Captain Planet Returns Just in Time

captain planetBack 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.

  1. Bobby B.

    “Captain Planet” was a cartoon with one purpose: INDOCTRINATION. It was not terrible for its entertainament value, but the take away messages were always the same:

    1. Teach children that humans and/or capitalists are the only groups hell-bent on destroying the planet.

    2. Only by pulling together without regard for any individual’s concerns are the planeteers able do the right thing.

    Any parent trying to raise self-confident, competent individuals should say “BOLSHEVIK” to this program and find something more edifying to watch.

  2. bobby b needs 2 dye

    Eat it b-boy,capitalists are humans (I know I know even I want to argue with that last statement) and with that what other group/s could be to blame?

  3. Bobby B.

    bobby b needs 2 dye,

    I am so glad that you didn’t say “die” because that would have worried me. However, I do request that you choose a conservative, solid-colored “dye” for my new t-shirt. I look terrible in the hippie, 60’ish tye-dye colors. 😉

    But seriously, who other than capitalists could be to blame for environmental catastrophes? That question is all too easy to answer. The Chernobyl Disaster happened under Soviet (communist) rule. The Banqiao Dam failed under Chinese (communist) rule, and the democratic underground website reports that nearly 3,500 others failed over a fifty-year time span. There is a lot of death and destruction associated with a dam failure. The Bhopal Disaster may have been an American company but the facility was operating within the guidelines of its host country’s (India) rules. India has an economy that is a mix of socialism and capitalism. I could probably find dozens of additional examples with a little research, but programs like “Captain Planet” conveniently target only the problems that they can blame on capitalists. As such, I stand by my statement that the show was pure INDOCTRINATION. Couldn’t the writers, producers and directors of such a fine program just have easily done a few (or even one) episodes where the problem was caused by someone other than greedy, free-market entrepreneurs?

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