Captain Planet and the Planeteers

TV review by
Deirdre Sheppard, Common Sense Media
Captain Planet and the Planeteers TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Help Captain Planet save the earth!

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Mixed: Teamwork and caring about the environment send good messages, but the protoganists are lazy with their language.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All of the show's "good guys" are trying to protect and preserve nature and the environment. The characters are somewhat stock, i.e. Planeteer Wheeler is the street-smart comedian, Planeteer Linka is the scientist hottie, but the girls are given equal screen time and power as the boys. Some of the villains show growth over the course of the series and change their polluting ways.

Violence & Scariness

Villian uses a machine gun to shoot a Planeteer. Regular battles between good and evil.

Sexy Stuff

In one episode the camera does a close-up on a female character's butt; villians dress in drag mockingly.


Words such as "bimbo" and "stupid" are used casually.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this animated classic sends many positive messages about preserving our natural resources. But it does have some questionable language choices, some on-the-racy-side innuendos, and regular cartoon battles.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynduns July 3, 2015

Well-meaning, but really poorly handled

First off, this show is guilty of that same issue I have with lots of environmental animated works from this time period: they put all their focus on the messag... Continue reading
Adult Written byCommonSenseChristian December 31, 2012

Hey, You Kids! Off My Planet!

This show was popular when I was a little kid, but it was not allowed in our house, because it is an example of environmental extremism. Capitalism, business, a... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byMayYouBeForeverYoung April 23, 2013

Captain Planet

I absolutely love this show. I think its really cute & has a positive message. It sounds like whoever wrote this review only watched one episode. Some e... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byWooba January 2, 2020
It's OK for little children who won't notice the graphics and strange plot devices, and is a good way to introduce them to controversial issues such a... Continue reading

What's the story?

CAPTAIN PLANET AND THE PLANETEERS, which was created in the early '90s by media mogul Ted Turner, chronicles the adventures of an environmental superhero who saves the world from eco-villains trying to destroy the planet. The superhero (voiced by David Coburn) depends on his teenage Planeteers (Kwame for earth, Wheeler for fire, Linka for wind, Gi for water, and Ma-Ti for heart) who set up the initial groundwork for the missions. Captain Planet can only be summoned to finish the job when the Planeteers combine their powers. None of the characters can do their best without each other.

Is it any good?

The show offers plenty of factual information to digest. For example, one episode features the eco-villains attempting to destroy a manatee's habitat with a motor boat. The Planeteers provide in-depth background on manatees' natural environment and behavior toward humans. The educational segments offer a nice counterpoint to the action that dominates the rest of the show. But there's also a lot of mainstream garbage littering the show. The motor boat in the episode about the manatees is used for a Baywatch party, and the male Planeteers talk about wanting to give Baywatch star "Mrs. Bubblebutt" mouth to mouth as the camera moves in for a close-up on her rear end. The female Planeteers, meanwhile, label the Baywatch star with colorful words like "stupid" and "bimbo," all while the eco-villains dress in drag to look like the star and use a machine gun to shoot one of the Planeteers into the ocean. For a series that's aimed at kids, the show sometimes has a PG-13 feel to it -- especially when the protagonists are setting such bad examples.

As the first animated series to teach kids about key environmental concerns, in many ways Captain Planet -- which offers plenty of valuable lessons -- was ahead of its time. Expect to walk away with a better understanding of environmental issues like the ozone layer and animal rights. Addressing these issues with such clarity is admirable. However, you can also expect your fair share of violence, language mishaps, and sexual innuendos (which is the largest repeat offender). Captain Planet and the Planeteers is fun and retro, but it's not your best bet for younger grade-schoolers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of preserving our natural resources. Why is it important to take care of the planet? What is pollution, and why is it harmful to the environment? How can you contribute to taking better care of the planet -- both in the big picture and every day?

TV details

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