Tiny tots love pirates almost as much as they love singing vegetables. If you donít believe me, watch The Pirates Who Donít Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie with a group of pre-school youngsters. During the screening my husband and I attended, wide-eyed toddlers in the audience laughed and gasped at what was happening on the screen, apparently fascinated by the colorful animated characters and their heroic adventures. In contrast, we -- along with many other adult viewers -- found little charm or entertainment value in this well-intentioned film.
Iím frequently asked why Iím a vegetarian, and my reply has always been, ďBecause I donít eat anything with a face.Ē Now, because of this movie, Iím forced to think about vegetables having faces -- but, thankfully, not very expressive ones. The three main characters here are Elliott (a cucumber), Sedgwick (a gourd), and George (a grape -- wait a minute, since when is a grape a vegetable?). All three are cabin boys at a pirate-themed dinner-theater that features a live show about, what else, pirates. Each one of our unlikely heroes wants to be in the show, but they fail the audition, which doesnít help any of them deal well with issues of self-esteem.
Elliott fears almost everything; Sedgwick is lazy; and George gets no respect from his family. It takes a magical trip back to the 17th century to help this trio prove heroes arenít necessarily tall, handsome and human. By saving a princess and her brother from an evil pirate, these ďpirates who donít do anythingĒ accomplish something very important. Despite overwhelming obstacles (including having no arms and legs!), they manage to do the right thing.
Since 1993, VeggieTales offerings have focused on stories with messages like the one in this film. While The Pirates Who Donít Do Anything is only the Christian-based franchiseís second film (Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie in 2002 was the first), VeggieTales cartoons, videos, games, and toys aplenty are available to entertain and teach kiddies valuable moral lessons -- with some silly songs added to enhance the fun.
By piggy-backing on the popular pirate theme, writer Phil Vischer and director Mike Nawrocki will probably bring more little buccaneers into the VeggieTales fold. But, adult mateys, beware! Donít see this movie without taking a child along to watch it with you. If you disregard my advice, you may feel like walking the plank before the film is over.
(Released by Universal Pictures and rated ďGĒ as suitable for all ages.)