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Western Animation: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie

The second full-length VeggieTales film after Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie was produced through Big Idea and the animation was done by Starz Animation. The film was distributed by Universal Studios and released in 2008.

The film follows George, Elliot and Sedgewick (Pa Grape, Larry the Cucumber, and Mr. Lunt, respectively), three layabout waiters who work at a pirate-themed dinner theater. After they accidentally destroy part of the restaurant and get fired, they come across a strange golden ball...which teleports the three back in time to the 17th century.

They meet a princess named Eloise and her butler, Willory, and find the ball, actually called a Help-Seeker, was sent by Eloise in search of help after her older brother was kidnapped during an attack on their ship. She intends to rescue her brother but there isn't much she and her butler can do on their own, and as her father is away she has no way of asking for his help, which is why she sent out the Help-Seeker. She is under the impression that George, Elliot, and Sedgewick are the heroes she sent for. Her butler doesn't really think so though, and more importantly, neither do George, Elliot, and Sedgewick.


The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything provides examples of:

  • Action Prologue: The movie opens with the ship The Steadfast being attacked by The Stub, leading to a lot of sword fighting between their crews. The fight ends when Prince Alexander is taken hostage.
  • All There in the Manual: The ages of Alexander and Eloise. The movie never says it, but a website for it states that Alexander is around fifteen and Eloise is around eight.
  • Animation Bump: Computer animation and water technology in particular has come a long way since Jonah, which already looked quite good. On the other hand, Pirates was animated by a different studio.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: That's already a given in VeggieTales, but in this movie there are cheese snacks. That come alive. And chase Sedgewick for long distances because they want to eat him.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: Both Alexander and Eloise sometimes do this. Eloise is a bit more prone to it.
  • Ascended Extra: Pa Grape plays George in this movie. In most VeggieTales Pa plays anything from a bit-part character to a somewhat-major side character...but in this movie he's the main protagonist.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: An incredibly friendly, G-rated one that serves root beer. The group goes there to see if anyone recognizes the sword Alexander's captors left behind.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Averted when Alexander's sword is sent flying after he's knocked over; it just lands flat on the ground. Played straight just a few minutes later when he attacks Robert, causing Robert's sword to go flying into the wall. Robert opts to leave it there and it's still stuck in the wall until Eloise finds it later.
  • A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: The children in the rock monster family are a boy, a girl, and a baby.
  • Bring Help Back: Eloise sends the Help-Seeker to seek for help in the opening scene.
  • Cain and Abel: Robert is the Cain to the King's Abel.
  • Call to Adventure: In the form of the Help-Seeker device.
    • Summon Everyman Hero: Eloise sends the Help-Seeker to find heroes. It goes into the future and whisks the Pirates to the seventeenth century after Elliot presses a few buttons. Sedgewick is not amused.
  • The Cameo: Bob the Tomato is conspicuously absent...until the very end of the "Rock Monster" video.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When the Pirates go to Robert's lair, there's a brief, seemingly unimportant shot of a chandelier. George will drop it on Robert later.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Sedgewick's girlfriend Ellen. While she doesn't do anything herself to forward the plot, Sedgewick remembering his love for her snaps him out of a Heroic BSOD and ends up saving his life.
    • In the Bad-Guy Bar scene, look closely at some of the dancing pirates. One of them later shows up to help Robert give Alexander a demonstration of how he plans to assassinate Alexander's father. Another one spies on the protagonists in the bar while they're talking to Jolly Joe and his wife, and later he and a buddy kidnap Eloise and Willory. And steal The Steadfast while they're at it.
  • Chest Monster: The cheese snacks. Sedgewick really should have questioned what a large supply of the things was doing on a cave floor.
  • Concert Climax: After the movie decides it doesn't want to end yet. While Sir Frederick is in the middle of a performance, Robert tries to kill him, mistaking him for George. The protagonists have to stop him.
  • Cool Sword: Everyone in Monterria recognizes Robert's sword as his trademark.
  • Covers Always Lie: Thought Larry was the hero of the story from the movie's cover and posters? Nope. The character he plays, Elliot, is one of the protagonists, but the character who gets the most focus is actually the character played by Pa Grape.
  • Curtain Camouflage: Subverted. Searching for Eloise, one of the villains flings a curtain aside when he thinks she's hiding behind it. He finds it was just a vase behind there. He gives up in frustration, unaware that she's actually hiding under the floorboards.
  • Dance Party Ending: So, after pulling Your Princess Is in Another Castle, the movie is finally over. The end credits start rolling...and then get interrupted with Sedgewick saying that the movie's still not actually over yet. Cue "Rock Monster", in which everyone dances to a song that is sung to the tune of the B-52's "Rock Lobster."
  • Darker and Edgier: The villain plans to assassinate his brother, and it's played entirely seriously. There are several not-explicitly-stated but not-veiled-at-all death threats, a lot of which are aimed at a teenager and his little sister. There's the ominous line about cucumbers slicing easier than coconuts. And until about halfway through the movie the main protagonists are worse than useless, even though they know lives are on the line.
  • Darkest Hour: While the Pirates were able to free Alexander, Eloise and Willory, actually getting out of Robert's lair alive is pretty much impossible. The Clapping Pass is still closed, the group is in a little tiny rowboat and has no way to fight back, and Robert is in a much larger ship and has his men shooting cannons at them. They're all doomed! Cue Deus Ex Machina.
  • Deus ex Machina / The Cavalry: The King is the one that rescues the heroes from the villain's lair. According to the commentary, this is justified since the film is a Christian parable.
  • Determinator:
    • Eloise. She absolutely would have gone and tried to fight if Willory hadn't stopped her, and she still insists on going into dangerous territory to find Alexander. Eventually her attitude rubs off on George.
    • Sedgewick was very decidedly not a Determinator...until realizing he wants to see his girlfriend again gives him the strength to swim 92 nautical miles without arms or legs in order to avoid being eaten.
  • Disappeared Dad: The backstory. The King is away on business. Unfortunately this leaves his children vulnerable to being attacked by his wicked brother.
  • Distressed Dude: The plot is kicked off by Prince Alexander being kidnapped by his uncle, prompting his little sister to try to summon heroes to help her save him.
  • Eternal English: Alexander and Eloise occasionally speak with slightly odd syntax, and on the other side of things any reference Sedgewick makes to modern technology goes completely over their heads, but the sort of language barrier that a few centuries' difference would actually cause doesn't come up.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Island of Walking Rocks is an island, populated by walking rocks.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: When George, Elliot and Sedgewick are sent back in time by the Help-Seeker. After initial confusion Eloise takes to them rather quickly, but Willory is very skeptical that the "heroes" the Help-Seeker got seem so...wimpy.
  • Evil Is Not Well Lit: Anywhere that is a haven for villains or connected to one looks grim. The Rocks of Malabar, where Jolly Joe's bar is found, are surrounded by fog. The clues to finding Robert's lair are inside a cave. While the island said cave is found on is bright, it is itself covered by a dark-looking "storm". Robert's lair is also dim. Places like the Island of Walking Rocks (populated by a very friendly family of giants), or just sailing around a long stretch of ocean on The Steadfast, are much more cheery looking.
  • Evil Overlooker: Robert does this on the cover.
  • Face Your Fears: Elliot's issue over the course of the movie is that he's scared of just about everything. He manages to get over it by the end.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Robert threatens Eloise. George responds by dropping a chandelier on him. It knocks him out the door.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water:
    • A trio of layabout waiters freshly fired from a Pirate-themed dinner theatre are thrown back in time to the past. This leads to some confusion; Sedgewick asks if they have TiVo and Eloise thinks he wants a cup of tea, and later on Alexander doesn't know what to make of Sedgewick's labor-saving device and thinks it's magic.
    • Robert ends up out of temporal water when he follows the Pirates to the present.
  • Flynning: The opening scene has this all over the place. In the battle of good guys vs. pirates, everyone aims for each others' swords and not directly each other. And the swords are floating.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Apparently bars filled with criminals and no-good-nicks serve root beer.
  • Gentle Giant: The rock monster family, particularly the dad. The rock children just wanted to play, and when the rock dad learns of the Pirates' need to get through the Clapping Pass, he helps them get there.
  • Going Down with the Ship: Robert remains on his ship when it's sinking and his henchmen have all bailed out. However, he doesn't stay on it after it's sunk...
  • Hard Work Montage: "Yo Ho Hero" doesn't start out as one of these, but turns into one after George decides he should probably be helping Eloise.
  • Headdesk: After the protagonists have been thrown into the past by the Help-Seeker, Elliot says that the buttons don't do anything when the ball isn't blinking, which leads to Sedgewick banging his head on the side of the rowboat in frustration.
  • I Have Your Wife: Eloise falls victim to this twice. When Alexander refuses to tell Robert when the King's returning, Robert reveals that he has Eloise, and says that he might consider letting the two of them live if Alexander manages to remember. Later on, Robert uses her as a hostage against the Pirates. This time it earns him a chandelier in his face courtesy of George.
  • I Will Find You: Princess Eloise is determined to save her brother Alexander after he is kidnapped. Later, George becomes determined to find Eloise after she meets the same fate as her brother.
  • Insistent Terminology: Sedgewick about his remote-controlled...whatever that is:
    Sedgewick: It is not a toy! It's a labor-saving device!
  • Internal Reveal:
    • The audience knows from the opening scene that the attack on The Steadfast and Alexander's abduction were Robert's doing. Eloise and company don't learn this until later on; all they have to go on is the cutlass Robert left behind and they don't realize who it belongs to. At the bar, Jolly Joe recognizes the sword, and Eloise is rather disconcerted to learn of her uncle's involvement.
    • Eloise and Willory have no idea the Pirates really are from the future until towards the end of the movie. It comes as a real surprise to them.
  • Interrogated for Nothing: Robert tries to force Alexander to tell him when the King is returning so that his assassination plan can be carried out, and takes Eloise hostage in order to force the issue. Problem is, Alexander really doesn't know.
  • Kill It Through Its Stomach: A variation. Elliot is Swallowed Whole by a mechanical sea dragon, which he defeats by pulling an internal lever. Then he cuts his way out.
  • Leave Your Quest Test: At a really tough moment the Help-Seeker starts blinking—meaning that the path to the future is open. Elliot wants to leave and tries to convince George to as well, but George is dead set on finishing their quest. Eventually Elliot decides he's going to stick with it as well. It was a Secret Test of Character.
  • Magic from Technology:
    • The Help-Seeker is some sort of time-machine that is able to pull three guys from the 21st century all the way back to the seventeenth century. (And then send them back again.)
    • When Alexander sees the remote-controlled labor-saving device that Sedgewick made, he mistakes it for magic. Sedgewick explains that it's not magic, it's Radio Shack.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In the opening scene, at one point Alexander goes to fight a pirate, and one of his crewmen in the background is seen fighting another pirate while backing up, near a barrel. This same crewman accidentally knocks the barrel over seconds later and it slams into Alexander, which is what leads to his capture.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Willory tries to tell Eloise to stay on the ship, Eloise refuses, saying that her brother's life may be in danger, and "Even a princess can do what's right." Much later on, George repeats the sentiment, saying "Even a cabin boy can do what's right." Then he drops a chandelier on Robert to save Eloise.
  • Meaningful Name: None of the characters, really, but the ship they're on is called The Steadfast. The people in this ship for a good chunk of the movie are either already steadfast or have to learn to be so via Character Development.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future: After the prologue, which of course happens "Somewhere in the seventeenth century", the next scene which introduces the protagonists is introduced with "Somewhere in the present..."
  • Metaphorgotten: When pressing a button on the Help-Seeker causes a rowboat to suddenly appear, it leads to the Pirates wondering about it.
    Elliot: Well you know what they say: Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Give the man a rowboat...um....
  • Missing Mom:
    • Alexander and Eloise's dad is away but he does show up at the end. Their mom on the other hand is nowhere to be seen.
    • The family of rock monsters. There's a rock dad and three rock children, but where is the rock mom?
  • Modest Royalty: Alexander and Eloise. According to DVD extras they went that way with Eloise in particular because they realized it would look a bit silly for her to be wearing clothing that wasn't practical for traveling.
  • Mood Whiplash: One rather dark scene has Robert explaining his plans to Alexander, including forcing him to see a demonstration of how Robert intends to kill the King, and threatening Eloise to try to get Alexander to tell him when the King will return. This scene is followed up by Elliot singing a really goofy song and George getting annoyed by it.
  • Murder by Mistake: Almost happens. Robert, angry at the Pirates for ruining his plans, follows them to the future, and, mistaking Sir Frederick for George, tries to kill him. Thankfully George, Elliot and Sedgewick are able to stop him and send him back to where he came from.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Robert the Terrible. He's so terrible that catching a glimpse of his Cool Sword, even when he's not in the room himself, sends a whole roomful of hooligans running scared.
  • Never Say "Die": Downplayed. At one point Sedgewick says he doesn't want to keep going on the quest until they all die in terrible ways, but otherwise the movie finds ways to get across "die" and "kill" without actually saying "die" or "kill". Sometimes it's by being entirely vague, like "say goodbye," or it's more colorful, like all the lines about getting crushed, sliced, etc. like coconuts. Or it involves showing rather than telling; Robert shows Alexander exactly how he plans to assassinate the King but never outright says "I'll kill your father."
  • Never Trust a Title: The "Pirates" in this movie aren't the same "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" who appeared in the old silly song and the previous VeggieTales movie. They're different characters, with different names, and they're waiters, not pirates-who-don't-do-anything. They just happen to be called "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" and they just happen to still be played by Pa Grape, Larry the Cucumber, and Mr. Lunt.
  • Out of Job, Into the Plot: Soon after they are introduced, George, Elliot and Sedgewick accidentally destroy part of the dinner theater and their boss fires them. The Help-Seeker shows up while the three are sitting around wondering what to do now that they are unemployed.
  • Parental Bonus: The "Rock Monster" song takes its tune and style from the B-52's song "Rock Lobster". Children will just see part of the movie summarized in a fun, musical way; parents who listened to the B-52's back in the day will experience a blast from the past instead.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Strangely in a movie named for the Trope Namers, this trope is averted. The eponymous "pirates" aren't actually pirates in this case, they are waiters, and they are actually shown doing their job. The actual pirates in the movie are shown actually pirating. The bartenders are bartending. And the royal characters are all Royals Who Actually Do Something.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: When Alexander is captured, the other men on the crew are warned to drop their swords, or else say goodbye to their prince.
  • Rescue Introduction: Alexander doesn't meet George, Elliot and Sedgewick until towards the end of the film, when they show up to rescue him and Eloise and Willory.
  • Rock Monster: The protagonists encounter a family of rock monsters.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The entire royal family. Robert and the King are both master tinkerers, Alexander will jump into the fight alongside his crew, and Eloise will never give up trying to save a loved one in danger.
  • Sadistic Choice: Robert gives one to Alexander. Either Alexander tell Robert when the King's returning so Robert can assassinate him, or Alexander and Eloise both die.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Ellen and Bernadette, who are Sedgewick and Elliot's respective girlfriends. Bernadette in particular has no bearing on the plot aside from being someone Elliot wants to see again; in Ellen's case remembering his love for her snaps Sedgewick out of a Heroic BSOD.
  • Schizo Tech: In an era of sailing ships and exploration, the King and the Big Bad are apparently master tinkers that have built, respectively, a Time Machine and a sort of Powered Armour.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Robert's men after the King arrives.
  • Shoot The Hostage Taker: A nonlethal and rather unusual example. After the Pirates free Alexander, Eloise and Willory, Robert catches them about to leave and seizes Eloise as a hostage. George then realizes there's a chandelier above them and cuts the rope it's swinging from, causing it to fall. The way the chandelier falls it misses Eloise entirely and knocks Robert out the door.
  • Shout-Out: Several to the Monkey Island series.
  • Show Within a Show: The dinner theatre that the protagonists work at has a pirate-themed show.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The cheese snacks chase Sedgewick even when he swims many miles just to get away from them.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Played with concerning Robert's lair. Actually finding the lair at all is a bit of a problem. Once they actually get there, they encounter a sea dragon that is mechanical and easy to shut down...and that's about it. They don't even run into a single guard until they reach the cell where Alexander is being held along with Eloise and Willory. Said guard is asleep. And then Robert catches them trying to leave, and leaving turns out to be impossible and they all need to be saved via the King making a timely reappearance.
  • Take That: In an Easter Egg on the DVD, they actually show some of Elliot's "list" of things he's afraid of. One of the things he's apparently afraid of is "Tim Burton's version of the Apes."
  • 10-Minute Retirement: The Pirates all kind of give up when they learn just how dangerous Robert is. George comes out of it gradually via interaction with Eloise, but Sedgewick outright leaves the first chance he gets and Elliot almost ditches as well. Elliot changes his mind pretty quickly and Sedgewick returns later on.
  • Time Machine: The Help-Seeker.
  • The Unchosen One: The Secret Test of Character convinces the pirates that since the Help-Seeker doesn't work it's really down to them to save the day without The Chosen One status. This is eventually revealed to be part of it's function to motivite them, it actually works perfectly.
  • Unexplained Accent: According to audio commentary, the royal family were all supposed to be British. However, the actress they found for Eloise, while sounding perfect for the role vocally, apparently couldn't fake a British accent, so they just decided to not bother with the accents for Alexander and Eloise. The King and Robert still have British accents and Eloise's butler Willory is still played by Archibald Asparagus.
  • Women Are Wiser: Eloise has some Fearless Fool tendencies but otherwise seems to be the sanest and most motivated person on The Steadfast. George's wife is irritated that he has the spine of a jellyfish. Elliot's girlfriend Bernadette and Sedgewick's girlfriend Ellen commiserate over how Elliot is a scaredy-cat and Sedgewick is a Lazy Bum.
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: While they're at a bar, Sedgewick holds up the cutlass found on The Steadfast and asks if anyone's seen it. Almost everyone in the bar flees in terror.
    Sedgewick: ...is that a "yes", or a "no"?
  • You're Insane!: One of Robert's own men when Robert tries to tell his men to return and insists on fighting after the King shows up.
    Henchman: Against the King's men?! You are mad!
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: The group all get into a rowboat, which then goes into the cistern, which George then drains, which Robert reacts to with "You've got to be kidding!"
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The plot of the movie seemingly resolves, with Robert defeated, the rest of the royal family reunited, and the Pirates being sent back to their own time. But Robert's a bit peeved that his plans got ruined and followed them to the future...

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alternative title(s): The Pirates Who Dont Do Anything
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