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Captain Planet and the Planeteers
Captain Planet Title Card
Genre Action/Adventure, Science Fiction, Superhero, Edutainment
Format Animated Series
Created by Ted Turner
Barbara Pyle
Starring David Coburn
LeVar Burton
Joey Dedio
Kath Soucie
Janice Kawaye
Scott Menville
Country of Origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of Seasons 3
No. of Episodes 65 (List of Episodes)
Production
Executive Producer(s) Andy Heyward
Robby London
Barbara Pyle
Nicholas Boxer
Running Time 22 minutes (approx.)
Production Company(s) DIC Entertainment
Turner Program Services
Broadcast
Original Channel TBS
First Shown 1990
Original Run September 15, 1990 – December 5, 1992
Status Ended
Wiki
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Captain Planet Opening01:00

Captain Planet Opening

Captain Planet and the Planeteers is an American animated television series created by Ted Turner, Robert Larkin III, and Barbara Pyle,[1][2] produced by Pyle, Nicholas Boxer, Andy Heyward and Robby London, and developed by Pyle, Boxer, Heyward, London, Thom Beers, Bob Forward, Phil Harnage and Cassandra Schafhausen. The series was produced by Turner Program Services and DIC Entertainment and it was broadcast on TBS from September 15, 1990 to December 5, 1992.[3] A sequel series, The New Adventures of Captain Planet, was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and Turner Program Services, and was broadcast from September 11, 1993 to May 11, 1996.[3] Both series continue to air today in syndicated reruns.[4] The program is a form of edutainment and advocates environmentalism.[2]

In February 2009, Mother Nature Network began airing episodes and unreleased footage of Captain Planet and the Planeteers on its website.[5][6] In September 2010, the Planeteer Movement was launched with the assistance of Pyle as a means for fans of the show to connect and continue to integrate the show's messages into their lives as real-life Planeteers.

PlotEdit

Gaia, the spirit of the planet, is awakened from a long sleep by Hoggish Greedly, who happens to be drilling above her resting chamber. Realizing that the damage is extensive, Gaia sends five magic rings, four with the power to control an element of nature and one controlling the element of Heart, to five chosen youths across the globe: Kwame from Africa, Wheeler from North America, Linka from the Soviet Union (changed to Eastern Europe after the Soviet Union's collapse), Gi from Asia, and Ma-Ti from South America.

These five are dubbed the Planeteers and are tasked with defending the planet from the greatest of disasters and making efforts to educate mankind to keep others from happening. Gaia uses her "Planet Vision" to discover where the most devastating destruction is occurring (in most episodes one or more of the Eco-Villains is behind it) and sends the Planeteers to help solve the problem. The Planeteers use transportation (usually a flying machine called a Geo-Cruiser) based on solar power to avoid causing pollution themselves.

In situations that the Planeteers cannot resolve alone, they can combine their powers to summon Captain Planet, a super hero, who possesses all of their powers magnified, symbolizing the premise that the combined efforts of a team are stronger than its individual parts. Captain Planet only appears in his Captain Planet garb. These are not clothes but elements of the planet that are integral to his composition. He is able to rearrange his molecular structure to transform himself into the various powers and elements of nature. He has a grass-green proto-mullet, crystal blue skin, earthy brown eyes, a fire-red chest, gloves, trunks, and boots, and a sun-yellow globe insignia.

The Planeteers cannot use their rings while Captain Planet has been summoned. Despite his vulnerability to pollution, Captain Planet is a formidable and valiant hero. Once his work is done, Captain Planet returns to the planet, restoring the Planeteers' powers. When he does this, Captain Planet reminds viewers of the message of the series with his catchphrase, "The Power Is Yours!" which is said to mean that all have the power to end the destruction of the planet if we work together as one world rather than fighting each other as separate nations.

CharactersEdit

Captain Planet (voiced by David Coburn) — Captain Planet is the titular character of the series. In the beginning of the series, Gaia assembles a modern-day team of "Planeteers" from several nations. When the modern-day Planeteers combine their powers to summon the elemental warrior, this incarnation takes on the appearance of a superhero, who takes on the superhero-like name of "Captain Planet." Captain Planet displays a wry sense of humor and often uses puns while taunting the show's cast of villains. His only weakness is when he comes into contact with sources of pollution.

Gaia (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg in 1990–1993, Margot Kidder in 1993–1995) — Gaia is the spirit of the planet. She is a modern rendition of the primordial Greek earth titan, possessing an amalgamation of physical characteristics from all human races. Awaking from a century-long slumber, and shocked with the increase in pollution of the planet that has sustained in such a short (by her standards) time, she summons the Planeteers to defend the planet and gives them each an elemental ring. Gaia lives on Hope Island, an island with large crystals in the middle of an ocean, although its exact location is never revealed. She is omnipresent and can appear in any time or place she wishes, and can communicate telepathically with anyone at any point in time. She is bound to the planet, and her health and well being are connected with the condition of the planet.

Kwame (voiced by LeVar Burton) — From Zimbabwe, Africa, Kwame possesses the power of Earth. He has a soft spot for plant life, and even runs his own greenhouse on Hope Island. Growing up in a tribe in his homeland Africa, he is at one with the land and its purpose, and does what he can to preserve it. The de facto leader of the group, he is also the voice of reason that keeps the Planeteers in check when the group begins to lose faith in a given situation. He also acts as kind of a mentor to Ma-Ti. Kwame is the first Planeteer to be summoned.

Wheeler (voiced by Joey Dedio) — From Brooklyn, New York, Wheeler controls the power of Fire. He is shown to be the least knowledgeable about the planet preservation trends though this improves as the show goes on. He is exceedingly the most street-smart of the group, yet, while having his heart in the right place, tends to get himself into tight spots when acting impulsively; fittingly, he is sometimes a "hothead". Throughout the series, he openly flirts with and tries to get closer to Linka, almost always having his advances shot down. Wheeler is the third Planeteer to be summoned.

Linka (voiced by Kath Soucie) — From the Soviet Union (in later episodes stated as being from Eastern Europe after the Communist regime's collapse), Linka has the power of Wind. Linka closely studies bird life and, due to this, is extremely emotional when pollution harms them, due to admiring birds used in the mines to detect gas while growing up as a miner's daughter. Wheeler often tries to flirt with her, and despite more often than not shooting down these advances, is shown every now and again that she too possesses feelings for him, even kissing him in the episode "Missing Linka". She is a master of strategy and logic, as well as a computer expert. Linka often uses Russian words and phrases, the most common one being "Bozhe moi!" (meaning "My God!"), which she normally says when she's shocked. Linka is the fourth Planeteer to be summoned.

Gi (voiced by Janice Kawaye) — Hailing from Malaysia, Gi controls the power of Water. Gi is a self-proclaimed marine biologist. Her compassion for sea life contributes to the overall effort of the Planeteers' protection of animals, becoming extremely emotional when pollution affects them, especially dolphins (due to finding her dolphin friend dying from pollution as a child), and somewhat impulsive at times. She also often works on the mechanical and forensic aspects for the team, as well as being the most diplomatic of the group who convinces others to see reason and do the right thing. Gi is the second Planeteer to be summoned.

Ma-Ti (voiced by Scott Menville) — From the Amazon of Brazil and raised by a Kayapo Indian shaman, Ma-Ti wields the powers of Heart and telepathy to instill caring, passion, and sympathy into the people of the world to care for the planet. He can also use this power to telepathically communicate with people and animals. Ma-Ti is also the "baby" of the team and owns a pet spider monkey named Suchi (voiced by Frank Welker). Ma-Ti is the fifth Planeteer to be summoned.

Eco-Villains — The Eco-Villains are a small group of antagonists who cause danger to the planet by committing pollution, deforestation, and poaching. They enjoy the destruction they cause to the planet and the harm they bring upon anyone by any means to obtain wealth, land, or power. Due to conflict among them from their varying self-serving interests and backgrounds, they tend to work alone most of the time. Each of these villains represent a specific ecological disaster. These include:

  • Hoggish Greedly (voiced by Edward Asner) — A pig-like human who represents the dangers of overconsumption and greed, Hoggish is the first villain Captain Planet and the Planeteers encounter.
  • Verminous Skumm (voiced by Jeff Goldblum in 1990, Maurice LaMarche in 1991–1995) — The second villain to appear on the series, he is a part human, part rat creature whose human name is unknown; he represents the dangers of poor sanitation and crime. Skumm has a personal helicopter called The Scum O'Copter. Skumm is responsible for the death of Linka's cousin, Boris.
  • Dr. Blight (voiced by Meg Ryan in 1990, Mary Kay Bergman in 1991–1995) — A mad scientist with a half-scarred face hidden behind her hair who represents the dangers of uncontrolled technology and unethical scientific experimentation. She is the third villain to appear on the series.
  • Duke Nukem (voiced by Dean Stockwell in 1990–1992, Maurice LaMarche in 1993–1995) — A doctor who changed himself into a radioactive mutant who represents the misuse of nuclear power. He is one of the few Eco-Villains, along with Zarm and Captain Pollution, able to single-handedly defeat Captain Planet. Nukem generates radiation to fire off radioactive blasts from his hands and possesses X-Ray vision.
  • Looten Plunder (voiced by Gavin MacLeod in 1990–1992, Ed Gilbert in 1993–1995) — A wealthy poacher and crooked businessman who represents the evils of unethical business actions, his name is even a reference of the phrase "Loot and Plunder." He is the fourth villain to appear on Captain Planet.
  • Sly Sludge (voiced by Martin Sheen in 1990–1992, Jim Cummings in 1993–1995) — An unscrupulous trashman who represents ignorance and the dangers of short-term thinking.
  • Zarm (voiced by Sting in 1990–1992, David Warner in 1993, Malcolm McDowell in 1994–1995) — Zarm is the former spirit of the planet who left Gaia in search of other worlds and ended up laying other populous planets to ruin, lacking Gaia to balance out his methods. He represents war and destruction. Even though Zarm does not have any henchmen of his own, he would often manipulate other people to do his bidding. He once united Hoggish Greedly, Looten Plunder, Sly Sludge, Duke Nukem, Verminous Skumm, and Dr. Blight under his leadership in the two-part episode "Summit to Save Earth". Zarm is the last Eco-Villain to appear in the series.

Captain Pollution — A polluting counterpart to Captain Planet named "Captain Pollution" appears in the two-part episode "Mission to Save Earth" when Dr. Blight steals the Planeteers' rings, creates polluting duplicates of them, and distributes the duplicates to most of the other Eco-villains. Each Eco-villain received a specific ring:

  • Duke Nukem has a Super Radiation Ring (counterpart of Fire).
  • Looten Plunder has a Deforestation Ring (counterpart of Earth).
  • Sly Sludge has a Smog Ring (counterpart of Wind).
  • Verminous Skumm has a Toxics Ring (counterpart of Water).
  • Dr. Blight has a Hate Ring (counterpart of Heart).

Captain Pollution is weakened when he is in contact with pure elements such as water or sunlight, while he gains power from contact with pollutants, being able to absorb pollutant and emit radioactive rays (and is later shown to gain power without limit when in contact with pollutants after his resurrection). When he is summoned he says "By your polluting powers combined, I am Captain Pollution! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!", and when he disappears, he declares "The polluting power is yours!"

EpisodesEdit

Captain Planet and the Planeteers has a total of 65 episodes spread over 3 seasons that were produced from September 1990 to December 1992.

ComicsEdit

Marvel Comics published a short-lived comic series for 12 issues to tie in to the show; however, the comics were a separate continuity. While not effectively part of the Marvel Universe, issue #4's cover was a parody of the cover to Fantastic Four issue #1.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Pyle, Barbara. "Barbara Pyle, with Ted Turner and Robert Larkin III created the animated action series Captain Planet and the Planeteers ". Barbara Pyle Productions. http://www.barbarapyle.com/captain/. Retrieved on June 24, 2014. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Szymanski, Michael (February 3, 1990). "Captain Planet: Here He Comes to Save the Day ". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1990-02-03/entertainment/ca-990_1_captain-planet. Retrieved on June 24, 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 ""The New Adventures of Captain Planet" ". 'www.bcdb.com. http://www.bcdb.com/cartoons/Other_Studios/D/DiC_Entertainment/Captain_Planet_And_The_Planeteers/index.html. Retrieved on June 24, 2014. 
  4. Jensen, Elizabeth (April 22, 2006). "An Aging Superhero Wins a Life Beyond Reruns ". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9803E4DC153FF931A15757C0A9609C8B63. Retrieved on June 24, 2014. 
  5. "Mother Nature Network Captain Planet and the Planeteers ". Mother Nature Network. http://www.mnn.com/mnntv/captain-planet Mother Nature Network. 
  6. "Mother Nature Network: Online Media Finally Catches up to Sustainability Needs ". Fast Company. February 4, 2009. http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/lewis-perkins/semantics-sustainability/mother-nature-network-online-media-finally-catches-susta. 

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