- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 26, 2007

Each week, the Browser features some pop-culture places on the World Wide Web offering the coolest in free interactive sounds and action.

The third movie based on a Disney theme-park attraction arrived this week, with the fate of Jack Sparrow hanging in the balance in Buena Vista Pictures’ “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”

Once again, the Web designers have put together a gorgeous site (http:// disney.go.com/disneypictures/pirates/ atworldsend/) that incorporates plenty of interactive photo montages, dialogue snippets, sound effects and music from the film as visitors go on a virtual scavenger hunt.

The linear quest has surfing scalawags click around scenic terrain loaded with characters to access locations and ultimately find nine silver Spanish dollars in order to be crowned the pirate king.

Jack’s compass (which points in the direction of whatever the holder most desires) also offers navigation to the eight required locations while the witch Tia Dalma provides words of wisdom as she pops up to point visitors in the right direction.

Extra activities are hidden along with the booty in most locations. When stopping at Port Royal, for example, pluck the first coin from Sir Cutler Beckett’s hand, then look for the “Wanted” miniposters on a world map. Click on a poster, and it opens to describe the misdeeds of 10 of the famed pirates highlighted in the film.

While stuck on a beach with ol’ Jack and Tia, visitors can click on a large crustacean to play a quick game of Whack-a-Crab. Through multiple levels, the player smacks the moving creatures before they reach the pirate and deplete his pinch-o-meter.

Or, on the streets of Singapore with Elizabeth Swan, visitors will find a way to send an explosive e-mail to a friend. The slick fireworks display can incorporate up to 10 multicolor bursts into the presentation. The software enables the choice of hues and designs to dazzle the recipient.

Life will get more complicated in Shipwreck Cove, where the visitor must persuade seven pirate lords to give him their pieces of silver. This feat can be accomplished by picking on the characters in the right order so as not to bruise any egos.

When that task is accomplished, Jack throws in the ninth coin, and the Pirate King’s throne is revealed. A chest underneath it opens to show its online treasures.

One part of the booty is the Pirate Flagsmith activity, which has the visitor design and print out a flag for his ship. The art program offers six flag templates, three sets of symbols to place on the flag and the ability to change all of the elements’ colors as well as add some salty words to the final design.

The Pirate King then can go back to previously visited locations and scour the areas for any missed challenges.

Once the quest is finished, fans should click a link found in the “World’s End” site’s main menu to travel to the main Disney Pirates cyber-stop (www. disneypirates.com) for more information on all of the films via sections on video games, DVD releases and latest news.

The best links of the bunch go to the site for the first two movies — “Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Dead Man’s Chest” — with both offering online adventure.

The fantastic “Chest” site takes pirates on a quest to accumulate plunder, find the key to unlock Davy Jones’ chest and enjoy eight games, while the “Black Pearl” stop concentrates on retrieving Aztec gold and playing a couple of games.

If that isn’t enough action, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” has a MySpace presence (http://myspace. com/AtWorldsEnd) with a couple of very cool activities.

Besides an interactive map to learn about all of the pirate lords and a multimedia timeline for five of the main characters (which traces them through all of the films), visitors can get a 3-D “piratized” version of themselves, with a little online magic from leading avatar creator Digimask.

First, upload a head shot and then wait for an e-mail message saying your noggin has become three dimensional. Next, add appropriate tattoos, scars and accessories. Then you can make the head talk and upload it to your own MySpace area.

Have a cool site for the online multimedia masses? Write to Joseph Szadkowski at the Browser, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002; call 202/636-3016; or send an e-mail message (jszadkowski@ washingtontimes.com).

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