Back in 1990, Ted Turner decided that TBS needed to create the world’s first eco-hero, and Captain Planet and the Planeteers were born. The cartoon ran for 6 seasons and has been largely unavailable since then. Until now. Even more so than in 1990, the world really needs an eco-hero now, and Captain Planet is back.
The very first episode of Captain Planet and the Planeteers is now available on Mother Nature Network, and the environmental news network plans to unveil twenty episodes of the eco-cartoon over the next year.
Here’s a recap of the first episode:
In A Hero for Earth, the first episode of Captain Planet and the Planeteers, viewers are introduced to Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, played by Whoopi Goldberg. Gaia awakes to find humans are destroying the planet. To save the Earth, she creates five magic rings, each with the power to control an element of nature and one controlling the extra element, heart – and presents the rings to five special young people she selects from across the globe: Kwame from Africa, Wheeler from the United States, Linka from the Soviet Union, Gi from Asia, and Ma-Ti from South America. These are the Planeteers. When they encounter situations they cannot handle alone, they combine and magnify their powers to summon Captain Planet, who possesses all of their powers magnified.
In A Hero for Earth, the Planeteers battle Hoggish Greedly, played by Ed Asner, whose oil rig operation is jeopardizing the coastline.
Whoppi Goldberg and Ed Asner aren’t the only celebreties who lent their voices to Captain Planet over its six year run. LeVar Burton, James Coborn, Martin Sheen, Meg Ryan, Tim Curry, Jeff Goldblum and even Sting are a few of the celebs who voiced recurring characters on the eco-cartoon.
In the interest of full disclosure, I need to tell you that I work for Mother Nature Network. I’m their eco-friendly food blogger. But even if I didn’t, I’d still be reporting about this here on Sustainablog. There is a lot of dreck on the cartoon channels these days for kids – so much so that it was one of the deciding factors in our family dumping cable tv. This is something that I’ll be happy to sit down with my boys and watch without worrying about the message they are taking away. I’ll even hope they embrace the message.