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The Pirates of Dark Water 

A young man learns that he is a Prince with an urgent quest to save his world by finding thirteen magical treasures of rule.






3   2   1  
1993   1992   1991  


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Series cast summary:
 Additional Voices 18 episodes, 1991-1993
Allan Lurie ...
 Additional Voices 18 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices 18 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices 17 episodes, 1991-1993
 Jargis / ... 17 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices 17 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices / ... 16 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices 16 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices 16 episodes, 1991-1993
Peter Renaday ...
 Additional Voices 11 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices 9 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices 9 episodes, 1991-1993
Linda Gary ...
 Additional Voices 9 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices 9 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices 9 episodes, 1991-1993
 Additional Voices 9 episodes, 1991


When Ren, a young son of a lighthouse keeper, rescues a stranger foundering in the rocks near his home, he learns the man was an aide to his true father, a great king. Ren is given a magic compass crystal that guides him to a dragon who shows him that the only way to claim his heritage is to find the Thirteen Treasures of Rule. Unfortunately, a pirate ship captained by the evil Bloth is also aware of this treasure and is relentlessly pursuing Ren for it. On his side, Ren soon acquires companions like Ioz the Pirate, Tula the Eco-Mage and Nibbler the Monkey Bird who help him in his quest. That quest becomes all the more urgent when Ren learns that the Dark Water, a carnivorous form of water that consumes anything it snares, threatens to envelope and destroy his world and only the treasures he seeks can stop it. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

25 February 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le tourbillon noir  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(21 episodes)

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Did You Know?


One of the few Saturday morning cartoons that actually show two characters dying. In the episode "Break Up", while Ioz and Tula are fleeing from the guards during a revolt, on Pandawa, one of the guards falls into the water, and the Dark Water engulfs him. In the episode "A Drop of Darkness", an old woman named Cray tries to make a youth potion. However, it doesn't turn out too well, the potion actually ages her to the point she becomes old, and dies. See more »


Tula: [about the future monkeybird queen, who's newly hatched] Awww! Isn't she cute, Ioz?
Ioz: [Leans in to take a closer look at the baby, just to get his hair pulled] Oh! Charming! Just like Niddler!
Niddler: [With the most exited voice] Really? Do you really think I resemble royalty?
Ioz: No, monkeybird. But you're a royal pain!
See more »


Featured in The Chronic Rift: War in Science Fiction (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

A great animated series that was became one of the best shows to come out of the 1990's.
6 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

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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