Seeing the Earth in its profound environmental peril, Gaia, goddess of the Earth, summons five kids from around the world to become the Planeteers, an opposing force to fight back and educate others in the need to be environmentally responsible. To accomplish that task, each kid is given a magic ring that each has a power of earth, wind, water, fire and heart. When the threat they face is too big for them to face, they can combine and amplify their powers to create Captain Planet, who has the power to stop catastrophic environmental disasters himself, while the Planeteers contribute with the things anyone can and should do to help. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
Tom Cruise originally agreed to provide the voice for Captain Planet. He backed out at the last second for an unknown reason. See more »
Our world is in peril. Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, can no longer stand the terrible destruction plaguing our planet. She gives five magic rings to five special young people. From Africa, Kwame with the power of earth. From the North America, Wheeler with the power of fire. From the Soviet Union, Linka with the power of wind. From Asia, Gi with the power of water and from South America, Ma-Ti with the power of heart. With the five powers combined they summon earth's greatest ...
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In the opening titles from the first (two?) series, Linka is said to be from the Soviet Union. In subsequent series, she is said to be from eastern Europe. See more »
Captain Planet and the Planeteers, if it is referenced at all nowadays, is generally treated as a subject of mockery. Online reviewers such as the Nostalgia Critic have shredded it relentlessly, depicting it as a hopelessly ideological cartoon that nobody enjoyed. The show did sometimes bite off more than it could chew, but it also managed to be entertaining and, yes, educational.
The show's premise is familiar to most people. Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, gives five elemental power rings to an international group of teenagers in order to fight pollution. When they going gets tough, they can summon Captain Planet, an anti-pollution superhero. Each episode deals with a different environmental theme, ranging from smog to extinction to...gang violence.
The show worked best when it stuck to environmental themes. At times, the writers became overambitious and tried to deal with more fraught topics such as AIDS and gang warfare. These episodes almost inevitably fell flat, coming across as ham handed and even more preachy than the series usually was. One episode on gang violence was particularly awful, with the gangs depicted as something out of a bad 80s Mad Max rip off.
Nevertheless, the show served a purpose. It was often brutally honest in its treatment of environmental topics, within the limits of a show geared towards children. For instance, one show dealing with whaling featured a sequence of a mother whale being harpooned, complete with blood getting spilled in the water. This type of straight talk was a good thing and left viewers not only entertained, but informed. Perhaps even willing to take action.
For all its flaws, Captain Planet remains a well remembered series for me.
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