Time to revisit an oldie and a goodie that was released on Netflix as of July 30. Pirates who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie is the epic adventure of a cucumber, grape, and gourd who are tricked into helping Princess Eloise rescue her captive brother, Prince Alexander, from the villainous clutches of the mechanically enhanced grape-villain Robert the Terrible.
Starting out as three lowly cabin boys in a pirate-themed dinner theater, Elliot (Larry the Cucumber), George (Pa Grape), and Sedgewick (Mr. Lunt, a gourd) are sucked back in time to the age of swashbuckling and seven seas by a device known as the Help-Seeker, a small golden orb created by the King of Monterria, Princess Eloise’s father. The three veggies from the future agree to help the Princess because they won’t be able to return to the present unless they do. After sailing to a tavern populated with root beer-guzzling patrons, the crew learns of an island cave that supposedly has clues to the whereabouts of Robert the Terrible, and they are treated to the story of how Robert is actually the King’s brother who intends to kill the royal family, kids and all, so that he can take the throne.
At this point, viewers are asking themselves if they are watching a soft adaptation of Hamlet, but Shakespeare wasn’t genius enough to make all his characters vegetables. At any rate, the crew arrives on the island and discovers an ornately designed mural with a mysterious rhyme directing them to the Island of Walking Rocks, where Robert’s lair is.
The king in this movie is a thinly veiled personification (veggiefication?) of God, as disclosed in his monologue about how he gave the vegetables everything they needed to succeed, how he was testing them at various stages, and how “the adventure I call you to may not be easy, but you never journey alone. My help is always there.” The vegetables are awarded medals for their bravery and are finally sent home—but wait! Robert has come with them! Why? It doesn’t really matter, because he is defeated and sent back. Then the cast sings a parody of Rock Lobster called Rock Monster. Something for the parents.
All in all, this makes for a pretty entertaining kids movie, with a strong Christian lesson. There’s action, monsters, humor, and the familiar VeggieTales family. However, the Mexican stereotyping of Sedgewick and lack of a competent female lead do not lend themselves to modern sensibilities. Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, originally released in 2008, is rated G and is available for streaming on Netflix.