Dead men tell no tales, but the vocal might of tens of thousands of young women tell a singular story.
The cast of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" drew high-decibel appreciation along the red carpet Saturday at Disneyland, where the Mouse House hosted the world preem for the third installment of its Caribbean cash cow.
"There's such excitement over this one, such anticipation, and I think it's bigger than any of us expected," said Disney chairman Dick Cook. "I think Jerry Bruckheimer would be a fabulous pirate," added the boss. "He's a swashbuckler."
In terms of buccaneers, Bruckheimer said he identified with "all of them. They're all scoundrels." And how would Cook fit in? "Dick would be the guy manipulating it all, the guy on top. He wouldn't get his hands dirty."
The event marked the first time tickets for a "Pirates" preem -- at $1,500 a pop -- were made available to the public, with proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of America and Make-a-Wish Intl. Combined with an upfront Mouse donation of more than $1 million, the org garnered some $3 million.
Johnny Depp, as usual, engendered weepy, Beatle-level worship, and graciously obliged the autograph-seeking faithful. The actor's Jack Sparrow muse and "World's End" scene-stealer Keith Richards showed up sporting an emerging, curiously challenged mustache.
Did he see himself in Depp's notoriously affected performance?
"Yeah, a little bit," chuckled the Rolling Stones guitarist.
And Orlando Bloom had the ladies in a tizzy, happily signing anything thrust his way, paying special attention to those wielding Magic Markered entreaties like "Orlando Please Hug Me!" Pic's Keira Knightley couldn't make it to the event.
Pirate-garbed fans lined up three and four deep along the 2,000-foot carpet that wound down Main Street to Adventureland to glimpse the likes of Geoffrey Rush, Bill Nighy, Naomie Harris and franchise director Gore Verbinski. "Pirates" scribes Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio were on hand, as well as Cuba Gooding Jr., Kobe Bryant, Jon Voight, Teri Hatcher, director Tony Scott, Paula Wagner, Nina Jacobsen, Disney prexy Bob Iger, production head Oren Aviv, Disney-ABC president Anne Sweeney, Pixar founder John Lasseter and Roy Disney.
As with the two previous "Pirates" preems, a buffet dinner awaited the hungry, and a 100-by-50-foot screen stood on Tom Sawyer's Island, with well-padded bleachers on the opposite bank set to accommodate 2,000 viewers.
The audience settled in as security types with nightvision scopes spotted errant cell-phone users, while a healthy set of mainly disco hits was performed by a band dressed as pirates.
Hans Zimmer, composer for the second and third "Pirates" installments, led his own musicians in a medley of the film's themes, followed by cast intros.
Then, at 9 p.m., beneath a real crescent moon, the imagineered shores of Anaheim were invaded by the sights and sounds of "At World's End." At movie's end, 168 minutes later, the sky filled with fireworks, and, in the shadow of the towering bleachers, the line for Pirates of the Caribbean began. The ride, that is.