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Western Animation / Captain Sabertooth

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Captain Sabertooth is the self-declared "King of the Sea," a ruthless pirate captain who's always hunting for gold and riches, with his ship, The Dark Lady, and with the help of a... less than impressive crew. First mate Longfinger is competent and intelligent, but the rest of the crew includes the lazy slacker Benjamin and the bumbling twins Wally and Wimp — and let's not even mention Tully, the most incompetent ship's cook on the seven seas.

The stories of the pirates' escapades were first seen in a series of outdoors stage plays at Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park, but over the years he's branched out to star in books, comics, TV shows and movies.

In 2003, the first full-length animated movie in the franchise was released, based on the stage plays but adding several new characters and twists. It was simply titled Captain Sabertooth, though the English dub for some inexplicable reason got the title Captain Sabertooth: The Next Adventure. A tie-in videogame sharing the same art style and telling the same story was also released in 2004 (as well as a sequel based on the later plays 3 years later), but did not leave Scandinavia.

The movie tells of the orphaned boy Pinky ("Tiny" in the original English translation), who was found by Captain Sabertooth's crew as a baby and ever since has been in their semi-competent care. All his life he's worked as a galley boy whose main task is to peel potatoes and throw away the garbage, but he dreams of one day impressing Captain Sabertooth and be acknowledged as a proper member of the crew. He gets his chance to prove himself when the pirates set out to find the treasure of Gory Gabriel, the previous pirate king, and their search leads them to the idyllic Luna Bay.

Pinky, being young and inconspicuous and not looking like a pirate at all, is sent to scout ahead and try to find out about where the treasure is... but when he meets Veronica, a girl his own age, and starts to get to know the friendly people of Luna Bay, he starts having second thoughts about this entire "pirate" business.

The problem is that Captain Sabertooth, when out for gold, isn't willing to listen to any kind of soft-hearted sob stories about decent kind people who need their treasure themselves. Another problem is that the new ship's cook, Happy Jack, is planning a mutiny and is even less inclined to give anyone a break.

In 2019, sixteen years after the first movie (and after the live-action movie from 2014 failed to get a sequel), another animated movie was released, this time in CGI. Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond is loosely based on the stage play Captain Sabertooth and the Hunt for the Magic Diamond, and takes place some time after the events of the first movie. Pinky now lives in Luna Bay with Veronica and her aunt Bessie, and is quite happy as a landlubber — though Veronica is starting to get bored with her peaceful life and wishes something exciting would happen.

Out on the sea, Captain Sabertooth and his crew are hunting for a legendary magic diamond, which can grant one wish to whoever is holding it — but only when the light of the full moon shines on it. The magic diamond has just fallen into the possession of the evil vampire Maga Khan, who is just waiting for the full moon so that he can wish to become immune to sunlight and be free to conquer the world. Before that can happen, though, the diamond is stolen by a starving young boy named Marco, who looks a lot like Pinky.

Maga Khan searches, rumors fly, and soon enough Captain Sabertooth hears the rumors that Pinky is the one who has the magic diamond, or at least knows where it is. So of course the pirates return to Luna Bay to get Pinky so he can lead them to the diamond, and don't believe him when he tries to tell them he has no idea what they're talking about. As he's taken prisoner on board the Dark Lady, Veronica dresses up as a boy and joins Captain Sabertooth's crew in the hope of freeing him... and soon they're both swept up in the hunt for the magic diamond.

Tropes shared by the movies:

  • Always Identical Twins: Wally and Wimp are completely identical in looks and clothing. The only way to tell them apart is their voices... and that Wally is always the one bossing Wimp around.
  • Characterization Marches On: It's pretty clear that there's sixteen years between the movies, sixteen years where the characters have been further developed in other media and other alternate takes, because some of them have notably different characterizations in the second movie compared to the first. Most notable is Benjamin, who is mostly an anonymous crewmember in the first movie, but in the second has been fully formed into the laid-back, sarcastic slacker that he'd become in the stage plays, but it's also pretty clear in Captain Sabertooth himself; he's become more of a Noble Demon, and far less childish and petty (even if his temper and self-glorifying ego remains the same).
  • Defeat by Modesty: Happens to Wimp in The New Adventure and Benjamin in The Magic Diamond. They're both defetated when their belts are cut and their pants fall down... though where Wimp is wearing Goofy Print Underwear, it's hinted (though not shown) that Benjamin isn't wearing any underwear at all.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: This is what separates Captain Sabertooth from villains like Happy Jack and Maga Khan. He might be ruthless, greedy, temperamental and vindictive, and a bit of a Bad Boss, but he does have a sense of honor and won't abandon a crewmember in need.
  • Guile Hero: Pinky and Veronica, being young children, take this role. Veronica especially steps up in this role in The Magic Diamond, using trickery and well-timed remarks to get her way.
  • Hook Hand: In the first movie, a number of characters have them, including Benjamin. Tully, being the cook, has a spatula hand, which he sometimes swaps out for a ladle. In The Magic Diamond both Benjamin and Tully are portrayed with two normal hands like in the stage play, so to compensate one of the nameless crewmembers has two hook hands. (As well as two wooden legs and eyepatches over both eyes. Apparently he got carried away.)
  • The Musical: Songs are frequent in the movies, though most of them are recycled from the stage plays, and usually it's only part of the song that's sung. It's especially noticable in The Magic Diamond, where Maga Khan starts singing his Villain Song, and the scene cuts away from him mid-song with the pirates asking each other what that noise was.
  • Pirate Parrot: Interestingly, the franchise in general doesn't have a single parrot anywhere... but both the animated movies features parrots to some degree. The first movie has a couple of random parrots who show up for a few scenes (including a memorable scene where a parrot acts as an alarm clock on board the Dark Lady). The second movie features a parrot named Maggie, who plays a small part in the plot when she overhears some gossip and relays it to Captain Sabertooth. Afterwards she just kind of decides to hang out on the pirate ship and provide some comic relief.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Completely averted. These pirates are explicitly shown to plunder other ships and raid villages in the hunt for riches and treasure. It's done with a lot of cartoony slapstick and a bit of comical bumbling, but there's never a doubt that they are scoundrels and thieves who will cheerfully rob people.
  • Supreme Chef: Aunt Bessie is famous for her cooking, and as The Magic Diamond reveals, helping out at the inn for most of her life Veronica too is a good cook — which is how she manages to be allowed to stay on board after she's been exposed as a girl; the pirates like her food a lot better than Tully's.

Tropes exclusive to Captain Sabertooth: The Next Adventure:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The Dark Lady and other ships, in several shots. They look quite jarring compared to the flat 2D-animation of the characters.
  • Asshole Victim: The people of the ship plundered by Captain Sabertooth at the movie's beginning are insufferable snobs who really get no sympathy from the audience even as they are robbed.
  • Blatant Lies: When Captain Sabertooth finds out that Pinky has scruples about stealing from people who aren't Asshole Victims, he decides to use Pinky's soft heart to his advantage, telling him to go back to Luna Bay and inform everyone that there'e no danger of a pirate attack because "I would never dream of taking riches from people who need them." Of course, it's all a ploy to trick the villagers into dropping their guards so they won't expect it when the pirate attack does come.
  • Broken Pedestal: Pinky goes from hero-worshipping Captain Sabertooth, to being utterly disillusioned with him when he discovers his Blatant Lies. He regains some respect for him towards the end of the movie, when they team up to save the Dark Lady and defeat Happy Jack.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Pinky wasn't spying on Veronica, he was just... watching her... without her knowing he was there.
  • Expy: Happy Jack has quite a lot in common with Long John Silver, right down to the job as a cook, walking with a crutch or cane, and befriending a young boy who at first has no idea about his mutinous plans. It has to be said, though, that unlike Long John, Happy Jack's redeeming qualities are very plainly not genuine. He doesn't even really need the cane.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Happy Jack can be very polite and friendly when he wants something... but only when he wants something.
  • Heel Realization: Pinky has one when he realizes that plundering and stealing means that you might actually be hurting good and decent people who don't deserve it.
  • Hidden Depths: Captain Sabertooth is greedy, ruthless and thinks nothing of lying, cheating and stealing... but he isn't quite as much of a cold-hearted villain as he likes to pretend. He might try to hide it behind sneers and bluster, but in his own way he actually does care about Pinky. It's perfectly illustrated by the end of the movie, when Pinky has opted to stay at Luna Bay instead of rejoining the pirates: Captain Sabertooth has a wistful moment when he looks at the boy's empty bunk... and then he turns around, all evil smiles and boastful enthusiasm, and orders his crew to get a move on because they're off to hunt for gold!
  • "I Want" Song: The Falling Stars, sung by Pinky in the early parts of the movie, and then by Veronica a little later on. It's a song about feeling lonely and apart from everyone else.
  • Only Sane Man: Both the pirates and the people of Luna Bay have one.
    • For the pirates, it's Longfinger, who tends to point out logical flaws and potential dangers that the others miss.
    • For the people of Luna Bay, it's Red Rudy, who is not only prepared for the pirate attack, but is also the only one who realizes that Pinky has been tricked by Captain Sabertooth.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Longfinger, especially towards Pinky in the early parts of the movie. He's not quite yet the Parental Substitute he would later turn into elsewhere in the franchise, and not above a bit of manipulation and trickery... but it's clear that he tries to look out for Pinky, and when Captain Sabertooth is the one who rages and threatens, Longfinger is the one who tries to calm things down and just explain to Pinky what is expected of him.
  • Retired Badass: Red Rudy. He used to be a sailor, now he mostly helps out at Aunt Bessie's inn. He still hasn't forgotten his swordsmanship though.
  • Those Two Guys: Happy Jack's friends, Turtle and Bink. They serve no purpose in the plot and are merely there to act as stooges for Jack.
  • Threatening Shark: Averted with Ravenous, Veronica's tame shark. He might look threatening, but he's totally harmless.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: Gory Gabriel's ship sank during an eclipse, and now the hidden passageway to where it lies is only revealed during an eclipse. In this case, we do get a little bit of Surprisingly Realistic Outcome, because even though that passageway can only be found during the eclipse, she ship is still there all the time, and Veronica already found it long ago when out swimming with Ravenous.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Pinky manages to be this even though he's grown up with pirates. It might have something to do with how he's never actually met any of the victims.

Tropes exclusive to Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond:

  • The Ace: Veronica, while disguised as a boy, manages to come across as this to Captain Sabertooth. At one point, he even praises her as the only competent crewmember on board the Dark Lady... but this praise quickly vanishes when he discovers she's really a girl.
  • Adapted Out: Malena Pirate, Wally and Wimp's tough-as-nails mother, was a major character in the stage play. In the movie she doesn't appear, though she is mentioned a few times by Wally and Wimp.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Marco, in the original stage play was a pretty straightforward and good-hearted Cheerful Child who happened to be in an unfortunate situation. In this movie, he's still got a generally upbeat attitude and is a little too naive for his own good, but he's a good deal wilier, much more temperamental and suspicious, and also far less altruistic. Unlike his stage play counterpart, he tends to think of himself first and other people second. This is mostly due to him being a starving orphan, though; towards the end of the movie when he has both food and a family he becomes much less selfish and more considerate.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Magic Diamond is a rare non-sentient version of this. In the original stage play, it would only grant benevolent wishes. Here, it'll grant any wish, good or evil, and a lot of people point out how extremely dangerous is if it falls into the wrong hands or someone is careless with their wishes.
  • Art Shift: The pre-credits scene, when Captain Sabertooth narrates the backstory of the magic diamond, is done in a limited 2D animation style.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: The previous movie was traditional hand-drawn animation, but this movie is an All-CGI Cartoon.
  • Ascended Extra: Benjamin was just one of the crewmembers in the first movie, who was involved in the occasional Funny Background Event but got minimal dialogue, no characterization and no real focus. In this movie, thanks to his increased role and popularity elsewhere in the franchise, he's got a much bigger role, with his characteristic laziness and cheekiness on full display.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Downplayed a little, but still present. The diamond only grants one wish per person, and offhand remarks or groans of frustration are interpreted as wishes, whether or not you mean them to be. Hence, all the pirates except Captain Sabertooth pretty much waste their wishes on trivialities or accidentally worded remarks because they happen to be holding the diamond when the moonlight shines on it.
  • Concussions Get You High: Maga Khan's mistreated servant Baltazar gets a Tap on the Head via a falling coconut early in the story, and spends most of the rest of the movie wandering around in a stupor.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Red Rudy doesn't appear in this movie. Aunt Bessie appears in a small role, but Rudy doesn't get so much as a mention.
    • Ravenous the shark has also vanished.
    • Benjamin's brother Odin is nowhere to be seen, and pretty much all the minor nameless pirates from the previous movie have been replaced by other, completely different minor nameless pirates.
  • Delirious Misidentification: Baltazar, shipwrecked on Luna Bay after fleeing Maga Khan and delirious after a Tap on the Head, mistakes Pinky for Marco, the boy who stole the magic diamond. The misidentification is actually quite understandable in this case; while Pinky and Marco don't look exactly alike they're pretty similar, and in addition to being out of his mind Baltazar has really only seen Marco once.
  • Gossip Evolution: What kicks off the main plot. After fleeing Maga Khan and ending up at Aunt Bessie's inn in Luna Bay, a delirious Baltazar sees Pinky, mistakes him for Marco and starts ranting about how he knows where the magic diamond is. While Pinky makes it clear he has no idea what Baltazar is talking about, and the guests of the inn seem to accept this, rumors still start flying that "someone who looks like Pinky of Luna bay knows where the diamond is." By the time the rumor reaches Captain Sabertooth, it's morphed into "Pinky of Luna Bay has the magic diamond."
  • Hartman Hips: Queen Sirima has some curves on her.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Benjamin accuses Wally and Wimp of being the laziest pirates he's ever known... while lying in the shade of a palm tree and watching them do all the work.
  • Improbable Chopsticks Skill: After Veronica takes over the cooking on board the Dark Lady, there's a brief scene where she serves sushi and tries to teach Captain Sabertooth to use chopsticks... the Captain, who clearly has no idea, gets really angry when he sees Benjamin immediately handling the chopsticks with impossible ease, even using them to flip and toss sushi pieces around and catch them in mid-air before eating them.
  • Long-Lost Relative: It comes as no surprise to anyone that Marco is Pinky's younger brother. Their relationship has been slightly altered compared to the original stage play, though; there they already knew each other and Pinky's entire motivation for joining the hunt for the magic diamond was because he heard his brother was in trouble. For this movie, this has been altered to better fit with Pinky's backstory as an orphan raised by the pirates: Here, Pinky has no idea that he has a brother, and he and Marco don't realize that they're related until the final act of the movie.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: It's never outright said that Maga Khan is a vampire, but given how he has sharp canines, is capable of flight, and sunlight hurts him, it's easy to draw the conclusion. In which case this trope definitely applies, as he is never shown or mentioned to drink blood, and he has the ability to create and throw fireballs at his enemies. He also dresses more like a vain bodybuilder than a classic vampire.
  • Out of Focus: Longfinger is a major character in the franchise and had a sizeable role in the first movie. While he's definitely present in this movie, he doesn't really get all that much attention, and only has a few real scenes.
  • Maniac Monkeys: Ultimately averted. Maga Khan has monkey soldiers as his minions, and they do create a whole lot of problems for the protagonists, but they're more Punch-Clock Villains who are just doing their jobs more than anything else. At the end of the movie, they're all too happy to take Baltazar as their new boss.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Veronica, for the second act of the movie. When Pinky is taken by the pirates, she tries to go along, but is refused because "girls on board a ship means bad luck." So she dresses up as a boy and gets herself hired as a crewmember. She keeps up the facade for a decent portion of the movie, until Pinky accidentally blows her cover.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Played with, a little, though at first it comes across more as Tempting Fate: Pinky has just declared that he definitely does not miss the life of a pirate and he absolutely hopes he'll never see Captain Sabetooth again, when Captain Sabertooth shows up to grab him. Later in the movie, though, it becomes obvious that he's not quite as through with a pirate's life as he likes to pretend, and that he's still not completely over his Hero Worship of Captain Sabertooth.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Marco is never mean, but he is a starving and half-savage orphan, and so for much of the movie he's rather self-centered and mostly interested in what he can get out of a situation. He repeatedly states that he plans to use the diamond to wish for "all the money in the world," without any thought to what that would do to the world. Towards the end of the movie he becomes more willing to think of others, even becoming the hero of the day when he gives up his wish to ensure that the magic diamond can never again be used to harm people.
  • The Unreveal: We never really find out what Captain Sabertooth would have wished for. In the stage play he was pretty clear that he was going to wish for Gory Gabriel's treasure, but in the movie Pinky just theorizes that the Captain will probably wish for "more gold."
  • Wasteful Wishing: All the pirates (except Captain Sabertooth, who never gets to use his wish) end up blowing their one wish either on something trivial or something they didn't mean to use their wish on.
    • Benjamin: Wishes that he could just relax for a moment. He gets a hammock and an umbrella drink.
    • Wimp: Wishes for a large plate of his mother's meatballs. He gets it.
    • Wally: Wishes that Wimp hadn't wished for something so stupid. The plate of meatballs vanishes.
    • Longfinger: Wishes that everyone would be normal, like him, for just a few seconds. Everyone turns into a copy of him, and after a few seconds turn back into themselves.
    • Tully: Wishes to be acknowledged as a great chef. Everyone ends up around a table, praising how good his cooking smells... until they find out that the meal is barbequeued rat.
    • Nameless pirate with two wooden legs: Tries to grab the diamond and run for it, wishing that he had longer legs so he could run faster. He ends up on two massive stilts and promptly falls over.
  • We Can Rule Together: Maga Khan tries to tell Marco this during the climax. Since he's been hunting Marco for much of the movie, and even before that treated him like crap, Marco doesn't buy it.