Avast me hearties! September the 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!
Disney’s had a love affair with pirates in various forms over the years and I thought it might be fun to take a look at Disney pirates in their various forms.
Pirates of the Caribbean ride: The original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland made its debut in 1967. It was the last Disneyland attraction that Walt Disney was personally involved in before his passing in 1966. It’s one of my favorite Disneyland attractions (second only to The Haunted Mansion) which makes it a “must do” ride on my visits to Disneyland!
I have to agree with the drunken pirates in Puerto Dorado, “We wants the redhead!”
Blackbeard’s Ghost: 1968 live-action comedy starring Peter Ustinov, Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette. Only Steve Walker (Jones) can see the ghost of Blackbeard. Blackbeard is cursed (by his wife) to roam the Earth as a ghost until such time as he can perform a good deed. Given Blackbeard’s reputation as a pirate (and the fact that he’s always drunk) this appears to be no easy task!
Treasure Island: 1950 adventure film adapted from the Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island. Starring Robert Newton as Long John Silver and Bobby Driscoll (who was the voice for Disney’s animated Peter Pan) as Jim Hawkins. It was the first time a theatrical “Treasure Island” had been filmed in color and was the very first “all live-action” Disney movie.
Swiss Family Robinson: 1930 live-action film about a resourceful Swiss family who becomes shipwrecked on a remote island after their ship is chased by pirates into a storm. Just as they’re starting to get used to their new life on the island they have to deal with the pirates once more. This was the first Disney movie to be shot in a widescreen format.
20000 Leagues Under the Sea: 1954 live-action film based on the novel by Jules Verne. I added this one to the list because Captain Nemo is basically a pirate. Starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre. The movie won two academy Awards for Best Art Direction (Color) and Best Special Effects and was nominated for a third Academy Award for Best Film Editing.
Jake and the Neverland Pirates: Disney Junior animated original series about a band of young pirates consisting of Jake, Izzy, Cubby and their parrot Skully, who continuously spend their days competing against Captain Hook and Mr. Smee for treasure. Teaching preschoolers that there can be good pirates too!
Honorable mention goes to Hook from ABC’s Once Upon a Time. I haven’t decided whether or not I really trust him or not yet, but that’s the joy of the “Hook” character that Colin O’Donoghue portrays. You gotta love the twists on the fairy tale mythos that have been presented for this series. Robert Carlyle’s Rumplestiltskin (a.k.a. The Dark One) is Hook’s “crocodile” as well as Belle’s “Beast”. I’m hoping I didn’t just ruin that for anyone, but they are about to start Season3. So if you haven’t started watching this show yet, I highly advise you to start!
The Pirate Fairy: Upcoming Disney animated film (Spring 2014) which is set in the world of Disney’s Fairies (a Tinkerbell-based spinoff of Peter Pan). With the voice taents of Tom (Loki) Hiddleston and Mad Men’s Christina (Rawr!) Hendricks. of When a misunderstood dust-keeper fairy named Zarina steals Pixie Hollow’?s all-important Blue Pixie Dust and flies away to join forces with the pirates of Skull Rock, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends must embark on the adventure of a lifetime to return it to its rightful place. However, in the midst of their pursuit of Zarina, Tink’?s world is turned upside down. She and her friends find that their respective talents have been switched and they have to race against time to retrieve the Blue Pixie Dust and return home to save Pixie Hollow.