Turner’s Boomerang network will mark Earth Day with a commercial-free, 14-hour marathon of Captain Planet and the Planeteers, the early-’90s environmentalist cartoon series created by Ted Turner.
In observance of Earth Day, Boomerang, Turner Broadcasting System’s commercial-free home of classic animation, called upon the Captain Planet Foundation—dedicated to give the next generation of environmental stewards an active understanding and love for the natural world in which they live—to hand-pick 28 episodes to be presented in a 14-hour Captain Planet marathon on Sunday, April 22. The Earth Day celebration will begin at 6 a.m. (ET), showcasing favorite episodes from each season of the series throughout the day, including the pilot episode, “A Hero for Earth,” at 8 a.m. Additionally, should viewers wish to enjoy more of the original 72 half-hour episodes created for the series, Captain Planet and the Planeteers airs each day of the week, Monday-Sunday, on Boomerang at 6 a.m.
“Captain Planet is an exciting, adventure-filled series that communicates to kids how important our planet is and that we need to take care of it,” says Stacy Isenhower, senior vice president of programming and scheduling for Cartoon Network and Boomerang. “Presenting a full-day marathon of Captain Planet to celebrate Earth Day is our way of supporting this worthy cause.”
In an effort to inform younger viewers about serious environmental issues, legendary cable entrepreneur Ted Turner partnered with DIC Enterprises in 1990 to create the world’s first animated environmental series, Captain Planet and the Planeteers. The half-hour series was about a group of young people (The Planeteers) who combine their special individual powers (given to them by Gaia, the Spirit of the Earth) to summon Captain Planet, an environmental superhero, to battle the world’s worst eco-villains.
Captain Planet follows the adventures of five young Planeteers from five different continents as they fight to save our planet from a variety of polluting perpetrators. Using magic rings given to them by Gaia, the spirit of the earth, these five teenagers (Kwami, Wheeler, Linka, Gi and Ma-Ti) each possess supernatural powers—Earth, Fire, Wind, Water and Heart—that when combined summon Captain Planet to prevent environmental disasters and save the world.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers originally aired domestically and internationally in syndication and on cable networks TBS and TNT. Six full seasons of the series were produced in the original run of the series, featuring the voice talents of multiple guest celebrities, including Whoopi Goldberg (Gaia), Meg Ryan (Dr. Blight), Martin Sheen (Sly Sludge), Edward Asner (Hoggish Greedly), James Coburn (Looten Plunder), Dean Stockwell (Duke Nukem) and Sting (Zarm). Winning multiple Environmental Media Awards across its production, Captain Planet and the Planeteers also scored several Daytime Emmy nominations.
Highlights of the Captain Planet marathon include:
“Trouble on the Half Shell” – 6 a.m.: Hoggish Greedly and Verminous Skumm are shipwrecked on one of the Galapagos Islands, where some of Skumm’s mutated rats start stealing eggs from an endangered tortoise nest. The eggs soon also are contaminated by pollutants, and hatch a new breed of aggressive mutant tortoises, which threaten to wipe out the ecosystem. With the help of JASON, a robot remote-controlled by a kid at a New York museum, the Planeteers and Captain Planet must put an end to the destruction.
“Plunder Dam” – 7 a.m.: Looten Plunder dams off an African village’s river and offers the people electricity to improve services the river once provided, and some luxuries. The Planeteers realize that this means severe loss of fish-life and animals becoming wild with thirst, especially since Plunder has blocked the water he didn’t dam up. The villagers cannot survive long without the river, so Captain Planet is summoned to help save the eco-system there.
“A Hero For Earth” – 8 a.m.: The Spirit of Earth, Gaia, is woken from a century-long sleep to discover that Earth is dying because of humans’ carelessness in deforestation, pollution and over-hunting. She sends a quintet of rings out to five youths around the world as newly-appointed Planeteers. When they combine their new individual powers they are able to summon Captain Planet.
“Skumm Lord” – 8:30 a.m.: Verminous Skumm creates a substance that, when placed in water, will mutate its drinker into a rat-resembling character who willingly serves him. The Planeteers go to stop him, but Wheeler falls into a vat of it, and Linka and Gi are splashed, so the others must hurry to recover an endangered plant Ma-Ti’s friend the Shaman believes may cure them. Meanwhile, Skumm plans to place the liquid in Ma-Ti’s village water supply, then the Amazon to infect the country and perhaps even the world.
“Mission to Save Earth” – 10-11 a.m.: In this one-hour special, villains Looten Plunder, Dr. Blight, Verminous Skumm, Duke Nukem, and Sly Sludge team up to defeat the Planeteers by getting powers similar to the ones they steal from their rings. Armed only with their brains and technology to substitute for their powers, the Planeteers must recover their stolen rings, summon Captain Planet, and defeat the team of polluters from destroying the world.
“Fare Thee Whale” – 1 p.m.: Looten Plunder leads a whaling operation with Dr. Blight aboard attempting to concoct the perfect poison, and the Planeteers are enraged to see that it is legal for him to kill whales with calves simply because he claims that he is “experimenting with a new whale-repellent.”
“Jail House Flock” – 6 p.m.: After Hoggish Greedly sneakily obtains a permit to build houses near wetlands, Captain Planet and the Planeteers are framed and thrown in jail.
“Teers in the Hood” – 7 p.m.: The Planeteers try to put an end to a cycle of violence and bring a message of peace after Gi’s friend is almost killed in a gang war.
Boomerang is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s (TBS, Inc.) 24-hour cable/satellite network offering the best in classic animated entertainment. In partnership with Cartoon Network, the service boasts more than 75% unduplicated programming and is available to cable/satellite operators and their customers in Spanish. Boomerang’s official Web site is located at http://Boomerang.CartoonNetwork.com.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.