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Captain Planet to Family Frontiers - Activist's long journey to save forests, families

MALAYSIANSKINI | “By your powers combined... I am Captain Planet!”

Summoned to Earth through the coming together of five magical element-themed rings, Captain Planet’s battles with “Eco-Villains” out for destruction often ends with an important message on saving the environment.

For Third World Network executive director Chee Yoke Ling, an initial meeting with the cartoon show’s co-creator Barbara Pyle during an international lobbying session eventually saw her immortalised as the Asian-inspired character “Gi” who joined the “planeteers” as controller of the key element of water.

'Captain Planet and the Planeteers' debuted in 1990 but Chee told Malaysiakini that it was only a decade later during a chance encounter with Pyle on the streets of New York that she discovered her role in the popular cartoon series.

“I was walking along the streets of New York and suddenly I heard this voice, ‘Gi! Gi!’ and I turned around, there was Barbara Pyle! That woman was still full of energy.

“My name is Chee, but she always called me Gi because she couldn’t pronounce the ‘ch’ sound,” she shared in a recent interview.

“I said ‘how nice to see you Barbara, how are you?’ In the course of our conversation, I said, ‘hey, congratulations by the way’, because I knew she was the producer of Captain Planet.

“I said the series was such a beautiful way of explaining why we needed to save the planet. I said my children also watched it and she replied, ‘did you also tell them that you were the inspiration for the character of Gi?

“I said I didn’t know that and she said...

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