Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: David Arquette, Colin Ford, Jonathan Morgan Heit, Loren Hoskins, Madison Pettis
Director: Kelly Ward, Howy Parkins, Mickey Corcoran
Series: Jake and the Never Land Pirates Season 1, Episode 24
Release Date: 2 December 2011
Length: 25 minutes
Movie Rating: TV-G
View Format: TV
“It’s a Winter Never Land” – Hook and his pirates don’t want to go to all of the work to decorate a tree and get presents for Merry Winter Treasure Day so they steal everything from the Lost Boys. Jake and his pals track the pirates through icy conditions, but are unable to recover all of their decorations and gifts. Can they all remember what is really important about Winter Treasure Day? Will the pirates learn the true meaning of Winter Treasure Day?
“Hook on Ice!” – In the spirit of the holiday, Captain Hook asks Jake and the Lost Boys to join the pirates on the hunt for the Snow Day Treasure. Bring your slippery, slidey things (sleds, skis and more!) and get ready for adventure! With Jake and his team helping out, can the pirates travel down the snowy slope, trick their way past the ice ogre, and save Hook (multiple times) so they can claim the treasure?
This is a popular and fun Disney Jr. show for toddlers and preschoolers. It is a learning show and they teach counting, critical thinking skills and other lessons in a fun and interactive way. I typically find something in the Disney shows that entertains me as an adult and I have tried to watch this show a few times, but it is solidly made for young children and does not really have anything in it for older kids or adults. That said, it is beautifully made and my little nephews look forward to watching it every morning. My favorite characters are the two real-life pirates (Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson) who sing all of the songs for the show. If there is anything for adults in this series, it is these two and the funny songs they sing. Typically the songs are at the beginning and end of the episodes, however, so there is dead space in between. If you have little boys or girls at home, this is a great show for them to enjoy watching in the mornings before they go to school. The main character is Jake, a little devil-may-care boy who is a lot like Peter Pan, but his crew has girls, boys and animals so everyone is covered and has someone to root for. The adult pirates are bumblers and never seem to do anything right so it is easy for the children to defeat them all the time. Good times for kids.
This particular episode is as close to Christmas as you get with this series. Disney has been trying really hard to make some of their children’s shows non-denominational holiday celebrations and this one is no exception. The “c” word (Christmas) is not mentioned, it is all about treasure days. Now, children who celebrate Christmas will recognize the decorated Christmas tree and presents that Hook stole from the kids, but for those who celebrate another holiday, it is just a decoration in the series. The spirit of the holidays is found in this show, however, and I think that it offers a great lesson about valuing friends and family and being a better person around the holidays. Captain Hook in particular did a great job illustrating this point as he is never willing to share with anyone and is much more likely to steal. In “It’s a Winter Never Land!,” Hook regrets stealing the presents and cannot even enjoy his ill-gotten gains. Instead, he gives them back and then Jake and his crew invite the pirates to celebrate with them. In “Hook on Ice!,” Captain Hook asks Jake if they can help him find the treasure so that they can borrow all of their snow gear (snowboard, sled, etc.). Then he shares the treasure with the kids at the end. Even though it seems like every Christmas show talks about sharing and the value of giving, I don’t think that you can show your children too many examples of this in action, especially for little kids who focus so much on the getting around this time of year.
With bright, friendly colors and simple storylines, Jake and the Never Land Pirates is definitely a show that is welcome in my home for young children. They speak slowly and clearly and have some fun, piratey songs that kids will enjoy. The characters try to encourage the children watching to participate by doing motions and cheering/talking in appropriate places. I always encourage the kids watching to follow along (usually by doing it myself) as I love that they are trying to make shows interactive. This is a great choice to watch around the holidays, especially if you are looking for something without Santa in it (Peter Pan sent the gifts).
Appropriate for children of ages, recommended for ages 2 and up.