Book Review: “Disney Pirates: The Definitive Collector’s Anthology”

Disney Pirates: The Definitive Collector’s Anthology by Michael Singer begins with a foreward by Johnny Depp, and then leads into almost 150 pages that span the various pirate stories through Disney history. While the largest chunk of that has to do with Pirates of the Caribbean in one form or another (either in the park or the movies), the book also covers Treasure Island “with and without The Muppets”, Peter Pan, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Swiss Family Robinson among others – and not all just in movie form. Peter Pan’s Flight and Swiss Family Treehouse are both part of the book.

Disney Pirates: The Definitive Collector’s Anthology focuses on the parks and other Disney pirate stories for about half the book. It is nice seeing some space devoted to Disney Legend Alice Davis – and of course to her husband, Disney Imagineer (Disney Legend) and animator Marc, who originally envisioned a walk-through pirate attraction for Disneyland before he designed the characters for the ride. There are some photos I’ve not seen, along with concept art and realized artwork. About half of the book (or a little less) focuses on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which is less of interest to me than park history of the attraction(s). That said, the whole book is peppered with references to the popular film franchise. There is a decent selection of photos from the Pirates of the Caribbean films. I would have liked to have seen more on the Disneyland Paris Pirates of the Caribbean attraction than just a paragraph. The final chapter of the book is devoted to Treasure Cove at Shanghai Disneyland.
Disney Pirates: The Definitive Collector’s Anthology: Ninety years of pirates in Disney feature films, television shows, and parks. (Disney Editions Deluxe) (the full name of the book) offers a lot of good information for any Disney pirate fan (and Pirates of the Caribbean fan). The information within the book is often stuffed between a lot of descriptives and adjectives – case in point, talking about Walt Disney, the author called Walt “a mustachioed, undeniably dapper but warm, even folksy, middle-aged gentleman by the name of Walt Disney” and in the same sentence refers to first Disneyland Ambassador Julie Reihm as “pert, proper and pretty”. It reminds me of when you need a 2000 word term paper but you only have 1500 words, so you start filling in extra words just to get to 2000. But nestled in with those extra words is a lot of interesting information that runs the gamut of Disney pirates.
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