Reviewer’s Rating: ★★1/2
In “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” the Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant), backed by his crew of, well, misfits, is determined to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award. However, to be a serious contender and edge out shoe-ins like Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek), he’s going to have to acquire as much treasure as possible — a quest that takes him to London and puts him face-to-face with the pirate-hating Queen Victoria.
The Good Stuff: “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” is created by Aardman Animation, the same company that does “Wallace & Gromit,” so the stop-motion animation is incredible. Considering the animation is painstakingly done frame-by-frame, the detail and movements are breathtaking. The characters in this film are also quite likeable. The pirate captain whose name is Pirate Captain, the curvy, voluptuous pirate with a beard, even the parrot that’s not really a parrot make the story a little more entertaining. There are also a few really good physical humor sequences that are interesting to watch.
The Annoying Stuff: “The Pirates!” just isn’t very funny. Even with physical gags, it just didn’t live up to some of Aardman’s past films. It’s cute, even mildly amusing, but it lacks the punch of other animated films that have younger audiences coming back for more. Also, this film is PG, which means the humor may not be appropriate for all audiences. This is a movie about pirates — happy, fun-loving pirates, but still pirates.
Final Verdict: If you like “Wallace & Gromit” or stop-motion animation, go see this film. If your kids absolutely love pirates and are old enough to handle a little pirate action, go see this movie for them. If neither of those two circumstances apply and the thought of pirates battling it out with swords on a sinking boat is a little much for your 3-year-old to handle, this may not be the right movie for you.