Leave it to Disney to bring some hunky appeal to a kids' cartoon. Josh Duhamel may be one of the sexiest actors to grace the screen, and he's doing it again, in a whole a new way. Next Friday, Josh will make his debut as Captain Flynn on Disney Junior's hit Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Though you probably won't recognize his voice — he eases into pirate-ese quite smoothly — both mom and tot will appreciate the pirate's tales about his adventures on the Never Sea. Take a look at this exclusive clip from the upcoming episode and get ready to settle in to watch the show with your lil ones next week!
How much fun is it playing a talking parrot on the number one TV show for kids? Just ask David Arquette, who stars as Skully the parrot on Jake and the Never Land Pirates. The actor and dad to Coco, 7, appears to be loving his turn as the wise bird who keeps watch over Jake, Izzy, and Cubby as they try to keep away from Captain Hook. I caught up with David at the Disney Consumer Products event at the Toy Fair this week, where he showed off his dance moves with Minnie Mouse and unveiled the upcoming line of Jake and the Never Land Pirates toys and games.
LilSugar: What's fun about playing Skully?
David Arquette: It's great to sort of perform with just using your voice. I sweat, actually, when I start doing the thing, because I really get into it. You really have to convey all of the excitement into your voice. It takes a lot, but it's really rewarding, especially when you see the little fans that love it.
LS: Do they recognize your voice?
DA: Well, I'll ask them, "Do you watch the show?" And I tell them I do the . . . I was at the Super Bowl and there were some little kids who were helping out at this little game we were playing and I was like, "Do you all watch Jake and the Never Land Pirates?" and they were all like, "Yeah!" I said, "Well, I play Skully," and I did the voice [and said], "Crackers," and they were speechless — it was the most adorable thing!
LS: Well your daughter is probably too old for the show, but does she still watch?
DA: She says, "Well Dad, I’m a little too old for the show, but I like to watch it to see what your character’s doing." She does enjoy the show!
LS: Is she happy to see you back in the Disney fold?
DA: It's great. She loves Disney. She loves some of the older programming — Good Luck Charlie and all of that.
LS: Your costar, Sharon Osbourne, is about to become a grandmother. Do you have any advice for her?
DA: She's got all the parenting advice — I could use some advice from her! For Jack, I'd just say, you're going to be great. You know, sometimes when you're a first-time parent, you're kind of nervous and you're not sure what to expect. But just like animals and every creature on this planet, we all just kick into gear. You immediately, once the baby’s there, you're a parent and you learn. You grow and you ask people, you read books, and you make some mistakes. But like a really great parenting guru said, "Parenting gives you the opportunity for a do-over every day, every minute." So if you make a little mistake, you can always make up for it and learn.
LS: Any chances we'll see Skully teaching the kids to dance?
DA: That would be fun. I mean, I'd love to do anything Skully-related. We’ve done interactive rides — there's one at California Adventure. I love the music component, too — being able to sing sometimes is fun.
Can you talk like a pirate? If your lil one is between 2 and 5 years old, chances are he'll know exactly what we're talking about!
Since its launch last February, Disney's Jake and the Neverland Pirates has become the top-ranking series among kids in that age group. The animated show — about a new crew of pirates who work together to outwit Captain Hook and Smee around Pirate Island — is about to embark on its second season with a prime-time special Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Peter Pan Returns (airing Feb. 13), where the little boy who won't grow up enlists the minipirates to help him find his lost shadow. As with the daily show, the special will feature original pirate rock songs written and sung by Sharky and Bones of The Never Land Pirate Band. I spoke with Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson, the men behind Sharky and Bones and the stars of the live-action music videos featured at the end of each episode, about the popularity of pirate culture and what it can teach tots today.
LilSugar: Obviously you two are well versed in little kids' obsessions with pirates. How did it start for you two?
Kevin Hendrickson (Bones): It started before our kids. Loren and I met maybe 12 years ago, and we both just had a love of pirates and the old Disney records we grew up listening to. We decided to make a pirate album for kids, even though we didn't have kids.
Loren Hoskins (Sharky): We were pirates before pirate was cool. We had an affinity for pirate and pirate culture and the old Disneyland rides — you know the old Pirates of the Caribbean attraction — and we combined all those into a rock album for kids of all ages. We say "for buccaneers of all ages" because we had a lot of fans that were not kids and a lot of fans that were kids and then families that were fans. We just decided to not be a children's band, but a band for all buccaneers!
LilSugar: It's been almost 60 years since Disney released Peter Pan, and unlike other Disney flicks, it hasn't received a rerelease or a 3D upgrade. Why do you think the pirate obsession remains so strong today?
Loren Hoskins (Sharky): I have always maintained that what pirates represent for play is all the best things about play. That's imagination, adventure, being bold-hearted, silly voices, and fun dress-up costumes. You put all that together and you get classic kid play. It's like pirates and dinosaurs. Dinosaurs were huge for a while, and I think for the same reason – you can just go "roaar," and play all these great games, and they were bold and adventurous and from exotic locations. Pirates are the same thing. They're one of those classic play building blocks
Ahoy mate! Fans of Disney Junior's new Jake and the Neverland Pirates know that Captain Hook and Smitty are often up to no good, and this week is no different. On Earth Day (April 22), the animated series is offering up a show designed to teach tots about our endangered coral reefs, featuring a frequent guest voice on the show, Ariel Winter (better known as Alex Dunphy on our favorite parenting show – Modern Family).
I spoke with the teen star about her involvement in the episode and she offered up some tips for introducing kids to environmental awareness. See what she had to say!
LilSugar: Tell me a little bit about Marina and what is happening to her character on the Earth Day episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
Ariel Winter: I voice Marina the Mermaid. She’s the cheerful and bright fishtailed mermaid in Mermaid Lagoon. Our Earth Day episode is titled "Save the Coral Cove" and it’s where Jake and the crew save Marina the Mermaid and Sandy the Starfish’s underwater habitat when it’s threatened by Captain Hook – he’s searching for sunken treasure in the Coral Cove.
LS: Was it your idea to involve your character in an Earth Day story, or Disney’s?
AW: It was all mutual. We all said we need an Earth Day episode so kids can learn they need to be green and help the environment. I think it’s really cool that I get to be part of the Jake and the Neverland Pirates Earth Day episode.
LS: What’s it like voicing a mermaid? I take it you didn’t do much research in the water!
AW: It’s funny. I’m Ariel and everyone always thinks I’m named after the mermaid. It’s pretty cool to voice a mermaid because when you see her on the screen she’s so adorable and she’s got like the big blue eyes and the big fishy-tail. It’s just so cool because she’s just got an amazing aura and she just wants to help and she’s always there for Jake and the crew. I didn’t do a lot of underwater training through!