This guy does what Al Gore can only dream of....
July 21, 2011 9:51 PM   Subscribe

Hot off the heels of the rousing critical success of Transformers 3, producer Don Murphy has greenlighted a feature-length, live-action Captain Planet film.
posted by schmod (101 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Counting down until discussion of why "Heart" is the lamest of the powers.

YOU KNOW WHAT HE COULD TALK TO ANIMALS. SIT DOWN, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!!
posted by JimmyJames at 9:56 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


My friend from high school had a chance to meet one of the people behind Captain Planet at a dinner party. She did the entire opening song from memory, include some of the dance moves. The people behind this really believed they could make some changes with the power of children's animated shows.

Also from the wikipedia, Captain Planet had an episode dealing with HIV/AIDS and the character who had it was voiced by Neil Patrick Harris. Youtube has it here in two parts. It is amazing how progressive and in a way counter culture something like this was in 1992, especially when it was in a market targeted towards children.

I don't know how much a 'modern' captain planet movie would actually embody the same values of the animated show.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:59 PM on July 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Transformers 3: Optimus Gets Tied Up In Cables For Ages & Nobody Even Blinks That Ironhide Died And Also The Fifty-Ton Bad Guy Vaults Over A Chain Fence
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:03 PM on July 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Did you just admit to watching Transformers 3?
posted by schmod at 10:12 PM on July 21, 2011 [23 favorites]


In keeping up with the times, the new Planeteers will be (in no particular order) Oil, Yellowcake, Blood Diamonds, Oxycodone, and Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea.
posted by hermitosis at 10:12 PM on July 21, 2011 [30 favorites]


Yeah, after Transformers 2, there's no way I'm seeing 3. Just like I will never see Revenge of the Sith.

Also, greenlighted? Really?
posted by ODiV at 10:16 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


As somebody who thought that even Wall-E was too environmentally preachy, I'm sure I'll enjoy this.
Its possible growing up with Captain Planet turned me into the anti-green misanthrope I am now. Though I still want a flamethrower ring, the Avatar cartoon did the elemental powers better.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:18 PM on July 21, 2011


There's no better way to teach kids about environmentalism than with a strong background in Aristotelian elemental theory!
posted by Navelgazer at 10:18 PM on July 21, 2011 [13 favorites]


Metafilter: Michael Bay sucks.

Can we move on please?
posted by XhaustedProphet at 10:18 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sure. We can move on... Captain Planet sucks.

Anything else?
posted by symbioid at 10:21 PM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I sometimes wonder whether there's any high concept that is beyond the pale for a possible movie. For a while they were even talking about making a move based on the game "Battleship".

How about "XKCD: The Movie"? Think someone would do it?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:24 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


How about "XKCD: The Movie"? Think someone would do it?

I don't think you could put that much smug and awkwardness on screen.


I sometimes wonder whether there's any high concept that is beyond the pale for a possible movie. For a while they were even talking about making a move based on the game "Battleship".


I'm all for stuff like that. The sooner movies move away from 'reality' the better.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:27 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what the live-action version of the Captain will look like. Is he going to have silver-green skin and a mullet? I really don't see how this movie could work out. Basically the only story I'd be interested in watching would be the episode with the Evil Captain and the Anti-Rings. Who would play the Captain?

I just answered my own question with some Google.

Richard Dean Anderson.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 10:29 PM on July 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


The people behind this really believed they could make some changes with the power of children's animated shows.

Maybe they did.
posted by pracowity at 10:34 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I sometimes wonder whether there's any high concept that is beyond the pale for a possible movie. For a while they were even talking about making a move based on the game "Battleship".


I'm sure you are aware of the Space Invaders Movie, so the answer is no. I'm looking forward to someone pitching pong as a movie idea.
posted by dibblda at 10:37 PM on July 21, 2011


Can we have M. Night Shyamalan direct? That would be awesome.
posted by dibblda at 10:40 PM on July 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


For a while they were even talking about making a move based on the game "Battleship".

It's a lot more than talk.
posted by dave78981 at 10:52 PM on July 21, 2011


I'm all for stuff like that. The sooner movies move away from 'reality' the better.

Yeah, this recent wave of realism in mass-market film has been just brutal.
posted by brennen at 10:59 PM on July 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


PSA:
posted by pracowity at 11:00 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


My hippie mom didn't let me watch tv, and my conservative dad would let me watch pretty much any kids' show except for Captain Planet. Could someone fill me in on exactly how left out I should be feeling?
posted by naoko at 11:01 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


...and we didn't even own a television amirite? :-P
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:02 PM on July 21, 2011


Do the hollywood studios just take an offset in history and produce material to match current theatrical releases with childhood memories? Transformers, and then captain planet?? If we keep doing this, won't culture become very confusing?
posted by kuatto at 11:06 PM on July 21, 2011


PSA:
  • Words mean whatever you want them to mean.
  • posted by koeselitz at 11:07 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


    schmod: "Don Murphy has greenlighted a feature-length, live-action Captain Planet."

    Just to clarify, this isn't greenlighted. He's developing it (hiring a writer, getting a script, revising it, etc). A greenlight means the studio in charge has given the go-ahead for production (crew getting hired, shooting dates set, big money being spent, etc). Many films disappear in development hell, so this may never see the light of day.

    posted by sharkfu at 11:07 PM on July 21, 2011


    I wonder what the live-action version of the Captain will look like. Is he going to have silver-green skin and a mullet? I really don't see how this movie could work out.

    Are you kidding? With all the hippies and the debate over climate change its more relevant than ever.
    posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:10 PM on July 21, 2011


    Transformers 3 was the most fun I've had at the movies. No idea what happens in it except that the girl (who apparently only wears figure hugging white dresses, which I'm fine with, and possibly has sex with McDreamy at one point?) convinces Sentinel Gandalf to kill Megabot using exactly the same ruse that Aladdin uses to convince Jafar to become an all-powerful genie. I learned something about movie theatre etiquette as well... it's perfectly okay to talk and laugh through movies if they're terrible.
    posted by doublehappy at 11:23 PM on July 21, 2011


    Bill Murray would be an excellent Sly Sludge.
    posted by doublehappy at 11:27 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


    "It is amazing how progressive and in a way counter culture something like this was in 1992, especially when it was in a market targeted towards children."

    It may seem that way, but there were a number of other cartoons doing the same thing: TMNT, Toxic Crusaders, and Swamp Thing (with varying degrees of success).

    With the fall of the Soviet Union around the same time of the creation of these cartoons, there was a brief period in US culture where there was a lack of "the big bad guy trying to destroy the US". The build-up of Manichean, good guys vs. bad guys cartoons from the 80's like GI Joe and Transformers underwent a significant evolution:

    The bad guys in a number of early 90's cartoons were no longer trying to take over the world. Instead, they just wanted to mess up the environment. Why? No one is really sure, but I believe it did make a generation of kids aware of the environmental consequences of their actions. It portrayed environmental harm as the thing "bad guys" do.

    The trend never continued past the mid-90's though. It may be that network executives found the idea of environmentally-conscious heroes too hard to sell, especially in the wake of Ren & Stimpy and all the cartoons it inspired. Ren & Stimpy took all the political and social ideologies that had been building in cartoons for the past decade, culminating in Captain Planet, and set them ablaze. It was a rebirth and a return to fundamentals.

    To see Captain Planet resurrected now is potentially interesting. He'd awaken to a world that has changed much since he first saw it. He's despised now; the anti-Captain America trying to peddle his outlandish theories of how pollution causes the whole Earth to heat up.
    Why do you hate our freedom, Captain Planet? Why do you hate America?
    posted by lemuring at 11:29 PM on July 21, 2011 [16 favorites]


    The bad guys in a number of early 90's cartoons were no longer trying to take over the world. Instead, they just wanted to mess up the environment. Why? No one is really sure, but I believe it did make a generation of kids aware of the environmental consequences of their actions. It portrayed environmental harm as the thing "bad guys" do.

    I dunno... I basically have the viewpoint of your average Captain Planet villain. The idea is that nature = life = death, so I oppose it. Not sure how it would play for a kid's adaptation though.

    They'll have to change Duke Nukem's name but otherwise we live in a world where Greenpeace and Sea Shephard ecoterrorists are held up as heroes. Maybe things are different in America, but Avatar and Wall-E both had environmental message and they were popular. The upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes is marketed (at least here) as sympathetically portraying the monkeys. So Captain Planet's 'Gaia over humanity' message would fly.
    posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:32 PM on July 21, 2011


    "Are you kidding? With all the hippies and the debate over climate change its more relevant than ever."

    "I dunno... I basically have the viewpoint of your average Captain Planet villain."

    At last, someone who will stick up for the underprivileged polluters! Those people in Biopal basically sucked anyhow.
    posted by jaduncan at 11:36 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


    How to make the Captain Planet movie that is acceptable to our Corporate Masters and Flat Earth Indoctrinated Public:

    1. A major corporate CEO unveils plans for a new, "cleaner", "safer" off shore oil drill, one bigger than any other made before, which will solve all of our energy problems because it will drill all of the oil. All of it.

    2. A group of hot young 20-somethings, who want to make the world better through improved technologies who work for benevolent corporations (Exxon, GE, BP, etc.) are on hand for the big unveiling. Jokes are made about climate change and wacky treehuggers.

    3. Evil eco-terrorists plan to blow up said rig, in order to "prove that oil is too dangerous!" Die Hard antics ensue.

    4. Group of hot protagonists are gifted with magical rings, each discovered at a different mining site- Uranium, Diamonds, Oil, Coal, etc. which "represent the Earth's gifts to mankind"

    5. CEO is kidnapped by evil eco-terrorists, and despite his impassioned pleas to save the oceans, they proceed to bomb the rig, spilling out ALL THE OILS. In classic summer blockbuster improbability, the oils all catch on fire, exploding half the oceans creating earthquakes and tsunamis around the globe, and for no apparent reason, tornadoes.

    6. As the oceans and skies burn, the Ecoterrorists scream, "See?!? GLOBAL WARMING!!!!"

    7. Only by using the power of the magic mining rings, Captain Planet comes forth to save us from the disaster unleashed by those evil, evil treehuggers who wanted to take away our cars and air flights. He uses special cosmic radiation which empowers him from the hole in the Ozone. "Good thing this was here, otherwise we'd all be toast! Hahahah!"

    8. Meanwhile the 20-something heroes engage in anti-terrorist activities, and all the evil ecoterrorists get shot, stabbed, exploded in classic John-Woo fashion.

    9. Mission accomplished victory shot, as the heroes ride off into the sunset on a US aircraft carrier with jets flying by.

    (The sequel involves the eco-terrorists transforming gasoline around the world, back into dinosaurs, in some misguided attempt to restore bio-diversity...)
    posted by yeloson at 11:41 PM on July 21, 2011 [34 favorites]


    Dear god yeloson, do you have to put that on the Internets where the screenwriters can see it? Jeesh.
    posted by Jilder at 11:53 PM on July 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


    wow yeloson, that's much better than what i'm trying to write. Its mostly "fight hippies with lasers"
    posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:58 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


    ...and we didn't even own a television amirite? :-P

    No, I'm legitimately curious! I have fond memories of other bits of early 90's overly earnest environmentalism-for-kids (Ferngully? 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save the Earth? Ranger Rick? Yes please.) and I expect I would have gotten a kick out of this, but the levels of snark in here are pretty high and I can't even tell if people legitimately liked Captain Planet or not.
    posted by naoko at 12:00 AM on July 22, 2011


    Just like I will never see Revenge of the Sith.

    This is literally the most jealous I've ever been of someone for having not seen something.
    posted by herbplarfegan at 12:08 AM on July 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


    No film adaptation will be able to match the verisimilitude and heart of this truly moving episode of the show:

    Captain Planet Saves Belfast
    posted by jettloe at 12:21 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    When I was a kid this kind of like. Eco-Friendly, "progressive" message was par for the course. If you put this on TV now there'd be some right wing nut job howling about liberal propaganda blasted at kids because THE EARTH JUST GETS HOTTER FOLKS or whatever.

    Anyway: 20 years later and, uh, progress?
    posted by GilloD at 12:35 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I'm hoping for an ultra-dark and gritty sort of Batman Begins type of thing. Maybe the good Captain's family was killed in the gulf oil spill?
    posted by feloniousmonk at 12:37 AM on July 22, 2011


    Is this where we can petition to officially have the whole damn series renamed to "Micheal Bay's Robots In Space [with explosions]"?

    There has only ever been one Transforms movie.
    posted by xqwzts at 12:41 AM on July 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


    When I was a kid this kind of like. Eco-Friendly, "progressive" message was par for the course. If you put this on TV now there'd be some right wing nut job howling about liberal propaganda blasted at kids because THE EARTH JUST GETS HOTTER FOLKS or whatever.

    Anyway: 20 years later and, uh, progress?


    From my POV, this stuff has WORKED. Kids seem more interested in saving the planet than advancing their own interests.
    posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:41 AM on July 22, 2011


    we live in a world where Greenpeace and Sea Shephard ecoterrorists are held up as heroes.

    They are heroes. Enjoy your Ayn Rand novel.
    posted by cmonkey at 12:56 AM on July 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


    "From my POV, this stuff has WORKED. Kids seem more interested in saving the planet than advancing their own interests."

    You suggesting this is negative must be trolling/satire, right? Right?
    posted by jaduncan at 12:59 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    You know, message aside, I seem to remember Captain Planet sucking tremendously.
    posted by JHarris at 1:15 AM on July 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


    You suggesting this is negative must be trolling/satire, right? Right?

    I don't think he's saying it as a negative.
    posted by GilloD at 1:19 AM on July 22, 2011


    You suggesting this is negative must be trolling/satire, right? Right?

    Did you miss the "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" under that comment?
    posted by brennen at 1:24 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    I liked the Half In The Bag review of Transformers 3 (the epic Phantom Menace review guys), even if they got too drunk during the filming - the ending of the review makes it worthwhile.
    posted by ts;dr at 1:34 AM on July 22, 2011


    An anti-capitalist GI Joe cartoon is just about the dumbest idea ever conceived.

    The worst thing you can do for environmentalism is to conflate it further with extreme left hobby horses.

    And yeah, the cartoon sucked balls, but I thought Linka was kinda hot, so I watched it.
    posted by unigolyn at 3:03 AM on July 22, 2011


    Richard Dean Anderson.

    And suddenly, I'm 100% on-board. YES.
    posted by Mizu at 3:05 AM on July 22, 2011


    "They are heroes. Enjoy your Ayn Rand novel."

    Glenn Beck: "Anyone to the left of me is a Stalinist."

    cmonkey: "Anyone to the right of me is an Objectivist."

    Do you really for a second think that this is a healthy way to have public discourse, or are you not really looking for anything more than feeling good about your own convictions?
    posted by unigolyn at 3:07 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I look forward to fans becoming bitterly angry when the movie 'ruins' the artistic masterpiece that is the Captain Planet cartoon.

    (I also look forward to an absolute deluge of 'Heart is a stupid superpower' jokes.)
    posted by anaximander at 3:16 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Heart is a stupid superpower. That's why he got a monkey as well.
    posted by minifigs at 3:24 AM on July 22, 2011


    Didn't he already have the monkey?
    posted by doublehappy at 3:35 AM on July 22, 2011


    I think Captain Planet adaptation might suffer the same fate that Speed Racer did, in other words nobody outside the US is familiar with the character, and it's a stupid idea in the first place.
    posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:51 AM on July 22, 2011


    unigolyn: Do you really for a second think that this is a healthy way to have public discourse, or are you not really looking for anything more than feeling good about your own convictions?

    Did you really just compare suggesting that someone likes Ayn Rand to suggesting that someone is a Stalinist? Wow, pot, meet kettle...
    posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 4:01 AM on July 22, 2011


    I think Captain Planet adaptation might suffer the same fate that Speed Racer did

    Apparently I like shitty movies. Speed Racer was awesome to me.
    posted by XhaustedProphet at 4:13 AM on July 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


    Surely this?!?!
    posted by blue_beetle at 4:19 AM on July 22, 2011


    I am modestly horrified that anyone liked Transformers 3. Yes, I saw it in a cruel bait-and-switch by a friend who needed to get out of his house. Anyway. The plot of the thing sounds like it was cobbled together by a couple of 6th boys:
    Boy 1: "this happened 'n this happened!"
    Boy 2: "then that happened!"
    Boy 1: "yeah, that was Awesome! Then this thing happened!!!"
    Me: "wait, how could that happen?"
    Boy 2: "they all got captured. Before."
    Boy 1: "yeah, before. That was cool! Stuff blew up."
    Me: ... OK...

    Ladies and gentlemen, the future of scriptwriting.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 4:36 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Can we have M. Night Shyamalan direct? That would be awesome.


    The twist is that there is no Captain Planet - the kids have been dosed with peyote by a local "eccentric" (Richard Dean Anderson).

    Some pretty dark stuff happens in the third act.
    posted by running order squabble fest at 4:38 AM on July 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


    ... My phone autocorrected to "tansy". No idea where that came from
    posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:47 AM on July 22, 2011


    Oh my god, I'm outraged. Oh wait, I've never heard of Captain Planet (just had to google it). Carry on.

    you damn '80s kids...
    posted by octothorpe at 5:23 AM on July 22, 2011


    For a while they were even talking about making a move based on the game "Battleship".

    Not joking at all:

    It's in post, directed by Peter Berg, and it stars Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard, and some people from Friday Night Lights.
    posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:26 AM on July 22, 2011


    cmonkey: "Anyone to the right of me is an Objectivist."

    That's a creative interpretation of a short sentence, but no, it's pretty clear that anyone who moans about "ecoterrorists" and kids not "advancing their own interests", is probably an Ayn Rand fan, or at least should be treated with equally as much disdain.
    posted by cmonkey at 5:38 AM on July 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


    All of the Captain Planet episodes are available online on youtube. Sometimes when I'm on break at lunch I'll throw them on and it's amazing the types of things that the Planeteers get away with. Thoughts that routinely go through my mind: Did you just break into an industrial facility with signs that clearly say "radiation" and "danger". Yep....way to educate those kids! - - I'm pretty sure the plane they use to fly around (while on the surface appears to be solar-powered) still required industrial processing in order to manufacture certain parts. - - Lord knows that globalization and capitalism are not perfect economic engines, but the Planeteers routinely disrupt business, business which I admit are not ETHICAL but are still LEGAL.

    Oh and FUCK HEART!
    posted by Fizz at 5:41 AM on July 22, 2011


    The tagline on the poster writes itself, I think.

    BY YOUR POWERS COMBINED

    SUMMER 2013
    posted by Servo5678 at 5:42 AM on July 22, 2011


    FUCK YOU HEART IS AWESOME
    posted by Eideteker at 5:44 AM on July 22, 2011


    I basically have the viewpoint of your average Captain Planet villain.

    So you would be willing to use a time machine to sell nukes to Hitler?
    posted by erdferkel at 5:46 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Oh, and let me be clear. The villains were pretty awful humans (barely) and I am not defending their actions. But the Planeteers consistently transgressed laws and authority set up to keep most people safe.
    posted by Fizz at 5:53 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    But don't all superhero teams do that? Apart from the government-sanctioned ones (GI Joe, MASK), and even they go off the reservation sometimes. The Planeteers are making basically the same decisions re: the competing demands of morality and civil law as Batman and Robin.
    posted by running order squabble fest at 6:02 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    ROS - You make a strong point but let us remember, these are TEENAGERS!
    posted by Fizz at 6:07 AM on July 22, 2011


    It would be cool if the Heart ring is actually used in a way that makes sense, as the power of instilled desire and persuasion. Not as actual mind control, but kind of gentle seduction, like: Ma-Ti is this gorgeous androgynous-looking completely charming teenager, and if the Planeteers need to sneak into someplace, he can use his ring to enhance his adorable charm so that he can chat with a security guard or whatevs and be like, "Oh, do you mind if we just check out the GIANT FACTORY OFF-SWITCH OVER THERE" and the security guard would be all, "ah ha ha well I'm uh I'm not really supposed to let you through, but.... ah, what the hell, you seem like a good kid." And he's kind of blushing a bit and looks confused but really happy to be chatting with this beautiful young thang.

    Now I know that it sounds like I'm just setting up Captain Planet porn here, but I swear this can work. Plotwise, it allows the Planeteers access to places they couldn't otherwise get to. Character-wise, you could have a lot of humor based around the Planeteers being kind of affectionately weirded out that literally EVERYONE wants to get with Ma-Ti.

    And beyond the internal reality of the movie itself, you have all these loving shots of Ma-Ti staring at the camera with his beautiful large brown eyes and all kinds of otherwise-straight male audience members feel a stirring in their loins that makes them question whether perhaps gender is way more fluid than they'd otherwise assumed. They won't talk about it right after the movie, but, like, years later, they'll all be drinking some Natty Ice and shootin' the shit and when the topic of the 2012 Captain Planet movie comes up one of them will be like, "Hey man, did you ever kind of... like... want to bang Ma-Ti?" and then all the rest of them will be like, "YES, fucking THANK YOU, I am SO FUCKIN HAPPY to know it WASN'T JUST ME"
    posted by Greg Nog at 6:07 AM on July 22, 2011 [14 favorites]


    I want this to happen because I want the fanfiction crossovers to happen. Think of it. Captain Planet and Iron Man, together! Awkward.

    Ma-Ti is this gorgeous androgynous-looking completely charming teenager

    This will also happen if there is fanfiction.
    posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:14 AM on July 22, 2011


    ROS - You make a strong point but let us remember, these are TEENAGERS!


    Sure. So's Robin. So is Kid Flash, for that matter. Right now, there's a cartoon on in which a group of teenagers are explicitly being used as a black ops team by older superheroes. The ethics of this may be terrible - Batman's readiness to endanger his teenage sidekicks has been the subject of a lot of discussion - but teenagers breaking the law in pursuit of a greater good is hardly a rare thing in Saturday morning cartoons.

    Also, of course, these teenagers are in a world where this is identifiable and absolute moral evil, and it can consistently be identified in the actions of certain individuals and groups (COBRA, VENOM and the Eco-Villains exist for no other purpose than to be evil) - which changes the game quite a bit.

    Sidenote: HOLY CRAP HAVE YOU SEEN THE CAST OF CAPTAIN PLANET THE TV SERIES? JEFF GOLDBLUM? FRANK WELKER? MEG RYAN? DEAN STOCKWELL? LeVAR BURTON? WHAT? AMI I DREAMING THIS WIKIPEDIA PAGE?
    posted by running order squabble fest at 6:17 AM on July 22, 2011


    For a while they were even talking about making a move based on the game "Battleship". Not joking at all: It's in post

    Soooooo...I'm guessing they sink it(spoiler?)?
    posted by adamdschneider at 6:17 AM on July 22, 2011


    All I know is I wanted a damned fire ring. I basically played Game Boy until Wheeler came on, then watched, riveted, until he set something on fire. As soon as the fire ring was no longer in play, I lost interest.

    (Also, did it bother anyone else that the other kids all got to control their elements, but Wheeler just shot it all over the place and couldn't, y'know, move it away from dangerous spots or suck it back in when it posed a threat? The water chick could stop dangerous waves, the wind girl could divert tornadoes, but Wheeler just shot fire in straight lines. SO MAD.)
    posted by Scattercat at 6:18 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Ma-Ti is kicked off the team (what kind of power is "Heart"?)
    posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 6:18 AM on July 22, 2011


    This will also happen if there is fanfiction.

    What means this "if"?
    posted by psoas at 6:18 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    The bad guys in a number of early 90's cartoons were no longer trying to take over the world. Instead, they just wanted to mess up the environment. Why? No one is really sure, but I believe it did make a generation of kids aware of the environmental consequences of their actions. It portrayed environmental harm as the thing "bad guys" do.

    I once met a Captain Planet villain. I was interviewing for a job at a large regional law firm in Tyson's Corner Virginia, and my last interview of the day was with a partner in the real estate practice group. This was like 2008, so I asked him what he liked about his job.

    He responded by standing up and walking to his giant window that looked out on the forests of Northern Virginia. "Look at that" he said "look at all that land, completely undeveloped. I like my job because I get to turn that into something; I get to make that something valuable."

    I speechless, so we just left it at that. I didn't get the job, and now I'm doing temp work, but at least I know he's not going to feed my first born children to his diabolical pollution generating machine.
    posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:20 AM on July 22, 2011 [11 favorites]


    I'm pretty sure the plane they use to fly around (while on the surface appears to be solar-powered) still required industrial processing in order to manufacture certain parts.

    If they used the plane to fly around the world for a vacation, that would be a valid complaint, but (I'm assuming -- I never watched the cartoon) they were using that plane to stop some villain from doing much worse damage to the environment, right?
    posted by pracowity at 6:26 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    CAPTAIN PLANET!
    posted by charred husk at 6:33 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Something something bow down and worship smokestacks something sacred fire of progress and liberty.
    posted by acb at 7:03 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Not as actual mind control, but kind of gentle seduction,

    No, it's totally mind control. The Heart Ring is deliberately underpowered cause it's actual implication is that it gives its owner control over the ENTIRE BIOMASS OF THE PLANET. Every single battle would end in 30 seconds by having the villains intestinal flora tour against them, oh hell Humans are animals too - what exactly is stopping someone from using the ring to become God-King of a planet of mine-controlled servants. Hell you could make them think it was their idea, for the better of the planet. We're just TRUSTING that Ma-Ti doesn't use his ring to it's logical conclusion can make the sky black with a thousand murderous ravens.
    posted by The Whelk at 7:10 AM on July 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


    mind control...mine-control is for dwarf fortress
    posted by The Whelk at 7:15 AM on July 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


    The biggest upside of this shuddersome trend is that the statistical chances of an INHUMANOIDS movie seeing the light of day have just increased a jot. They've already got the new toys!
    posted by FatherDagon at 7:22 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Dammit charred husk! I came to this thread just to post that video.
    posted by Saxon Kane at 7:30 AM on July 22, 2011


    [Comment removed - take your personal attacks out of here and take yourself out of here if you can't participate without them, thank you]
    posted by jessamyn at 7:33 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    oh hell Humans are animals too - what exactly is stopping someone from using the ring to become God-King of a planet of mine-controlled servants.

    From a scientific-rationalist point of view; though a lot of the audience would presumably parse it according to Cartesian-dualist folk theories that humans have souls/free will and are somehow above mere animals.
    posted by acb at 7:35 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I like how Captain Planet actually had a catchy indoctrination chant at the end of the theme song.

    We're The Planeteers
    You can be one too
    Cause saving our planet
    Is the thing to do


    It's like a Glenn Beck fever dream.
    posted by dephlogisticated at 7:40 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    I was going to suggest that the ring should have been "life" rather than "heart" but The Whelk beat me to it. (And more artfully than I ever could have!)
    posted by mdaugherty82 at 7:40 AM on July 22, 2011


    I can't find the clip on Youtube but there was a brief but awesome Captain Planet parody in one of the last eps of Avatar the Last Airbender.

    He's despised now; the anti-Captain America trying to peddle his outlandish theories of how pollution causes the whole Earth to heat up.

    I don't think Captain America would be on the opposite side of Captain Planet.
    posted by kmz at 8:01 AM on July 22, 2011


    I remember watching the show as a kid and just being really, really, embarrassed, because I was already a dedicated environmentalist (I can't remember a time when I wasn't, actually), and I thought the terrible cheesy plotting and lame dialogue was making envrionmentalism look bad.

    Cartoon kids' shows are soooo much better now. It's like some TV exec realized kids actually have brains and can discern the difference between decent and terrible writing. (We had the best kids' movies in the 80s, though. Show me a kids' movie today that beats Labryrinth or The Neverending Story. Pixar's wonderful and I love them, but their movies are so . . . sterile in comparison to anything that Jim Henson and his immediate disciples left their prints on.)

    Anyway I can't imagine a good movie could be made by a bad producer, with such poor source material. But I'll watch anything with Richard Dean Anderson in it. I mean, I watched all of Stargate SG-1 . . .
    posted by BlueJae at 8:17 AM on July 22, 2011


    I have a question:

    When not saving the planet, the planeteers are just regular kids, right? They have lives, families, schoolwork and so on. And when they combine their powers to form Captain Planet, who has all their powers and the some, they lose access to their powers. And they summon Captain Planet when they are not individually powerful enough to solve a problem?

    So, what's stopping them from just summoning Captain Planet and letting him get on with saving the planet 24-7, which he is manifestly more competent to do than they are? Is there a time limit? Is Captain Planet incredibly incurious, forcing them to do the investigative legwork and slog through the lower levels before summoning him for the boss fight? Or do they enjoy having their individual powers so much that they fight pollution in the least efficient way, in order to feel powerful.

    Essentially, are the Planeteers selfish jerk dooming our planet so they can play superpowered Hardy Boys?
    posted by running order squabble fest at 8:39 AM on July 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


    I remember watching the show as a kid and just being really, really, embarrassed, because I was already a dedicated environmentalist (I can't remember a time when I wasn't, actually), and I thought the terrible cheesy plotting and lame dialogue was making envrionmentalism look bad.

    Yep, this was my feeling too, although to be fair I was already in high school when it came out, and my elementary-school-age sister loved it. OMG she loved it so very much...to the point where I was happy to go do yardwork on Saturday mornings to get out of the house.

    hmmmm. /wonders if it was a plot by mom
    posted by epersonae at 9:29 AM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


    The only effect I suspect Captain Planet has had on me after all these years is a lingering distrust of men wearing plaid shirts and hardhats.
    posted by ODiV at 9:33 AM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    I'm looking forward to someone pitching pong as a movie idea.

    Did you not see Balls of Fury? It was the greatest Pong movie ever made!
    posted by quin at 9:46 AM on July 22, 2011


    R-r-r-repost....

    Sidenote: HOLY CRAP HAVE YOU SEEN THE CAST OF CAPTAIN PLANET THE TV SERIES? JEFF GOLDBLUM? FRANK WELKER? MEG RYAN? DEAN STOCKWELL? LeVAR BURTON? WHAT? AMI I DREAMING THIS WIKIPEDIA PAGE?

    This was arguably the show's biggest draw, that they got a bunch of big-name stars to do voices for it because it was environmentally-minded. Most of them ham it up pretty badly, I seem to remember. Don't forget Whoopi Goldberg is also a voice, and she was a bigger-name star then than she is now.

    The biggest upside of this shuddersome trend is that the statistical chances of an INHUMANOIDS movie seeing the light of day have just increased a jot.

    SIGH. Meet the 2010s: the new 80s.

    Lovecraft in Brooklyn: From my POV, this stuff has WORKED. Kids seem more interested in saving the planet than advancing their own interests.

    By suggesting that this is wrong, aren't you just trying to convince people to advance your interests?
    posted by JHarris at 11:43 AM on July 22, 2011


    mrzarquon: Also from the wikipedia, Captain Planet had an episode dealing with HIV/AIDS and the character who had it was voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.

    I was going to say that the South African version of Sesame Street, Takalani Sesame, did it first, but that was actually a decade later (2002 vs 1992).

    Other things I learned from the Captain Planet wiki: the into was eventually replaced by a rap by Fred Schneider of The B-52's, and they had their own anti-Captain Planet, formed by deforestation, super radiation, smog, toxics and hate.
    posted by filthy light thief at 12:11 PM on July 22, 2011


    I will not rest until they make a live-action movie of The Smoggies.
    posted by 1000monkeys at 1:05 PM on July 22, 2011


    Weren't Captain Planet and the other eco-toons essentially community service for the broadcasters? I got the impression that the networks were given broader license if they made "edutainment" programming. Or perhaps I'm just cynical that an eco-hero would spawn so many disposable, plastic consumer goods.
    posted by lekvar at 2:02 PM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    > From my POV, this stuff has WORKED. Kids seem more interested in saving the planet than advancing their own interests.

    Fun fact: we live on the earth.

    So much of the show was also about indigenous peoples rights and just "don't dick over other people just because YOU think its good for greed / profit / personal interests." Many of the themes included showing people who were just doing their jobs not realizing the impact their work had on the environment or other people. Pollution makes people sick, preventing pollution is as much as bout helping the earth as it is helping other people. If we break the system too much, it won't work for us anymore, and we die.

    The planet as a whole will outlive us, until the sun turns dies and consumes our solar system (or we collide with another solar system, or something collides with earth). But if we want to be able to live on the planet in a way that is actually sustainable, healthy and constructive, we should probably take some time to think about how we do that, and look at the bigger picture. Human's as a species are about 200,000 years old. We have some remarkable skills as mammals, but we are still animals and still bound by the same physical processes as most other mammals and that we have adapted. To draw an imaginary boundary saying that somehow we are atypical mammals and don't need the things that sustained us as a species for 199,900 years is arrogant, ignorant, and the epitome of short sighted. And not this "fuck you, got mine" attitude of "well, if you are in the .1% of the population by chance of birth, you can have a great quality of life and not care about the environment."
    posted by mrzarquon at 2:43 PM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


    > I was going to say that the South African version of Sesame Street, Takalani Sesame, did it first, but that was actually a decade later (2002 vs 1992).

    1992 makes sense, along with the basketball plot, because Magic Johnson had just announced his HIV+ status in 1991, so it was entirely as PSA geared to deal with a fairly public and modern issue at the time. Amazing to see it talked about on a saturday morning TV show.

    I would have been 10 at the time, I don't recall the episode or any major political fallout at the time, but I do remember watching the show when it was airing (as part of my saturday morning tv viewing). Maybe it says how crazy the news cycle has gotten in this country that an episode like that today would have a less chance of getting aired now, due to fears of crazy right wing protests against the network airing it due to the subject matter.
    posted by mrzarquon at 2:48 PM on July 22, 2011


    I think Captain Planet adaptation might suffer the same fate that Speed Racer did, in other words nobody outside the US is familiar with the character, and it's a stupid idea in the first place.

    Speed Racer is one of my favorite movies ever, I am very far from a Randian, and has anyone done a Captain Planet/Last Airbender crossover yet?
    posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:12 PM on July 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


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