So your plans are my plans because you made plans and my plan was to make you. But I never planned for my plans to make plans to stop my plans." Talking circles like that is his way of outsmarting the Powerpuff Girls.

The movie is enjoyable for all ages, and on many levels. It's a classic tale of good against evil, and the heroines are cute to boot.

And while you have to wonder about destroying a city playing tag, there are several morals that a child can draw from the tale.

One: Don't run away from your problem. Two: Don't speak to strangers. Three: Girls are, indeed, sugar and spice and everything nice.

by Joe Yong-hee

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