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VeggieTales are mostly short specials, there have only been two major release feature length VeggieTales themed films. The first film was in the early 2000s and was about Jonah, which was much more typical of the VeggieTales brand than this second film is. This film has none of the Biblical themes that VeggieTales is known for; instead it is a comedic pirate adventure that stars VeggieTales characters. I like that this film dropped the religious backdrop, because doing so allows for families of all types to enjoy it. The film still contains great positive messages for kids, it just does it without name dropping Jesus. So is this kiddie animated adventure worth checking out?
The short answer to that question is yes, but admittedly a mild yes. This film doesn’t reinvent the wheel and sure there are better animated family films out there but I still enjoyed this a fair amount. Things do start out sort of weak and I can understand people thinking this is gonna be really bad just from seeing the beginning, but things improve as the film gets going.
The plot revolves around three aggressively average waiters at a pirate show restaurant that get sucked into a pirate adventure in the 17th century. They are tasked with helping to save a prince from the King’s evil brother who wishes to steal the crown. The film does manage to provide some decent adventure and it keeps things moving. I definitely wasn’t bored. The amount of adventure and good hearted fun that takes place in the middle and end of the film makes up for the rather sluggish beginning. Sometimes you just have to stick with a film until it gets past the opening.
Silliness and goofy humor is a given with a film of this nature and while not all of the comedy is winning material, I did laugh a handful of times. The script does throw out a number of funny lines here and there and they’re lines that I think both kids and adults will find humorous. I do wish that the comedy was more prevalent though as the film could have used a higher volume of humorous lines.
One aspect that I was thoroughly pleased with was the animation and visuals. The animation is appropriately colorful and vibrant, which makes the viewing experience more engaging and fun. I really liked the design of the different locations that the characters visit along their adventure. There are a lot of islands and medieval structures and they’re all very visually pleasing. One of my favorite scenes to look at was when our characters stop at a bar of sorts for pirates. The building is on a rock in the ocean and has a long wooden staircase leading up to it, I just found the design of it to be interesting and unique.
There isn’t a whole lot of singing in this film, certainly not like there is in the Jonah VeggieTales film, but the couple songs that are sung I didn’t care for too much. This was one of the details that needed some extra work. If the singing in the Jonah film hadn’t been so good then maybe the singing in this one wouldn’t seem so average. I was actually surprised that the signature Pirates who don’t do anything song wasn’t sung at any point in this film, like it is in Jonah, but if you ask me it was for the best because this film is at it’s best when it’s focusing on the adventure.
The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie is not the best of it’s kind and it has its flaws but it’s also not a bad film. There is enough enjoyment to be had here to warrant a mild recommendation from me.
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