“Aarrgh!” With the premiere of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, I decided to post a list of my top ten favorite pirates in pop culture, who have all left their marks as top plunderers of the sea.
#10) Pirate Ghosts from Garfield’s Halloween Adventure: Very little is known about these characters, only that they buried their treasure inside a house and vowed to return in 100 years to retrieve it. The pirates did come for the treasure and chase Garfield and Odie because they witnessed it. Those pirates were never seen or heard from again after that.
#9) Divatox (Hilary Shepard Turner) from Power Rangers Turbo: This female pirate and her crew come from outer space to raid riches and reign terror on the galaxy. Divatox’s pirate ship is actually a submarine with torpedoes that are used to make her henchmonsters giant-sized, which is a signature tactic with every Power Rangers arch villain. Divatox is highly emotional. Whatever the outcome of her evil plans, she gets very angry, very joyful, or very smug. Divatox never fights her own battles, but she has her ways.
#8) Black Jackson the pirate (Glenda Jackson) from The Muppet Show: In season five when Glenda Jackson made a guest appearance, she somehow becomes a pirate captain who takes over the theater. With the help of her pirate crew, Black Jackson turns it into a ship and they search for buried treasure. While out at sea, Black Jackson and her crew also like to sing and dance, even while battling with cannons.
#7) Long John Silver (Tim Curry) from Muppet Treasure Island: He was a ship cook, who befriends Jim Hawkins throughout the voyage to Treasure Island, only to find out that he is a dangerous pirate. Yet, Long John has a soft spot for young Jim, which makes him a pirate with honor.
#6) Captain James Hook from Peter Pan: There are quite a few versions of this pirate that I remember well. On Disney’s Peter Pan, Hook is as suave as he is wicked. What really stands out is his fear of the crocodile that loves the taste of him after Peter Pan fed Hook’s hand to it. Hook really freaks out whenever that crocodile arrives for a handout. In the sequel Return to Neverland, an octopus craves him. What is Hook flavored with, that sea creatures love so much?
Then in Peter Pan and the Pirates, I thought Tim Curry did a great job voicing the role of Peter Pan’s arch foe. This is also the only version of Hook who would use Shakespearean references to express his emotions.
Shortly afterward came Dustin Hoffman’s version on Hook, who is more merciless than ever. He kidnaps Peter Pan’s children for his own and he actually kills those who oppose him. How low can a pirate get?
And lastly on Shrek the Third, Hook is a piano player at a tavern called The Poison Apple. He has a pirate crew, but they prefer to attack on land instead of the sea, equipped with cannons and a piano that the captain plays while the crew fights.
#5) Captain Bones from Crashbox: Normally pirate captains, even dead ones, would have a crew but this one is a loner on a ship that’s been marooned for a long time. Captain Bones doesn’t haunt the ship. He merely tries to occupy his time by making math puzzles out of his own bones. As Captain Bones presents them, he insults those who can’t figure them out. Now there’s a pirate who has to pull himself together frequently.
#4) Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) from Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3: The name “Davy Jones” is often mentioned among pirates and sailors alike as a term for drowning at sea. In this franchise, Davy Jones is a cursed pirate captain that’s half-man and half-squid. He’s a soul collector, who likes to play the organ with the tentacles on his face. Now I understand the term better, which includes Davy Jones’s locker. Pirates don’t come any creepier than this character.
#3) Long John Scarechrome from Ghostbusters (1986 version): This pirate ghost is known as the sailor of the seven galaxies. Unlike other pirates, Long John is crafty with his high-tech weapons in his walking stick and steel leg. Even his ghost ship has satellites on the sails, laser cannons, and rockets to travel through space. It makes you wonder what kind of pirate Long John was when he was alive.
#2) Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from Pirates of the Caribbean: Here’s a pirate who is like no other. He is both roguish and charming, despite that the ladies keep slapping him. Jack pillages and plunders, but he also has honor and a sense of humor. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out which side he’s on, but you gotta love this guy.
#1) Morgan Adams (Geena Davis) from Cutthroat Island: This resourceful pirate is my most favorite. She is highly skilled and knows how to take charge, like a warrior woman. Morgan is also witty, even in a dangerous situation. She has killed many pirates in battle, but Morgan is tougher than most and fights with honor. It would’ve been nice to see this classic heroine on some of her other adventures, as great as she is.