The show began as a project for Craig McCracken's college class at The California Arts Institution in 1992, titled "The Whoop-Ass Girls". Three years later Cartoon Network gave it its first two television shorts, and finally a full TV series in 1998. A movie was released in 2002.
The Powerpuff Girls are three little girls named Blossom (voiced by Catherine Cavadini), Bubbles (voiced by Tara Strong) and Buttercup (voiced by Elizabeth Daily), who live in the fictional city of Townsville, USA. They were created by Professor John Utonium, who was attempting to make the perfect little girl by combining sugar, spice, and everything nice, when he accidentally knocked a glass of Chemical X into the mixture. The girls are sickeningly cute and incredibly powerful.
The arch enemy of the Powerpuff Girls is the evil genius monkey Mojo Jojo. Other recurring opponents include The Amoeba Boys, Fuzzy Lumpkins, The Gangrene Gang (who appeared in the original student film), the spoiled little rich girl Princess Morebucks, and the mysterious superpowerful red-skinned and horned cross-dressing devil referred to only by the article "Him". One-time appearances include Femme Fatale and Sedusa; furthermore, a group of unsuccessful bank robbers is often seen suffering the consequences of their actions.
Friends and allies of the Girls include the Pokey Oaks kindergarten teacher Miss Keane, the empty headed Mayor and his very competent assistant, the statuesque redheaded Ms. Sara Bellum, whose face (like Big Al's in Police Squad and the first Naked Gun movie) is always just out of shot; see Unseen character.
The show is a runaway smash hit, and over a billion dollars of merchandise was sold even before the movie release.