In November 2011 Disney announced a one hour prime time special for the show to air February 13, 2012 entitled Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns. A second season was also ordered for the series and began airing on February 20, 2012. The series is a critical and commercial success, receiving high praise from critics and fans for its educational, yet entertaining format. The series is currently in its second season, whilst Disney recently ordered a third season, to premiere sometime in 2013. Also, a line of items, such as party supplies, apparel, room decor, plush, role play and accessories, and action-oriented play sets and figures, including a boat of Bucky, Jake's Pirate Ship, were released in the summer of 2012, while in 2013, three Lego Duplo sets will be released based from the series. At the American International Toy Fair in New York City, Disney announced a film based on the series, premiered on September 19, 2012, entitled Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Bucky's Great Race. The film was later downgraded to a special episode renamed Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Jake Saves Bucky. The one-hour special premiered on September 19, 2012 on Disney Channel in the USA, and released on DVD October 16, 2012.
PremiseThe show revolves around a group of three children who are pirates in Never Land, looking for treasure. Their main obstacles are Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, Tick-Tock the Crocodile, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell from Disney's Peter Pan franchise. Captain Hook usually sees Jake and his crew doing something fun and steals it from them, and Jake and his crew have to get it back. After they succeed, Jake and his crew count their gold doubloons (which they receive after solving puzzles, or "pirate problems") and put them in their treasure chest known as the "Team Treasure Chest".
The first season of the series followed more "playful" conflicts such as, Jake and the crew getting their basketball back from Captain Hook, or Jake and the crew taking back their stolen skateboard. The second season gave a larger scale to the adventure in the show, now having the characters find a lost city of gold, and an ancient pirate pyramid.
Each program contains two eleven minute animated episodes, followed by a live-action song by the Never Land Pirate Band. The singing characters "Bones" and "Sharky" appear in both animated and live action forms.
- Colin Ford (Jake): "‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ is a really great show because it incorporates a lot of things that children should know from an early age, like sharing, teamwork and responsibility. What attracted me to ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ was the Peter Pan factor. Also, the fact that I'm the leader and I have my crew, Izzy and Cubby, behind me. It's always fun to get to work with my friends.”
- Ariel Winter (Marina): “I play Marina and I'm a mermaid. I help out the pirates in all their water duties … I help them with anything they need, I care for them, and I do whatever helps Jake and his friends. We're basically one big pirate family. I think Marina may have a little crush on Jake. I've seen that a bit throughout the script. She's always there to help him in her sweetest voice… 'Jake and the Never Land Pirates' is basically about teaching kids to go for it. Even if you have to fight off evil to get what you want or get what you need or to help someone, you should always share, be kind, and do what you can to help.”
- David Arquette (Skully): “There are a lot of shows out there that are all over the place. You can't really follow them, and they're a little loud. This one has a real story and it's very easy to follow, and it's a lot of fun. It's really colorful. It's got a great heart, and the kids will learn something in the process. You could talk with them about the adventure they just had. It all has to do with social skills and being nice to your neighbor and being a good friend. I watched the first one with my daughter Coco before Skully was in it. She liked it a lot, but she also said that parrot should talk because he was in it briefly, but he didn't really have a voice. I said, ‘That's funny you say that, because that parrot is going to talk. That parrot will have your daddy's voice.’ That's pretty much how it went down. She loved it!”
- Voiced by Colin Ford (Series Ep. 1 – 36, 38 – 40 and 56), Cameron Boyce (Online; Series Ep. 37 and 41 – 67), Sean Ryan Fox (Ep. 68 - current)
- Jake is a 8-year-old boy and the main protagonist of the series and leader of the Never Land Pirates. He has a wooden sword, created from the Forever Tree which was made and given to him by Peter Pan, and serves as Captain Hook's main pirate rival.
- Voiced by Madison Pettis
- Izzy is the only pirate girl in the group. She is 7 years old. She has a small sack of Pixie Dust, which was given to her by the fairies (Tinker Bell and her friends). Although the team only uses the pixie dust for emergencies. However, there had been episodes whe pixie dust is not used at all. Her catchphrase is "Yay, hey, no way!"
- Voiced by Jonathan Morgan Heit
- Cubby is a 6-year-old boy and the youngest of the group with his catchphrase ,"Aw, coconuts!" He has the map of Never Land, and is not a member of the "Lost Boys", despite the fact he physically resembles the Cubby of the group. His personality is rather timid and is not very confident in himself.
- Voiced by David Arquette (animated speaking)/Loren Hospkins (singing)
- Skully is a small green parrot who acts like a guardian to the team. He keeps a look-out for Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.
- Captain Hook
- Voiced by Corey Burton
- Captain Hook is Neverland's resident pirate captain and the main antagonist of the series. Commander of the galleon "The Jolly Roger" and legendary for his cruelty to his enemies as well as his own men, Hook has trouble holding onto a permanent crew. In fact at the moment, he holds only three crew members. Hook is seen to be completely hopeless without the constant aid of Mr. Smee.
- Mr. Smee
- Voiced by Jeff Bennett
- Mr. Smee is Captain Hook's "left-hand man", first mate, and the secondary antagonist of the series. Despite him working for the bad side, he still is quite a kind an generous man.
- Sharky and Bones
- Voiced by Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson (singing)/Jeff Bennett (animated speaking)
- Sharky and Bones are members of Captain Hook's pirate crew. They usually spend time performing musical numbers rather than advancing the plot, acting as troubadours or Greek Chorus. Both Hoskins and Hendrickson, specialists in a music form called "Pirate Rock", were asked by Disney to write the music and lyrics for all the songs for the show.
- Marina the Mermaid
- Voiced by Ariel Winter
- A young mermaid who lives in the ocean around Never Land with the rest of her people. Unlike some of her sister, who tends to be snobbish, selfish, vain and downright cruel, Marina is gentle and kind to the young pirates. She often shows them the secrets of the Never Sea she finds. Marina and Izzy are very close friends, and may even be the same age. Like Izzy, Marina is rumored to have a crush on Jake. Marina also has a little sister named Stormy.
- Jake, Izzy and Cubby's pirate ship, who has a mind of its own and communicates with the crew through its ringing ship bell.
- Tick-Tock the Crocodile
- Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker
- The very same crocodile that devoured Hook's left hand after Peter Pan cut it off in a sword fight some years ago. Tick-Tock loved the taste of Hook's hand so well, he has followed the Jolly Roger ever since, licking his chops as he imagines the rest of his meal. And he also swallowed an alarm clock that goes tick-tock to warn Captain Hook.
- Russi Taylor - Never Bird - A former sidekick of Captain Hook who she soon betrays and joins forces with Jake and his crew.
- Loren Hoskins - Sandy the Starfish - Marina the Mermaid's singing pet starfish with the ability to heal with a special song.
- Tori Spelling (speaking)/Laura Dickenson (singing) - Pirate Princess - A legendary beautiful pirate who was cursed by a sea witch and shipwrecked in a hidden grotto but rescued by Izzy and the others.
- Lisa Loeb - Winger - Skully's close friend who reveals to be the princess of the Sky Bird Kingdom.
- Adam West - Wise Old Parrot - An aged scarlet macaw and King of the Sky Bird Kingdom.
- Dee Bradley Baker - Monkey - A mischievous primate who steals Jake's bongos. Later on, her returns them and becomes friends with Jake and his crew.
- Sharon Osbourne - Mama Hook - Captain Hook's mother. She was once queen on the Never Sea and taught Hook how to become a worthy pirate captain.
- Jane Kaczmarek - Red Jessica - A swashbuckling pirate with whom Captain Hook falls in love with.
- Josh Duhamel - Captain Flynn - A pirate who became stranded on the Never Land desert with his ship The Barracuda but rescued by Jake and the Never Land Pirates.
- Adam Wylie - Peter Pan - Captain Hook's arch nemesis and the leader of Never Land (specifically the "Lost Boys", who never appeared in the show). He has been mentioned numerous times throughout the series, and made an appearance in the extended episodes "Peter Pan Returns", "Jake Saves Bucky" and "Jake's Never Land Rescue".
- Allisyn Ashley Arm - Stormy - Marina's lazy, yet, well-meaning younger sister. She may or may not have feelings for Cubby.
- Tiffani Thiessen - Misty the Wonderful Witch - A good witch who tends to be the Pirate Princess' neighbor.
- Jerry O'Connell - Pip the Pirate Genie - A genie who is Captain Flynn's sidekick.
- Rhys Darby - Percy the Penguin - A penguin who Jake and his crew help to get his group to their new home.
- Teri Hatcher - Beatrice Le Beak – A sneaky pirate who steals things from Captain Hook.
- Leigh-Allyn Baker - Queen Coralie - The queen of the Mermaid of Never Land and ruler of Neptune City.
- Carol Kane - The Sea Witch - An evil witch who wants to turn the Pirate Princess into gold, but when Izzy stops her, she later turns into a good witch.
- Jack McBrayer - Pirate Mummy - A mummified pirate captain who lives in the Pirate Mummy's Tomb deep with in the Never Land Desert.
The show's musical elements are handled by Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson, who were emailed asking if they would be interested in creating songs for the show. "The show's creator, Bobs Gannaway, he just wanted good music to listen to while he was writing the pilot," said Hoskins. Gannaway typed "pirate music for kids" into a web search engine and found his way to Captain Bogg & Salty, listening to their songs while working on the script. He introduced the band to Jay Stutler, vice president of music at Disney Television Animation. "We're in charge of creating every note of music for the show. "We create the underscore. "We sit in the studio and record the background music that comes in and out." The music for the show has been praised for being enjoyable for both the children, and the adult caretakers. A soundtrack, featuring songs from the show, was released September 20, 2011.
The series received positive reviews. A review in Variety called it "part video game, part interactive cartoon, part advertisement for 'Peter Pan' merchandise". A review in The Los Angeles Times stated that Captain Hook "has been laundered — reasonably enough, yet sadly as well — into a shell of his former self, too silly to be frightening, not even a decent bully, just a kind of (much) older boy who wants to steal your toys." Common Sense Media rated it "on" for ages 3 and older, praising the educational content, role models, and especially the messages of the show, and expressing only mild concern about the moderate violence. As the flagship of the newly-launched Disney Junior channel, the series was rated the most-watched program among boys ages 2–5 during its first few weeks on the air, with 2.9 million viewers, including 1.1 million ages 2–5, and over 600,000 women ages 18–49 (presumed to be mothers and other caregivers), only about 100,000 less than the typical Friday night first-ran episode on Disney Channel. On July 27, 2011, the series was awarded #2 of the Best TV Shows 2011 list. The series premiere got 2.2 million viewers. On February 13, 2012, Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns got a record 3.091 million viewers. It is cable TV's #1 series among Boys 2-5 and Disney Channel's #1 preschool series of all time among Total Viewers, Kids 2-5, Boys 2-5 and Women 18-49  - more than any new program (Phineas and Ferb, ANT Farm, and Jessie (TV show) on the Friday before. For the second special Jake Saves Bucky, it only got 1.9 million, well less than the first special.
The series has a 6.6 rating on IMDB with 214 votes. The first DVD has a 4.2/5 on Amazon.com with 63 ratings, while the 2nd DVD has a 4.7/5 from 39 ratings. The 3rd DVD has 4.8/5 rating from 33 users.
The character Jake has also received positive reviews. The character has been thought of as a "classic Disney character", lovable and entertaining addition. He has quickly become an icon at Disney's Hollywood Studios from the popular Disney Junior Live as well as being added on the park's entrance drawings. The atmosphere character can be seen at the Hollywood And Vine character breakfast and the Animation courtyard, while at Disney California Adventure, Jake can be found on Hollywood Boulevard in the Hollywood Studios backlot.
On July 27, 2012, Disney announced a spin-off series of the show centering Skully. The show is entitled Playing With Skully, and is a collection of short cartoons that aired on September 19, 2012. Another short series entitled Jake's Never Land Pirate School premiered on November 26, 2012. The third spin-off, Mama Hook Knows Best! debuted on September 29, 2013 starring Sharon Osbourne as Mama Hook.
|Annie Award||Best Animated TV Production - Preschool||(won)|
|Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role - Young Actor (Colin Ford)||(won)|
|Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Casting for an Animated Series||nomination|
Upon the initial release of the series onwards, there has been a high demand for toys, games, and other merchandise from the show. At the American International Toy Fair in New York City, Disney announced a line of toys that were released in the summer of 2012. On July 16, 2012, the app Jake's Never Land Pirate School was released on the iPad and other Android devices.
- The episode "Cubby's Goldfish" were shown in some international viewings of [[Winnie the Pooh (2011 film).
- "Hide the Hideout", "Peter Pan Returns", and "Jake and Sneaky Le Beak!" are the only times Skully has ever collected any Gold Doubloons.
- "Captain Hook's Parrot" was the first time anyone other than Jake introduced the episode.
The first Jake And The Never Land Pirates DVD, titled "Yo Ho, Mateys Away!" was released on September 27, 2011. The second DVD, which contained the episode Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns, was released April 3, 2012. The third one, with the special, Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Jake Saves Bucky, was released on DVD October 16, 2012. A fourth DVD, featuring the special Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Jake's Never Land Rescue will be released November 19, 2013.
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