Dork Hunters and the Pirates of Tortuga Island
Stereotypes abound in lame animated adventure.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dork Hunters is a lame animated adventure filled with gender, racial, and cultural stereotypes. A white girl only cares about materialistic goods; an African-American girl stands out from the pack by using words like "Yo!" and "Girlfriend!" The boys speak in the wornout cliches of California surf culture circa 1981, and a fish speaks like Jackie Mason, with Yiddish words peppering his speech.
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What's the Story?
To kick off summer vacation, the Dork Hunters fly to the Tortuga Islands, hoping for some sun and relaxation. Instead, they confront their principal and her evil chihuahua, who have plans to find buried treasure. The evil chihuahua recruits a group of pirates to find the treasure. Interested in finding the treasure for themselves, the Dork Hunters must do battle with the pirate ghosts and all the others who stand in their way.
Is It Any Good?
DORK HUNTERS AND THE PIRATES OF TORTUGA attempts to derive much of its humor from lame gender, race, and cultural stereotypes. As such, there isn't a single likeable character. Quite the opposite. Both the good and bad guys are so tediously annoying, it's impossible to care who wins the treasure in the end. When the ghost pirates and all their "Yarrrrgh, mateys" seem like the most original characters, you know you're in trouble.
Even with the overuse of the word "dork," it's difficult to imagine kids watching this and being anything but thoroughly bored. There are plenty of animated adventure stories out there where the female characters don't act like shopping and suntans are their sole interests and male characters don't act like monosyllabic surfer burnouts. Skip this and seek out something better.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about stereotyping. What's the problem with stereotyping? What are some examples of it in this cartoon?
Why is stereotyping also a sure sign of below-average storytelling?
What are more interesting and creative ways to make characters stand out from each other besides resorting to overdone and passe stereotypes?
- On DVD or streaming: March 9, 2010
- Cast: Ben Small, Eric Meyers
- Director: Barry Baker
- Studio: Image Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Pirates
- Run time: 62 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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