Captain Planet and the Planeteers
Starring Levar Burton, Whoopie Goldberg, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Ed Asner, and Jeff Goldblum
Release Date: April 19, 2011
The eco-conscious ’90s are revisited in this collection of Season One of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. In this collection, viewers are introduced to the Planeteers, a group of teens chosen by Gaia, the Spirit of the Earth, to defend the Earth from environmental villains. The Planeteers are a multicultural bunch that includes Kwame from Africa, Wheeler from America, Linka from Eastern Europe, Gi from Asia, and Ma-Ti from Brazil.
As a Reading Rainbow and Roots fan, I remember being happy that Levar Burton was included in the cast as the voice of Kwame. I was also a fan of the original voice of Gaia, Whoopi Goldberg. Sadly, Goldberg and several of the original voice actors for the eco villains would be replaced in later seasons. In Season One, however, we have the voice talents of Meg Ryan (Dr. Blight), Jeff Goldblum (Verminous Skumm), Martin Sheen (Sly Sludge), John Ratzenberger (Rigger), and Ed Asner (Hoggish Greedly). This all-star gathering gave the show legitimacy and made watching the series more exciting. After I read the credits, I began playing a guessing game and trying to match the celebrity voice with the eco-villain.
There are many solid episodes among the original 26 that comprise Season One. Episode One, “A Hero For Earth,” is a very solid origin story. Episode Six, “The Ozone Hole,” marks the first appearance of eco-villain Duke Nukum. Also, this episode deals with the ozone layer, which seemed to be in the news constantly in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I also loved the two-part story “Mission to Save Earth,” which is the first appearance of Captain Planet’s evil duplicate, Captain Pollution. As a lifelong comic book geek, I’m a sucker for a good evil duplicate story.
The two special features on this DVD are also interesting. One feature shows Original Concept art, while the other, Your Powers Combined: The Story of Captain Planet, is a documentary on the creation of the series and interviews with the cast and crew. They even got the head honcho of TBS Productions, Ted Turner himself, on camera!!
Captain Planet and the Planeteers Season One is ideal for original fans who want to reminisce on a solid show, or serve as an introduction to those who may have heard about the show from an older sibling or parent. It is an interesting, action-packed, and educational show. It is one of the rare “kid’s series” that didn’t talk down to its audience. Plus, the DVD packaging is made from 100% recycled fibers!! So, if you want to see some “edutainment” and animation at its best, pick up Captain Planet and the Planeteers Season One. Go Planet!!