Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Movie Name: The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
Stars: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Lenny Henry, Brian Blessed, Anton Yelchin, Brendan Gleeson, Ashley Jensen
Genre: Animation, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Peter Lord follows his previous hit, "Chicken Run" with another animated featured that trails in the same style that the Aardman studios have been known for (their "Wallage and Gromit" features are the most prominent ones). "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" follows a group of pirates, headed by their valiant but not bright Pirate Captain, who is trying to win the award for "Pirate of the Year". Sadly his group hasn't amassed much in terms of looting, which means he'll lose yet again, until they all find out that their pet parrot, is in fact a rare species, a dodo, something the Queen of England has a keen interest on. When Polly, the dodo, is put in a difficult situation, it's up to the motley group to come to the rescue.
Peter Lord is a veteran in the animation world, and builds a story that is filled with humor and references to cultural staples, which may elude children, but which hit the target for older audiences (the references to the Academy Awards for instance). There's a sense of fun and joy in the film, something that the fantastic animation emphasizes in the character design for instance. Unlike Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin", where there was an overstatement of the action till there was barely any recognizable character involved (Tintin himself was completely secondary to what was occurring on the screen), "Pirates" allows for each character to have their own time and create an empathy with the audience. All the actors do a great job with their characters, particularly Imelda Staunton, who steals the show voicing Queen Victoria. A fun movie worth watching.