Chosen One of the Day: Ma-Ti, the Heart Ring kid from Captain Planet and the Planeteers

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If you're ever looking for some truly weird content, look no further than the cartoons of the late 80s/early 90s. That's where you'll find a gem like Captain Planet and the Planeteers, an animated series that ran an astonishing six years between 1990-1996. The main premise of the show was this: Gaia bestowed upon five teenagers rings of power that would give them control over various elements. Their goal: to protect the planet from looters and polluters and anyone who wished to cause environmental harm. And, of course, when they all come together they summon a giant magical blue man who wears bright red trunks, gloves, boots, and a crop top.

But he is not the focus of this. Oh no. That honor goes to one of the Planeteers.

There are five of them, like I said, all from various countries around the world to add to the diversity and global nature of this show which was obviously created by a group of extremely free-spirited hippies. Kwame was given power over Earth, able to summon earthquakes and all manner of dirt related attacks. Wheeler (from Brooklyn, naturally) wields the power of fire to predictable results. Linka can control water, dowsing their enemies in tsunamis and whirlpools. Gi is able to control the wind. These are all pretty epic powers any teenager would kill to have, right? Totally badass, obviously useful, not at all dangerous.

Then there's Ma-Ti, a very small, very young Brazilian boy, the youngest of the Planeteers, upon whom is bestowed the power … of Heart.

I've gotta say, I feel for Ma-Ti. He's the nice one, the pacifist, and as a result, he is given the power that no one understands and which has basically no tactical value. Poor kid must be made fun of constantly and has NO WAY TO FIGHT BACK. Even when they come upon an enemy who should be tailor-made for an empathic kid to battle with the power of feelings - someone like Hitler (who they literally face at one point) - and he is powerless because they are "heartless."

Ma-Ti SHOULD be awesome. His powers include telepathy. He can talk to animals. He should be able to control minds and summon hordes of wild creatures to tear their enemies to pieces, but no, they gave the power to the nice kid, the pacifist. He would never actually use these abilities for anything other than literally understanding how their enemies are feeling. He's a walking mood ring.

At least he got a monkey.

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