March 8, 2011
Hey look, it’s another shirt from Threadless! Clearly inspired by The Pirates of the Caribbean movies, “Kraken Snackin’” depicts the fate that befalls so many unfortunate sailing vessels. There’s a lot to like about this design; the blood-red tentacles, the massive disc of the full moon, the snapping rigging lines, the tiny airborne sailor…but I think my favorite detail is the lone parrot winging its way to freedom.
Guys and Girls Tees (Asphalt Regular Fit) still available in all sizes for $20. Buy it now from Threadless!
October 30, 2009
I’ve been working on my costume for our office Halloween party tomorrow, and, surprisingly, it came together fairly quickly. I’m keeping it a secret for now, but all we be revealed on Saturday!
In the meantime, here is a selection of store-bought cephalopod Halloween costumes:
Pirates of the Caribbean Davy Jones latex mask (by Party America, I think) from my local Halloween Express. The price tag is about $60, but you can get it for about half that on Amazon.
From the same Halloween Express, the full Davy Jones costume (this time by Disguise). In the store, it costs $99.99, but you can get it for $70 at BuyCostumes.com.
Cthulhu mask from Halloween-Mask.com. Currently out of stock.
This awesome tentacle arm was made by The Gaiastore, but tragically it no longer seems to be available. It retailed for a mere $15, so I’m not surprised it sold out!
Child’s octopus costume from Pottery Barn Kids. Retails for $59, but the current online price is $34.99.
Infant costume from CostumeExpress.com. Currently out of stock.
Discontinued “Stuck On You” octopus costume from BabyStyle.com.
Lastly we have “Lil’ Squirt,” which was made for Target by the Charles S. Anderson Design Co. Of all the children’s octopus costumes I’ve seen, this is the one I’d most like to get for Kid Indie Squid Kid. Unfortunately, it was only available for one season several years ago.
September 11, 2009
Dragon*Con has been over for nearly a week, which is plenty of time for the Internet to help me find all (well, nearly) the cephalopod-themed costumes from this year’s menagerie of the weird. Enjoy.
Davy Jones ( Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) from the Dragon*Con parade.
Netherworld squid monster.
Ursula the Sea Witch from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
The Fruity Oaty Bar commercial from Joss Whedon’s Serenity come to life!
MINDstyle’s “Stephen Le Podd” con exclusives.
It’s this guy! He’s back!
As Movie Week draws to a close, it’s time to come full circle with another Disney movie. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is the second installment of the trilogy based the popular theme park attraction. Even if you are not a fan, you have to admit that they’re pretty good for movies based on a 40 year old ride! Personally, I thought the first was thoroughly entertaining, the second was fun, but hard to follow, and the third made almost no sense at all. Dead Man’s Chest is the topic of today’s post because, of course, it features not one, but two cephalopod-based characters: Davy Jones, the film’s central villain, and the monstrous Kraken.
Davy Jones is an immortal mariner and captain of the infamous Flying Dutchman. He was originally tasked by the sea goddess Calypso to ferry souls of those who perish at sea to the afterlife. His subsequent betrayal of the goddess and dereliction of duty brought a curse upon him, transforming him into something resembling the Cthuloid spawn of an octopus and a lobster. He has a roughly human face, but his entire head seems to be made up several octopi stacked on top of each other—their tentacles forming a writhing facsimile of the pirate’s original hair and beard. The index finger on his right hand has become a single winding tentacle. He has no nose but instead seems to breath through a siphon protruding from the side of his face.
Davy Jones is apparently the ruler of the ocean, and seems to spend most of his time attacking ships and forcing sailors to join his mutant aquarium crew. He locked his still beating heart away in a chest (the Dead Man’s Chest of the title), for reasons that are unclear but seem to be critically important to the movie’s plot. He commands the mighty Kraken (see below), which he sends to hunt down Captain Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp, of course) who owes Jones his soul…or something like that.
Davy Jones was played by the fantastic Bill Nighy, and Industrial Light and Magic created his CGI “costume” via motion capture.
The Kraken, as you can see in this clip, is an enormous tentacled beast capable of not just sinking a ship, but literally ripping it apart. Davy Jones summons the beast to do his bidding using a device that sends out shock waves into the water. In this scene, we see it attack and destroy the Edinburgh Trader. Why does it do this? I think it has something do to with Will Turner (played by Orlando Bloom) and the key to the box that contains Davy Jone’s heart. Like I said, the story was kind of hard to follow.
Little of the Kraken’s body is seen in the movie, apart from it’s giant arms, two of which appear to be larger than the rest. This would be consistent with the monster being some type of squid, although these tentacles lack the characteristic club ends. At the end of Dead Man’s Chest, the Kraken has finally caught up with Captain Jack, and we get a clear view of the monster’s mouth. Instead of a beak, it has a circular maw with multiple rows of conical teeth. In this way, the Kraken resembles the Sarlacc from Return of the Jedi more than it does a giant squid. Like Davy Jones, the Kraken was entirely CGI, and ILM won the 2006 Acedemy Award for Best Visual Effects for their work on Dead Man’s Chest.
Not a squid.
Davy Jones and the Kraken return in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, the final part of the trilogy, although the Kraken only has a brief appearance. It seems Davy Jones’ new master (who has the box that contains his heart and therefore the power to kill Jones. I think?) has commanded ol’ squid face to kill his former pet. We do finally get a look at the body of the Kraken when Jack Sparrow finds its massive corpse washed up on a beach. (A scene that we are apparently supposed to find very poignant and symbolic.) It has a pair of enormous eyes and a long mantle with two rear stabilizing fins—all very squid-like. The book Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide (Dorling Kindersley, 2007), states that the Kraken was 1400 feet long (the length of ten ships) and the accompanying illustration shows its body being at least twice as long as its arms, making the Kraken more like a cuttlefish than a squid.
We’re almost at the end of Movie Week! Tomorrow, for the final installment, I’ll take a look at the cephalopod movie hall of shame.