Thanks to Sony Pictures, we had the chance to see Aardman Animation’s new film The Pirates! Band of Misfits before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film – but as usual – no matter what we say; we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because: There is no better critic than yourself!
Directed by Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt, The Pirates! Band of Misfits follows the story of a very inept Pirate Captain (Voiced by Hugh Grant) the leader of a very funny gang of pirates whose dream is to win The Pirate of The Year award in order to show the world that he is not an idiot (which is rare because of his bad luck)
Hence whilst trying to attack random ships looking for gold with little luck, he bumped into Charles Darwin (David Tennant) who tells him that his beloved parrot Polly is an extinct Dodo which could be the key to earn fame and treasure, if he agrees to present the bird to the world’s scientists convention in London (a dangerous city for pirates as Queen Victoria voiced by Imelda Staunton, hates them) Obviously, the Captain accepts this offer, putting himself and the crew in some hilarious situations.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits is an excellent comeback from Aardman Animation to its iconic still-motion animated films which made it famous, such as Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit saga where clay models are manipulated and photographed frame by frame, slowing down the process of the film. However, it is done smoothly with a great attention to detail showing how crucial art direction was to the film to bring a full Pirate experience for the audience. There are also some 2D scenes where you see the crew travelling on a world map in beautiful designs, proving that you don`t need 3D to create a desired impact.
The comedies is extremely simple and clever as all characters are lovable, even the bad ones, with Hugh Grant debuting in a featured animation in a key role that he totally owns personifying the Pirate Captain, even adjusting his British accent more neutrally but still keeping his background. Another great character ‘Number 2′ (voiced by Martin Freeman) balances the captain as his sidekick, alongside many secondary characters voiced by a great celebrity cast including Jeremy Piven, Brian Blessed and Salma Hayek, who all shines in their voice acting and delivering really good humor.
But most of all, the inclusion of Charles Darwin’s assistant Mr Bobo, a mute monkey who communicates via speech cards brings some of the funniest and most random moments of the film with a highly-appreciated simplicity.
The 3D effect worked well thanks to the filmmakers’ attention to detail, adding a sense of reality to the oceanic backgrounds in every scene, making it more believable.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits is a pleasure for everyone, especially the little kids who will love this film all the way, thanks to Aardman Animation’s unique style of creation.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits opens April 5, 2012