The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists


thepiratesAn unsuccessful pirate captain and his crew capture Charles Darwin who talks them into sailing to London for a contest that has a valuable prize… but Queen Victoria has threatened to execute every pirate. Another fabulous Aardman movie, this time in 3D, with a smooth blend of stop-motion clay and computer animation. What makes it even more impressive is how much effort and love has gone into a movie with such a simple and silly story… but it has immense charm and is easily one of the funniest animated films in years, cheerfully sending up what we think of as traditionally English (as always in Aardman’s work). Hugh Grant is hilarious as the inept pirate captain.

2012-U.S.-Britain. Animated. 88 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Julie Lockhart, Peter Lord, David Sproxton. Directed by Peter Lord. Screenplay, Book: Gideon Defoe. Voices of Hugh Grant (Pirate Captain), Martin Freeman (Pirate with a Scarf), Imelda Staunton (Queen Victoria), David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek… Brian Blessed, Anton Yelchin, Brendan Gleeson.

Trivia: U.S. title: The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Quote: “Behind every captain, there’s a crew. Sure, some of you are as ugly as a sea cucumber, some of you are closer to being a chair or coat rack than a pirate, and some of you are fish I’ve just dressed up in a hat…” (Grant)

Last word: “‘Pirates’ was, to me, so dramatically attractive, it made a huge impact on me, I picked it up, read it, thought ‘By God, this is brilliant! Not for a very long time had I read anything that made me laugh out loud so much, so often. There’s a copy of it, somewhere, but God knows where (laughs) somewhere in the studio there’s my first copy, where I’d just underlined funny bits – and the book is covered in underlines, there are so many good ideas in it. In the case of ‘The Pirates!’ it was the world I wanted to adapt, rather than the story, I wanted to try and capture that extraordinary sense of humour that Gideon has.” (Lord, Skwigly)

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