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The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The Pirates! Band Of Misfits: Smart & Funny Animated Comedy

  • Brendan GleesonBrian Blessed...
  • 3DAnimation...
  • Peter Lord
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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The Pirates! Band Of Misfits: Smart & Funny Animated Comedy

Pirate Captain (Grant) yearns to win the Pirate of the Year award which
he’s been denied every single year for twenty years because he can never bring
in as many booties, nor is he as terrifying as his competitors. In fact, his
goofy, light-hearted ways have him regarded as something of a joke in the
pirate community. Determined to revamp his reputation and win the award ahead
of rival pirates Black Bellamy (Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Hayek), Pirate Captain
sets off to plunder some ships and bring back as much gold as his own boat can

While raiding a ship, he comes across Charles Darwin (Tennant) who
points out to him that his pet ‘parrot’ is actually the last remaining dodo on
Earth. Under the pretext of there being a large cash reward for the best
discovery, Darwin tricks Pirate Captain and his crew into presenting Polly the
dodo at a science convention in London, home of Queen Victoria and sworn enemy of
pirates everywhere. A fight over Polly commences where each of Pirate Captain,
Queen Victoria and Darwin’s plans clash horribly as they all try to use her for
their own gain; Pirate Captain for gold, Darwin for love and Queen Victoria for
her ego.

First things first; the film both looks and sounds incredible. The stop-motion
animation gives it a very charming, rustic quality; the attention to detail is
staggering and the characters look simple yet distinctive. The pirates all have
their own special tics and combined with the spot-on voices of the actors
playing them, are pretty hilarious. It’s actually a shame that most of them
don’t get that much onscreen time.

At the top of the funny list is Hugh Grant
as Pirate Captain. Grant is the last man you’d pick to play a pirate which
makes him perfect for Pirate Captain – the least likely pirate ever. He’s sweet, soft spoken, dopey and is both completely charming and thoroughly
hilarious. Tennant’s Darwin is another major source of laughs. His is the
plight of geeks everywhere; he’s just desperate for a girlfriend. Staunton, who
voices Queen Victoria, brings her potent mixture of sickly sweet and unbridled
terror – a mix that she perfected as Harry
’s Professor Umbridge – to make a highly memorable villain that
showcases a side of the queen that we’ve never seen before.

It’s a smart film, no doubt about it, and it doesn’t skimp on the fun.
The film is packed with jokes to the point that it would probably require a
second viewing just to fully absorb everything. The action looks great, the
story goes in every single direction yet still makes perfect sense and the
pacing and editing are snappy. It’s thoroughly offbeat and is all the more
charming because of it.

Like This? Try

Fantastic Mr Fox, Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit

360 Tip

The soundtrack here is just awesome. It’s a heavy on The Clash, britpop mix, works perfectly in the context of the film and will have you singing along, loudly, in your head. 

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