Jake and the Never Land Pirates
Jake and the Never Land Pirates (also known as Captain Jake and the Never Land Pirates in the fourth season and associated merchandise) is an American musical and interactive children's animated television series shown on Disney Junior. It is based on Disney's Peter Pan franchise, which in turn is based on the famous 1904 play and 1911 book by British author J. M. Barrie. It is the first Disney Junior original show following the switch from Playhouse Disney.
The show revolves around a group of three children; Captain Jake, Izzy, and Cubby who are pirates in Never Land, looking for treasure. Captain Hook usually sees Jake and his crew doing something fun and steals it from them, and Jake and his crew have to get it back. After they solve their problems, Jake and his crew count their gold doubloons (which they receive after solving "pirate problems") and put them in their treasure chest known as the "Team Treasure Chest".
Why It Rocks
- It was Disney Junior's launch program (After Playhouse Disney was rebatched after decaying for 5 years.)
- Amazing animation for 2011 standards. Some scenes even combine CGI.
- Likable and charming characters, such as Jake, Izzy, Cubby & Skully.
- Captain Hook, Mr. Smee and Tick-Tock Croc were as hilarious as they were in the original Peter Pan film.
- Awesome voice acting.
- Fun and adventurous episodes.
- Lots of catchy songs, such as the theme song.
- Even Peter Pan appeared in a few special episodes. How awesome is that?
- Memorable catchphrases, such as Cubby's quote: "Oh, Coconuts!"
- It spawned some double length specials, such as "Peter Pan Returns", "Jake's Never Land Rescue".
- It was a really good way to continue the Peter Pan franchise.
- They actually managed to get rid of the interactivity in the later seasons, which makes it better for older audiences.
- The constant fourth wall-breaking in the earlier seasons can be annoying to older audiences.
- The stories become too repetitive and formulaic from time to time.
- Captain Hook, while great, can be pretty unlikable at times.
- The animation in the first few episodes were not as strong as subsequent episodes.
- The concept goes against what pirates like to do most, which is steal.
The series has received generally mixed reviews. A review in Variety called it "part video game, part interactive cartoon, part advertisement for 'Peter Pan' merchandise". The Los Angeles Times gave a mixed review of the show's portrayal of Captain Hook compared to the classic Peter Pan, stating that the character "has been laundered — reasonably enough, yet sadly as well — into a shell of his former self, too silly to be frightening, not even a decent bully, just a kind of (much) older boy who wants to steal your toys." Common Sense Media rated it "on" for ages 3 and older, praising the educational content, role models, and especially the messages of the show, and expressing only mild concern about the moderate violence. As the flagship of the newly launched Disney Junior channel, the series was rated the most-watched program among boys ages 2–5 during its first few weeks on the air, with 2.9 million viewers, including 1.1 million ages 2–5, and over 600,000 women ages 18–49 (presumed to be mothers and other caregivers). On July 27, the series was awarded #2 of the Best TV Shows 2011 list.