Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How Disney Could Combine Pirates Of The Caribbean With This Animated Classic

Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean has dominated pop culture for nearly two decades, proving itself as one of the studio's unexpected biggest original titles. Loosely inspired by the iconic Disneyland ride, 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl arrived in cinemas as nothing more than a filmic experiment with no real blockbuster intentions, before becoming the springboard for a multi-film franchise. The Pirates franchise currently sits at five installments that, despite their varying quality, have collectively grossed over $4.5 billion at the global box office, leading fans and critics alike to speculate when the sixth movie in the series will hit theaters.

As of this writing, the most recent film — Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales — is approaching its fourth birthday, and talks of a follow-up haven't exactly kept steady. Bearing in mind the less-than-stellar response to the previous movie, Captain Jack Sparrow actor Johnny Depp's recent personal and legal issues, and the ever-present COVID-19 pandemic, one can easily understand why the still-untitled Pirates of the Caribbean 6 is slow to get rolling. However, given Hollywood's fascination with sequels, it's sure to hit however many theaters are still in operation within the next few years — and when it does, there's a chance that it could cross over with one of Disney's animated hallmarks. Here's how.

Captain Hook bridges the gap between Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan

As pointed out by Screen Rant, Captain James Hook of Peter Pan fame is an active presence in the Pirates of the Caribbean universe, and not in name alone. The 2011 canon novel Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom by Ann C. Crispin, which fleshes out some of Jack Sparrow's exploits before the events of The Curse of the Black Pearl, also alludes to Hook as a recognizable member of the pirate community — as evidenced by an exchange between Don Raphael and Jack's father Edward Teague (portrayed by the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards on the big screen).

During their conversation, the two pirates discuss a mutual friend known as James — whom they describe as having replaced his lost hand with a hook — who frequently disappeared without a trace. James eventually adopted a fear of children, likely courtesy of the Lost Boys. These are all very clear nods to Captain Hook, despite them never using his famous last name, and the evidence doesn't stop there. Additionally, Don and Edward mention that James doesn't age like the average human, hinting at his frequent trips to Neverland where one can slow the aging process to a near standstill.

To further tighten the bond between these two continuities, Screen Rant also brings up that Peter Pan includes a small connection to the Pirates film series. The original 1911 novel upon which Disney based its animated classic notes that Blackbeard exists in that universe, raising eyebrows over Ian McShane's rendition of the sea captain in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

It's indisputable that the seeds have been planted for these separate worlds to collide, and given how disappointing the latest Pirates installments turned out to be, a future trip to Neverland might prove a step in the right direction.