The same people who made Transformers: Dark of the Moon are making a Captain Planet movie. You know, we were a big fan of Blue Planet, and in the episode that dealt with the bottom of the ocean, they filmed the complete breakdown of a whale carcass by lampreys and parasites until only the bare bones were left behind. Why do we bring this up? No reason. No reason at all.
But hey, maybe it won't be so bad. Sure, Captain Planet was goofy as all get out and looked basically like what Kirk Cameron would have looked like in Avatar, but it did have some pretty sweet villains and a positive message that wasn't entirely based around selling toys. The teen characters were pretty cool as well, and anyone who grew up reading Lord of the Rings can surely get behind the idea of owning a power ring.
You got your soft-spoken African leader. He's kind of boring, but hey, he's still the voice of reason and controls the power of earth. You've got your hot-headed American guy with fire powers, still good so far. The sex appeal of the group is nicely rounded out with a perky Chinese girl using water, and an honest-to-God Soviet fox and her wind abilities. Seriously, these guys just outclassed half of the Avengers, but then we run into a problem...
This is Ma-Ti, the Short Round of the group, and he has the power of heart. No, he can't stop hearts, that would be helpful. He instills compassion and caring in people. Look, either the adventures of the team require spectacular feats of elemental mastery to combat, meaning that Ma-Ti's power is useless since it's completely non-combat based, or he can just make every bad guy spontaneously stop being a douche, which more or less makes the whole damn show pointless anyway.
Wheeler: Look, Dr. Blight is burning down the rainforest!
Ma-Ti: Power of heart!
Dr. Blight: ARRRGH... Oh jeez, I'm being a real pain in the ass, aren't I? Hey guys, we're calling off Operation Curbstomp Gaia and learning PowerPoint.
With that scene in your head, we'd like to suggest five other things Ma-Ti's ring could control that might actually make a better movie.
This one is a complete no-brainer. You're already going for an elemental theme with the rings, and international perspective is also a big motif. Why not just add in a fifth element of metal from Chinese philosophy? It drops right in like Kramer on Jerry. Ma-Ti could pretty much turn any technology against the user, or construct weapons and armor from existing metal sources. Plus, you're going to get at least a few people throwing up devil horns when he screams out "METAL!"
Yeah, we know it sounds hippyfied, but hear us out. Any environmentalist will tell you that if you're having a hard time drumming up support for protecting the land, focus on the animals. Oil on the sand is a mess. Oil on a penguin is a tragedy. Why not let Ma-Ti have a ring that communicates with plant and animal life? At the very least, he could unleash a squirrel army or get the pigeons to tell us who really killed JFK (hh, they know).
If there is a power more awesome than that of controlling gravity, then it probably involves Zooey Deschanel and very little clothing. Apart from the pretty standard ability to fly, Mat-Ti could lift beached whales and reverse the flow of a shattered oil pipe. Sure, it puts a pesky science vibe in what otherwise plays like a cartoon adaptation of a Silver Ravenwolf book, but frankly Captain Planet is already a bit too "no farts, only daffodils," even for an environmentally themed project. Science is the answer.
This one is better in theory than it would probably be in practice. After all, most of Captain Planet's Eco-Villains are already mutated freaks, so directing back the concentrated effects of their pollution might not actually be of any help at all. On the other hand, we are basically calling for a cancer laser here, a phrase that just made most of you need to change your pants.
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Facts is facts, folks, and very little gets done for the environment without a healthy set of suing. Sure, Captain Planet can punch Duke Nukem all he wants, but maybe if someone actually convicted him every once in a while he wouldn't be causing freakin' plant meltdowns two episodes later. If Ma-Ti really wants to help out, he needs a ring that shoots out a legion lawyer warriors. Lawyiors! Go Planet!