The Mouse Knows Best Podcast

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean:The Curse of the Black Pearl

Yo-ho mateys! And welcome to the newest edition of the Tuesday Movie Review. As I was trying to think a movie to review, I realized I haven't reviewed any live action movies (other than Beauty and the Beast.) As I was thinking what my favorite live action films were, I stumbled upon a movie about scoundrels, pillagers, and pirates and discovered that Pirates of the Caribbean was what I was looking for all along! Pirates was a movie that I was head over heels in love with for the longest time, and really still am! It stands as the most successful movie to be based on a ride by far, and the first one was so good, Disney decided to make 4 more! Now, while some characters have come and gone from the series (and returned again), I'm going to only be talking about the original Pirates movie starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightley, and Geoffrey Rush. As always, I'm going to take a look at the storyline, soundtrack/score, acting, and the movie's presence in the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. So put on your pirate hat, grab your parrot, and hoist the anchor, it's time for the review on Pirates of the Caribbean!

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Pirates of the Caribbean is a film based on the Disneyland and Walt Disney World ride, Pirates of the Caribbean. It tells the tale of the pirate known as Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his quest to get back the ship that was stolen from him by the buccaneer Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush.) Along the way he runs into son a pirate, William Turner (Orlando Bloom) and enlists his help; however, all Turner wants to do is rescue his love interest, Elizabeth Swann (Kiera Knightley) from the ravenous pirates. The film was released July 9th, 2003 and instantly became a hit. People everywhere, including myself, suddenly wanted to be a pirate inspired by fun and real Johnny Depp made it seem. The major significance regarding the film was it was the first PG-13 film to be released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner. The first installment of the now 5 movie series is considered the best by many, including myself, and finished with an unexpectedly high box office number: $654 million.

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There really isn't a soundtrack to this film, as there's no songs involving voice singing; however, the score had some pretty prominent composers devote some work to it! Hans Zimmer and Klaus Badelt are credited for the score; however, they received some assistance from Geoff Zanelli and Ramin Djawadi. Of course, everyone knows the famous track "He's a Pirate" (look it up, you know it, you just didn't know that was the title), but there's much more to the soundtrack then that one famous song. Much of the soundtrack is based off of the attractions, like the movie, and if you ride the attraction enough, you'll hear songs from the film there. Unfortunately, the music wasn't nominated for any major awards for the 2003 award season, but that's not to say it's not a good score!

The cast of Pirates of the Caribbean is what really drew crowds to the theater. Captain Jack Sparrow was orignally created for Hugh Jackman, however Disney officials wanted someone more popular so they contacted Johnny Depp to bring the character to life. Along with Depp, Disney brought in Orlando Bloom, who was beloved as Legolas in the Lord of the Rings series, to play Will Turner. Kiera Knightley would be the major newcomer of the film as she would play the "damsel in distress" and Will Turner's love interest. At this point, Geoffrey Rush was a pretty well known actor, but playin Barbosa in Pirates skyrocketed his career. Out of this star studded cast, one man rose above to absolutely steal the show in what is, no doubt, the best work of his illustrious career: Johnny Depp. Depp would be nominated for numerous awards for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow including the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, as well as the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture. He would go on to win the BAFTA Award for Best Actor, the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor, the Empire Award for Best Actor, and the MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance. The entire cast returned for the 2nd and 3rd installments of the film; however due to contract disputes, Bloom and Knightley refused to work the 4th film. Thankfully, in the newest installment, Dead Men Tell No Tales, Knightley and Bloom both return and look to back for the foreseeable future.

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Depp and Bloom at the premiere of Pirates
Obviously, Pirates has a HUGE role in the parks. At Walt Disney World, located in Adventureland is the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction which the film series is based off of. In that area is also the spot where you can see Captain Jack Sparrow teach youngsters how to be the best pirates they can be. Also, during the special parties you can typically find Captain Sparrow doing his special meet and greet. There is also Tortuga Tavern, a quick service eatery themed to Pirates of the Caribbean, but not selling the rum! In the nighttime spectacular, Happily Ever After, you'll see a whole segment dedicated to the film series, which I think is awesome! Also, at Disney's Hollywood Studios, during the Disney Movie Magic show, they too have a segment dedicated to Pirates. Finally, at select moderate resorts, you can be upgraded to a Pirate themed room! One special treat that recently came to Disneyland was during the ride, Johnny Depp himself was dressed up and replaced one of the audio animatronics in the ride, I guess that's one of the perks of being so close to Hollywood!
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Pirates of the Caribbean is Disney's best live action film to date, which is why I'm giving it 4 of 5 stars. I love the film so dearly because they incorporate great action, with hilarious comedy, and a thrilling storyline. There really isn't much to hate on this film; unfortunately, the same can't be said about the films to follow. While I like the series, part of me wishes they would've only made one film. However, I do understand the reasoning to continue making them, people love the films, people love Jack Sparrow, and if people keep buying them Disney will keep making them. Overall, Pirates is a great movie and a Disney classic!
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Kevin Scott is a contributing writer for The Mouse Knows Best Podcast. He is self proclaimed Disney addict and oftentimes annoys his family with how much he talks Disney. He enjoys walking around all Disney Parks and taking as many pictures as he can in one day. When he isn't at Walt Disney World, he is working to get back or re-watching Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars movie. His spirit animal is a mix between Simba and Kylo Ren with a dash of Tony Stark. You can find him on Twitter @doubleoh_kevin and on Instagram @waltdisneyduo.

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