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The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The Pirates! Band of Misfits movie review

 

  If the people behind Monty Python's Flying Circus ever made a pirate movie, I imagine it would have turned out as a live action version of The Pirates! Band of Misfits. This is one of those rare anomalies that come out defying all expectations.

 

 The Pirates! Band of Misfits is an animated feature brought to us by Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures Animations, anyone who is a fan of or who has seen the Wallace and Gromit or Shaun the Sheep (or the Serta Sheep commercials for that matter) series will be instantly familiar with this films visual style.

 

  The movie is based on a series of books from author Gideon Defoe (The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientist, to be exact) and follows the crazy antics of the Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) and his crew.

 

Pirates! Band of Misfits Entorage

Entourage: Season Victorian Era.

 

  Every year the Pirate Captain enters (and loses) the Pirate of the Year Awards. Using the Susan Lucci equation of math (being nominated and then not winning the award for the last two decades), the Pirate Captain expects that this year he is a shoo-in mathematically speaking.

 

Pirate Captain's Soulmate?

1 out of 19 isn't bad as long as you win eventually.

 

  After going to Blood Island to enter the contest as he does every year, the Pirate Captain soon has his hopes deflated when he must go up against Peg Leg Hastings (Lenny Henry), Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek), and Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) for the award, all of whom have collected an amazing assortment of fabulous treasures.

  

  The thing is the Pirate Captain and his crew is not exactly very good at being pirates and has some of the worst luck when picking targets.

 

  After several failed attempts at finding a proper target, the first mate (Martin Freeman) convinces the Pirate Captain to give it just one more go and they come across the HMS Beagle, carrying scientist Charles Darwin (David Tennant). Unfortunately once again the hold is not filled with untold riches as the Beagle was on its five year scientific mission at the time

 

Five year mission

Quit monkeying around.

 

  Through a series of events it is revealed that the Pirate Captains pet parrot Polly is not a parrot at all, but a rare and thought to be extinct bird known as a Dodo. Darwin convinces the captain and crew to sail to London where Polly can be entered into a contest for scientific discovery of the year at the Royal Academy, of course if they win Darwin assures them that they will attain untold riches.

 

  The only problem with going to London is that it is the home of Queen Victoria, whose royal crest includes the phrase "I hate pirates". The first mate sees going to London as a huge mistake but the Pirate Captain sees this as the chance to gain the treasure he and his crew needs to win the pirate of the year award.

 

  On paper The Pirates! Band of Misfits just does not make sense, who would go to see a pirate movie that had Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria as villains?! But in fact this premise works extremely well. As I have said before this film has a very Monty Python feel to it, so if you enjoy intelligent English humor and ridiculous gags, then The Pirates! Band of Misfits is for you.

 

The Pirates! Kill Bill?

Not how I remember Kill Bill.

 

  The entire cast of voice actors really gave it their all in bringing the characters of The Pirates! Band of Misfits to life. The dialogue has a great flow to it and no one comes across as wooden or bored.

 

Dragonlance the animated movie Demotivational Poster

With the exception of Kiefer Sutherland as Raistlin Majere who rocked his role!

 

  It is rare in this day and age to find an animated film that is not CGI, The Pirates! Band of Misfits uses stop motion photography to capture its fantastic visuals. It is good to see that stop motion has not yet become extinct in the world of film.

 

  Another nice touch is the subtle visual humor sprinkled throughout the film. This is one of those movies that rewards those viewers who pay attention to what is going on in the background.

 

  Parents will not have to dread seeing this film with their children, in fact many of the jokes and historical figures/situations will be lost on the younger set.

 

  There are even more The Pirates! books available, hopefully the movie does well enough to launch a series so that we can see even more of their zany antics on film.

 

  Overall a fun and funny movie that turns history, science, and the whole pirate/swashbuckling genre on its ear. Go see The Pirates! Band of Misfits while it is still in theaters.

 

   Final verdict for The Pirates! Band of Misfits 8/10. A fun animated comedy that even adults can enjoy.

 

 ~Professor

 

 

 

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