Tooncrap #9 - Captain Planet: Population Bomb
The Power Is Yours...To keep It In Your Pants
Written by: Raymond Gallant
It's that time one again my fair toonsters. Time to
visit one of Tooncrap's most beloved friends and content cows. And that
cow is Captain Planet. When you're looking for some of the outright
worst in storytelling, the captain knows how to make it happen. And in
our travels, we've seen the planeteers deal with everything that the
target 7 year old demographic are ready to deal with. Like aids. And
Hitler. And overdosing on drugs.
Jeez Boris, you look dead tired... oh right.
So, what is Captain Planet going to teach us today? Maybe how to plant
more trees, or how we should keep our oceans clean?
Or how the planet is being overpopulated, and preaching about birth
Okay, these kids have just experienced the riveting tale of "Hop on
Pop", why the hell do they need to learn about birth control right now?
But at least if the episode was well balanced out, maybe it could be a
fair plot about the dangers of too many people, and not just scare
tactics propaganda like this show usually displays. But no, this is
another mindscrew episode that makes no sense, and makes the moral come
off as even more ridiculous.
So, it's time to drop the population bomb on everyone, and it's time to
review this thing.
We open the episode with the planeteers flying over a crowded city, and
complaining about the stench of car exhaust. Wheeler however, has no
problems with this because he grew up in a big city. But Gi, and Kwame
complain that the town is so noisy and dirty. What is this, the
planeteers, or the "your city sucks" brigade?
Using his heart ring to, I guess, predict the future, Ma-Ti discovers
that part of a building is about to fall, and potentially crush the
civilians below. So that means it's time to for the planeteers to slowly
our hero in hot pants, Captain Planet, who fixes the building while
spouting off some of the worst puns in recorded history.
After giving the building his "seal of approval" (because he sealed up
the broken piece, get it? It's funny because Ted Turner), Captain Planet
then complains that there are far too many people in the city, and that
the planet is essentially screwed if there are too many people in it.
Back on Hope Island, Gaia pretty much agrees that yeah, there are way
too many people on Earth.
Well, until Brain makes Chia Earth, what are you gonna do? Crazy glue
condoms on people?
Wheeler is still not convinced, and is fine with the idea of being a
baby daddy to as many kids as he wants, and decides to take some of his
frustration out on some windsurfing. And because he's an idiot for
surfing in the middle of a storm, he gets lost, and crashes on another
island. An island that is polluted so bad that it melts his windsurfer.
It also appears to be home to a tiny city, but not only a tiny city...
But a race of anthropomorphic rat people? Zuh?
The rats blast him with their lasers, knocking him out. Things take a
weird Gulliver's Travels-esque turn as Wheeler is tied up, on a conveyor
belt with a pile of fish, and about to be chopped up. You know, I don't
take drugs or nothin', but this already feels trippy as all hell.
Before Wheeler can become planeteer puree, the conveyor belt is stopped
by a rat man named Piebald. He's a food technician that used to be a
scientist. He then gets chewed out by his boss named Captain Grosstail
(a little on the nose there), for turning the machine off. When he
realizes Wheeler can talk, he goes to consult someone named General
We finally get our explanation as to just how in the name of Jesus H.
Macy we're dealing with humanoid rat men. This place is called Miceland.
After the nuclear bombs went off, and caused polluted rain, it turned
ordinary rodents into humanoid creatures which are highly intelligent
and are technologically advanced on par with the human race.
So, it's like the Secret of NIMH only shittier.
Okay, not that shitty.
Still, you gotta admit. Creating a society of rat people is pretty neat.
Way to make pollution sound awesome guys.
However, much like humanity, Miceland's once beautiful home quickly
becomes much like the human world. Polluted, awful, and full of tiny
little mouse cars. Maybe I should feel bad for this society crumbling so
quickly, but OMIGOD IT'S SO CUTE!
Not to mention they drove off all the animals and ate any that remained,
leaving only memories in their little rat museums. They also made a mess
of their water, causing far less food for far too many rat people.
Piebold knows that things look bleak, and tries to warn the people of
Miceland that even though they ain't nothin' but mammal, maybe they
should slow down on doing like they do on the Discovery Channel. But his
acts of rebellion to the old ways of "large rat families are awesome"
get him stuck in the food processing factory, and forbidden to see his
But Piebold's dreams of a happy reunion are cut short by the arrival of
General Claw, who is intrigued by Wheeler. When Wheeler tells him that
the other planeteers will eventually arrive to save him, Claw realizes
that this means that there must be more creatures like Wheeler, meaning
more land to conquer. Though even with the advanced tech of these rat
people, you could still just easily beat them by stepping on them. I
mean they're barely a foot tall for criminey's sake.
Speaking of the planeteers, after a failed attempt to find Wheeler, they
return to Hope Island to recharge the eco copter's batteries. Linka, is
quite pissed at this, and storms off. Kwame goes to try and calm her
down with the thought of some lunch (hopefully not of the drugged
blintzes variety), but the two get snared by a net thrown by General
Back at the factory, Piebold frees Wheeler, and continues to worry about
a world where his daughter will live in hunger from overpopulation. He
gets caught doing this by Grosstail, and tries to have Piebold taken
away. This is when Wheeler finally realizes "Oh right, I'm like a
hundred feet taller than them" and grabs Grosstail, only for Piebold to
just give up anyway. Things aren't going too hot for Kwame and Linka as
they're tied up by General Claw's army.
When Wheeler realizes the others are captive, and the rat army plans to
take Hope Island, he takes Piebold and exits stage right. Grosstail
tells the people to go after him, but the hungry and angry mob rebels
against the army instead. Wheeler brings Piebold back to his family, and
promises to return once everything before he takes his leave. He uses
his ring to signal Ma-Ti, who I guess has been reduced to nothing but
the planeteers' personal GPS.
Wheeler manages to use his fire ring to free Linka and Kwame, as he also
tries to keep the rat people at bay. The trio unite, and begin to
combine their powers to summon Captain Planet, who begins to whip some
rat ass. And yes, he makes a rat race pun. Too bad there's no rat
version of Hitler to weaken him right now. Claw has his sonic cannon
activated, which being untested, could mean some serious trouble. The
rats blast the cap'n with their stun rays with no effect. He tells them
not to use those, they'll "Stun" your growth. Ouch, that one was so
painful I think my stomach turned inside out.
Claw blasts Wheeler with the cannon, knocking him out. The general's
gone mad with power, like that Albert Schweitzer guy, and starts to
blast at his fellow rat people, causing an earthquake. Captain comes to
save Wheeler, while he's focused on saving Piebold. Yeah, screw an
entire society of talking rat people, most of which were innocent, just
rescue one rat man and his family. Piebold however would rather pussy
out, and go down with his ship. Meaning, you know, his wife and daughter
will die too.
He warns Wheeler to not let the world end up overpopulated like his was.
Though in all honesty overpopulation was never the problem here. It was
more corrupt government and poor food rationing. It really doesn't
matter if the rat society was a tinier amount. If there was like, 100
rat people and they still squandered the resources, they'd still be in
this mess. Maybe it's just me, but this message feels really muddled,
making this episode really bad. But it can't get worse can it?
Or it can when you realize it was all a dream...
Um, Donald? Can you show the fine folks at home how I feel right now?
I! FRIGGING! HATE! THIS! COP OUT! ENDING! CRAP!
So yeah, apparently this never happened. There were no rat people, and
no tiny rat society. All that happened was Wheeler got preached at about
how bad it is to raise a big family, watched Secret of NIMH, and bailed
on his windsurfer, causing his screwy dream.
Or maybe it did happen as Piebold's reflection tells us that there's
still hope for this world if you, little kid who doesn't even know how
your genitalia functions promises not to have a lot of unprotected sex
and make a lot of babies.
And that's "Population Bomb". This episode is awful. Despite admittedly
a neat idea of this rat army society, it gets botched up with a preachy
and horribly executed message about how the overpopulation of the world
is so bad, but the conflict come less from how big the world's getting,
and more on how piss poor the rat people were at rationing food, and how
they easily squandered their supplies. Instead, it chastises the viewer
for having more than one or two children, or even three children if you
must be so cruel to this poor planet. Which begs the question, how many
kids did Ted Turner have? Five. I guess for the man in charge of this
whole damn show, three ain't enough.
See you next year Cap. I'm sure you haven't broken my brain badly enough