Captain Planet – probably the most politically correct cartoon series in the history of animation – is threatening to bore the Earth once more in a new movie version co-produced, almost inevitably, by Leo DiCaprio.
According to Hollywood Reporter:
Paramount and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions are teaming to recruit Captain Planet to take pollution down to zero.
The studio is in talks for the rights to the 1990s cartoon series, and is eyeing Jono Matt and Scream Queens star Glen Powell to write the script.
Though it is not yet known if Leo will dye his hair green and his skin blue to play the title role, what’s certain is that every other star in Hollywood will be hoping to burnish their environmental credentials with a cameo appearance. Among the stars who voiced the original cartoon are: Meg Ryan; James Coburn; Martin Sheen; Jeff Goldblum; and Sting.
What’s equally certain is that any parent with an ounce of intelligence or self-respect will prefer to gouge their eyes out with an organic carrot rather than submit to the ordeal of watching such a grisly piece of hectoring eco-propaganda with their impressionable kiddies.
The Soviets had their Young Pioneers; in Mao’s China they had the Red Guard; in Nazi Germany they had the Hitler Youth. Captain Planet was the Nineties’ United States answer to all of the above: a piece of “edutainment” devised and financed by green, cat-stroking volcano-dwelling enviro-activist billionaire Ted Turner in order to brainwash the kids into environmental correctness.
Each episode, Captain Planet would do battle on behalf of Gaia (voiced by – who else? – Whoopi Goldberg) against a range of environmental villains including Hoggish Greedly, Verminous Skumm, Dr Blight, Duke Nukem, Looten Plunder and Sly Sludge.
The baddies, needless to say, were far more engaging than the vacuously worthy do-gooders – the Planeteers – who represented the five elements: that’s earth, air, fire, water and, of course, the caringest of them all, heart.
A bit like with Lord of the Rings only without the excitement, fun or literary intelligence, these five elements were much stronger when united than they were separately. In this way, children could of course by trained in the vital importance of unity, while simultaneously celebrating the equally vital importance of diversity, thanks to a cast of characters carefully devised according to ethnic stereotype.
Watching the Planeteers was a bit like seeing Angelina Jolie arriving with her family into the first class lounge of an international airport.
Kwame is from Ghana and is deeply in touch with the earth (plants especially); Linka used to come from the Soviet Union, till it broke up and she became a generic Eastern European (she specialises in birds and is great with computers); Gi, from Thailand is a marine biologist and is great with dolphins (obvs); Ma-Ti comes from Amazonian Brazil and has shamanic powers; Wheeler is the most useless one because he is a mere American who comes from New York, but at least he’s quite street smart…
Still, the production is nowhere near being green-lit yet. So, with any luck, the global apocalypse the greenies have promising all these years as punishment for man’s selfishness, greed and refusal-to-amend-his-lifestyle may yet intervene in time to save us all.