What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there are fatal shootings and stabbings, and one intense scene when a horse-drawn carriage turns a pirate into roadkill. One scene even has pedophile overtones, but it will likely go over most kids' heads. The pirates are also pretty deep into the grog. When one of them dies, it's hard to determine if he was slain by his mates or alcohol poisoning. Young hero Jim Hawkins is threatened with death on occasion, though Long John serves as his protector, and Jim later returns the favor.
- Families can talk about Jim's relationship to Long John. Do you think Jim has done the right thing in the end? Long John is endlessly flattering and complimentary to the boy -- yet he uses the same flowery language with an adult sailor, and casually kills that same man when he won't join the pirate mutiny. Do you think Long John has changed by the end? Why do you think pirate yarns were popular in the 1930s and are still popular today? How does this version of the tale compare to the book or other versions?