The “Based on Disney Rides” Cinematic Universe

Tower of Terror

The quote from The Hollywood Reporter on the cover promises, “A thrill ride!” I have to imagine they’re talking about the theme park ride.

(I’ve been on the ride this is based on once. I DID NOT HAVE A GOOD TIME.)


The Country Bears

It was terrible but there were enough things about it that were wildly entertaining to make it on the whole not a terrible experience? The music was surprisingly good for the most part and all the happy family stuff was nice but what really made it worthwhile was a god-tier Christopher Walken performance. I loved every second he was on the screen. Oh and there is a comically-bad scene in a carwash that was so bad it looped back to good. They were just going for it.


Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

“I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly.”

Extremely brave of Hollywood to make billions of dollars making movies about pirates and then tell us not to pirate movies.

I first heard about this one because my best friends in high school were an online group of repressed fanfic writers who came together because we were all popular writers on a Star Wars fanfiction forum. I haven’t kept up with everyone but at the time the vast majority of that chat were cis girls, so this coming on the heels of the Lord of the Rings movies inspired no small amount of thirst in that group.

I don’t remember for sure whether I saw the first one in theaters because late high school was a time when I was skipping a whole lot of movies especially ones that had quite a bit of hype behind them, but I don’t know, probably I did? At any rate whenever I got around to seeing it I definitely loved it and during my freshman year of college this was one of our go-to “put on a movie and eat pizza” kind of movies so yeah. I have quite a bit of built-in affinity and nostalgia for it.

Oh and we’re watching all these movies to get ready for Jungle Cruise because they’re in the Movies Based On Disney Rides cinematic universe, so I guess probably I should talk about the ride too. I actually first visited Disney World when I was visiting an ex of mine who lived in Orlando. So, yeah. Knowing that I had never gone before they had to make sure to take me on Haunted Mansion (which immediately became my favorite as I knew it probably would), Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean. And in an act of supreme betrayal they failed to warn me about the drop towards the beginning of the ride, which isn’t something I was expecting in a dark ride okay!, and I’m pretty sure I made some kind of embarrassing girly noise but whatever. Anyway yeah Haunted Mansion is my favorite but Pirates of the Caribbean is pretty cool too I guess.

So, yeah, back to the movie. There’s some structural weirdness to this one but I honestly think it works pretty dang well? And every element still really works for me. The action, the humor, and dang that soundtrack. These movies are honestly just kind of the perfect kind of blockbuster.

Or like they would be if Johnny Depp weren’t in them, but you know. I actually find it weirdly easy to separate him from Jack Sparrow despite it being his like most recognizable and kinda career-defining role? I don’t know.

So as far as thirst purposes a movie about pirates sure could use a lot more bondage, though there is one pretty nice scene of Will being forcibly gagged. And obviously Jack isn’t really an acceptable object for thirst. (Just because I’m able to separate Depp from the character pretty effectively doesn’t mean I’m comfy thirsting and honestly I was never really into Jack like that anyway.) Orlando Bloom would be an obvious boon here but I really don’t love him with facial hair and he was way hotter as Legolas yeah I know shocking that I prefer the femboy version but still. He’s Orlando Bloom he isn’t exactly harsh on the eyes.

But really in this franchise Keira Knightley is where it’s at. Elizabeth is a great character and she plays her super well. She’s so fierce and I love her weird thirst for pirates and in the next movie she has to disguise herself as a boy and it’s just unfairly hot and yeah.

So yeah I still really love this one and its first two sequels. It has all the important blockbuster elements covered and I really like its swashbuckling action/comedy vibe, and every time I have an excuse to revisit it I thoroughly enjoy the experience.

Oh and there wasn’t a logical place to mention this but there’s a running joke about Will being a eunuch and my fiancx and boyfriend made fun of me pretty hard every time it came up and that was lovely. Oh wait I guess I coulda mentioned that in the thirst section but oh well too late now GOODBYE.


The Haunted Mansion (2003)

It’s not great but it’s not terrible? But I just want a Haunted Mansion movie with the kind of resources a Pirates of the Caribbean movie gets, and with a director who’s willing to fight Disney if they have to like Verbinski had to on Pirates.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

The 00s absolutely spoiled us with a trilogy of astonishingly good trilogies. We appreciated the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as such at the time, but the popular narrative around the other two (The Matrix and Pirates of the Caribbean) was that the first movie was fresh and exciting and the second and third movies were stale and disappointing.

Even though I eventually got peer pressured into agreeing with that, I just… really don’t get it. In both cases I think the sequels took a pretty good idea established in the first movie and just absolutely ran with it to make something bigger and better. This is blockbuster filmmaking at its absolute best.

Meanwhile in thirst land ELIZABETH DRESSED AS A BOY IS SO UNFAIR WHAT THE HECK. HELP I AM SO GAY!!! And I freaking love the bit where she dashes enthusiastically into that bar fight with her sword drawn and upbeat fiddle music plays in the background and heck this movie is good I’m so disappointed in all of you for sleeping on it.

My only really substantial complaint is that I really could’ve done without the racist portrayal of Island natives. I know it’s a genre staple but when you’re revitalizing a genre this kind of thing is best left behind.


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Y’know what? I already said everything I need to say about this one in an older review.

Hoist the colors.


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

“What are you doing?”
“Planning an escape route.”

You and me both, Jack. You and me both.



Hey, so, maybe instead of making a dystopian movie that features a third act speech in which the villain literally turns to the audience and bitches at them for being into dystopian movies, you could’ve just… made the optimistic retro futurist movie this kinda sorta hinted at but never actually delivered? Maybe… that?

P.S. The main character of this movie shoulda been the little robot girl.

P.P.S. lmao one of the most powerful corporations in the world made a movie about how the earth is being destroyed because people are watching dystopian movies instead of blandly positive movies that ignore all the very real problems we’re facing. Yeah, you guys are right that’s probably why.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

This was pretty okay!! Not even in the ballpark of as good as the first three movies, but after the fourth one was just an unbelievable chore to watch, I’ll happily take “pretty good” and “extremely watchable.”

My only major complaint is that there was one hella misogynistic gag involving Jack being forced to marry someone while in a noose and held at gunpoint, but whatever. The rest of the movie made up for it in a big way.


Jungle Cruise

Yes, hi, I did enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean Alternative with Less Straightforward Racism Starring The Rock and Emily Blunt as a Tomboy and Somebody I Haven’t Heard of as an Explicitly Gay Femboy! Thanks for asking. Please give that femboy a boyfriend, though. And please let him say the word “gay” out loud for gods’ sake.


Muppets Haunted Mansion

When I begged for literally years for them to make a good Haunted Mansion movie this is NOT how I expected them to pull it off.


Updated Movies Based on Disney Rides Cinematic Universe rankings:

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (S-Rank)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (S-Rank)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (S-Rank)
Muppet Haunted Mansion (A-Rank)
Jungle Cruise (B-Rank)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (B-Rank)
The Haunted Mansion (C-Rank)
Mission to Mars (C-Rank)
The Country Bears (C-Rank)
Tomorrowland (C-Rank)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (D-Rank)
Tower of Terror (D-Rank)

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