The Pirates! Band of Misfits Review

“This Film Is Arrrtful!”

February 14th, 2013

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (The Pirates! Band of Misfits! in American releases) is a 2012 stop-motion/CGI film loosely based on the book of the same name. It was produced by Aardman Animations. It stars Hugh Grant as the Pirate Captain, Imelda Staunton as Queen Victoria and David Tennant as Charles Darwin.

In 1837, the Pirate Captain and his amateur pirates (who have names because of their appearance or interests) set off to win the Pirate of the Year competition, but are considered useless by the other pirates. After a few failed attempts to plunder some ships containing odd people, the Pirate Captain decides to give up but is convinced by his first mate, the Pirate with a Scarf, that he must carry on.

The Pirate Captain then invades the Beagle which houses Charles Darwin who is desperate for Queen Victoria's love. While walking the plank, he finds out that the Pirate Captain's parrot called Polly, is not a parrot but a rare dodo! To win the prize of Scientist of the Year, the Pirate Captain travels to London and quickly disguises as a girl scout to hide from Queen Victoria as she despises pirates! This leads the Pirate Captain in an adventure of swashbuckling, betrayal, riches and sailing.

The Pirates: In an Adventure with Scientists! is quite amusing and has so many pirate jokes. I liked the character, Mr. Bobo, Darwin's chimpanzee butler who uses cards to communicate, especially doing the dramatic sounds. I adore the stop-motion that Aardman used from clay models and the CGI sea to make it look convincing.

However, I was a little concerned about the adult references such as little profanity, a man suffering from the plague (in the trailer, it was leprosy) as well as his arm falling off and the use of an amusing transvestite character, the Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate. I think this is a little mature for younger audiences, but I do praise Aardman for making a silly swashbuckling film.

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