Directed by Craig McCraken, starring the voices of Tara Strong, Catherine Cavadini and EG Daly.

Following in the colourful footsteps of 'Rugrats' and 'Pokemon', 'The Powerpuff Girls Movie' takes instantly recognisable cartoon characters - Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup - and puts them into a feature length format. But can this bug-eyed trio of kindergarten superheroines power their way successfully out of the Cartoon Network and into movie land?

Director and creator Craig McCraken has based the story around a traditional superhero theme - how the characters got their special powers. Crime in Townsville is at an all time high and Professor Utonium decides to make something good for the town. His experiment - a mixture of sugar, spice, all things nice and an accidental addition of mysterious Chemical X - combines to form three little girls with amazing powers. Although they are initially accepted by the people of Townsville, their ability to fly at the speed of light, laser eyes and superhuman strength soon creates havoc and destruction.

Running from accusatory headlines that scream 'Bug Eyed Freaks Broke Everything' the girls inadvertently end up helping megalomaniac Mojo Jojo - another victim of Chemical X - to take over the town. Now they're the only ones that can fix everything and make Townsville a better place, but will they realise it in time? And will kids sit still long enough to find out? Parents definitely won't.

Maybe we've been spoiled by the craft and intelligence evident in animated films like 'Shrek' and 'Monsters Inc.' but 'The Powerpuff Girls Movie', with its crude animation, heavyhanded moralising and repetitive action sequences is simply a cynical attempt by a studio to make a quick buck from the diapers brigade. Characters formed from primary shapes in a 2-D world might look charming for ten minutes on television but it looks cheap when blown up for the silver screen and there's simply not enough visual entertainment to fill a interminable long eighty minutes.

This is the Powerpuff Girls first time on the big screen - it's to be hoped that it's also their last.

Caroline Hennessy