Pirates of Dark Water reboot is still a fantasy 30 years later

In 1991, the iconic Hanna-Barbera animation studio opened the curtain on Mer, an alien world invaded by environmental evil. The only thing that could stop the invasion of darkness and the ruthless pirate lord who sought to control it was a motley crew of unlikely heroes: an orphan prince from a once great kingdom, the last of his line; a veteran pirate whose obsession with treasure hides a heart of gold; a mysterious eco-mancer with ties to the realm beyond that of mortal men; and whatever a monkey bird is. These were The Pirates of Dark Water.

The animated series came at an interesting time. The first toy light bulb from the ’80s cartoons was still a source of income thanks to original intellectual property like Transformers, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Y My Little Ponyand adaptations / reboots like G.I. Joe Y Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Just to name a few. And yet the race was on, whether studio and network executives knew it or not, to make the next big franchise that would dominate the airwaves. The world was still a year or so away from the advent that changed the industry of comic book adaptations of animated series of the early 1990s, in particular Batman: The Animated Series, with X Men Y Spiderman not too far. (We were blissfully unaware of the glut of shows to come, like WildC.ATS, UltraforceAll of this is to say that the transition from the 80s to the 90s was a pivotal moment for the creative powers to revitalize an existing title for the decade’s extreme appetite for content, or to dream up something original that could be the next big franchise. of the world.

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Pay in David kirschner, the creator of two notable toy properties like Rose Petal Friends as well as world famous original ideas such as An american tail. Kirschner would also produce the Child’s play franchise (for a wild diversion from animated children’s stories), writes / executive produces I-still-can’t-Believe-It-Real poochinski TV pilot, write the story of Hocus Pocusand shepherd the contemporary Curious George franchise, plus a panoply of 90s movies and animated series. It’s a wild list. And among those titles, which are easily lost in Kirschner’s filmography, is a creator / EP credit for the ambitious, bold and hopeful animated adventure series. The Pirates of Dark Water.

The show had everything you could want in an action-adventure story: well-drawn characters (both literally and metaphorically speaking) attempting the impossible against increasingly astronomical odds, all while venturing into flirtatious relationships and being hunted by an unstoppable force. seeking nothing less than the annihilation of our heroes. Pretty strong material for a cartoon from the early 90s. Animated television narration up to that point had been largely episodic, with exceptions like the original. Transformers movies and cartoons with a distribution order of 65 episodes that was released with a five-part introductory miniseries.

By Kirschner The Pirates of dark water borrowed that five-episode plan, despite not having a production order of that magnitude. The miniseries featured the show’s heroes, Ren, Ioz, Tula, and Niddler, and their sea adventures to retrieve the thirteen lost ruler treasures in order to dispel the world’s titular dark water and restore once-proud. but now ruined kingdom of Octopon. That ambitious narrative would also encompass the serialized narrative, which was both a blessing and a curse for Hanna-Barbera and the pirate crew. After two seasons and only 21 episodes, The Pirates of Dark Water it was abruptly canceled, leaving almost half the treasures uncollected, half the world invaded by Dark Water, and abandoning the few toys and video games on store shelves.


Cut to 2021, 30 years after the bold, bright, and adventurous animated series hit the waves (in the air). A long-running and still up-to-date fan site, led by the dedicated blacksmith, has done everything in its power to keep hopes alight that the show might one day see a reboot or at least a resolution. Primarily, it is a repository of FAQs and Q&A for fans stumbling in search of a nostalgia hit or newcomers who somehow find LATER for the first time. Artists like Alex van Caloen are too keeping the spirit of the series alive with original illustrations inspired by the world of Mer and its colorful characters. But while Warner Bros. is pleased to continue to sell the series through Print-on-demand DVD and digital episodes through various of its subsidiary sites and other marketplaces, that’s all that has come to remind fans that The Pirates of Dark Water exists, unfinished. Kirschner is still active in the business, overseeing new deliveries of the aforementioned Hocus Pocus, Child’s play, Y Curious George franchises, so it is clear that keeping one foot in the past is not a problem for the people involved as long as the numbers work in their favor.

So what, honestly, are the hopes of a new Pirates of dark water seeing the light of day? Well, 30th anniversary avoidance aside, it’s actually Disney who is better defending Warner Bros. to launch his own adventure on the high seas as soon as possible.

In 2003, Mouse House opted to release a big-budget, water-based, pirate-themed adventure film based on the decades-long attraction of its theme parks. pirates of the Caribbean. Pretty silly idea on paper. Aquatic world it had sunk less than a decade earlier, mainly thanks to the huge expense of shooting movies with a significant water component. Johnny depp remained a household name, although far from being a “face of a franchise”, while Orlando BloomHis career was in the process of skyrocketing thanks to The Lord of the rings Y Keira KnightleyThe claim to fame at the time was to dub him Beckham and look just enough Natalie Portman to get a decoy role in Star War: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

That gamble worked out pretty well for Disney, all things considered; the pirates of the Caribbean The film franchise alone is now heading towards $ 5 billion worldwide if the upcoming sixth movie and its spin-off are taken into consideration. And that doesn’t even take into account the to rest of the PotC license agreements. Disney, which never drops lightning just once, is now hoping to spark success again with its new travel-inspired adventure film and the launch of the franchise. Jungle cruise, driven by the absolute force that is Dwayne johnson. Disney is about to boast two water-based franchises inspired by attractions over 50 years old, while Warner Bros. has been sitting on its own untapped original intellectual property for the past 30 years.


Image via Hanna-Barbera

We know that WarnerMedia is not averse to reviewing existing IP for contemporary reboots. Yes, they tend to stick to Scooby Doo, DC Comics and Tom jerry more often than anything else, Harry Potter included. But HBO Max is preparing the animated prequel Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, taking advantage of a franchise that is older than Pirates of dark water, with all-star writer / showrunner / EP team Tze Chun, co-executive producer Brendan hayand EP Darryl frank, Justin falvey, Sam Sign in Y Dan Krall on board. They are also launching Space Jam: a new legacy this month, nearly 25 years after the original released long-running memes about a sequel that never seemed to be within our grasp.

Jonny Search It should be an easy enough win for the studio, but a modern reissue has been in the works for some time; the last live action movie director Chris McKay is optimistic about his Indiana Jones-like an action-packed version of the property, but Warner Bros. has yet to give it the green light. A reboot of Animaniacs is already loose in the world, while a planned update of Little Toon Adventures, nicknamed Tiny Toons Looniversity, It is on the way. All of this is to say that the higher ups remember past successes, but also that Warner Bros. seems unwilling to make big Disney-sized changes with their own IP.


Image via Hanna-Barbera

TO Pirates of dark water rebooting could prove me and other skeptics wrong. Done right, it could also please shareholders in the process. The cast of characters are primarily people of color, heroes, and villains alike, and they come in all shapes, sizes, powers, and persuasions. There is an overwhelmingly dangerous environmental catastrophe that is slowly eating up the world as you know it, and only the most evil of evildoers are aligned with the Dark Water’s nefarious intent. Classes divide the waterlogged world of Mer in the same way as our own world. Magic and mystery are hidden in plain sight or in coves and islets, or in the depths of the jungles of the world or in the waters of Mer itself, with incalculable places to explore. And adventure lies around every corner as the wind carries The Wraith’s pirate crew in search of treasure to carry Dark Water deep, staying a league ahead of Pirate Lord Bloth and his massive ship The Maelstrom when and whatever. They are capable. (Plus, if someone very clever designs the adorable baby monkey-bird, Warner Bros. could have their own Baby Yoda in their hands. Literally).

I could honestly pull up the exact setup and history of The Pirates of Dark Water 1991 and apply it to the world today without missing a beat. It could even be better for having stood the test of time for about 30 years. And by doing so, Warner Bros. would be giving one of the most valuable gems of animation’s past a chance to shine. All they have to do is embark, once again, on The Quest.


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