One of the first things that will come to mind after watching Spectra is The Powerpuff Girls. More specifically, the fact that there have not been many cartoons that feature strong and fun female lead since that show went off the air. In many ways Spectra feels like the perfect successor to that throne. The film centers around Spectra, a happy go-lucky girl who manages to bring colour to everything she touches. When an evil nameless villain tries to bring darkness to the world, Spectra and her friends jump into action. The scant running time makes Spectra feel more like an opening sequence for a television show rather than true short film. However, this does not take away from the overall entertainment value of the piece. The crisp and bubbly animation by director Kirsten Whiteley would fit nicely in any Saturday morning cartoon rotation. Even if Spectra does not end up as a series, though hopefully it does one day, Whiteley shows that she is a talent that we will be seeing a lot more from in the near future.

Spectra is playing in Program #2 – Our Zany Adventure at the festival on June 2, 2012. For ticket information, and the full list of films playing the festival, please visit the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival website.