Over the years, Disney has been known for making attractions based on their movies at their theme parks. Few attempts have been made so far to make movies based on their existing attractions however. Out of those attempts only one, Pirates of the Caribbean, has become such a huge success, it has in turn inspired changes to the ride it was based on. This year celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and the fifth movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
It’s hard to believe that when Disneyland opened in 1955, Pirates of the Caribbean was not one of the original attractions available to guests. In fact, the concept of it had barely even been developed. Walt Disney originally planned Pirates of the Caribbean to be a small walk through wax museum based on the folk lore and legends of pirates. After the success of the “it’s a small world” and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attractions created for the 1964 World’s Fair however, the idea was changed to a boat ride with audio-animatronic characters. Walt Disney personally oversaw the development of the attraction until his death in 1966, never getting to see the finished version, which opened just three months later in March of 1967.
Pirates of the Caribbean has been a fan favorite attraction ever since, featuring incredibly detailed scenes of pirates pillaging a town, and ships shooting at each other with cannonballs splashing all around you. One of my favorite scenes to this day just because of the attention to detail is floating under a bridge with a pirate is sitting with his hairy, muddy leg dangling over the edge. At times when the boat slows down right under him, it feels like he could easily shake off some of the dried mud right on to you…of course he doesn’t. There’s also the iconic scene of the three pirates in a jail cell trying to lure a dog who has the key over, which was referenced in the first of the movies.
In 2003, with the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the world of the Pirates of the Caribbean was introduced to a whole new audience. The movie gave us the now iconic character of Captain Jack Sparrow who assists Will Turner with trying to rescue Elizabeth Swan from Captain Barbossa and his crew of cursed pirates. The success of the movie not only inspired three sequels before now, it also inspired some changes to the Pirates of the Caribbean rides by including Barbossa and Jack Sparrow figures and other touches from the films. In fact, throughout the ride there are three Jack Sparrow audio-animatronics, but if you ever see a fourth, there’s a good chance he’s the real thing.
When the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out, I admit I was a bit skeptical, but after watching it, I became a fan of the series. The first three movies, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, were a great trilogy on their own following Jack, Will, and Elizabeth and other favorite characters through their adventures at sea. I was happy finding out that the series wasn’t over when Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides came out, but admittedly it’s not my favorite of the series with it straying away from the original cast and story.
The new movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales just released this past Memorial Day weekend. Hearing mixed reviews, I wasn’t sure what to think going into it, but I still saw it the first chance I could and I wasn’t disappointed. This movie picks up a few years after the third one and fits in nicely with the original storyline and the mix of comedic antics of Captain Jack and action scenes that the first three movies had. I enjoyed the new movie a lot and will be adding it to my collection as soon as it comes out.
If you’ve watched the new movie, share your thoughts below; just please no spoilers for those who haven’t! If you enjoyed it and want to add the Blu-ray or DVD to your collection, you can pre-order now.