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Encyclopedia > The Pirates of Dark Water
The Pirates of Dark Water

Title screen
Format Animated adventure fantasy
Starring See characters section below
Country of origin Flag of the United States United States
No. of episodes 21
Running time 30 min.
Original channel ABC (Season 1)
First-run syndication (Season 2)
Original run February 25, 1991May 23, 1993
External links
IMDb profile
TV.com summary

The Pirates of Dark Water is a fantasy animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera and Turner Entertainment in the early 1990s. The series followed a group of adventurers on a quest to collect the Thirteen Treasures of Rule, which possessed the combined power to stop an evil substance known as "Dark Water" from consuming the alien world of Mer. Image File history File linksMetadata Darkwaterlogo. ... Animation refers to the process in which each frame of a film or movie is produced individually, whether generated as a computer graphic, or by photographing a drawn image, or by repeatedly making small changes to a model (see claymation and stop motion), and then photographing the result. ... Look up adventure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Fantasy (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American television network. ... In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows to multiple stations, without going through a broadcast network. ... is the 56th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The year 1991 in television involved some significant events. ... is the 143rd day of the year (144th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The year 1993 in television involved some significant events. ... Cartoon Network Studios, formerly known as Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc. ... Turner Entertainment Company was established August 4, 1986 to oversee Turner Broadcastings film library after its acquisition of MGM/UA. In addition to the studio, Turner got its library, which included all of MGMs films, Warner Bros. ...


Network television run

The show first premiered in syndication in early 1991 as a five-part mini-series titled Dark Water. Following a number of animation tweaks and other changes by Hanna-Barbera, those episodes were rebroadcast later in 1991 as the first five episodes of the regular series. Most notably, the original mini-series featured the voice of Roddy McDowall as Niddler, whereas in the revised version, the character was voiced by Frank Welker. The first season aired on ABC, while the second season aired in first-run syndication as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. The year 1991 in television involved some significant events. ... Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude McDowall (September 17, 1928 – October 3, 1998) was an English/American actor. ... Franklin W. Welker (born March 12, 1946) is an American voice actor. ... The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American television network. ... In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows to multiple stations, without going through a broadcast network. ... The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera is the name of a syndicated block of animated television programming and a former ride at Universal Studios Florida. ...

Due to expensive production costs and failing to meet the airdates, the series was never completed, ending abruptly after 21 episodes with only eight of the thirteen treasures collected.

The show has not yet been officially released on DVD, although select episodes of the show were released on VHS in NTSC format. Many of the show's fans have been very vocal in their requests for a complete series DVD set, as well as the mini-series version, though as of 2008, an official release is still unavailable. 2008 (MMVIII) will be a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The heroes of the story, described by the show's introductory narrative as an "unlikely but loyal crew of misfits," have different backgrounds and are driven by different motives, as do the villains, and they often find themselves working at cross-purposes.


  • Ren (voiced by George Newbern): The prince of the once-grand kingdom of Octopon and the main protagonist, Ren was raised by a lighthouse keeper in the outskirts of his homeland, unaware of his destiny and heritage. He wields the broken sword that belonged to his father in its whole form. By the beginning of the second season, he freed one half of the planet from the Dark Water.
  • Niddler: A monkey-bird who once belonged to Bloth, until he escaped by aiding Ren's own escape from the pirate lord. He hails from the island of Pandawa. He is usually depicted as a little greedy and constantly ravenous for food, his favourite food being minga melons, but he likes Ren, and his ability to fly often comes in handy. In the original five-part miniseries Dark Water, Niddler was voiced by Roddy McDowall. Once subsequent episodes began to be produced and the show was renamed The Pirates of Dark Water, Niddler's voice was re-dubbed with the voice of Frank Welker.
  • Tula: (voiced by Jodi Benson) She is an ecomancer with the ability to control the elements and biological life, both sentient and non-sentient, as well as a natural affinity towards nature and animals. She is headstrong and often flusters Ioz. She is introduced as being a simple barmaid, but she stows aboard Ren and Ioz's ship, claiming she "wanted to get away from the drudgery of life on land." It's soon revealed that she's a character with many secrets.
  • Ioz: (voiced by Hector Elizondo) A rogue and pirate, he joins up with Ren initially for the promise of treasure. Throughout the seasons, his character matures and he becomes fond of Ren and his idealism, evolving into a protective brotherly figure to him and often risking his life for Ren and the quest for the Treasures. However, he still continues his attempts at getting rich quickly but is mostly unsuccessful.
  • Zoolie: A jolly, redheaded rogue who runs a gamehouse in Janda-Town. He and Ioz crewed together on Bloth's ship, the Maelstrom. Though not a main character, he does make recurring appearances, by offering advice and assisting Ren and his friends whenever they make port in Janda-Town.
  • Teron is a supreme ecomancer who sprouts roots from his body in order to replenish himself from a portable supply of native soil when he is away from his homeland, Andorus. He is first seen in the series as a prisoner on Bloth's ship, and Bloth uses his power for evil, in turn exhausting the local environment and its positive life-energy. Tula has great respect for him as an ecomancer, and she was sent on a mission to bring him back to Andorus to heal the Dark Water-ravaged island.

George Newbern (born December 10, 1964) is an American television and film actor. ... Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude McDowall (September 17, 1928 – October 3, 1998) was an English/American actor. ... Franklin W. Welker (born March 12, 1946) is an American voice actor. ... Jodi Benson (born Jodi Marzorati on October 10, 1961) is an American voice actress and singer of Greek decent, best known for providing both the singing and the speaking voice of Disneys Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid and its sequels. ... Hector Elizondo (born December 22, 1936 in New York City) is a Puerto Rican-American actor. ...


  • Bloth: (voiced by Brock Peters) The ox-sized, humanoid captain of the feared pirate ship Maelstrom, he is after the Thirteen Treasures of Rule. He destroyed Primus's fleet seventeen years prior to the timeline of the show, and captured Primus and his aide Avagon, though the seven captains accompanying Primus were able to escape with the Treasures. Bloth has since been hunting them obsessively, and destroying every remnant of the House of Primus just as obsessively, including killing every heir to the throne of Octopon that he could find and ravaging and pillaging the ailing city. He held Primus captive for seventeen years before the old man escaped back to Octopon and to Ren. Upon learning that Primus has a son, he transferred his fanatical hatred of Primus to Ren, and began to hunt the boy across the twenty seas of Mer, in order to capture the Treasures, and to kill Ren and the house of Primus. In the second season, he makes an uncertain and untrusting alliance with Morpho, a major agent of the Dark Dweller.
  • Mantus: (voiced by Peter Cullen) Bloth's second-in-command. He offers his cool and calculating personality as a battle strategist for Bloth's fleet.
  • Konk: (voiced by Tim Curry) A short, fat pirate who works for Bloth, he lost his leg thanks to a close encounter with his master's ferocious pet, the Constrictus, and for a long time was the only one to ever survive being thrown to the monster. Although not particularly smart, Konk possesses more bluster than most of Bloth's crew and is always trying to win Bloth's praise.
  • The Lugg Brothers: (voiced by Earl Boen and Frank Welker) Two huge, dimwitted siblings who are members of Bloth's crew. They try to assist Konk, but their stupidity makes them more of a hindrance than anything. They only make appearances as main characters in the first five episodes of the show.
  • The Dark Dweller: (voiced by Frank Welker) The powerful, evil creature that created the Dark Water. He had the Treasures originally scattered because their power is the only thing capable of opposing him and his mission to swallow Mer in Dark Water.
  • Morpho: (voiced by Frank Welker) A servant of the Dark Dweller and the leader of his worshippers, the Dark Disciples. He joins forces with Bloth and serves as the above-water liaison for the Dark Dweller, so that they can aid each other in their mutual goal of killing Ren and his friends, though they have two very different goals for the Compass and Treasures. He was an alchemist who was doing research on the Dark Water when the Dark Dweller captured him and transformed him so that he was no longer fully human, making him into an eternal servant. He possesses a tentacle in place of one arm, and half his body has been reshaped to resemble an amalgam of deep-sea creatures. He refers to himself as a creature of two worlds, Ren's and the Dark Dweller's.
  • Joat: A pirate and the previous owner of the Wraith. His ship was stolen by Ioz. He uses his metal claw, in place of his left hand, mercilessly in battle. Originally slated to have a larger role in the series, his only major appearance was in the Soul Stealer episode.

Brock Peters (July 2, 1927 – August 23, 2005) was an American actor, perhaps best known for the role in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird of Tom Robinson, the black man unjustly convicted of raping a white girl. ... Peter Cullen, born in Montreal, Canada is a voice actor who is best known for providing the voices for Optimus Prime and Ironhide, in the original Transformers series and the narrator in both American Voltron series. ... Timothy James Curry (born April 19, 1946) is an Emmy Award-winning English actor, singer, and composer, perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in Stephen Kings It. ... Earl Boen (born November 7, 1945 in New York City) is an American actor. ... Franklin W. Welker (born March 12, 1946) is an American voice actor. ... Franklin W. Welker (born March 12, 1946) is an American voice actor. ... Franklin W. Welker (born March 12, 1946) is an American voice actor. ... For other uses, see Alchemy (disambiguation). ...


  • The Wraith: A swift, beautiful ship, originally owned by the pirate Joat, that Ioz commandeers for Ren from the Janda-Town docks. It has a unique, dynamic mainsail that rotates to slow the ship or act as a parachute. This mainsail can also be detached to become a large glider. The Series Bible written during the initial production of the show says that the Wraith was built with lumber from mystical trees on a remote island, and that the lumber still retains the life-force of those trees, making the ship seem as if it's haunted or has a mind of its own.
  • The Maelstrom: Bloth’s massive and deadly warship. It is built from the bleached carcasses of leviathans, and resembles a gargantuan floating fossil. Below the main deck sits a labyrinth of passageways, sewer lines, holding cells, and slaves’ quarters. The dreaded Constrictus lives in the bowels of this death vessel.


The world of Mer.
The world of Mer.

Mer is a world very different from Earth, with a variety of its own creatures with varying degrees of intelligence, such as the monkey-bird and the leviathan. The world has twenty seas, and most of the crew's stops are made at islands. Parts of Mer are continually in flux, like a river of spiked rocks that rises out of the ocean in the first episode and appears to defy physics (none of the characters are bewildered by the spectacle aside from its danger), but whether this is the Dark Water's doing or just the nature of the geologically hyperactive planet is unknown. This article is about Earth as a planet. ... Approximate worldwide distribution of monkeys. ... For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... This article is about the biblical creature. ...

Octopon was once the greatest city on Mer, referred to as "the jewel in the crown of Mer" by Ioz in episode 14, though it lies in ruin until Ren collects the first seven Treasures. It is then partially restored. Octopon seems to have been centuries ahead of the current technological state of Mer, although it is probable that civilization is continually in decline due to the Dark Water oozing from the planet's surface.

Merian species

Monkey-birds: Niddler's species. They are winged monkeys with beaks. On Mobo Island, there is a race of monkeybirds who only possess the stumps of their wings, due to their wing growth being stunted by the stecca fog surrounding their island, although after the fog dispersed, Tula was able to jump-start their wings' growth. They all, or at least the monkeybirds on Pandawa, consider the monkeybird Queen of Pandawa to be "The Mother To Us All." It is not known whether she is their biological mother or not.

Dagron: An obvious play on "dragon", they are actually wyverns (flying dragons with no front appendages), but with front paws on their wings. In episode 16, the characters are on an island known as Dagron Island, but the dagrons native to this island have become extinct due to a humanoid known as the Dagron Master hunting and selling them. This Dagron Master uses a magic dagron-hide to transform unfortunate sailors into dagrons to sell to pirates such as Bloth. For other uses, see Wyvern (disambiguation). ...

Leviathans: Large serpentine sea monsters, similar to sea serpents of Terran mythology. Their skin can withstand Dark Water and they are thus hunted by people who want to make diving suits out of their skins (The Little Leviathan). They can grow to unknown size and most in the show are only medium class. It has been suggested that Bloth's ship is made from Leviathan bones[citation needed], but the skull of the ship does not resemble those of the leviathan. This article is about sea serpents in mythology and cryptozoology. ...

The Constrictus: A "Horror-Beast" that Bloth feeds his disloyal crew and captives to. Ren is one of only two to survive the Constrictus, and the only one to escape them completely intact; the other being the peg-legged pirate Konk. It appears as a giant four-headed, worm-like, sharp-toothed monster. It lives in the bowels of the Maelstrom and is seen nowhere else on Mer.

The Dark Water: Has various sentient qualities and seems acidic in nature, though it has also been seen as having the properties of tar and swallowing its prey whole. It has been known to lunge out at ships and people, as well as engulf entire islands. The show also reveals a master of the Dark Water, the Dark Dweller, who seems to be composed of Dark Water himself, though he is more materialized as an entity. It was aided by Kerroptus; An immense, bat-like humanoid who was sent to dispose of the thirteen treasures. His mission was postponed when he was absorbed (and thus imprisoned) in the Bell of the First Sound.

The Atani: A tribe of albino dwellers who protect themselves from having to go out into the sunlight by living in a labyrinthian underworld. They are friends of Primus, but very distrustful of the outside world. Albinism is a genetic condition resulting in a lack of pigmentation in the eyes, skin and hair. ...

Mutants, Aliens, or Humanoid Species: Many of the pirates and citizens of various towns are seemingly non-human. One in particular resembles a hammerhead shark. Bloth may not be human either.

The Game Players: Small creatures resembling elves combined with frogs, with either great technology or great magical powers. Only two are featured in the show, and they ensnare Bloth and Ren into a game, thus forcing the enemies to cooperate to ensure their survival. They own/control the Korb who have the ability to extend their limbs over a considerable distance. For alternate meanings, see Lightning (disambiguation). ...

The Eighth Treasure: The eighth Treasure of Rule has evolved into a small, dinosaur-like infant known as the Margar. According to episode 14, it is said that the last remaining treasures were changed by the release of magic when the first seven treasures were activated in Octopon (the scene shows one of the treasures lieing at the bottom of the sea changing form). This is the last treasure discovered, it is unknown if the remaining five have also morphed or if the treasures themselves are all alive. Many more are said to exist.


  1. The Quest
  2. Dishonor
  3. Break Up
  4. Betrayal
  5. Victory
  6. Andorus
  7. A Drop of Darkness
  8. The Beast and the Bell
  9. Panacea
  10. King Niddler
  11. The Collection
  12. The Little Leviathan
  13. The Darkdweller
  14. The Dark Disciples
  15. The Ghost Pirates
  16. The Dagron Master
  17. The Game Players of Undaar
  18. The Pandawa Plague
  19. Sister of the Sword
  20. The Soul Stealer
  21. The Living Treasure

The thirteen treasures and their locations

The Compass: Given to Ren by Alomar, a lizardlike creature, and the spiritual attendant of Ren's father Primus, both of whom have been guarding it in the Abbey of Galdebar (TV) or the Abbey of the Gallows (comics), to locate the treasures.

It is presumed the first seven Treasures are those hidden by Primus's loyal seven servants, the captains who accompanied him on his original quest, as many references are made to them having hidden them. Teron, supreme ecomancer of Andorus, openly admits to having hid the Third Treasure of Rule, and Avagon, the devoted aide of Primus, was witness to Primus giving the Treasures to the captains to prevent them from falling into Bloth's hands.

The First Treasure: At the top of a rocky tower on the far side of the Dragon's Maw, a narrow pass with high waterfalls on either side, in an area of Mer that's particularly prone to much geological activity. The Compass reacts particularly strongly to this Treasure.

The Second Treasure: Located in Pandawa, home of the monkeybirds. It was part of the crown of the monkeybird Queen, which had been hidden under the house of the ruthless slaver Jargis once he assumed control and transformed the island into a slave colony. Once Ren and Niddler helped spark the monkeybirds to revolt against the slavers and retake Pandawa, the crown was uncovered. Upon hearing of Ren's quest for the Treasures, the Queen gives Ren the Treasure as a token of gratitude.

The Third Treasure: Underneath the island of Andorus, hidden by the supreme ecomancer Teron, who placed a spell on it so that only a member of the House of Primus traveling alone would be able to find it. It's also guarded by a spirit of disease and pestilence known as the Blight that the ecomancers had banished there, but which was revived by the Dark Water when it ravaged Andorus.

The Fourth Treasure: The specific location is unknown, but Ren had to dive underwater for an extended period of time in order to retrieve it.

The Fifth Treasure: On the island of Miragon, at the top of a mountain guarded by a monstrous wormlike crab, the gallquin.

The Sixth Treasure: In a cave at the top of Mobo Mountain, the tallest mountain on Mobo Island. The entire island is surrounded by stecca fog, a phenomenon which wraps around the mountain and has corrosive properties. Also guarding the Treasure is the Ferrix, a monstrous creature that breathes this stecca fog the way a dragon breathes fire. Once the Treasure is retrieved, it dissolves the stecca fog. Additionally, through sorcery, it's revealed that the Ferrix was a normal ferret placed under a spell.

The Seventh Treasure: Found near some Dark Water vents on the ocean floor.

"Non-Primal" Treasures

The Eighth Treasure: A light bluish-purple, quadruped creature. It has evolved or mutated, and has an affinity for healing plant and animal life. (Episode 21)

The Lost Treasures: Treasures nine to thirteen were not found within the show. Jenna's dialogue in the fourteenth episode indicates they might have been transformed like the eighth treasure. There is a brief glimpse of thirteen identical jewels during a dream sequence in the episode "Victory", which is more figurative and not actually indicative of their real shapes.

Other media

In November 1991, Marvel Comics produced a comic book series based on the show. Originally intended as a six-part limited series, it was extended to nine issues to include a three part original story. This article is about the comic book company. ...

A series of action figures based on the characters from the show was also produced. The toyline consisted of Ren, Niddler, Ioz, Zoolie, Bloth, Konk, Mantus, Joat, and the Wraith.

Pirates of Dark Water video games were also released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis systems. The Super Nintendo version was a "beat 'em up similar to Final Fight with a slow but strong character (Ioz), a fast but weak character (Tula), and a well-balanced character (Ren). Each character has a life-draining Desperation Attack (spinning kick for Ren, ecomancer energy for Tula, and spinning punch for Ioz) and the ability to block-something not common in games of this genre. The Sega version was a side scrolling platform game with RPG elements. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System or Super NES (also called SNES and Super Nintendo) was a 16-bit video game console released by Nintendo in North America, Europe, Australasia, and Brazil between 1990 and 1993. ... The Mega Drive/Genesis was a 16-bit video game console released by Sega in Japan (1988), Europe (1990) and most of the rest of the world as the Mega Drive. ... Beat Em Up is the Iggy Pop album on which the band were first labeled as The Trolls: Iggy Pop, Whitey Kirst, Pete Marshall, Alex Kirst, Lloyd Mooseman Roberts. ... Final Fight ) is a beat em up series from Capcom. ... A desperation attack in a video game, commonly in fighting games, is an unusually powerful attack a character will do, desperate to even the odds or defeat the opponent. ... ... A simple platform sequence from the game Wonder Boy Platform game, or platformer, is a video game genre characterized by jumping to and from suspended platforms or over obstacles. ...

A PoDW role-playing game was released in the early '90s, but had a limited production run. This article is about games in which one plays the role of a character. ...

Cartoon Network interstitials

  • The Pirates of Dark Water was parodied in one of a series of early interstitials on Cartoon Network. These commercials featured a "viewer's" question & Cartoon Network's comical take on the "answer". In Pirates' case, it was on the "unaired episodes", CN claims to have the episodes on tape & to air them right there, but instead, they show footage of a kitten lapping milk, as to give the idea that someone taped over what would be the nonexistent episodes.

For Cartoon Network outside of the United States, see Cartoon Network around the world. ...


  • Executive Producers: David Kirschner, William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
  • Co Executive Producers: Jack Petrick, Paul Sabella, Mark Young
  • Created by: David Kirschner
  • Producers: John Dorman, Ted Turner
  • Written by: Lane Raichert, Mark Young, Kelly Ward
  • Additional Dialogue by: Jim Woodring
  • Creative Designer: Iwao Takamoto
  • Supervising Director: Ray Patterson
  • Director: Don Lusk
  • Animation Directors: Joanna Romersa, Masaru Tonokouchi, Allen Wilzbach, Kiyotaka Kantake, Joan Drake, Katsuhisa Yamada, Robert Alvarez, Takaya Noda, Shinich Yoshikawa
  • Production Designer: Floro Dery
  • Storyboard Artists: Jim Woodring, Keith Tucker, Adrian Gonzales, Gil Kane, Tim Burgard, Lane Raichert, Alfredo Alcala
  • Recording Director: Gordon Hunt
  • Animation Casting Director: Kris Zimmerman
  • Talent Coordinator: Jamie Thomason
  • Music: Tom Chase, Steve Rucker
  • Director of Music Production: Bodie Chandler
  • Graphics: Iraj Paran, Tom Wogatzke
  • Graphics Assistant: Parviz Parandoush
  • Design Supervisor: Scott Jeralds
  • Character Design: Tim Burgard
  • Design Assistants: Barbara Krueger, Mario Williams, Dana Granger, Viki Kirch, Scott Hill, Eric Clark
  • Layout Supervision: Takashi Saijo
  • Animation Supervisors: Frank Andrina, Shinich Yoshikawa, Takuya Noda
  • Background Supervisor: Al Gmuer
  • Animation: Toshi Mizumura, Marie Mascarina, Hiroaki Kawuguchi, Achin So, Akira Watanabe, Wincat Alcala, Yoshinori Kanamori, Jess Espanola, Romy Garcia, Luis Dimaranan
  • Background Key Artists: Craig Robertson, Andrew Phillipson, Joe Binggeli, James Hegedus, Eric Heschong
  • Background Key Design: Gerald Forton, Gil Kane, Carol Lundberg, Herb Hazelton, Lew Ott
  • Xerography: Star Wirth
  • Ink & Paint Supervisor: Alison Leopold
  • Color Stylist: Karen Greslie
  • Production Coordinator: Vicki Casper
  • Animation Checking Supervisor: Jan Adams
  • Animation Checking: Howard Schwartz
  • Production Assistants: Tori Pollock, Sandy Benenati, Debby Lathrop, Shannon Fallis-Kane, Margot McDonough, Nancy Grimaldi, Rosalinda Moore, Olivia Knighton
  • Program Administrator: Barbara Simon Dierks
  • Supervising Film Editors: Terry W. Moore, Larry C. Cowan
  • Editors: Gil Iverson, Tim Iverson, Michele Douglas
  • Music Editors: Cecil E. Broughton, Robert S. Birchard
  • Sound Editing: Sound Off Studios
  • Sound Direction: Alvy Dorman, Stan Wetzel
  • Track Readers: Jim Hearn, Kay Douglas, Carol Iverson, Kerry Iverson, Denise Whitfield
  • Negative Consultant: William E. DeBoer Jr.
  • Produced in Association: Fil-Cartoons, Inc., Tama Production Co. Ltd
  • Production Supervisors: Jerry Smith, Kunio Shimamura
  • Executive in Charge of Production: Jayne Barbera
  • Executive in Charge for Turner: Vivian Schiller
  • International Production Executive: Paul Sabella

External links

  • Andorus's Pirates of Dark Water Page
  • The Pirates of Dark Water at the Internet Movie Database
  • The Pirates of Dark Water at TV.com
For the in-memory database management system, see In-memory database. ...



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