Despite some extraneous special features and an English translation that is, at best, unvarnished this pirate yarn nonetheless scores points for sheer silly fun.
Rescued from a raft just before he’s eaten by sharks, city-bred Ricky Rat is inducted by Captain Fulgencio Libertador Fox into the hard-drinking, all-animal pirate crew of a ship called a “Chameleon Vessel” because it changes color (in the story at least, if not in the cartoon art) along with the sea. The pirates’ primary adventure is to fetch “bootlegger treasure” from the belly of a white whale. Along the way, they survive repeated ambushes by Admiral Sibilla Snake—a scaly vision clad in haute couture straight out of Vogue—and a layover to visit their hardnosed wives (“You have a female mouse in every port, and maybe even a duck and a hen! Eh?” screams one, clobbering her mate with a heavy cane). Along with two side games and two extra screens that allow users to create new episodes using their own voices and even photos, the 119-page main story features a lively, multi-voiced audio reading, many touch- or tilt-activated items and thumbnail chapter and page indexes. On every page, there is a self-record button along with a set of colored markers that have no evident purpose aside from creating random noises or scribbles.
Still, fine fare for readers who prefer their nautical comedy broad and don’t mind a few typos along the way. (iPad storybook app. 8-10)