The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Sony Pictures Animation

MPAA Rating: PG

Director: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt

Review Rating: 7

Pirate Captain and his misfit crew set out to win the coveted Pirate of the Year award, amid rivals, Charles Darwin, and a sword-toting Queen Victoria!

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d seen the trailers and thought the movie looked like it might be more of an adult humor speed, so it’s worth a try. The film even has a PG rating, so one can expect more maturity, right? Well. More mature concepts, certainly. That doesn’t make them viable or even realistic. This is however the same folks who do Wallace and Gromit, Sony Pictures Animation, so perhaps they get a little leeway.

Pirate Captain, yes that’s his name damnit, wants nothing more than to get the award for Pirate of the Year. Apparently he’s tried and tried, and every year he fails at it. Black Bellamy, Peg Leg Hastings, and Cutlass Liz (see those are Pirate names) are his rivals for the prize. The ships loyal crew, which is a few ragtags and one we suspect is even a lady, plus Polly, the ships mascot that everyone thinks is a parrot. So the ship goes off to loot and plunder and get the booty as it were, and it’s just not going well at all. From leper ships to science vessels, the crew and her captain get not one thing, until they encounter, wait for it, Charles Darwin. Who tells the crew that their beloved Polly is in fact a Dodo, the last of its kind, and tries to get them to give Polly over so Darwin can win a big big scientist award and supposedly untold riches. Darwin also happens to have a thing for the pirate-hating Queen Victoria. So nothing for it but for everyone to go off to Victorian London where the scientists are gathering to show off their stuff. And Pirate Captain has to make a decision between being rich and famous and the Pirate of the Year, or staying loyal to his faithful, if goofy, crew. Mister Bobo, Darwin’s sidekick man-panzee, and his speaking cards are funny and adorable. There’s even a whole scene at the end where Queen Victoria does her best Kate Beckinsale impersonation.

I thought it was okay. Don’t much care that the lead character Pirate Captain was voiced by Hugh Grant, at least he didn’t try that supposedly charming stutter. Imelda Stanton was the voice of Queen Victoria, and it so fit too – some of you might recall her as Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter movies. Jeremy Piven, Selma Hayek, Brian Blessed, and Lenny Henry are the voices of other titled Pirates. And David Tennant, everyone knows who that is, as the voice of Charles Darwin, which I honestly didn’t place and still have a hard time believing. Visually at least, the film does look good and is certainly watchable, I just wish they had actually had more piratical stuff and less attempts to cater to all ages audiences.

 

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