|Season 1, Episode 21|
|Air date||April 27, 1991|
The Ultimate Pollution
Mission to Save Earth Part I
Population Bomb is the twenty-first episode in the first season of Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
The main characters featured in this episode are:
Captain Planet repairs a building that was about to collapse and cause a major accident. The Planeteers think part of the problem is the world has too many people, and suggests family planning to help control this. Wheeler angrily remarks that it is an attack on his liberty to regulate how many children he should sire in his later years. When at Hope Island, he goes windsurfing, but a strong wind knocks him off course and into a place called Miceland. There he meets a talking mouse, who says he is a scientist called Piebald. Piebald explains how they were once ordinary mice, until the fallout from a nearby bomb testing came to the island and gave them humanlike abilities to include the power of speech. They became the dominant species of the island. As hard as it is to believe, Miceland started out as a beautiful paradise. In the beginning, when their population was small, the island was rich and green with clean air and water. They lived in small houses on the beach with plenty of food for everyone. Many wanted big families so their numbers grew rapidly. They moved further inland, clearing the land to build cities to house their growing population and more resources were consumed. Soon all trees and plant life were gone and the island became one big city and their beautiful, blue sky turned dirty and brown from all the pollution the air. All of the other animals that lived on the island are now gone. Most of the animals his people hunted to extinction for food, the others were driven off the island into the sea. There are only memories of those animals in their museums. With no more wild game or vegetation, they have now turned to the seas for food but at the same time are polluting the seas, reducing the number of fish and yet, their population is still exploding! Worse, Miceland is a dictatorship under the leadership of General Claw, who sees Wheeler to be enslaved for heavy labor and Hope Island as a place to be colonized. Piebald is arrested for speaking out against General Claw's rule, but is freed by Wheeler and returned to his family. When Captain Planet appears to find Wheeler, General Claw uses an untested superweapon on him that proves hurtful. At the same time, the people of Miceland are staging a tax revolt, and General Claw sees a chance to kill two birds with one stone by using the superweapon on the protestors. This proves a fatal flaw, as the superweapon triggers a tsunami that engulfs Miceland. Wheeler offers to save Piebald and his family, but Piebald refuses, figuring his race has gotten what they deserved with their doom, and begs Wheeler not to let the same thing happen to humanity. Wheeler then finds himself on Hope Island surrounded by the other Planeteers. When he thanks them for rescuing him, they said they never did any rescue mission, nor do they have any recollection of Miceland. Wheeler realizes he must have been rendered unconscious and had a dream. They asked Wheeler what happened in his dream. Wheeler says that he was surrounded by talking mice that were just like humans and their population just kept growing. They all take Wheeler back home. An image of Piebald's warning plays one last time.
Captain Planet: Did you know the population of the world is now more than 5 billion?
Ma-Ti: Wow. That is a lot of people!
Gi: And it's increasing by 90 million people each year.
Kwame: But the earth is not getting any bigger.
Linka: So when it is your turn to have a family...
Wheeler: Keep it small.
Captain Planet: The more people there are, the more pressure we put on our planet. So take it easy on our earth and conserve what you can. The power is yours!
Significant Moments and FactsEdit
- When Wheeler climbs a building to return Piebald to his family, he remarks about the 1933 film King Kong.
- In a later episode, Wheeler imagines himself having sired several children with Linka, but rethinks that after recalling his experience in this episode.
- This is a rare episode in which all the regular Eco-villains are absent.
- Gi: In some countries, the government recommends a couple only has two children.
- Wheeler: Oh, yeah? Well, no one's telling me how many kids I can have.
- Piebald: My people and I are doomed. But yours can still be saved. Don't let this happen to you. Don't let there be more people than your world can hold.