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"The Pirates of Dark Water"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Pirates of Dark Water" More at IMDbPro »

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23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Yet another classic animated given the axe... :(

Author: hassenpheffer from New York City
26 October 2002

Out of the thousands of cornball, stupid and just plain boring 'cartoons' this one stood out. Great characters with imaginative backgrounds and entertaining stories. Unfortunately, the show's main plot was never resolved because it was cancelled. Most likely because there weren't any toys sold for it. :S Fortunately I happen to have the complete series "film" on videotape... :D If you ever get the chance to watch this somewhere (hopefully Cartoon Network will rerun and better yet- CONTINUE this series) please do! Enjoy!

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

one of the best

Author: ShimmySnail from Albuquerque, USA
4 September 2005

I rented this on VHS, then bought the toys, then collected the comics, it was so good. I never knew there was a TV show until after it was gone and unavailable. I'd buy it on DVD in a second.

The concept was fairly unique, dark water taking over the world and the hero going on a quest for magical items to stop its progress. It was like a fantasy take on pirates of the Spanish Main. The ships had really neat concepts, like the hero's ship which could glide for short distances, gigantic waterfalls in the ocean, and some sort of gas gun that worked by stimulating a living creature to produce knockout gas. The main bad guy, Bloth, had a ship which was actually a gargantuan carcass of a long dead sea creature, so it looked cool as well.

It had the same set of characters as a lot of fantasy films, close to Star Wars, but the characters were amazingly three dimensional for a cartoon. Niddler was likable, but you were never sure he would be on your side when the going got rough, and not in a typical cowardly save-his-own-skin type of way, but a maybe-he-really-is-evil type of way.

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Great show, a bit corny, but a good plot that never gets resolved.

Author: ClintJCL ( from Washington, D.C.
27 May 1999

This was a great show!!

On first glance, it may seem a bit dorky and juvenile.

However, if one actually watches all the episodes in order, they have a good story to tell.

If you can ignore the blatant morality imposed on all American cartoons [can never kill the bad guy, even if he just tried to kill you for the 10th time], then this is a REALLY good cartoon. Serialized and everything.

The story continues from one episode to the next, yet abruptly stops without any conclusion. That is a real letdown and disappointment. Even Cartoon Network has commented on this in a humour commercial.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic Series

Author: soarelation from Austin, TX
28 May 2005

This show was fantastic!!! I watched when I was five, and it is the best animated show in cartoon history. I think the reason that the cartoon was so good is because it was the first animated series that show a form of plot that continued throughout the episodes. The characters were very well developed and the story line was outstanding, then again, I love almost all fantasy stories. The story was original, and it was sooooo good. Even thought the show was amazing, the series was never finished, there are only 21 episodes in all. Also it is not aired anymore, except on Boomerang and Australian Cartoon Network, so not every one can watch it. I wish the series would be finished, and released on DVD. If you search the web, using Pirates of Dark Water, then many fan bases will pop up, and you can find a link on some of the sites to petition for PoDW's release commercially!!!! Again, this is the best cartoon I have ever seen, and it is the only one that my mom would actually watch with me!

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Dark Water vs. The Pirates of Dark Water - a few clarifications

Author: decadentsilhouette from Pas-de-Calais, France
11 January 2009

Just to clarify a few things...What became "The Pirates of Dark Water" originally aired as the mini-series "Dark Water". It lasted one week and ran in the after-school slot on Fox starting on a Monday and finishing on the following Friday. This was during what I like to call "the golden era" of Fox. (The Simpsons, In Living Color, etc.) Anyway, here on IMDb it credits Roddy McDowall as the voice of Niddler for all 21 episodes of the series. This isn't correct. He was actually the voice of Niddler for the original mini-series and NOT for the ensuing series. His voice, in my opinion, was way cooler than that contributed by Frank Welker. (Sorry Frank) Welker's whinier version of the Niddler voice was dubbed onto the five original episodes when it was released for Saturday morning television. A lot of people didn't come to know the series until its Saturday morning incarnation and, therefore, never had the pleasure of hearing McDowall's Niddler. I remember being extremely disappointed watching the series and hearing a different, less cultivated voice. It really changed the character completely. Unfortunately, none of the uploads that I've encountered on the internet are of the original mini-series. Also, as of January 2009, it seems that the great fan site is now regrettably defunct.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:


Author: canthinkofabettername from Portland, Oregon
20 September 2003

I forgot all about this show untilll I saw it on Boomerang. Then I remembered the greatness. THe show was about this guy named Ren, and his two friends who are trying to find 6 treasures that will let them stop these evil stop called darkwater (kinda like intellegent oil). It had morals, and all that. Shame it was never resolved. A revival would be awesome... But if you want to see an ending, track down one of the copies of POD the video game, for either SNES, or Sega Genesis. I would say the Genesis one is better.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

wonderful imaginative cartoon

Author: Melinda_Richards from Astoria, NY
22 February 2001

This was a wonderfully imaginative cartoon. The camaraderie between the three main characters was reminiscent of Luke, Han and Leia in Star Wars. Bloth was a great villain, part Captain Hook, part Jabba the Hutt.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A great animated series that was became one of the best shows to come out of the 1990's.

Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
6 May 2011

Out of the thousands of cornball,stupid,and just plain boring cartoons that came out of the 1990's,the short-lived animated series "The Pirates of Dark Water" stood out from all the rest. This was a grand series that was part "Star Wars",part "Thundarr The Barbarian",and part of all of those Errol Flynn swashbuckling films that came out of the 1940's. "The Pirates of Dark Water" was unique in its own special way,and it basically stood out from all of the other cartoons that were all over the place during the 1990's. It's concept was fairly unique. It tells the story of a young man who was the son of a lighthouse keeper who rescues a stranger foundering in the rocks near his home,and finds out that the man he'd rescued,was an aide to his true father, a great king.

The stranger gives the young man(whose name is Ren)a magical compass crystal that will guided him to a dragon who will showed him that to claim his heritage is to find the Thirteen Treasures of Rule. Trouble ensues when a pirate ship captained by the evil Bloth is also aware of the treasure and will go to the ends of the earth,relentlessly pursing Ren for it and to claim the treasures for himself. With the help of his companions to aide him on his quest included Ioz,Tula,and Niddler(a monkeybird),Ren and his crew will stop at nothing to find the thirteen treasures,and to stay one step ahead of Bloth and his evil crew. The quest becomes more urgent with Ren learns that the Dark Water,which is carnivorous form of water that consumes anything it snares which is know to envelope and destroy his world. Only the treasures that Ren seeks can stop it,and any costs before it causes complete chaos throughout.

About this show...the series first premiered as a five-part mini series titled "Dark Water",that aired on the FOX Kids Network from February 25,1991 through March 1, 1991. In the mini-series,which was the first five episodes of the regular series,and most notably during its first season,the original mini-series featured the voice of Roddy McDowell as Niddler,whereas the revised version the character was voiced by Hanna-Barbera regular Frank Welker(for all 21 episodes)which was dubbed onto the original five episodes that later ended up on ABC's Saturday Morning schedule. Originally shown first on FOX,"The Pirates of Dark Water" mini-series ran in the after school time slot on a Monday and ended the following Friday. The series was part of the FOX Kids grand lineup of some of the greatest animated shows ever;right up there with "Batman:The Animated Series","Animaniacs!",and "Peter Pan and the Pirates" that were put of FOX Kids' schedule during the 1990's.

Only season 1 of the series contained the original five episodes,that were also part of ABC's Saturday Morning schedule(that ran during part of the 1991-1992 season,and again in repeats),while Season 2(which ended up in syndication) had 13 episodes that aired from October 12,1991 until December 7, 1991. Its third and final season(which was also shown in first-run syndication) finished with 8 episodes from November 8, 1992 until May 23, 1993. A total of 21 episodes were made during the production. The last telecast ended on May 23,1993. The episodes of the series were aired in the continuation from one segment to another(most of them ended with a cliffhanger until next week)as we join the antics and high adventure escapades of Ren,Tula,and Ioz as they go up against Bloth and his band of evil men in search for the lost treasures each week with great stories and brilliant animation. Simply amazing.

This series was produced by Hanna-Barbera,who were known for their work with "Yogi Bear","The Flintstones",and "Scooby-Doo",just to name a few. The reason why "The Pirates of Dark Water" didn't last very long. For one it was a expensive show to produce,and due to production costs,and failing to meet the airdates,the series was never completed due to low ratings,which still had a great premise. The series ended abruptly after 21 episodes with only eight of the thirteen treasures collected. The led to the end of a great television show that became one of the best cartoons to ever come out of the 1990's. One of the reasons why "Pirates of Dark Water" became successful during its run came from its creator and producer David Kirschner along with Mark Young,Glenn Leopold,and Paul Sabella,who served as executive producer for this series along with a lot of Hanna Barbera shows that came around during the 1990's and early 2000's. Responsible for not this series,but were the producers behind "Swat Kats:The Radical Squadron","The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest", and "Dexter's Laboratory" to name a few.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Unique, fun and criminally overlooked

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
3 February 2010

"The Pirates of Dark Water" has to be one of the most overlooked animated shows ever. It is so much fun, unique and very original. Sadly, the show got axed before the story had resolved fully, so it was a real shame that something so good ended feeling incomplete. That said, I liked the idea of the plot, and the episode ideas revolving around it. Dark water threatening to take over the world, and a hero seeking to retrieve the magical items used to prevent it, that is quite an intriguing concept. The music is wonderful and the episodes are full of adventure, humour and even swashbuckling. The scripts were surprisingly mature and has some good morals. The animation is amazingly detailed, very vibrant in colour and detailed in character features and backgrounds. And the characters are great, Ren is a very likable hero very like Luke SkyWalker, and Bloth is a great adversary, quite a complex character if you really think about it. And Tula is beautiful. These characters were brought to life by a terrific voice cast, especially Brock Peters as Bloth who shows a good deal of menace, but also from Jodi Benson, George Newbern, Frank Welker, Hector Elizondo, Jim Cummings and Tim Curry. In conclusion, this is a truly great show, that I feel was unfairly treated. It is better than a vast majority of the animated shows airing now. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Beloved cartoon of the 90s

Author: lilkerns87 from United States
12 June 2008

This was one of my favorites and I was very young when I started watching this. I am disappointed to have seen all of the GOOD and DECENT cartoons discontinue. It is extremely upsetting to see the cartoons on TV now because the only one that is worth watching is Tom and Jerry (when you have NOTHING else to do) or Family Guy. Everything else just sucks and it's just does not compare to the old cartoons at all. I agree with another users' comment, I would buy this series if it came on DVD. I LOVED THIS SHOW and I would love to watch the WHOLE thing in order. I would also love to see it on boomerang. I think we have had enough of Flintstones, there are a ton of other cartoons just as good or even better. (personally, Flintstones was just not that funny. but that's just me)

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