One of the recurring debates I had about Avatar saw me repeatedly going up to bat the defend the film’s simple, direct messages and more chunky, grippable ideas that could be explored well by a younger audiences. If on some level Avatar was a kids’ film, it was a kids film that talked about tolerance, cultural open mindedness and environmental awareness, plus some other big, After School Special themes. I thought this was a good thing, or at least not something to thrash the picture over.
Similarly, I welcome news of a Captain Planet feature film with open arms. If kids can once again be made to consider some of the ideas behind this character, then that’s not a bad thing at all. The dream, of course, is that there’s a story worth telling too – exciting, interesting, non-condescending and well executed.
But having noble intentions is still a good place to start.
Here’s a bit of the Captain Planet TV show to indicate that, while there might be the germ of an idea here, the adaptation is going to require a lot of heavy lifting.
Overhaul, please. Perhaps start by getting rid of the rings. And the kids. And the costume.
Today, Angry Films announced that they would be the Cartoon Network’s partner in creating the Captain Planet feature or, judging from this quote from producer Don Murphy, features plural:
We are extremely excited about bringing the good Captain back to life. His adventures are known worldwide and he is recognized across generations. We expect to make a spectacular series of films with the amazing team at Cartoon Network.
Co-producer Susan Montford added:
With the earthquakes, tornadoes, melting icebergs and all the other problems threatening the world right now, Earth really needs her greatest defender.
Well, the earthquakes and tornadoes aren’t anything much to worry about, are they? Just part of way Gaia goes about her business. I know that some extreme weather might make for spectacular set pieces but don’t we want the film to stay on message?
No creative team has been announced yet.
Let’s finish with a clip of the time Hitler was on the show, shall we?