You know what's cool? Cartoons which are intended for children but don't look down on them and thus can be enjoyed by anyone! I love Sheep In The Big City
but 90% of the humour would have escaped me at the age of five, "Pirates of Dark Water" on the other hand is straightforward enough for anyone to grasp.
If one wants they can see a Green Aesop
drawing parallels between Dark Water and pollution, an attempt had been made in one of the first series to discuss slavery and racism (which was quickly forgotten for some reason) but nobody beats you over the head with it, for all we know Dark Water is sentient (and there have been suggestions that it is) and thus a standard baddie, so come on in viewers there's enough for everybody! The show also has an example of a decent female without making the men around her morons, if a character is capable not by comparison but just because then you have a strong character (at least on some levels).
What is remarkable for a Western animation, especially considering the time, is that there doesn't seem to be any particular race involved, the forum on IMDB is full of people thinking what ethnicity should the actors for the Liveaction be and nobody can reach an agreement, everyone sees them as different. Partly this is due to the world, there are so many shades, shapes and sizes that the only two cases of real race were the monkeybirds and the White Warriors.
We mustn't act as though 'a royal heir must save their homeland of which they know very little when all is said and done' is or ever was a unique concept, if I try hard enough I can recall three others airing on CN around the time, so it's not really this which makes Po DW
so precious. And with the Animation Age Ghetto
quite a few of the dialogues are a tad silly and as somebody has pointed out in some places the animation is unintentionally creepy.
Maybe these are the nostalgia goggles talking, but I am ready to accept these failing and still welcome the series to my bosom, Maelstrom sewers and all.