Review: “Pirates: Band of Misfits” is fun for kids and adults

April 27th, 2012 at 12:25 am by under Entertainment

You arrrrrgh gonna want to consider taking the family to this rousing adventure for both kids and adults.

Luckily “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” is just about the right length for the younger viewers and also has enough story, detail, and jokes for the adults in the audience.

"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" poster courtesy Aardman Animations Sony Pictures Animation

(My spoiler-free review)

Set in 1837, when the British Armada controlled the seas, except for the Caribbean because of raiding pirates.  But one of those pirates isn’t exactly the most feared of the group – our main character, “Pirate Captain”.   While he might be out to plunder and loot, as we progress through this adventure, Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) and his merry band of misfit pirates become a likeable group that you can actually root for.

The stop-motion claymation on the movie is amazing, at certain points, I forgot that I was watching claymation and instead was just watching an animated movie.  The details that went into this type of animation were nothing short of excellent, from the smallest little detail on street signs or trinkets and newspapers on the pirate ship to facial features and lighting.  The 3D adds to the depth of scenes, but isn’t critical to enjoy the movie.

The jokes are plentiful and everything from comedy about what makes being a pirate fun to what happens when pirates don’t “turn a profit” in the business.  There are site gags and in-jokes throughout… the comedy is clever and continuous.

Like last year’s family hit “The Muppets” they also travel by map and feature a “Flight of the Conchords” song (“I’m Not Crying”)… its a movie that kids (5 years old and up) will have a fun time watching and adults can laugh along with.   At the screening I attended, I had a chance to watch with kids as young as 5 years old to pre-teen and while the younger ones were a little scared by some images, the older ones were entertained from beginning to end. There are numerous nods to other popular movies as well, including “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom”.


While the claymation is great, and the jokes and references are good, what really keeps the movie going is well crafted storyline and the well developed and memorable characters.  The characters are both interesting and cleverly conceived in comedic ways… the cast of voice characters are also a solid group that add to the depth of the characters.

I give it 7.0 out of 10 … plus there’s a “Flight of Conchords” song, so its another reason to see it!

"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" photo courtesy Aardman Animations/ Sony Pictures Animation

“The Pirates! Band of Misfits”

(2012) (rated: PG for mild action, rude humor and some language)
(1 hr, 28 min)

Starring voices of: Hugh Grant (The Pirate Captain), Martin Freeman (The Pirate with a Scarf), Imelda Staunton (Queen Victoria), David Tennant (Charles Darwin), Jeremy Piven (Black Bellamy), Salma Hayek (Cutlass Liz), Lenny Henry (Peg Leg Hastings), Brian Blessed (The Pirate King), Anton Yelchin (The Albino Pirate), Brendan Gleeson (The Pirate with Gout), Ashley Jensen (The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate), Al Roker (The Pirate Who Likes Sunsets and Kittens)

Directors: Peter Lord/Jeff Newitt

Genre: Animated Family/Adventure

The Plot: Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

So what did you think?  Please post a comment!

“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” poster and photo courtesy Aardman Animations/ Sony Pictures Animation

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