Why I Fully Endorse a Captain Planet Movie
We all know Hollywood loves a re-hash. Nothing is sacred; terrible 80s cartoons, amusement park rides, board games, they can all be re-written, CGI’d, and filmed in 3D. This sad truth usually kills the part of my soul that rests in the happy memories of my misspent childhood. But, there is one thing that I would willingly sacrifice on the altar of the Hollywood reboot. Something that I would fatten up, festoon with beautiful jungle flowers, and lead it happily into the mouth of the angry volcano: Captain Planet. Captain Planet needs to be a big budget summer blockbuster. Now, I know you’re thinking “This is the worst idea, like, ever”. But what if this is an idea so bad that it actually curves all the way around to brilliant? It could. I believe there’s some potential for true greatness in the Captain and his Planeteers. And I’m not the first to think so, either. Yes, most likely it will just be God awful and become the ironic hipster’s answer to Twilight…but, I have hope. Not convinced? I thought not. So I’ve come up with some arguments good enough to start a viral social media petition that could and should bring this unholy abomination into fruition.
If you haven’t noticed, eco-awareness is apparently awesome right now. Recycling is no longer just the futile cry of the three members of your school’s 4H club (yeah, you had a 4H club. Yes, you’re a terrible person because you didn’t even know it was there); conservation is for everyone! We use tote bags at grocery stores, drive hybrid cars, and drink out of aluminum water bottles. Even TV networks have “green weeks”, telling you that instead of conserving some energy by turning off your television you should stay tuned in and just recycle that coke can you just downed. Why? Because it’s profitable! And, coincidentally, things are actually pretty bad for Mother Earth.
This is just the kind of environment that Captain Planet will thrive in. In the early 90s the Captain implored us for the same kind of awareness and care for the earth that we are guilted into feeling now. So what if we have to be tempted by trendy, moderately priced, literally shiny things to get us to care about people a half a world away? I’m sure Planet will take it. And if he doesn’t, that’s even better. The environmentalist movement does make us feel bad about ourselves; a lot of the fun, easy things we use are awful for the earth. Environmentalism is like the puritanical church; all the good stuff turns your world in a living hell. Really, go outside; it’s actually getting hotter. But with CP to lead the charge, environmentalism gets a fantastic super hero to embody its cause. I mean, I would rather take the cheerful yet stern tutelage of Captain Planet than the sight of a lone polar bear, wandering helplessly across and shrinking ice berg. Both will make me recycle my water bottle, but only one will get me cool points with a kick ass super hero (sorry WWF).
So clearly the world just straight up needs Captain Planet. But let’s not forget the Planeteers. They’re five misfits from around the globe, trusted with magic elemental rings to combat the evils of planetary pollution. This alone is genius. On top of the whole “normal teens with abnormal powers” shtick, they also each have a different view of the world because of their backgrounds. I mean look at how obnoxious Wheeler was as an American in the 80s. Think about how much of a headache he’ll give Linka with two Bush presidencies under his belt! In a live action reboot, the underlying political tension could not only be heightened, it could be borderline relevant! It could be something like Tony Stark’s short but poignantly eye-opening relationship with Yensin against the backdrop of an origin story in Iron Man. These kids could actually make a nice statement about the lens through which the youth of the world see other and the misrepresentations that need to be righted. But, if that sounds like it’s getting a little too deep for you, just go back to thinking that it’s just the Peter Parker/Spiderman scenario times five…with a monkey!
But if these points aren’t enough for you, then I simply ask you this: Wouldn’t it just be awesome to see Captain Planet in live action? Isn’t the sight of grown adults contractually obligated to take a green-mulleted protector of the planet seriously just plain worth it? I think so. I mean, they got the likes of Martin Sheen, Meg Ryan, Whoopi Goldberg, James Coburn, and Jeff Goldblum to do it for the series (yep, they all did voiceovers for the show. Check it out); God knows who they could get for a big screen movie. For years, I’ve wondered when Wheeler and Linka were going to realize that they fight so much not because of their contrasting views on the political/economic role of a government but because they have feelings for each other. This movie could give me that chance (with an unfortunately gratuitous love scene that might also ruin my childhood but it’s a give and take). And what about the villains? Who doesn’t want to see Dr. Blight get a gritty, Nolan-esque make-over? She and Aaron Eckhart’s Two Face could be a match made in fan fiction heaven! There are just so many things that late 80s/early 90s TV gave us the hope for that 21st century film technology and greedy desperation could turn into a dream come true.
Those, dear readers, are my arguments. Do with them as you will. For me, I think Captain Planet could be amazing. But if this is to come to pass, the Captain and I will need your support. It’s just like it was on those early Saturday mornings when we were little: The power is yours!