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Movie Review: Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything

The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie
Directed by Mike Nawrocki
Written by Phil Vischer
Universal, 2008

As critic-proof as they come, the new Veggie Tales adventure really is only going to get a scathing review if the message is off point or a glowing review if the movie exceeds all expectations and turns out to be a huge surprise.  I must admit, I wasn’t looking for much going into this cartoon, and I imagine unless you have kids you aren’t going to be lining up to see this.  I will say this, however: it’s better than the last two Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Elliot, a cucumber (Nawrocki), George, a grape (Vischer), and Sedgewick, a gourd (Vischer) are “cabin boys” (waiters) at a pirate-themed restaurant who hope to one day be part of the performance on stage.  But they’re kinda lazy, or afraid, to audition.  When their big chance arrives, they blow it, and they get fired.  In the alleyway outside the restaurant, they stumble on a blinking orb that sends them to another time and place, that just so happens to be in the time of pirates.

The orb was sent out by Princess Eloise (Laura Gerow), who is some kind of veggie I’m not sure about…a sprout of some sort, whose brother Alexander (Yuri Lowenthal) was captured by their notorious pirate uncle, Robert the Terrible (Cam Clarke) so that he can somehow usurp the throne from their father, the King.

Elliot, George, and Sedgewick are like the Three Amigos, they’re just actors and not real heroes, so danger isn’t their thing.  And they want to get out of the situation as soon as possible.  But thanks to the small amount of leadership from George, they find themselves getting into the adventure.  Much like Three Amigos, some of their early success is due to unknowing dumb luck, but they still have to “grow up” by film’s end.

The adventure is actually a good one, one that will entertain very young kids and is mildly diverting enough for the parents that might drag them there.  The best sequence comes from an island where a family of rock monsters lives.  The cartoon moves quickly and mostly painlessly.  I could have done without the veggies constantly saying, “It’s time to go home now!” or some variation thereof, but for the most part it does the job it set out to do.

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