Obviously, they are fairly different shows, both Captain Planet and the new to ABC show Lazy Town. I think Captain Planet addressed more macro issues of the environment and socio-economic problems as both a cause and effect (which could be defeated using classical elemental rings). However, promoting eating vegetables, drinking water and exercise are other important issues in (at least 1st world) society. It does this better than any initiative, commercial, show (or a complaint of a show, such as the news) does to tackle what is proclaimed by the government (and, of course, the news) as an epidemic.
But the comparison goes deeper than just against issues. It’s wacky. The way it’s stylised is really crazy. If you ever wanted to study colour grading, puppeteering, CGI, prosthetics or a range of film techniques you wouldn’t need to go any further. Bright, bold colours and entertaining ways of showing fruit (in individual ice-cubes, anyone?) are actually more interesting than it seems. If you can get past the long monologues of Robbie Rotten (or the original Icelandic name Glanni Glæpur), his character is insane – is he puppet? Is he human? Where does the prosthetic stop and the man begin? Why doesn’t he change clothes normally, rather than use a contraption? Why don’t they ever know it was him?
And if I ever create a hero that flips everywhere possible, is named Sporticus, and is indeed the creator and writer of the show (he was a famous gymnast in Iceland) then I’ll consider this life a life well lived. As a deus ex machina of a hero, Sporticus is just as good as Captain Planet. Maybe even better. He has a moustache and his own blimp. And doesn’t need to be summoned, his crystal on his shirt will do it for him.
So it’s wacky, it has a message. How many people my age remembers the Captain Planet theme song, I wonder? Perhaps this time in 10 years or so there’ll be a ‘retro’ nostalgia to Lazy Town, people singing the theme song and laughing (or many of the other Eurovision-sounding songs). I know I’ve got the theme song stuck in my head already. Lovely.