The titular characters from Cartoon Network's classic 90s series The Powerpuff Girls must reunite in order to save Professor Utonium in this live-action reimagining from Adi Shankar's Bootleg Universe. Created by Craig McCracken, The Powerpuff Girls originally debuted on Cartoon Network in 1998 and ran for six seasons before concluding in 2005. More recently, Cartoon Network rebooted The Powerpuff Girls in a new series that debuted in 2016, and is still ongoing. As such, The Powerpuff Girls has become a staple of childhood for a few generations of kids.
For years Shankar's Bootleg Universe videos have offered fans an idea of what alternate takes on classic properties could look like. From a dark, gritty reboot of Power Rangers to Mr. Rogers as a war hero, some of the short films included in the Bootleg Universe take children's television shows and give them an adult-oriented twist. Others, like Venom: Truth in Journalism and James Bond: In Service of Nothing tell new stories with well-known pop culture characters. Now, the Bootleg Universe tackles another beloved children's property in The Powerpuff Girls, but this time it's different since Shankar didn't make this film and is instead showcasing new talent with the Bootleg brand.
In The Powerpuff Girls: The Long Way Back, fans meet older versions of the classic cartoon characters. The live-action re-imagining picks up with adult Blossom (Dina Cataldi), Bubbles (Krystle Martin) and Buttercup (Jisaura Cardinale) who have grown distant from each other over the course of the 10 years since they gave up their powers and their lives as superheroes. However, they'll have to get the team back together in order to save their father from an evil plot. Watch the short film below.
Directed by Steven LaMorte from a script by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride), The Powerpuff Girls: The Long Way Back certainly captures the heart of the 90s cartoon while giving it an adult twist. Plus, in addition to featuring the three titular superheroes and their father Professor Utonium (Joe Abraham), the short film also includes a number of the TV show's classic villains, like Sedusa (Malia Miglino), Fuzzy Lumpkins (Damian Fabio Sandolo), HIM (Jayme Wojciechowski) and Mojo Jojo (Jon Bailey).
Here's a statement from Adi Shankar about the project and what it means for the Bootleg Universe:
I started as a fan with a need to reinterpret his childhood. I still am. That’s why I make fan films.
When I learned that a talented filmmaker named Allen Ungar made an Uncharted fan film because he was inspired by the Bootleg Universe One-Shot series it reminded me of the impact “Batman: Dead End,” a 2003 fan film by Sandy Collora, had on me.
To pay this forward, we’re now going to be presenting some cool fan films that we did not make under “One-Shots Presents” to showcase up and coming filmmakers who share our love of fandom. We’ll then drop info on how they were made so they can be a resource to you.
Of course, this Bootleg Universe version of the Powerpuff Girls is different from what fans grew up with in the cartoon TV shows. But, those fans who watched the 90s Cartoon Network series and are now adults will no doubt be able to find enjoyment in this grittier, more violent take on the superheroes made from sugar, spice and everything nice. Altogether, The Powerpuff Girls: The Long Way Back showcases the beloved cartoon characters in a new light and offers a cool new addition to Adi Shankar's Bootleg Universe.
Source: Adi Shankar's Bootleg Universe