Disney Pirates: The Definitive Collector's Anthology

Foreword written by Johnny Depp

Disney Pirates: The Definitive Collector’s Anthology: Ninety years of pirates in Disney feature films, television shows, and parks.

2017

Since early childhood, some point between innocence and ignorance, I recognized, as luck would have it, that I somehow possessed the presence of mind to be incessantly curious and obsessively observant of those around me. Even to the point that for a couple of years – well before my teens, I was convinced that my lif’ calling was to be an impersonator. I was utterly blown away by the fact it was possible to change one’s voice and mannerisms in order to elicit an instant transformation of the face, so that, immediately, the person I had been watching, was no longer themselves. They had disappeared and transformed into another being!

I was fascinated by human behavior, especially when the subjects were unaware that they were being observed. Those elusive opportunities where one might witness moments of simple and true behaviour – pure honesty – where the subject simply exists, unaware of anything within their vicinity – floating from thought, to thought, to thought. It then became my sworn duty to alarm, unnerve, startle, shock, annoy, terrorize and panic these unfortunate subjects, who largely turned out to be my family – the poor sods. And all this just to satisfy my need, my fix, For the purity of disrupting their private reveries so as to experience the bona-fide vérité of that inevitable, involuntary reflex and recoil of horror and fear. Why, you ask? Because it made me laugh. I would how! for hours, even days, reliving those instances. But, I needed more. In my youthful glee, I became addicted to these utterly spontaneous, in the moment responses. ‘The truth’, as they say, ‘will set you free.’ And, it most assuredly did. 1’d found my true calling. It was in my DNA to provoke and prod – others as much as myself. I know there is some sliver of cruety in there, and for that I can undoubtedly salute the chequered history of my unruly gene pool. But, in a bizarre flip, somewhere down the road, all of these rascally provocations from childhood became the tools in my tool box for the work I do today. Was I absolutely positive that there would be ghastly repercussions? Yes! But, I didn’t care. I couldn’t. It was, just simply, plus fort que moi.
It was much stronger than me. My props were limited but my mind was not. Rubber snakes, fake spiders, frighteningly strange noises. it had developed to the point where my parents were actually concerned for my sanity as my addled brain conjured up prank after prank to feed my worrying sense of humor and its treacherous obstacle course.

I forged ahead like a bull chino. The more I learned, the more I became cautious of anyone who might belong to the seemingly straight and narrow, as I’d been driving my teachers insane, and had they been able to catch me in the act, they have roasted me! So, I suppose that’s why I never cared much for the suits. They represented the enemy to me. The humor impaired. They were the school principals, the deans, the truant officer, the doctor, the dentist, the fraudulent evangelists. The stern and bitter type folks, incapable of drudging up a smile that hadn’t been born out of their own perverse notion that they held the monopoly on the ‘power. Authority has always been a problem. Beloved rogues were my heroes. The rule breakers. From Blackbeard, to Dillinger. From Jim Morrison to Iggy Pop. The list goes on. So, my everdarkening adolescent cerebrum reached out to these iconoclastic mavericks, who blatantly scoffed at convention without a care in the world, as organic an urge as taking a breath. They gave me the impetus to escape a life of mundanity. I knew I was destined for something a little more undisciplined and ungoverned. Life was mine to explore! Some have suggested that Captain Jack Sparrow was the pinnacle of that search. But, the truth is that he has always been an integral part of me, from day zero.

Cut To: Day One. Set of POTC ‘Curse of the Black Pearl.’ An absurd feeling. Like arriving, for the very first time, in a place you’ve always known. I understood everything. Immediately. This was where I was meant to be. My tumultuous trek, battling toward the edge of honestys limits, had reached its zenith. However, that battle was not over. It never is, of course, and I had to fight for my vision of the character. My truth, And that vision was realized, thanks to the ‘guts’ of Jerry, Gore, and the finest executive that The Walt Disney Company has ever employed, Dick Cook, not to mention our dedicated and incredible crews – the true soldiers who get these films done with their very blood and sweat!!! They give the film its magic. But, above all, we must thank our dear audience. For, without them, there would be ‘no glory’ We would never have gotten anywhere. But now, here we are, some five movies later with our new directors, Joachim & Espen, administering some fresh wonder, still on the ride and loving it!!!

The future is always a riddle waiting to be solved, but I know that wherever we go, Captain Jack Sparrow will remain close by. His irreverent, absurdist sprit, forever loitering intently beneath the surface ofall that threatens to tame us, to bore us, and to trick us.

So, don’t be tamed. Don’t be bored. And don’t be fooled.

Long live the Pirates life.

Johnny Depp
Surrey, 02.05.’17