Pete Winning and the Pirates: The Motion Picture (2015) – Mike Donis, Jason Leaver and Navin Ramaswaran


One of the things I most love about Toronto is the fact that I get to meet so many amazing people, and one of those that I am very lucky to call friend is Mike Donis. He’s a fun, smart guy, who has put his creative drive to work. In conjunction with James Christopher and Aaron Tsang, he came up with a story that helped launch his hit web series, Pete Winning and the Pirates (which I was lucky to visit back when they were shooting the first season, you can check that out here).

Now that this story is done, Mike has combined the seasons that told it into one, slick, and entertaining collection, known as Pete Winning and the Pirates: The Motion Picture (I love the nod to Star Trek there, by the way).

Remastering the sound and picture so that it has a more cohesive look, Donis and his creative crew, some of whom I know, are letting fans, old and new watch Pete’s story in one complete adventure.

In the not-so-distant future, the ice caps have melted, climate change has mucked with the planet, and a large portion of Canada is now submerged under water. Life on the water is the only way to survive, and piracy is the best way to make a buck. For all that Pete Winning (Donis) is still a decent man, with a set of morals, and a quick wit.

Joined by his crew, Eva (Saffron Cassaday) and Remy (Robert Nolan), and haunted by the death of the woman he loved, Carmen (Dani Barker), Pete is looking not only for food, but for the pieces of a map that the self-appointed Queen of Canada uses to maintain her tyrannical rule.


The film embraces its inner Crimson Pirate and Flash Gordon, his tongue, planted firmly in its cheek, not quite winking at the audience, but daring it not to join in the fun with him (which I’ve been trying to do since season 1… I keep telling Mike I want to be in the series… maybe a good fight scene… or a little make-up, and I could be Pete’s dad…).

As Pete continues on his journey, he finds a bit of a romance with the lovely Grace (Chelsey Marie), partners up with a slightly insane One-Eyed Bill (Ash Catherwood), and finds unexpected allies in Jane (Sandra DaCosta) and Finch (Shawn Devlin).

Eluding Uglies (mutants) and the competition, Pete finds himself caught up in an adventure that is bigger than he had planned, but made lead to freedom for a nation…

The characters are decidedly archetypal, and are played fairly broad, as you would expect from the serials it pays homage to, but it’s filled with an undeniable sense of fun. And with its new remastering, looks and sounds fantastic.

So if you’ve seen the series before, you may want to revisit it with this, and you’ve never heard of it before, maybe you should check out this award-winning series in this new format.

Check out their Facebook page for more information and trailers…

See you on the high seas Matey!

And seriously… Mike… I want in on the next adventure.




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