Captain Planet and the Planeteers
|Captain Planet and the Planeteers|
|Also known as||The New Adventures of Captain Planet (1993–1996)|
|Created by||Ted Turner
|Voices of||David Coburn
Whoopi Goldberg (Seasons 1-3 (1990–1993))
Margot Kidder (Seasons 4-6 (1993–1996))
Thomas Chase Jones
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||113 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Andy Heyward
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Production company(s)||DIC Entertainment (Seasons 1–3 (1990–1993))
Hanna-Barbera (Seasons 4–6 (1993–1996))
Turner Program Services
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release||September 15, 1990 – May 11, 1996|
|Followed by||The New Adventures of Captain Planet
Captain Planet and the Planeteers is an American animated environmentalist television program created by Ted Turner and Barbara Pyle. The series was produced by Turner Program Services and DIC Entertainment and it was broadcast on TBS from September 15, 1990, to December 5, 1992. A sequel series, The New Adventures of Captain Planet, was produced by Hanna-Barbera and Turner Program Services and was broadcast from September 11, 1993, to May 11, 1996. Both series continue today in syndication. The program is a form of edutainment and advocates environmentalism and is famous for having a number of famous actors providing voices for the villains.
In 2017, characters from the show appeared on an episode of OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes.
- 1 Plot summary
- 2 Characters
- 3 Vehicles
- 4 Episodes
- 5 The New Adventures of Captain Planet
- 6 Cast
- 7 Music
- 8 Other media
- 9 Legacy
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Gaia, the spirit of the planet, is awakened from a long sleep by Hoggish Greedly, who happens to be drilling above her resting chamber. Realizing that the damage is extensive, Gaia sends five magic rings, four with the power to control an element of nature and one controlling the element of Heart, to five chosen youths across the globe: Kwame from Africa, Wheeler from North America, Linka from the Soviet Union (changed to Eastern Europe after the Soviet Union's dissolution), Gi from Asia, and Ma-Ti from South America.
These five are dubbed the Planeteers and are tasked with helping defend the planet from environmental disasters and making efforts to educate humankind to keep others from happening. In the beginning of the episodes, Gaia uses her "Planet Vision" in the Crystal Chamber to discover where the most devastating destruction is occurring (in most episodes one or more of the Eco-Villains is behind it) and sends the Planeteers to help solve the problem. The Planeteers use transportation (usually a flying machine called a Geo-Cruiser) based on solar power to avoid causing pollution themselves.
In situations that the Planeteers cannot resolve alone, they can combine their powers to summon Captain Planet, a super hero, who possesses all of their powers magnified, symbolizing the premise that the combined efforts of a team are stronger than its individual parts. Captain Planet only appears in his Captain Planet garb. These are not clothes but elements of the planet that are integral to his composition. Captain Planet's outfit represents the embodiment of the beauty of a beautiful, better environment; a grass-green proto-mullet, crystal blue skin, earthy brown eyes, a fire-red chest, gloves, trunks, and boots, and a sun-yellow globe insignia. Additionally, in the first three seasons, he sparkles. Besides having classical superhero powers such as flight, super-strength, and invulnerability, he is able to rearrange his molecular structure to transform himself into the various powers and elements of nature. He is very sensitive to pollutants, which can weaken him considerably. The Planeteers cannot use their rings while Captain Planet has been summoned.
Once his work is done, Captain Planet returns to the planet, restoring the Planeteers' powers. When he does this, Captain Planet reminds viewers of the message of the series with his catchphrase, "The power is yours!", which is said to mean that all have the power to end the destruction of the planet if we work together as one world rather than fighting each other as separate nations. Captain Planet is a formidable and valiant hero.
Every episode is followed up with at least one "Planeteer Alert", often connected to the plot, where environmental-political and other social-political issues are discussed and how the viewer can contribute and be part of "the solution" rather than "the pollution".
Captain Planet (voiced by David Coburn) is the title character of the series. In the beginning of the series, Gaia assembles a modern-day team of "Planeteers" from several nations. When the modern-day Planeteers combine their powers to summon the elemental warrior, this incarnation takes on the appearance of a superhero, who takes on the superhero-like name of "Captain Planet." Captain Planet displays a wry sense of humor and often uses puns while taunting the show's cast of villains. He also displays an impressive knowledge of science and engineering, recycling the villains' pollution machines into something more useful, such as a planting machine or water filtration pump. His only weakness is when he comes into contact with sources of pollution. Due to possessing Ma-Ti's powers of Heart, he is also weakened by strong negative emotions (such as prejudice and hate) since they are, in his own words, "as toxic as any other pollutant".
Gaia (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg in 1990–1993, Margot Kidder in 1993–1996) is the spirit of the planet. She is a modern rendition of the primordial Greek personification of the Earth, possessing an amalgamation of physical characteristics from all human races. Awaking from a century-long slumber, and shocked with the increase in pollution of planet that has sustained in such a short (by her standards) time, she summons the Planeteers to defend the planet and gives them each an elemental ring. Gaia lives on Hope Island, an island with large crystals in the middle of an ocean, although its exact location is never revealed. She is omnipresent: she can appear in any time or place she wishes and can communicate telepathically with anyone at any point in time. She is bound to the planet, and her health and well-being are connected with the condition of the planet.
The Planeteers are summoned by Gaia to help defend the world from pollution caused by criminals and villains, as well as natural disasters. The five teenagers, each originating from a different region of the world and who together represent several major ethnic groups, are each given a ring which allows them to temporarily control one of the four classical elements – Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water – as well as a fifth element, Heart, which represents love and communication and enables telepathy and empathy, as well as potential mind control. Pyle cites that the inspiration for the five Planeteers came from real people that she met during the show's pre-production in 1989.
To summon Captain Planet, the Planeteers must activate their powers in a specific order, (Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Heart) preceded by the phrase, "Let our powers combine"; after his appearance, the Planeteers would cheer, "Go Planet!" It can be noted that during the DiC series, the sequence of special effects preceding Captain Planet's appearance differed each and every time. In the Hanna-Barbera series, there were some creative ideas for Captain Planet's appearance when being summoned; but most of the time, it consisted of flashes of lightning, along with sounds of thunder. Animation in the DiC series was inconsistent, showing some episodes as darker or brighter in color than others, and characters looking different from one episode to the next, and in some cases one segment (or even shot) to the next. Also, on more than one occasion, Linka's voice would come from Gi's mouth, or vice versa. Planeteers' rings are, like Captain Planet himself, susceptible to weakening when in the presence of toxic waste and pollution to the point that they can no longer use their powers or summon Captain Planet.
- Kwame (voiced by LeVar Burton): Hailing from Ghana, Africa, Kwame possesses the power of Earth. He has a soft spot for plant life, and even runs his own greenhouse on Hope Island. Growing up in a tribe in his homeland Africa, he is at one with the land and its purpose and does what he can to preserve it. In the episode "Talkin' Trash", he mentions that he never knew his father, hinting that his father died while Kwame was still very young. The de facto leader of the group, he is also the voice of reason that keeps the Planeteers in check when the group begins to lose faith in a given situation. He also acts as a kind of mentor to Ma-Ti. Kwame is the first Planeteer to be summoned.
- Wheeler (voiced by Joey Dedio): From Brooklyn, New York, Wheeler controls the power of fire. He is shown to be the least knowledgeable about the planet preservation trends though this improves as the show goes on (in a way representing the oblivious aspect people have of the harm that they can cause to nature). He is exceedingly the most street-smart of the group, yet, while having his heart in the right place, tends to get himself into tight spots when acting impulsively; fittingly, he is sometimes a "hothead". Throughout the series, he openly flirts with and tries to get closer to Linka, almost always having his advances shot down. In the final season, he develops an interest in photography, although he has some difficulty with it at first, even blinding Captain Planet with a camera flash. Wheeler is the third Planeteer to be summoned.
- Linka (voiced by Kath Soucie): From the Soviet Union (in later episodes stated as being from Eastern Europe after the Communist regime's collapse), Linka has the power of wind. Linka closely studies bird life and therefore is extremely emotional when pollution or illegal hunting harms them (because she admired birds who were used in the mines to detect gas while growing up as a miner's daughter). Wheeler often tries to flirt with her, and, despite more often than not shooting down these advances, is shown every now and again that she too possesses feelings for him, even kissing him in the episode "Missing Linka". She is a master of strategy and logic, as well as a computer expert. Linka peppers her English with Russian words and phrases, the most common one being "Bozhe moi!" (meaning "My God!"), which she normally says when she is shocked. Linka is the fourth Planeteer to be summoned.
- Gi (voiced by Janice Kawaye): Hailing from Asia, Gi controls the power of water. Of the Planeteers' powers, Gi's is the only power that requires a nearby water source to be useful. Gi is a self-proclaimed marine biologist. Her compassion for sea life contributes to the overall effort of the Planeteers' protection of animals, becoming extremely emotional when pollution affects them, especially dolphins (due to finding her dolphin friend dying from pollution as a child), and somewhat impulsive at times. She also often works on the mechanical and forensic aspects for the team, as well as being the most diplomatic of the group who convinces others to see reason and do the right thing. Gi can also be seen wearing a gold medallion around her neck. Gi is the second Planeteer to be summoned.
- Ma-Ti (voiced by Scott Menville): From the Amazon of Brazil and raised by a Kayapo Indian shaman, Ma-Ti wields the powers of heart and telepathy to instill caring, passion, and sympathy into the people of the world to care for the planet. He can also use this power to telepathically communicate with people and animals, both of the well-being whom he deeply cares for. It even grants him (and Captain Planet) empathy. This is why Captain Planet was so severely weakened while in the presence of Adolf Hitler, as he felt his prejudice and hate. At twelve years old, Ma-Ti is the youngest and most impressionable member of the Planeteers. More than once we see that, when Captain Planet is present, he and Ma-ti are empathically linked, as Ma-Ti feels the hero's pain when he is hurt, and so can be the first to know he needs help. He owns a pet monkey named Suchi (voiced by Frank Welker), who often plays a part in saving the day, much like another monkey voiced by the same actor. Ma-Ti is the fifth Planeteer to be summoned.
Commander Clash (voiced by Louis Gossett Jr.): A former army soldier (no nationality given) who was stranded on an island in a two-part episode Mission to Save Earth. Years before, he had been assigned as a "watchdog" against an unknown enemy, and never informed that the war was over. The Planeteers encounter him when the eco-villains cause their vehicle to land on the island. Clash initially treats them as enemies, but they all reconcile and help defeat the eco-villains and Captain Pollution, after which he establishes an international environmental clean-up troupe. Clash later helps the Planeteers defeat Zarm in another two-part episode Summit to Save Earth.
The Eco-Villains are a small group of antagonists who cause danger to the planet by committing pollution, deforestation, and poaching. They enjoy the destruction they cause to the planet and the harm they bring upon anyone by any means to obtain wealth, land, or power. Due to conflict among them from their varying self-serving interests and backgrounds, they tend to work alone most of the time, although episodes do show the villains enter into temporary alliances when it suits their plans. Only in one two-part episode did the entire ensemble of Eco-Villains work as a team, with Zarm as the leader. Each of these villains represents a specific ecological disaster. These include:
- Hoggish Greedly (voiced by Ed Asner) – A pig-like human who represents the dangers of overconsumption and greed, Hoggish is the first villain Captain Planet and the Planeteers encounter. In the episode "Smog Hog", it's revealed Hoggish has a son named Hoggish Greedly Jr. (Voiced by Jacob Doughty) who appears only once. In the episode "Hog Tide," it is revealed that he has a grandfather named Don Porkaloin (portrayed as a parody of Vito Corleone from The Godfather) who in the past was defeated by another group of Planeteers. Unlike Hoggish Greedly, Porkaloin cleaned the slate and became environmentally friendly as shown in the episode "The Ghost of Porkaloin Past."
- Rigger (voiced by John Ratzenberger) – Hoggish Greedly's henchman. In the episode "The Ghost of Porkaloin Past," Rigger mentioned that he worked with Greedly because no one else would hire him. Although he occasionally questions Greedly's orders and shows a marginalized amount of concern for the environment, he remains loyal to his boss. In the episode "Hog Tide," it is revealed that Rigger has a grandfather named Rex Rigger I who was an assistant to Don Porkaloin.
- Verminous Skumm (voiced by Jeff Goldblum in 1990, Maurice LaMarche in 1991–1995) – The second villain to appear on the series, he is a part human, part rat creature whose human name is unknown; he represents the dangers of poor sanitation and crime. Skumm can control rats. He has his own personal helicopter called The Scum O'Copter. Skumm is responsible for the death of Linka's cousin—Boris—through drugs on the episode Mind Pollution.
- The Rat Pack is a gang of humanoid rat thugs under the command of Skumm.
- Duke Nukem (voiced by Dean Stockwell in 1990–1992, Maurice LaMarche in 1993–1995) – A doctor who changed himself into a radioactive mutant who represents the misuse of nuclear power, and the third villain to appear. He is one of the few Eco-Villains, along with Zarm and Captain Pollution, able to single-handedly defeat Captain Planet. Nukem generates radiation to fire off radioactive blasts from his hands and possesses X-Ray vision. Apogee temporarily renamed the eponymous character of the Duke Nukem computer game franchise to 'Duke Nukum' so as to avoid any possible trademark claims they could face from the producers of Captain Planet. The character was later found to be under no trademark and the games were restored to their original titles.
- Leadsuit (voiced by Frank Welker) – Duke Nukem's cowardly accomplice who is named after the radiation suit he constantly wears to protect himself from Nukem's radioactive aura. He works for Duke under the belief he will rule the world alongside his boss when he brings about the nuclear age.
- Dr. Blight (voiced by Meg Ryan in 1990, Mary Kay Bergman in 1991–1995) – The fourth villain revealed, Dr. Blight is a mad scientist with a half-scarred face hidden behind her hair who represents the dangers of uncontrolled technology and unethical scientific experimentation. In the episode "Hog Tide," it is revealed that Dr. Blight had a grandmother named Betty Blight who assisted Don Porkaloin in his plot. In the episode "Hollywaste", it is revealed that Dr. Blight has a sister named Bambi. Bambi calls Blight by her first name "Babs", a shortened form of "Barbara".
- MAL (voiced by David Rappaport in 1990, Tim Curry in 1991–1995) – Dr. Blight's evil highly-intellectual supercomputer and a parody of HAL, the supercomputer from 2001: A Space Odyssey (In a twist of coincidence, Turner/Time Warner, the creators and rights holders of Captain Planet, are the owners and copyright holders of that film). MAL has control over computers and can infect any computer with a virus.
- Looten Plunder (voiced by James Coburn in 1990–1992, Ed Gilbert in 1993–1995) – A wealthy poacher and crooked businessman who represents the evils of unethical business actions, his name is even a reference of the phrase "Loot and Plunder." He is the sixth villain to appear on Captain Planet in the seventh episode, "The Last of Her Kind." Looten is also shown to have a nephew named Robin Plunder as seen in the episode "Going Bats, Man."
- Argos Bleak (voiced by S. Scott Bullock) – Looten Plunder's main henchman, pilot, and leader of Plunder's private army. In the episode "The Predator," he appeared without Looten Plunder when it came to tricking the people of the Florida Keys that basking sharks are deadly, making him the only Eco-villain sidekick to have his own episode. Executive Producers Barbara Pyle and Nick Boxer have confirmed that Argos Bleak is a product of mixed races with his mother being Australian, father being South African and studying in boarding school in England, leading to development of his accent.
- Pinehead Brothers (voiced by Dick Gautier and Frank Welker) – Oakey and Dokey are two oversized lumberjacks that are Looten Plunder's henchmen in the final season of The New Adventures of Captain Planet.
- Sly Sludge (voiced by Martin Sheen in 1990–1992, Jim Cummings in 1993–1995) – An unscrupulous waste collector who represents ignorance and the dangers of short-term thinking. He's the last villain to be revealed.
- Zarm (voiced by Sting in 1990–1992, David Warner in 1993, Malcolm McDowell in 1994–1995) – A former spirit of the planet who left Gaia in search of other worlds and ended up laying other populous planets to ruin lacking Gaia to balance out his methods. He represents war and destruction. Even though Zarm does not have any henchmen of his own, he would often manipulate other people to do his bidding. He once united Hoggish Greedly, Looten Plunder, Sly Sludge, Duke Nukem, Verminous Skumm, and Dr. Blight under his leadership in the two-part episode "Summit to Save Earth". Other times he recruits and manipulates The Planeteers to work for him. Zarm is the fifth Eco-Villain to appear in the series, having his first appearance in the sixth episode.
- The Slaughters, led by Mame Slaughter (voiced by Theresa Saldana in the first appearance, Mitzi McCall in the second appearance), who made their debut in The New Adventures of Captain Planet. The Slaughters are a family of poachers who represent the endangerment of animals and the evils of poaching. They are often in direct monetary competition with Looten Plunder. Mame and her family once collaborated with Looten Plunder and Argos Bleak in the episode "Horns A'Plenty" when the Planeteers ruined each one's rhinoceros poaching.
- Stalker Slaughter (voiced by Charlie Adler) – One of Mame's sons and her second-in-command.
A polluting counterpart to Captain Planet named "Captain Pollution" appears in the two-part episode Mission to Save Earth when Dr. Blight steals the Planeteers' rings, creates polluting duplicates of them, and distributes the duplicates to most of the other Eco-villains. Each Eco-villain received a specific ring:
- Duke Nukem has a Super Radiation Ring (counterpart of Fire).
- Looten Plunder has a Deforestation Ring (counterpart of Earth). In the comic book version, Looten Plunder let his employee use the ring for him.
- Sly Sludge has a Smog Ring (counterpart of Wind). In the comic book version involving Captain Pollution, Sludge was replaced by Hoggish Greedly.
- Verminous Skumm has a Toxics Ring (counterpart of Water).
- Dr. Blight has a Hate Ring (counterpart of Heart).
Each of the evil rings has malevolent faces on them, in contrast to the more element-themed Planeteer rings. Captain Pollution is weakened when he is in contact with pure elements such as clean water or sunlight, while he gains power from contact with pollutants, being able to absorb pollutant and emit radioactive rays (and is later shown to gain power without limit when in contact with pollutants after his resurrection). When he is summoned he says "By your polluting powers combined, I am Captain Pollution! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!", and when he disappears, he declares "The polluting power is yours!"
In his first appearance, he is sent by the Eco-villains to destroy the Planeteers but gets chased off by Commander Clash, and after a fight with Captain Planet, he returns to the evil rings causing them to explode. In the two-part episode "A Mine is a Terrible Thing to Waste", Captain Pollution is brought back to life by toxins of the 5 evil rings that seep into the planet.
Captain Pollution is Captain Planet's polar opposite in personality as well as power. In contrast to Planet's generous and altruistic nature, Pollution is lazy, vengeful, and arrogant, seeing himself as a god and his creators as servants rather than partners. Captain Planet sums up the difference in their outlook during their first battle by taunting that the Planeteers have no boss - they are a team - and this is why Pollution will always lose.
Captain Pollution resembles Captain Planet, but his skin is pale yellow and covered in brown lesions. His hair is red and styled in a Widow's peak and he has red eyes. His costume is the same color and style as Planet's, but the globe on his chest is torn in the middle. His voice has a California Valley twang to it. Captain Pollution is defeated twice by Captain Planet; first in Mission to Save Earth by being rammed through earth, lava, air and water, and then again in A Mine is a Terrible Thing to Waste by being tricked into going into an underground magma chamber.
Like his good counterpart, Captain Pollution is voiced by David Coburn in both appearances. Coburn used a surfer-dude voice for Captain Pollution. In the comic book version, Captain Pollution was created by Zarm.
Since the show takes place all over the world, the Planeteers have many methods of travel. The group has four different types of vehicles in which they do daily care and maintenance on. Gi is the main engineer of all vehicles. They are all yellow in color.
- Geo-Cruiser - The Planeteers' most frequently used vehicle. It is a solar-powered jet. The Geo-Cruiser was originally golden only, but during the sixth season, it was given a paint job and is now decorated with red. The Geo-Cruiser is incredibly fast due to a swing-wing design, can hover smoothly and has VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) capability, allowing it to land on top of buildings and in rough terrain.
- Eco-Copter - A solar-powered helicopter, in which the Planeteers will occasionally use instead of the Geo-Cruiser.
- Eco-Sub - An eco-friendly submarine that is usually used in water-related missions, such as those closer to Hope Island. The Planeteers also use the Eco-Sub to investigate issues out in the middle of the ocean. It is shaped a lot like the Geo-Cruiser and is fitted with a periscope.
- Eco-Cycles - Eco-friendly motorcycles. They have engines that are not fuel-combustible, as that would pollute the air. Most likely the engines are electric, as they make a low whirring noise when in use, and they have flashing lights. Of all the Planeteers' vehicles, they are used the least. It is implied that they are stored somewhere on the Geo-Cruiser, but it is not known how they are stored, or if they are aboard for any mission. They appear in only 2 episodes.
Episodes handling apparent adult issues
The episode titled "Mind Pollution" (1991) was notable in that it did not deal with the environment, but rather with the issue of drug abuse. This was explained by the fact that the characters thought of drug addiction as "pollution of the mind." The episode revolved around an epidemic of a designer drug known as "Bliss" created by Verminous Skumm. It was also known for being quite a dark episode in the Captain Planet series, as it allowed a scene of Linka's cousin Boris bleeding from his arms after jumping through a window and dying from an overdose of the drug.
"A Formula for Hate"
The episode titled "A Formula for Hate" (1992) was also unusual for the series in that it did not deal with environmental pollution or destruction. It was also the first episode in an American children's animated series to directly deal with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In the episode, Skumm brainwashes a local community into thinking the virus can be spread through casual contact and thus causing people to hate and fear a young man, infected with HIV, named Todd Andrews (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris, with his mother voiced by Elizabeth Taylor).
The New Adventures of Captain Planet
The original series was the second longest running US-cartoon of the 1990s, producing 113 episodes. It lasted for three seasons under the name Captain Planet and the Planeteers (produced by TBS Productions and DiC), before a production company switch, changing the title to The New Adventures of Captain Planet (produced by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, which was acquired by Turner in 1991). During this time, it aired as part of TBS' Sunday Morning In Front Of The TV block, alongside fellow H-B toons SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron and 2 Stupid Dogs.
This series revealed more of the past of each of the characters and expanded on it dramatically. Gi tells the story of her pet dolphin, while Linka is revealed to have a mining family who used canaries to detect lethal gases in the mines. Along with the third season, Linka's opening sequence change her birthplace as Eastern Europe rather than the Soviet Union for new viewers who are born during and after 1991. This would place her canonical birthplace among one of the countries that gained their independence when the Soviet Union collapsed.
The tone of these episodes was more mature than the initial series, often explicitly mentioning death or dying. The characters' relationships with each other were more mature, and the language was also more direct. This is likely attributed to the aging of the initial audience.
Several changes were noticeable, most significantly the animation style. While the character models from the DiC episodes were retained and the original DiC opening sequence used, the new animation relied less on shading and was slightly more colorful. Many of the characters had refurbished outfits. The sound effects utilized when the Planeteers used their rings were changed and when summoning Captain Planet, the echo effect in his voice is omitted.
The DiC seasons' synth-rock soundtrack was replaced by a large number of orchestral pieces, and while the famous end credits theme was retained, the ending sequence now showcased footage from the Hanna-Barbera episodes. A small number of cast changes occurred, affecting Gaia and some of the eco-villains. The opening narration was spoken by David Coburn (Captain Planet) rather than LeVar Burton (Kwame) and, in the final season, was replaced by a rap by Fred Schneider of The B-52's.
- Edward Asner as Hoggish Greedly
- John Ratzenberger as Rigger
- Jeff Goldblum as Verminous Skumm (1990)
- Maurice LaMarche as Verminous Skumm (1990–1995), Duke Nukem (1992–1995)
- Meg Ryan as Dr. Blight (1990)
- Mary Kay Bergman as Dr. Blight (1991–1995)
- David Rappaport as MAL (1990)
- Tim Curry as MAL (1991–1995)
- Dean Stockwell as Duke Nukem (1990–1992)
- Frank Welker as Leadsuit, Dokey Pinehead, Tank Flusher III
- James Coburn as Looten Plunder (1990–1993)
- Ed Gilbert as Looten Plunder (1993–1995)
- S. Scott Bullock as Argos Bleak
- Dick Gautier as Oakey Pinehead
- Martin Sheen as Sly Sludge (1990–1993)
- Jim Cummings as Sly Sludge (1993–1995)
- Cam Clarke as Ooze
- Sting as Zarm (1990–1992)
- David Warner as Zarm (1993)
- Malcolm McDowell as Zarm (1994–1995)
- David Coburn as Captain Pollution
- Theresa Saldana as Mame Slaughter
- Mitzi McCall as Mame Slaughter
- Charlie Adler as Stalker Slaughter Tex Hex
Special guest stars
- David Ackroyd -
- Franklyn Ajaye -
- Hoyt Axton - Big Ed Bakar
- Christopher Daniel Barnes
- Ed Begley, Jr. - Dr. Russell's Assistant, Preston, Zoning Commissioner
- Robby Benson -
- Phyllis Diller - Jane Goodair
- Héctor Elizondo - Shanoub
- Dan Frischman -
- Danny Glover - Dr. Apollo
- Louis Gossett, Jr. - Commander Clash
- Robert Guillaume -
- Kadeem Hardison - Goki
- Neil Patrick Harris - Todd Andrews
- Phil Hartman -
- George Hearn - Wheeler's Dad
- Earl Holliman - Milton
- Michael Horse -
- Ken Howard -
- Helen Hunt -
- Robert Ito -
- Casey Kasem - Lexel Starvak
- Perry King - Ray
- Ricki Lake -
- Mark Langston -
- Michelle Langstone -
- Oren Lyons -
- Melissa Manchester - Jane Green
- Kenneth Mars - Moisha Lowkowitz
- Anndi McAfee - Bitsy Blight
- Marilyn McCoo - Trish/Trash
- Danica McKellar - Lisa
- Don McLean -
- Rita Moreno - Ella Salvator
- Kate Mulgrew -
- Robert Patrick -
- Brock Peters -
- Robert Picardo -
- Lou Rawls - Dr. Rice
- Tristan Rogers - Caucasian Patrol Member
- Robby Romero - Skyrunner
- Fred Savage -
- Charlie Schlatter - Hoggish Greedly, Jr.
- Fred Schneider - Danny Dazzleduff
- Cree Summer - Karen, Dr. Georgina Carbor
- Elizabeth Taylor - Todd Andrew's Mom
- Ted Turner - Fred Lerner
- Brenda Vaccaro -
- Lark Voorhies -
- Marcia Wallace - Wheeler's Mom
- Dionne Warwick - Dr. Russell
- Dennis Weaver - Josh, Dusty
- Bob Weir -
- Floyd Red Crow Westerman - Old Indian
- Vanna White - Lori Saunders
- Paul Williams - Kujo
- Jonathan Winters - Eco the Clown
- Gene Wood - "You Bet Your Planet" Announcer
The show's intro theme was composed by Tom Worrall.
The ending theme (maintained by both DIC and Hanna-Barbera’s versions) is considered one of the most memorable parts of the series due to its catchy main chorus and rock track ("Captain Planet, he’s our hero, gonna take pollution down to zero"). Its lyrics were written by show producer Nick Boxer and is performed by Murray McFadden and Timothy Mulhollan. During the end credits, James Coburn, in character as Looten Plunder, utters the line "You'll pay for this, Captain Planet.". This is then followed by a rap from the voice actors of the Planeteers. It is akin to New Kids On The Block's "Step By Step".
Pyle and Boxer demanded that the series' merchandise be made sustainably; because of this, several of the companies producing Captain Planet-themed merchandise had to completely overhaul their means of production to manufacture recycled and recyclable products.
As with many popular cartoons, Captain Planet had a line of action figures and vehicles. Released by Tiger Toys in 1990, the line ran for several years, long enough to tie into the New Adventures series. The toys were repackaged and sold by Grand Toys in Canada and Kenner throughout Europe. The toys were of average poseability, with the common five points – neck, shoulders, and hips.
Finding a comprehensive list of what was released is difficult since not all toys shown in the initial retailer catalog were even released. The collector's market is small, the toys being somewhat rare on eBay. The Captain Planet Foundation still sells a small number of them online, however. There may have also been further foreign variations of certain toys which may be even more difficult to catalog. Various toys from the New Adventures waves are not as likely to be well known.
The five Planeteers, five Eco-Villains, Commander Clash, and several versions of Captain Planet, each with a different gimmick or paint scheme, were released, along with several vehicles. A toy ring with lights and sound and interchangeable lenses for the five elements was also released. Four small vehicles were also sold through a Burger King promotion.
Marvel Comics published a short-lived comic series for 12 issues to tie into the show; however, the comics were a separate continuity. While not effectively part of the Marvel Universe, issue #4's cover was a parody of the cover to Fantastic Four issue #1.
A video game based on the series was developed for the Nintendo Entertainment System by Mindscape called Captain Planet. The game, which involved a good deal of shooting, received negative reviews from game critics and thus a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) version of the game was canceled. A separate side-scrolling game was developed by Novalogic for the Mega Drive/Genesis, but only saw release in Europe and Australia.
David Perry and Nick Bruty developed a ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC game using the license, a 3-level shoot 'em up. A game was also released in 1990 for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST, written by Tony Crowther. This was a platform game and was briefly bundled with the Amiga 500 "Cartoon Classics" pack released in 1991. A Commodore 64 game was in development but never released. Tiger Toys, owners of the action figure license, also created an LCD hand-held game.
Several VHS tapes were released, usually with a single episode each. A DVD with four episodes and bonus features exists but was only available as part of a "Planeteer Pack" purchased from the Captain Planet Foundation. This promotional DVD contained the episodes "A River Ran Through It", "A Perfect World", "Gorillas Will Be Missed" and "The Big Clam Up" plus " Planeteers in Action", a short clip about Captain Planet Foundation. The "Planeteer Pack" special is no longer available.
Shout! Factory released a DVD set of the complete first season in the U.S. on April 19, 2011. The DVD packaging is made of 100% recycled paper. But Seasons Two to Six have yet to be released on Complete Season DVD Sets.
Multiple attempts have been made to create a film adaptation of the series. The first occurred in 1996 when Boxer and Pyle wrote a film adaptation of Captain Planet originally titled Planet. Five years later, Michael Reaves revised the concept as Dark Planet or Planet. The storyline was darker than the series, and set in a post-apocalyptic time period. However, the script was lost when Turner and Warner Bros. merged in 1996. The film reached the design stage before it was abandoned.
Other attempts at a film version were made in 2007, 2011, and 2013. However none of these versions came to pass. In October 2016 it was reported that Paramount Pictures and Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way were attempting to develop a new movie and is in negotiations with Jono Matt and Glen Powell to write the script.
OK K.O. Crossover
On September 13, 2017, it was announced that Captain Planet would appear in a special crossover episode of the Cartoon Network series OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, with David Coburn reprising his role as Captain Planet and LeVar Burton reprising his role as Kwame. The episode, "The Power is Yours", aired on October 9, 2017. 
Captain Planet Foundation (CPF)
Founded in 1991, series producer Barbara Pyle negotiated a percentage of the show’s merchandising revenue to empower young people. Schools and organizations around the world can present their environmental projects to the Foundation and receive seed money to grow their ideas. In 2001, Time Warner decided to shut down the CPF due to a challenging merger with AOL. Laura Seydel and her husband Rutherford Seydel worked with Time Warner to orchestrate the transition of the corporate foundation to a public charity - the Captain Planet Foundation. In 2007, CPF acquired the rights to exhibit previous episodes of Captain Planet and the Planeteers online and on-air, thus "allowing this valuable resource to reach out and educate the children of today!" As of 2017[update], the organization's board is chaired by Laura Turner Seydel, daughter of Ted Turner; the board includes Barbara Pyle.
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