Pirates have been all the rage ever since Pirates of the Caribbean. But they generally don't come off as approachable and friendly to the average preschooler. At least not until Disney Junior developed Jake and the Never Land Pirates, where the pirates went from being just the villains to being the actual heroes as well.
Jake and the Never Land Pirates introduces a crew of kid pirates – leader Jake and pals Izzy and Cubby – and follows their Never Land adventures as they work to outwit two infamous characters, the one and only Captain Hook and Smee, from Disney's classic "Peter Pan." Every episode features the animated Sharky and Bones characters as they pop up throughout to perform original pirate ditties, and each episode concludes with a live action music video featuring The Never Land Pirate Band.
You may think pirates are more of a genre for boys, but my two girls LOVE this show. Thankfully, one of the kid characters on the show is a girl, so they have a character to relate to when watching. The show is actually gender neutral, with adventures, songs and characters that entertain both boys and girls. My daughters love to sing along and help the crew, and my older daughter has already decided she will be a pirate for Halloween, just like Izzy.
Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Yo Ho, Matey Away! which appeared in stores last week. The DVD also has two bonus features including "Yo Ho, You Want To Be A Pirate?" where Jake teaches viewers how to talk like a pirate, and "Pirate Party With Pirate-oke," a collection of music videos performed by The Never Land Pirate Band that allow viewers to enjoy with or without the sing-along/karaoke-like feature.
The DVD also comes with a bonus 7-track CD sampler and a pirate eye patch. (But only one eye patch - be ready for this if you have more than one child, or fights might break out over who gets to wear the eye patch.)
The show's first soundtrack was also recently released, featuring songs like the kooky, comical "Hot Lava," “Aw Coconuts,” "Pirate Password,” and the arrrghhh-rated “Talk Like a Pirate.” Hot Lava has now spurred many a game of "oh no, the floor is hot lava! Jump from pillow to pillow or you'll be burned!" in our house.
So if your kids love pirates, but you're not quite ready to expose them to Johnny Depp's version of the scurvy sea-captains, check out the DVD of Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Yo Ho, Matey Away! or the daily episodes on Disney Junior. It's the perfect non-scary introduction to pirates that will have kids eager to start their own adventures and search for treasure in their own backyards.