Recently Cartoon Network revealed that one of their most beloved original shows, "The Powerpuff Girls," was returning to the network. It screened Monday at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
Next month, Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup will return to the small screen. These three crimefighting kids enjoyed a nearly seven-year run starting in the late 1990s on the Cartoon Network, breaking gender stereotypes while riding the wave of Spice Girls-era "Girl Power." The show also had an absurdist sensibility that played to all ages, with the cartoon sharing some of the DNA that later led to Cartoon Network's teen- and adult-targeted Adult Swim programming.
The new show is bringing back the original heroes, alongside some new villains — and some new voice talent, with not all of the original cast returning. Many reboots look to keep the core of what makes the original show special, while also changing some character designs and adding new elements to make the show feel contemporary.
Reboots, sequels and prequels have been increasingly popular, with many who were around for the original run of a series or movie wondering why they were coming back while also being delighted.
Other kids shows to be rebooted in recent years include "My Little Pony" and the "Care Bears," and on the way there's a new "DuckTales," a Netflix resurrection of "Voltron," a return of Cartoon Network's young boys-targeted "Ben 10" and a new version of DC Comics superheroes the Justice League on "Justice League Action."
The shows offer networks a proven commodity with an established name to attract viewers along with a chance to play to both those who remember the original and young people who've never heard of it. It's less of a risk for networks, especially as increasing entertainment options make it harder to draw eyes to any one place. Still, it means there's a place for shows like these, as well as live-action nostalgic fare like Netflix's "Fuller House."
This story has been updated.