Reminisce about these ‘Captain Planet’ videos with Don Cheadle
Captain Planet with Don Cheadle is a wild epic with a silly premise that remains burned into the consciousness of all who have seen. Like, wow, FunnyOrDie, you did not have to go that dark or nihilistic. What Captain Planet with Don Cheadle did was take the inherently ridiculous concept of the 90s animated series and take it to a logical yet absurd extreme.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since the infamous series of videos for Captain Planet with Don Cheadle were released. (Seriously, it’s been 10 years. The first one came in 2011. Who else feels old as all get out?) A decade in, let’s take a moment to reminisce about the dark ridiculousness of Captain Planet with Don Cheadle. Because, wow, that mullet sure was something, right?
Why Captain Planet?
If you’ve ever watched this 90s cartoon, then you would know that this concept is rife with a goldmine of things to make fun of. The series follows a group of very cringey/vaguely racist ethnic stereotypes from around the world chosen by Gaia (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg), who are given rings with the individual power over the first classical elements (earth, air, wind, fire) and the nebulously defined “heart”.
When the team combines their powers, they summon Captain Planet, an eco-warrior who makes a bunch of puns while saving the day from evil polluting capitalists. (One who was voiced by Jeff Goldblum because…sure why not.) Of course, it’s merely a stopgap at best because the evil capitalists are always going to pollute, the same as real life. So it comes down to you, the viewer, to help Captain Planet save the day.
Oh boy. There were some also heavy-handed messages/PSAs about topics NOT related to the environment. There were also episodes about the HIV/AIDs crisis at the time and an episode on racism that was, in fact, kind of racist. Or was that one about gang violence? Either way, the show, hopefully, had good intentions, but wow was the execution terrible looking back on it.
Captain Planet with Don Cheadle took things to the logical extreme
Captain Planet with Don Cheadle took things to a dark place. Like, wow, Zack Snyder probably wishes he could go as dark with some of the aspects of the Snyderverse. In the sketches (of which there are five), Captain Planet is reimagined as a tyrannical despot who is drunk on his own power and has turned most of the population of Earth into trees to stop the pollution.
The world under Captain Planet’s ruthless thumb is more reminiscent of that Twilight Zone episode about the little boy with God-like powers who rules his town with an iron fist, except it’s Don Cheadle in a glorious terrible green wig and silver-blue metallic body paint. It’s honestly pretty great. At the end of Captain Planet with Don Cheadle, Captain Planet gets hilariously pecked to death by woodpeckers.
With his death, humanity returns and almost immediately resumes polluting the planet. Because, well, humans can kind of suck at times. Either way, the almost nihilistic sketches are about absolute power corrupting absolutely, how dark Captain Planet could have been, and why Don Cheadle is a national treasure because this is all absolutely hilarious in the darkest way possible.
What do you think about the Captain Planet with Don Cheadle series? Should FunnyOrDie try to do, like, an anniversary special? Should we get a less cringey Captain Planet reboot? Is Heart a legitimate power? Sound off in the comments below and let us know your thoughts.