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April 28, 2012 | 11:41 a.m. CST
Today’s pirates illegally download films and music, but 1837 Victorian England pirates do things a little bit differently. Based on a novel by Gideon Defoe, is this stop-motion animation film The Pirates! Band of Misfits. The same team that brought you Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit, Aardman Animation, is at it again with this claymation sensation, and it’s in 3-D!
Hugh Grant voices the lovable Pirate Captain, and he isn’t the sharpest sword on the ship. His dream is to finally win the Pirate of the Year award. But Pirate Captain has some stiff competition from Cutlass Liz, voiced by Salma Hayek, to Black Bellamy, voiced by Jeremy Piven, and Pirate Captain’s chances don’t look so good.
Then he meets Charles Darwin, the famous scientist, who convinces Pirate Captain that he may have a treasure closer than he thinks, such as the one on his shoulder. Darwin finds that the pirate’s faithful parrot, Polly, is in fact the last living Dodo bird.
Don’t worry parents, Aardman Animations hasn’t forgotten about you. Like its claymation predecessors, the film is hilarious for both kids and parents. Pirate Captain’s crew has some laughable names including: The Pirate with a Scarf, The Pirate with Gout, The Albino Pirate and The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate. Clearly, character descriptions are unnecessary; most of this humor is blunt and deliberate.
Stay on the lookout for pirate puns abound. This is the kind of film that you might have to watch a few times before you will get all of the humor. One sign reads, "Live Sports: Urchin Throwing, Cockney Baiting."
The movie was creatively thought out. The making of the film involved millions of frames, 220,000 tiny props and 250 puppets. The mix of old and new songs in the soundtrack fits the movie perfectly; expect to hear The Clash, Flight of the Concords and Blur.
The film also incorporates a little history. We have Charles ‘Chuck’ Darwin, who is plotting to steal Polly from Pirate Captain. Then we have Queen ‘Vicki’ Victoria who plots to cook the bird. Although these personalities might not be entirely accurate to their historical reference, they provide some good laughs.
This fun-filled stop-motion animated film is cleverly written and creatively filmed. And anyone can see it because the film isn’t rated ARRRRRR. (Couldn’t resist).