Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl poster
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“That’s got to be the best pirate I’ve ever seen”. 

It came as a shock to most 18 years ago that a movie based on a (rather old) Disney attraction would do as well as it did (grossing over $654 million worldwide) , or be as good as it was (and still is). Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl launched into theatres on June 28th, 2003–and with it, the public’s love of the swashbuckling, savvy pirate: Captain Jack Sparrow. 

I am going to preface all of this by saying this is one of my favorite movies of all time. I was quite literally obsessed with the trilogy for more than a few years of my childhood, and I still have a deep love of/fondness for a good old fashioned swashbuckling film (this is likely due to the fact that I was 8 years old at the time of the film’s release).

I vividly remember seeing on the TV Guide channel a snippet of the trailer where the skeleton crew walks on the bottom of the ocean, and thinking “absolutely not. Too scary, won’t be seeing that.” But somehow, I ended up both seeing and LOVING the film. Curse of the Black Pearl provided audiences with lovable characters, well-crafted action, and a brand new story for us to explore. 

A Recent Classic 

Even 18 years later, this film still holds up. Not only is it rewatchable, it’s also infinitely quotable, and every re-watch brings something new to see with it. While the main trio of Will, Elizabeth, and Jack all bring their own unique stories and motivations to the table, I often find myself looking at the pirates in the background as well, watching their movements and facial expressions. 

While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about characters. They had me locked in from the moment Will said “at least once more, Miss Swan”. My heart still fills with joy when they’re on screen together, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley had enough chemistry to fill Port Royal and Tortuga combined. And then we pour rum on the fire when Jack Sparrow enters the scene. 

Jack is without a doubt the fan favorite, the lynchpin of 5 films that they ended up transforming the original ride around (Jack Sparrow is also a delight to meet/interact with whenever you catch him at the Disney Parks). He is the blueprint that many people think of now when they think of a pirate; to the point where every Renaissance Festival has at least ONE super accurately costumed Jack Sparrow walking around the pirate area (whether it’s just another guest or an actual actor for the festival, it’s always hard to tell). 

A Well-Placed Bet 

It’s anyone’s guess if Disney had planned on having as many live-action films as the success of Curse of the Black Pearl would spawn. With the slew of villain origin stories (Maleficent 1 and 2, Cruella) as well as the live-action remakes of animated classics such as Aladdin and The Lion King (and the upcoming live-action Snow White), I wonder how audiences will take to the live-action flick Jungle Cruise when it comes out at the end of July? Will they once again embrace the new story and cast of characters based on a beloved ride? Or will it be an old trick at this point? 

For what it’s worth, I’m excited for Jungle Cruise, mostly because it reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean. Action, adventure, not afraid to get a little scary, but with some laughs in store (if the trailers are anything to go by). If you’re in the mood to celebrate 18 years of Pirates of the Caribbean, you can find almost all of them (On Stranger Tides excluded) on Disney+

Selected quote: “Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!” 

By Hannah

Lover of all things geeky.

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