Pirates of Dark Water (A Review)May 12, 2008
I just watched all 21 episodes of Pirates of Dark Water (PODW). The series was released on 1991 but despite running until 1993 it was never finished. Budget constraints and the crew’s inability to meet air dates eventually led to its cancellation. Its cancellation, however, raised up a generation of disappointed viewers: myself included.
Despite the typical theme of a prince completing his father’s unfinished quest, PODW was true to entailing a sense of adventure and danger typical of its timeline. Those themes are a far cry from the sissy shows children are exposed today. I wonder what kind of adults children who love Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues would become in a few decades from now. Personally, I think it’s a good thing anime shows are in the air. They, at least, kept the same flame of heroism that was brought by shows such as G.I. Joe, Silverhawk, Thundercats, and their like.
PODW had aspects that were more modern compared to its peers. Its artwork featured grotesque images that can even give nightmares to children born in the 2000s. Dark water, a malevolent and almost sentient liquid swallows beings, ships, and even islands. The Maelstrom, a giant ship made of giant bones, swallows the innocent and the guilty alike. Monster, and I do mean monster-looking villains chase our heroes across the seas. Weird technology that could have only developed in a land-poor world are displayed in all its glory.
Yet for all its modern characteristics, PODW would still not fit in this age of political correctness. I can imagine liberal soccer moms shout in horror as they hear the words, “I will kill you, and feed you to the Constricus piece by piece,” instead of the more modern, “I will destroy you.” What’s more, I can imagine them faint at women being called “wenches” here. It would take a major dialect shift should the missing episodes be created in this age.
Unlike my counterparts who still clamor for the release of the missing episodes, I have accepted that they will never be released anytime in the near future. Its original producer, the Hana-Barbera company, has been completely absorbed by the Warner Bros. Animation, and I don’t think Warner Bros. Animation would want to patch up the loose ends of this “classic” cartoon. Yet, this doesn’t mean that I have renounced my devotion to the PODW. That show still beats in my heart even as I repeat the Pirates of Dark Water motto:
ALWAYS THE QUEST!
*A swear word derived from the show. It has an uncertain meaning.