I love Aardman Animation Studio! Wallace and Gromit? Classic. Chicken Run? Hilarious. So, I was understandably excited about this film and happily, it did not disappoint. The Pirates! Band of Misfits is an intelligent, quirky story that will engage kids and yet, keep the adults entertained. The humor may be very British and not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s funny at some level for everybody.
Stop action claymation is an amazing art form and does not get enough attention, in my opinion. This is the company’s first 3-D feature and it’s cool. Co-founder/Producer/Director Peter Lord is back behind the camera (Chicken Run) and is joined by former Aardman animator Jeff Newitt. Lord has a great sense of timing and storytelling. There is so much to see that you have to watch it more than once to catch-all the fine details–posters, store fronts, and lots of background gems.
The film is based on the first two books from Gideon Defoe‘s The Pirates! series and Defoe wrote the screenplay. Honestly, that does explain why it is not as hilarious as the earlier films (writing duo of Peter Lord and Nick Park outshines most though), but it is still extremely enjoyable with plenty of laugh out loud moments. What’s even cooler is how much depth they’re able to incorporate into these animated characters and how many touching moments there turn out to be.
The voice cast is awesome! Hugh Grant is unrecognizable as Pirate Captain and perfect. Martin Freeman is the First Mate and again proves he has incredible comedic timing. David Tennant is Charles Darwin and delivers some great lines. And Imelda Staunton‘s Queen Victoria is fantastic. The whole crew is great!
Yes…yes…you can tell I loved it. Go out and support this wonderful art form and have a few laughs while you’re at it. And as one of the pirates says, ” This turned out to be one of our most unexpectedly heart warming adventures yet!” INDEED!