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Customer Review

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, disappointing DVD, November 5, 2002
This review is from: The Powerpuff Girls - The Movie (DVD)
"From the voice that brought you great lines such as 'The city of Townsville... is under attack' comes this menu to the ultra-deluxe Powerpuff Girls movie DVD" enthuses the familiar voice of Tom Kenny, better known as the Narrator on the Powerpuff Girls. And brother, I'd love to be able to tell you that this DVD lives up to that promise... but I've got to say, WHAT SELF-RESPECTING "ULTRA-DELUXE" DVD IS ONLY AVAILABLE IN PAN AND SCAN?!
There used to be a time when all theatrical motion picture DVDs were available *only* in their original, widescreen, theatrical aspect ratio. No questions asked, no apologies made. But clearly, Warner Brothers has decided that this DVD is strictly a release for children, and thus decided to eliminate those "pesky black bars" on the top and bottom of the screen - and in the process a good chunk of the movie's picture along with them - because apparently kids are too dumb to realize that TVs and movie screens are different shapes!
But let me back up here a bit. For anyone who's a fan of The Powerpuff Girls TV series, you'll know that this is so much more than a children's show. Despite what the media, marketing, and critics would have you believe, the Powerpuff Girls are *not* the creation of some soulless corporate committee designed to sell a 'girl power' positive-role-model message to the Barbie set. Oh no. They were created by a talented up-and-coming animator named Craig McCracken because, well, he thought the idea of little girls with extreme superpowers was funny. And over the years of the show's evolution and success, it has stayed true to its original intent: to be funny.
The Powerpuff Girls Movie is a shining example of a funny movie created by animators for animation fans. Compared to the already-excellent TV series, the colours are more vibrant, the effects are more spectacular, the music just plain ROCKS (why isn't there a soundtrack available?!), and the action is truly a sight to behold... even on a TV screen in pan & scan format! Which really honks me off because a movie with such striking visuals such as these deserves to have the whole picture on the screen.
Adding insult to injury are the deleted scenes, and practically all the clips used in the various DVD special features, that actually ARE presented in widescreen! There are scenes where you can literally compare the two and see for yourself just how much of the feature's image is being cut off. But hey, to see fully completed deleted scenes (minus only the sound effects) from an animated movie is not something you see every day and is a very nice touch! Still, it would have been nice to have director Craig McCracken explain why these scenes ended up being cut in the first place.
Other special features like the interviews with the "actors", the director's and character's commentaries, and the test reel are all very nice features indeed. Though I was disappointed by the single theatrical teaser trailer included. If you spent any time at all watching Cartoon Network while this movie was in theatres, you no doubt saw some of the myriad cool promos that were made (check out the PPG movie promo feature at toonamiarsenal.com). If they'd thrown even just a handful of the best ones on this DVD, I'd have been happy.
This was quite possibly my favourite movie of the year, and this shabby treatment on DVD is not only a slap in the face to the hardcore fans, but also to Mr. McCracken and the talented team at Cartoon Network Studios. Warner Bros. may do stupid things like this sometimes, but they do occasionally listen to their customers. We got the uncut version of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, we're getting a special edition DVD of The Iron Giant pretty soon, and if we're vocal enough, we may just see a widescreen release of The Powerpuff Girls Movie.
4 stars still go out to this DVD just for being a wicked-cool movie. And a fair amount of effort and care did go into the DVD's production and special features (except for the trailers). Pick up this DVD if you're like me and just can't live without it, cropped or not.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 20, 2012 9:39:28 PM PST
Ellis K. says:
Clearly, the solution to this problem is to kick up a storm and start a campaign for a blu-ray release where they'll have no reason to pan-scan.

Posted on Jan 17, 2014 1:36:01 PM PST
Bill of Ill says:
You do realize some times when movies are animated they are cropped to fit the big screen and not the other way around right? No, well they are so there..........

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 11:53:14 PM PDT
Unfortunately, in the days before HDTVs were mainstream, it was ridiculously common for theatrical animated movies (ESPECIALLY ones that fell under the Animation Age Ghetto) to not receive a widescreen DVD release. Well, there's always hope for a Blu-Ray release...
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