The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie

  • Review Date: January 12, 2008
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Like steamed veggies: Good for you, but bland.
  • Review Date: January 12, 2008
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 84 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Three unassuming busboys prove they're heroes when they go back in time and save a prince from a vengeful pirate, who gets his comeuppance. In the end, nearly everyone comes around and learns a good lesson: Do the right thing and be a hero, no matter whether you think you have the makings of one.

Positive role models
Not applicable
Violence & scariness

A cartoon pirate who thirsts for fame and power brandishes a sword near a character's head. He also abducts a prince. Some bickering.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

No swearing, though the word "loser" is used a few times.


VeggieTales is a thriving franchise with toys, DVDs, merchandise, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One character has a strong penchant for "cheese curls" (i.e. cheese puffs).

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?

THE PIRATES WHO DON'T DO ANYTHING: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE is self-effacing, all right -- just look at its nondescript title. But don't let that fool you; it has 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.

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).

Is it any good?


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.

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).

Clearly, this is no Ratatouille -- or any other Pixar masterpiece. Still, there are worse ways to pass the time. And besides, young audiences won't be as critical as the grown-up counterparts who'll be taking them to the Cineplex.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 11, 2008
DVD release date: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

This review of The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old March 21, 2009

I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob!

When I saw the first Veggie Tales movie, I was five years old. Six years later, the second one comes out. This is the first Veggie Tales anything that isn't based off a religious tale, but does send out a quite Christian message. Violence is limited to slapstick and swordplay, consumerism is noticeable, no sexual content that occurred, and language is limited to name-calling such as "moron," "loser," and "crazy," but most parents wouldn't find the content disturbing. I think the animation could've been better, but overall it's a five-star movie! No doubt about it! This is a great movie to watch on a family night when you want a good kid's comedy with some brief adult humor with a good message!
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Adult Written bylsdgls April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

This was hilarious!

My 5 year old loved this movie! It was hilarious with no iffy content. A parent's dream!
Parent of a 2 and 4 year old Written byMerryJ July 13, 2009

Some Frigtening Scenes

My kids are sensitive to scary things. They were a little frightened, but okay with the scary pirates. What got to them was the monster cheese doodles and the rock monsters. These things REALLY freaked them out during the movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages


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