Jumping Ship

Movie review by
Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media
Jumping Ship Movie Poster Image
Adventure comedy sequel has mild peril and violence.
  • NR
  • 2001
  • 93 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The movie's purpose is to entertain not educate.

Positive Messages

The importance of hard work. Not blaming others for your mistakes. Spending money responsibly. Living with loss. Friendship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

An arrogant college graduate from a rich family, Michael, is greedy and irresponsible with his family's money. But he eventually learns to work hard and listen to others. His younger cousin, Tommy, learns to accept the changes to his family life after the death of his father. The captain of the boat that Michael rents, Jake, is humble and good at his job. He teaches Michael and Tommy new skills.

Violence & Scariness

There is a chase scene by boat where characters fall into the sea. A flare gun is fired at a raft, which causes it to catch fire. A teenager is kidnapped by pirates and is gripped by their neck. Pirates are pushed into a cave, kicked, and hit with a broom, but none are seriously injured. One of them pulls a pistol but doesn't fire it.

Sexy Stuff



Mild verbal threats, such as being "thrown to the sharks." "Idiot" is used as an insult.


A character is consumed with expensive goods, such as food, clothes, watches, and boats. But they are often mocked by others for their materialism.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jumping Ship is a Disney adventure TV movie with comedic elements and some moments of peril, and is the sequel to the family drama Horse Sense. Joey Lawrence stars as Michael Woods, who is wasting his summer lazing around after graduating from college. Michael is very materialistic, but this is portrayed in a negative light. Michael's younger cousin, Tommy (Andrew Lawrence) is struggling to deal with his mom moving on after the death of his father and his family's money problems. To help cheer him up, Michael books a boating trip for him and Tommy. Matthew Lawrence plays Jake Hunter, who captains the small, uncomfortable boat that Michael rents by mistake. The opposite of Michael, Jake leads by example when their boat is attacked by pirates. The trio are forced to "abandon ship" and fend for themselves on a remote island. Characters are kidnapped and there is some mild violence -- kicking, hitting with a broom, gripping of a neck -- but no one is harmed. A boat catches fire after it is hit with a flare gun. There is no swearing, smoking, or drinking. A couple is seen kissing during a comedic dream sequence.

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What's the story?

JUMPING SHIP stories the adventure of Michael Woods (Joey Lawrence), a selfish and irresponsible college graduate, who hires a boat for him and his younger cousin Tommy (Andrew Lawrence). But when they are chased ashore by pirates, they must attempt to survive as castaways on an uninhabited island. Michael and Tommy work with their boat's captain, Jake Hunter (Matthew Lawrence) to find food and shelter and brave the elements in the hope that they will be rescued.

Is it any good?

A Disney TV movie from 2001 that shows both its age and limitations, this sequel to Horse Sense requires the suspension of a lot of disbelief. Supposedly set in Australia -- that looks suspiciously like America -- several of the cast speak with faux Australian accents, all of which makes the setting a bit pointless. The soundtrack is another distraction, with pop music playing for long periods in some scenes where an instrumental score would normally feature to add tension or laughs.

The character's ultimate goal -- to escape capture by the pirates and flee the island -- is pursued with no real urgency, not least because the bad guys barely feature. The tension between the castaways -- played by real-life brothers Joey, Andrew, and Matthew Lawrence -- is slightly more interesting, particularly when Michael is eventually forced to be honest about what he wants out of life. But even the good guys' actions do little more than nudge along a very dull plot, meaning that Jumping Ship runs aground fairly early.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lessons Michael learns in Jumping Ship. How does he gain a better appreciation for money and material goods? What character strengths does he show? What do you think the overall message of the movie is?

  • Tommy is struggling to deal with his widowed mom dating someone new. Why is it important that people's lives move on after the death of a loved one?

  • Despite Michael's faults, he cares about Tommy and tries his best to look after him. Why is it important to help other people?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

Themes & Topics

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