Captain Planet origins revealed as green lessons come to DVD
It’s been more than 20 years since the eco-friendly superhero Captain Planet debuted. The first season of the animated adventurer’s exploits are now available on DVD for the first time, just in time for Earth Day.
The show “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” which aired in more than 100 countries, was created with an eye toward cultural awareness. Executive Producer Barbara Pyle, who was born in Pauls Valley, was involved with the creation of the situation and characters, she said in a recent telephone interview.
“Captain Planet wasn’t an accident,” Pyle said. “It was a carefully crafted, environmentally accurate lesson plan.”
She said that 20 years after the show, children who watched the show are now becoming environmentally active themselves. Pyle, who carries a “Captain Planet” bag, often is approached by fans wanting to discuss the character.
“These young people, young adults started coming up to me … (and) telling me how Captain Planet changed their lives, and made them make decisions about their professions and so on that they wouldn’t have made otherwise,” she said.
Pyle was hired by Ted Turner in 1980 to create the Turner Environment Division, and for 20 years served as Corporate Vice President of Environmental Policy at Turner Broadcasting System (TBS). With Turner, Barbara created the animated action adventure series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” overseeing production of 113 episodes as executive producer.
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