Storyboards and DVD commentary

Thanks again to everyone who entered the contest! There were some great and really inspiring answers. Ultimately it was a random drawing that decided it (I’d mentioned this in the original post but some folks may have overlooked it), but it’s really great to see that so many people are still so enthusiastic about this show. 🙂

There have been a couple of things that came up this week…

The coolest, by far, is that Floro Dery, who did concept and storyboard art on the show, has come back from a several-month hiatus and has been posting images from the PoDW storyboards to his comic/illustration art blog all week! (Ten points to you if you can name the episode.) His linework and shading is just so delightful and nuanced. I love it. 🙂 Keep checking in, as this series will continue for a while yet.

You should check out his blog regardless of the PoDW content, though. He’s extremely experienced in working for the animation industry and posts some very informative and insightful entries with regards to technique, theory, composition, and much more.

Another–not “cool” so much as “odd”–is an observation with regards to the DVD cover.

Pirates of Dark Water DVD cover

So this is it. Pretty standard–it’s the same image as the main poster that’s available on occasion on eBay, as well as the cover of The Saga Begins (the 90-minute edited movie version of episodes 1-5). The colors are awfully saturated, which is unfortunate.

But…wait, there’s something else…


Is that–is that a fist coming out of Niddler’s head? Holy bad Photoshop job, Batman! How on earth could they let that one slide? Maybe, after oversaturating the image so badly, it was so blinding that they just couldn’t stare at the cover long enough to notice it…

(Thanks to Shwiggie for noticing that!)

And while we’re talking about the DVDs, I may as well post my review, based on what I’ve seen of them so far (episodes 1-3 and 15). I would be remiss if I didn’t direct you all to the great reviews posted by Ericha, Just Some Guy, and Shwiggie a couple of posts down, too–they definitely cover pretty much everything, both good and bad.

But one pretty big and great thing I did notice: the cut scene at the end of episode 2 is included in this DVD release. Frank Welker does the voice throughout, though, which is jarring for me because Roddy McDowall did such an incredible job giving Niddler true depth in episodes 1-5. But if you have the DVD, you can see the scene for yourself!

Also, I am happy to report that according to, PoDW is currently one of their bestselling DVD sets! Awesome work, everyone–keep spreading the word about the DVD release, because it’s through these purchases that they will know how in-demand this show really is, and that will hopefully pave the way for WB to revisit the show in the future.

My review is behind the jump.

The case: nice quality. My only pet peeve is that I really struggled to actually get the DVDs out of the case–they are held in place very tightly, and I got worried I would break the DVDs while trying to remove them.
The cover: see above. But the logo throws me off–I guess they wanted it to pop so they made the letters white, but the logo would have popped far better if they hadn’t messed with the original colors of the cover. I also like the version with “The Pirates Of” on that bit of dangling parchment, instead of just hovering over the “Dark Water” logo, but that’s just me. The back cover is pretty decent, with images of several fleshed out illustrations of the heroes/villains and the Maelstrom.
Disc art: Simple but elegant. It appealed to my design sensibility, anyway. 🙂 They’re dark blue with a water motif in the background, and also employ the same white-lettered PoDW logo.
The menu: Very bare-bones. It’s branded with “WB Archive Collection” at the top–no explicit mention of the show’s title anywhere. You’re first greeted with “Play All” or “Episode Selection,” and the latter takes you to a series of snapshots of the title placards for each episode on that disc, in groups of 4.The black “Main Menu” and “Previous”/”Next” links get a bit lost against the medium/dark blue at the bottom.
Playback: Each episode is divided into two chapters, with the chapter break occurring roughly in the middle of the episode. The odd thing, though, is that once you’re playing an episode, you can’t just hit Previous/Next Chapter to navigate between episodes–you have to go back to the main menu to select another episode.
Quality: Not bad. Definitely not remastered–the sound and image are a bit better than that of the downloadable versions online. Granted, I don’t have an HD TV, and some people who do have high-quality TVs have definitely been aware of the mediocre quality of the episodes.
Technical aspects: The DVD is not region-encoded that I can tell. Considering that people in over 80 countries are fans of this show, it really bothers me that they’re only doing a US release, and I really hope they release the episodes internationally.
The episodes are also only promised/guaranteed to play in DVD players–the kind you hook up to a TV. However, I have a MacBook Pro and was able to view them on my machine. “Your mileage may vary,” as they say–some people have definitely reported not being able to view them on their computers, which is unfortunate. However, they are not explicitly protected against playing on all computers.
Content: no extras at all? Really? Sure, we’re really happy to have this, but I think 9 out of 10 fans would have been even happier to have waited for another 6 months or however long it took for there to even be a few extras–some interviews or behind-the-scenes information or something.

On the whole…it’s all right. I’m very happy that it’s here after all these years of hoping for this, but it could have been better.

7 Responses to “Storyboards and DVD commentary

  • william napier
    9 years ago

    its been forever since ive seen the series just bits and peices on youtube but i think that the episode is 13 The Darkdweller where ren is sucked in the the dark relem and the darkdweller tries to trick him by turnin into his father and tell him a back story and then ren gets out and comes to the surface and puts the treasure in the dark water and learns that it dissipates the dark water

  • Thanks for the informations. Hope you got my mail:-)

  • Too late for me, but the coupon code SCIFI25 will get you 25% off Pirates of Dark Water and other select sci-fi movies and shows at through 11/30. At least, I can use it on Thundarr.

  • Dragovian
    9 years ago

    The DVDs not only wouldn’t play in my PC, they forced a reboot. I was horribly disappointed. 🙁

  • I love that picture of Niddler with the fisthead! I also love your soapbox message about donating to charity. I could use a higher res scan of that fistniddler, though. Would you be willing to scan it at 300 or 600 dpi? my email, if you’re willing/able, is, and if you send it, i’ll be sure to send you a healthy sampling of my fine art portfolio.

  • Rebecca
    9 years ago

    I just recently found out about the DVD release and almost fainted. Haha! I’ve been a fan of PoDW since I was 9 years old in 1991. Couldn’t believe it. I have visited your wonderful site before this as well.

    I wanted to just leave a comment saying that they apparently fixed the fist in the newer version of the DVDs! I just got mine in the mail a few days ago and noticed it wasn’t there. Maybe they read this post of yours? Heh.

    Anyway, thanks for being sucha dedicated fan. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing.

    8 years ago

    I want to ask is you have to cover a 4-disc box cartoon “Pirates of Dark Water”? It is very necessary …!!!!

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