This early Disney feature is a delightful romp for kids of all ages, highlighted by a grandiose comedic performance by Peter Ustinov that will have any fan of his animated turn as King John in 1973's Robin Hood rolling in the isles. Filled with witty banter and gleefully over-the-top caricatures, Blackbeard's Ghost is exactly the kind of delirious entertainment that Disney used to churn out decades back. Whether it's Dean Jones and Blackbeard bickering at each other for long stretches in a pirate-themed hotel room or the finale where only the silliest blue-screen effects are used for high hilarity, the laughs are consistent and simply charming to watch. When it comes down to it, the whole thing is Ustinov's show and the revered thespian steps up time after time, all the while eliciting so many giggles and guffaws that it is downright amazing that he wasn't known more for his superior comedic talents. That said, both his performance and film are played to the back of the theater, so best go in expecting only the most boisterous comedy imaginable.
by Jeremy Wheeler review