Power-puffy

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

It's no secret that Americans tend to be slightly chunky. Guess what: so are our cartoons. A process called "transcreation" takes familiar American cartoons — Snoopy, Spidey, etc. — and makes them over to be more appealing to their foreign audience. As a result, the transcreated Japanese Powerpuffs are much leggier (and honestly - their clothes are way cuter). It reminds me of some of my favorite transcreations from screen to... er... ME. Check this out. And this. And we'll talk to the power behind the Powerpuff girls about why transcreation was necessary. Read the story here (Thank you, WSJ). And check out the transformation here.

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During world war 2, many American animation studios drew characters with four fingers on each hand instead of five to save money on ink. On the other hand, (pun intended). when I develop characters for the Japanese market, I am told to make sure characters have five fingers on each hand. Apparently, audiences in post-Hiroshima Japan are sensitive towards "mutations" like four fingered hands.

Sent by Brian Gaidry | 2:55 PM | 11-1-2007

I wonder if these cartoon girls are a pediphile's dream? I feel uneasy about the sexuality of these child characters, both the male and female.

Sent by Lou Ann Roth | 2:58 PM | 11-1-2007

No Offense but they look like Sailor Moon, Jupiter, and (I don't remember the other characters name).
The whole point of PPG was that the characters were Preschoolers. That is cute.
The PPGZ characters are Hot/Sexy teens. I just call it as I see it. No value judgments. If I were making a value judgments then I would be agreeing with a previous poster that most of these cartoon girls are a pedophiles dream.

Sent by Brian Marten | 4:07 PM | 11-1-2007

The success of the Power Puff Girls was always a bit of a surprise to me, not because of any lack of quality in the show itself (I really enjoyed the show). The idea that Cartoon Network greenlit a show about preschoolers in which they looked like preschoolers was great. I think the transcreation of the Power Puff Girls has more to do with the changing times rather than a different culture. If we look at Astro-Boy, a Japanese character from decades ago, we'll see that the PPG designs are almost simply female versions of him. It's a little surprising the original version wasn't forced to be sexy in this day and age of Bratz, WINX, and Zoey 101.

Terry LaCaze (La-Caz)

Sent by Terry LaCaze | 11:30 AM | 11-3-2007