Friday, January 10, 2014

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack

It's Yo Ho Ho with Johnny Depp!

Johnny Depp Patti Smith Annie Leibovitz
Johnny Depp and Patti Smith
Walt Disney Studios has had an ad campaign going for the past seven years in which they use actors or other celebrities to portray film characters. Usually, the characters are animated ones, and you can see the others ones by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page. For instance, Scarlett Johansson played Cinderella, Taylor Swift played Rapunzel from "Tangled," Jessica Biel was photographed running through a forest as Pocahontas, and so on.

The photographs are very artsy in a kind of Disney-baroque fashion. Some say they look like oil paintings, but I think they look more like a skillful blending of real-life characters into an animated setting. In any event, they are all very tasteful and magnificent, and quite a number of them have quirky casting choices which give them a certain fascination beyond the headline celebrity. For instance, Lyle Lovett is shown as a companion of the Mad Hatter and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps appears as a merman. Roger Federer rules the "court" as King Arthur.

Disney decided to include in the series some shots with Johnny Depp as his character Captain Jack Sparrow from "Pirates of the Caribbean." Why they felt they needed to do this, I don't know, since they already had plenty of promo pictures of Depp in the role and it isn't an animated character like all the others. But, when your movies earn the studio Billions of Dollars, you can set up a fancy photo shoot of your star celebrity whether you really need it or not.

In this shot from the Annie Leibovitz series of portraits for Disney, Johnny Depp stands romantically on a sail spar (that's what they're called, and why he'd be standing way up there I have no idea) as Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp is joined by his long-time friend, the legendary performer, writer and artist Patti Smith, as the Second Pirate in Command.

Obviously, these portraits of Depp are not that much of a stretch, considering he originated and owns the role of the rogue pirate (which, as Disney fans know, was a role derived from a theme park ride). Here, though, there is a slightly different take on the old buccaneer, as he is portrayed as a sort of romance novel figure, with soft lighting and a sentimental gaze into the distance.

Johnny Depp Patti Smith Annie Leibovitz

Johnny Depp Patti Smith Annie Leibovitz
Patti Smith and Annie Leibovitz

For all the actresses and actors in the series:

Jessica Chastain as Merida in "Brave"
Jessica Biel as "Pocahontas"
Taylor Swift as Rapunzel from "Tangled"
Scarlett Johansson as "Cinderella"
Penelope Cruz as Belle and Jeff Bridges as the Beast in "Beauty and the Beast"
David Beckham as Prince Philip from "Sleeping Beauty"
Queen Latifah as Ursula from "The Little Mermaid"
Jennifer Lopez as Jasmine from "Aladdin"
Whoopi Goldberg as the Genie from "Aladdin"
Julie Andrews as the Blue Fairy from "Pinocchio"
Roger Federer as King Arthur from "The Sword in the Stone"
Rachel Weisz as Snow White from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
Beyonce Knowles as Alice from "Alice in Wonderland"
Julianne Moore as Ariel from "The Little Mermaid"
Penelope Cruz as Belle from "Beauty and the Beast"
Mikhail Baryshnikov as "Peter Pan"
Olivia Wilde as The Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow
Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens in "Sleeping Beauty"
Drew Barrymore as Belle from "Beauty and the Beast"

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