The Pirates! Band of Misfits is also known by the much cooler and funnier sounding name, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! This would be the last collaboration between Sony Pictures Animation and Aardman Animations and many people seem to like this one the best.
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The Movie Review
The previous movie they did together, Arthur Christmas was a computer-generated movie. With The Pirates! Band of Misfits, they went back to the roots of what made Aardman Animations famous, stop motion animation! I think that this is a really fun movie, but it is one that I have only watched twice, and to be honest, as much as I liked it, I would not be in a hurry to watch it again.
They got together an epic voice cast of talent for this movie. We have Hugh Grant in the lead role as the Pirate Captain, Martin Freeman as his number two, Imelda Staunton as Queen Victoria, and great performances from Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, and UK comedy legend Lenny Henry as well. Hayek, Piven, and Henry play the rival pirates that the Pirate Captain is trying to compete with.
The movie takes place during the dying days of piracy and our “heroic” Pirate Captain wants nothing more than to win the Pirate of the Year award. He has fierce competition from the likes of Cutlass Liz, Pegleg Hastings, and Black Bellamy. The rest of the pirates kind of see him as a joke, but he thinks this might actually be his year.
You see, in his quest for gold, he ends up on a ship he should not be on. This leads to a series of events where Charles Darwin (yes really) agrees to help the Pirate Captain if he returns to England with him so that he can show Queen Victoria his dodo bird. You can clearly tell that David Tennant was having an awesome time as Charles Darwin in this movie.
There is a lot of great gags in this movie, while I do prefer Arthur Christmas to this, I do think that The Pirates! Band of Misfits has more of that classic Aardman humor that we have come to know and love. There are jokes here not just for the kids, but jokes that the parents are going to get a real chuckle out of as well.
The whole style of the movie is just so much fun. It has so many pirate stereotypes and cliches, but it plays on this big time and it is hilarious to see. As you would expect from a movie that is brought to us from Sony Pictures Animation and Aardman Animation, The Pirates! Band of Misfits looks like a million bucks, I think you could argue that this is perhaps the best stop motion work Aardman has ever done.
I know that I said I would not be in a rush to watch The Pirates! Band of Misfits again any time soon, this is still a movie that I had a lot of fun watching with my son. I think that the movie manages to walk the plank…sorry the fine line of being a movie that is great for kids and their parents too.