News reports broke yesterday that Cartoon Network is looking to produce a live-action movie based upon the 90s cartoon Captain Planet and the Planeteers. The show debuted in 1990. Even though I was a 9-year-old boy and squarely in their target demographic, even I knew the show was utterly ridiculous. Ferngully had taught me that preserving the environment was important but I didn’t need to do it with the help of a blue rocker sporting a red Speedo. Below are some biblical characters with whom Captain Planet would have some trouble.
Balaam was a prophet summoned to speak against God’s people while they wandered through the wilderness. While he was making his journey, an unseen angel blocked his path. When his donkey wouldn’t move because it saw the angel, Balaam beat the donkey. Normally Captain Planet spends his time protecting endangered species like whales and panda bears, but I’m sure he would step in to stop the senseless abuse of a donkey. Balaam’s donkey wasn’t just any donkey, though, he was a talking donkey; he may have even sounded like Eddie Murphy. I wouldn’t want to be in Balaam’s shoes when Captain Planet showed up, though, mostly because of the Captain’s half shirt and short shorts.
Solomon’s father, David, was denied the opportunity to build the Temple, so that honor passed to Solomon. Not only did Solomon build the Temple, but he also built himself an enormous palace. Neither project, the Temple or the palace, were very green. Solomon basically leveled every forest in Lebanon in order to construct the two buildings. I specifically remember Captain Planet saving a rain forest from a big corporation that wanted to cut down all of the trees. I also clearly remember that from Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. Ferngully and Captain Planet had the same basic message yet I don’t look upon the former with as much disdain as I do the latter. I think that’s mostly because every year in school while learning about the environment we got to watch Ferngully. Ferngully got me out of a normal class day. What’d Captain Planet ever do for me?
In an age of free-range chickens and luxury doggy kennels, the conditions on Noah’s ark seem downright barbaric. How could anybody force every animal ever (except for unicorns) to live on a small boat for over a year? Sure, Noah was trying to save all the animals from the flood, but chickens and cows and iguanas need to roam free; peacocks have to fly. Captain Planet would have definitely given Noah a stern talking to; the Captain would have told Noah to build the ark a little bigger next time so that all the animals could stretch out their wings and hooves. I know God gave Noah specific directions for how to build the ark but who would you listen to: the creator of the universe or the protector of the planet with a teal flattop? Exactly.
I can’t imagine the travesty that would be a Captain Planet movie. Captain Planet did a good job of raising awareness for environmental issues for a generation. Somehow, though, I don’t see that generation continuing to embrace the character or his further adventures. More than anything else related to a Captain Planet movie, I would just feel sorry for whatever actor got stuck with the Heart ring; that was totally lame.
How does your faith affect the view of the environment?