I realized after reminiscing with some friends the other day about our favorite cartoons growing up that ‘Captain Planet’ was a leader in the environmental concerns of our day. Back in the 80-90s, Captain Planet got kids excited about taking care of the environment, tackling the bad guys in battles for the earth.
Captain Planet was summoned whenever the five Planeteers combined the forces of their elemental rings. This emphasized the show’s premise that only by working together could people protect the planet and provide solutions to environmental problems. Likewise, Captain Planet’s appearance did not identify him with any one culture or ethnicity, as his hair was Forest Green and his skin was Sky Blue.
Within the fictional universe of the show, the Earth possesses a literal living spirit named Gaia. Unable to take more than a certain level of direct action herself, Gaia is forced to appoint “champions”, a group of which form the basis of the show’s titular “Planeteers”. Each “champion” is gifted with a ring of elemental power by Gaia. When the team members combine the energies of these rings, they summon a being who is an amalgam of the elements each ring is attuned to. This being takes on a different appearance and persona based on the minds of the team members who summon him, allowing him to have human mannerisms in keeping with the era. Because he is connected to the minds of the team members when they summon him, the elemental being is also often aware of certain events that occur while he is not active on screen.
Its interesting to wonder how much Captain Planet might have influenced this new generation that is showing concern for our environment? Perhaps the Planeteers from all corners of the world can unite to bring protection to planet Earth?
Just for fun, check out this video of the Captain Planet outro and enjoy a trip down memory lane…
Captain Planet Outro