06/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Top 5 Green Cartoons

The Captain and his minion are an obvious choice. Fighting the eco villains with his captains-in-waiting - Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, and Heart - there was no environmental disaster they couldn't solve. No tsunami too strong! No factory too smooty! But like all superheros, the Cap'n had his weaknesses: pollution, radiation, toxic waste, and smog. So when faced with these challenges, the green-mulleted man used any of his vast array of powers (telekinesis, blowing hurricane-force winds, or whatever superpower seemed to be appropriate to the disaster at hand) to save the earth. The show even featured "Planeteer Alerts," mini public service announcements designed to alert kids at home to the actual environmental crises facing the Earth.

But in the face of eco-strife, one fact remains certain: "Heart" is by far the wimpiest, dorkiest superpower. Ever. Hands down.

Lisa Simpson is one of those cartoon characters who makes you feel a little guilty about your own greedy pleasures and self-indulgences. For an animated yellow eight year-old, she sure knows how to tug at your heartstrings. When she plants a lemon tree under which to meditate, you silently question your own spiritual beliefs. When she petitions to stop Mr. Burns from using six-pack wrappers to catch materials for "Lil' Lisa's Slurry," you feel guilty that your only activism consists of dropping pennies into the Salvation Army bucket at Christmastime. And when she canvasses the town in the Simpsons Movie, urging citizens to be aware of the mercury content in the Springfield Lake, you think of that big slab of tuna you had at Legal Seafood the night before and furrow your brow.

And we can't help but love her when she goes veggie, and brings her father's barbeque attendees gazpacho - "It's tomato soup - served ice cold!" and gets laughed at. Our heart goes out to her as we vow to give gazpacho a chance...

For such an innocent movie about forest creatures, Bambi introduced some intense environmental issues. From hunting (her mother was killed by one) to forest destruction (humans set their forest home on fire), the movie is a grim reminder of how wildlife can be so willingly and carelessly destroyed by greedy humans. (Don't deny it, you know you still "get something in your eye" when Bambi's mom dies. It's okay - so do we.)

Trusted owner of Garfield the Cat, Jon is an avid cook (mostly of Garfield's favorite dish, lasagna), and in the episode Green Thumbs Down, John decides that "groceries are too expensive" and decides to grow his own food, like he did as a child on his parents' farm. However, his plan is foiled when animals begin to invade the garden. Despite his best efforts, Jon's garden is ruined when Odie and Garfield, in an attempt to flush a troublesome gopher out of the yard, manage to flood the patch. Of course, he winds up spending more on the seedlings than he would have on actual groceries - but the underlying message was there, right?

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