Nostalgia With a Twist: Captain Planet

Can you order a drink with a twist with a twist? I’ve never tried so I have no idea, but that’s exactly what you are getting here today! Before we get into the double twist, I should explain that this is a long-time coming, and actually one of the shows that have been most requested. It was never done simply because Youtube had no copy of the video and when I tried to upload it, it was automatically taken down. Randomly did a search today, and there it was!

Now for the double-twist, everyone has in their mind what an awesome opening theme song Captain Planet has, when in actuality, the song most people associate with the show is actually the end credits. For example, here is the opening below:

Sure, its an okay opening and does a great job of explaining the story of the show to you, but its really nothing special. Of course, that’s why no one remembers it. As we shall see in a second though, the ending theme is so much more awesome and memorable, and we’re gonna review that! Hence, the double twist as we are reviewing the end credits to a show instead of its opening credits.

Background time I guess, if you haven’t figured it out, I was a huge fan of Captain Planet growing up, sure when you get right down to it, the show is EXTREMELY preachy. We get it, littering and pollution is bad, but they beat you over the head with that message.  I mean our hero’s weakness is garbage so he can literally be defeated by tossing shit at him!

Anyhow, to the big board!

The first thing that needs to be noted, and should come as no surprise, is that the song is overlayed with the end credits. You know staff roll, voice acting and the sorts.

Earth. Fire. Wind. Water. Heart. A recap of the powers each of the kids possess. They don’t really show WHAT they do, but they have those magical rings.

For some odd reason, they thought it would be cool to do this part in triplicates. I really don’t know why. It doesn’t seem to have any thematic meaning (There’s 5 of them and one Captain Planet) nor is it used to show different images or angles. Its really strange. The only thing I could think of is they were prepping the show for syndication even during its original run and if the picture was ever cut off you wouldn’t be missing much. Even THAT seems like a bit if a stretch.

“With your powers combined,” I’m sure we all know those words. Not only do they appear in the closing, but almost every time Planet is summoned in the show, which averages about twice per episode. Sometimes even more. The kids can be pretty useless at times.

The next 30 seconds or so of the ending are pretty basic and boring. It just shows Captain Planet in action taking on some of the shows more colorful bad guys. We have a shot or two of the Planeteers once again summoning Captain Planet. We do get a shot of one of the cheesiest elements of the show, but always gave me a chuckle as a kid. You see all heroes need their weaknesses, its how we are able to relate to them and how you stretch a plot for 30 minutes. Since Captain Planet is of the Earth, his weakness is its waste. So literally, a man who can be bested by shit. And there is a shot in this outro that looks like he is covered by just that. We see the Planeteers rushing to him with water to wash him off and re-charge him. Yeah, its weird.

The song though is extremely catchy, if not a bit redundant especially at the END of an episode. Because for some reason, we couldn’t figure out that Captain PLANET is on the Planet’s side. That’s like imagining that Captain America was actually a Nazi. Its in his name!

He also has lofty goals since apparently he is going to take pollution down to zero. Now the show itself, he fought evil corporate tycoons and the sorts that makes sense. But will he also be doing street level stuff after he is done with them? Will we see Captain Planet attacking people for littering? What about not cleaning up after their dog? Or if you use aerosol sprays?

For those who don’t know the history of Captain Planet, I won’t bore you with the details, but it wears its message on its sleeve. It was a show that was created to get kids excited about protecting their environment. And its a very novel cause to be sure. The outro goes out of its way to “recruit” its viewers though. As the final few sections are dedicated to telling you how you can become a Planeteer. But I’ll let the words speak for themselves.

We’re the planeteers,
You can be one too!
‘Cause saving our planet is the thing to do,
Looting and polluting is not the way,
Hear what Captain Planet has to say:

“THE POWER IS YOURS!!”

Again, I don’t fault the show for this. It could be a much worse cause, but it is a bit on the nose, I think. The outro finishes up with one of the Planeteers giving the audience a thumbs up!

Recommendation: Its really hard to say as I mentioned I grew up with this show, and still fondly remember the Earth Day marathon (what other show aired on those days anyhow!). The song is catchy and upbeat. The message is positive. The animation is solid. The only thing that really throws me is the triplicate design. Honestly, based solely on this outro, I would give the show a chance.

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