A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this animated film -- part of a large, Christian-themed film-and-TV franchise -- has a light touch when it comes to sending its feel-good message (which, this time around, is that anyone can be a hero; all it takes is to do what you know is right). Some situations, as when a pirate captures a young man, sound perilous, but they're not that scary. There's no swearing, violence, or sexual innuendo, but several specific products are mentioned by name -- noticeably more than in other VeggieTales titles.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Three "cabin boys" at the Pieces of Ate Dinner Theater dream of the big time, when they'll move up from their lowly busboy positions and join the pirate show on stage. But they're hardly the handsome or muscled type. Elliot (played by Mike Nawrocki voiced Larry the Cucumber, who's one of the mainstays of the VeggieTales series) is sickly and has a long list of things that scare him; Sedgwick (here played by Phil Vischer's Mr. Lunt, a gourd) talks a good game but is more comic than courageous; and George (Vischer's Pa Grape) has no confidence whatsoever. (Even his kids think the dinner theater's pirate is cooler than their dad).
But then a "help-seeker" -- a magical time-travel device -- calls on the trio to step back to the 17th century to help Princess Eloise (Laura Gerow) save her brother, Prince Alexander (Yuri Lowenthal). He's been abducted by Robert the Terrible (Cam Clarke), the siblings' ambitious uncle -- who happens to be a marauding pirate who longs for the adulation that his brother the king receives. Eloise wishes for heroes, and suddenly, Elliot, Sedgwick, and George appear.
Is it any good?
THE PIRATES WHO DON'T DO ANYTHING is self-effacing, all right -- just look at its nondescript title -- but it does have a strong and admirable message. Do the right thing, and don't worry about whether you look the part of anything (in this case, a hero). Will it, live it, have some faith, and you'll be it.
There's never a doubt that the three will realize their potential in the end, but their journey is still enjoyable for the most part. The music, like that of VeggieTales adventures past, is infectious (watch out for the gang's hilarious version of "Rock Lobster," here called "Rock Monster"), and nothing in the storyline is objectionable. Still, it starts out a little too slow for a movie targeted at school-age kids with short attention spans. The jokes can be clunky, and the animation is unsophisticated (except for the Rock Monsters, everything else seems a little flat).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this movie is similar to and different from other VeggieTales titles.
What does the VeggieTales brand mean to you and your family?
How is it different from other kids' and family media brands?
Families can also discuss George/Pa Grape's lack of confidence. How does he measure himself at first? Does he see things differently in the end? Why?
What about Elliot/Larry and his many fears? How does he overcome them?
- In theaters: January 11, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: October 13, 2008
- Cast: Cam Clarke, Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer
- Director: Mike Nawrocki
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Music and Sing-Along, Pirates
- Run time: 84 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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