The new Powerpuff Girls reboot premiered this week. I’ve been pretty stoked to check out the new take on a classic, and I absolutely LOVED playing with the Powerpuff Yourself game! How fun! I’m really enjoying the show so far. To me, it balances old-school aspects of the original with the quippy styles of modern animated shows. I dig.
Something I really have not enjoyed are fantrums (fan tantrums) over the new voices for Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles. I get it. We loved Cathy Cavadini, Elizabeth Daily, and Tara Strong as the PPGs when we were younger. The show was a huge hit for kids and adults alike, and it got quite the following. Fans are passionate, which is wonderful, and I can absolutely understand why our love of the original can affect how we feel about this reboot. Love it, hate it, be indifferent. It’s all good. What is NOT all good is having a fantrum and throwing shade, blame and hate at the new voice actors, saying they suck, are awful, and did a crappy job. Not cool, Yo. Let me throw down some thoughts on the matter. Let’s get real:
This Isn’t For You
I know. I know. PPG is a show that reaches out to a broad age range, but just remember when planning a new television series, Cartoon Network is catering to their main audience…kids…just like the original PPG was planned for us nearly twenty years ago. Changes were intentional, not some inept, Chemical X mistake. The writing is different, the art is different, the industry is different, and yup. Most voices are different as well. These are choices the network made. The actors did not, and on that note…
These Girls Did Nothing Wrong
I remember when I voiced the mascot for a MLP convention, and some people really hated her voice. “It’s too high pitched.” “She’s so annoying.” “Her accent isn’t authentic.” Did I care? Hell no! I auditioned for the role, booked it, and then I delivered exactly what the client wanted. Mic drop (not literally…mics are expensive). You can hate them all you
want, but Amanda Leighton, Kristin Li, and Natalie Palamides auditioned for these roles (and you know the competition was steep for this job), probably had callbacks, booked the job, and then they took direction and delivered a great performance in the booth. It seems obvious the girls were not asked to impersonate the original PPGs, and if the creators of the reboot didn’t like the actors, they would have been replaced with some of the hundreds of other girls who auditioned. Which brings me to my next point…
Recasting Happens…A Lot!
In all genres of voiceover, people get recast for many reasons, some within the actor’s control and others not so much. Your fault or no, it’s a huge blow to the ‘ole ego. You can do everything right and not be in the final product or the next go ’round, and it sucks. I’ve heard from top actors who voice iconic characters that they sometimes have to audition to voice the character they have done a million times. Despite assumptions I’ve read in articles about this, no role is promised to you forever (well, unless it’s in the contact. lol). Was Tara Strong right to call this a “stab in the heart?” Absolutely. Is this scenario some kind of rare conspiracy that never happens in the industry? Not by a long shot! Even the original actors wished the new girls luck and/or expressed no ill will toward them. That’s showbiz, and as bad as it feels, you gotta be supportive and professional toward your fellow talent.
It’s okay to not like the show. It’s even okay to not dig the new actors, just like you may not like the new writing and aesthetics. These gals do have some big, ballet shoes/Mary Janes to fill, but don’t let bias and fandom loyalty cloud your judgement. I personally think the new take is pretty great and worth checking out. I mean, how could you not love this?!