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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie and book differ enormously - but both are spot on
The book is great. The movie is great. That doesn't usually happen. I guess it is because Gideon Defoe, the author of the book, also wrote the screenplay for the movie, intending one not to be a "spoiler" for the other. The movie was definitely more of a kids' movie, where the pirates were the ragtag underdogs struggling to keep up in the increasingly competitive pirate...
Published on March 22, 2012 by Jessica Thomas

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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SHIVER ME TIMBERS!
Pirates have become cool again with the trilogy of films made by Johnny Depp but those films might be just a tad too intense for the youngest of children. With that in mind the folks at Aardman studios, the stop motion group responsible for Wallace and Gromitt among other things, have come up with some pirates of their own. They've just been unleashed with this film...
Published on August 28, 2012 by Mark Turner


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie and book differ enormously - but both are spot on, March 22, 2012
By 
Jessica Thomas (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Pirates! Band of Misfits (DVD)
The book is great. The movie is great. That doesn't usually happen. I guess it is because Gideon Defoe, the author of the book, also wrote the screenplay for the movie, intending one not to be a "spoiler" for the other. The movie was definitely more of a kids' movie, where the pirates were the ragtag underdogs struggling to keep up in the increasingly competitive pirate world (you are judged for your "booty"--double entendre?). The book has different characters and a completely different villain! That is how much the stories differed. The book also contains more grown-up humour - more people being run-through by swords, more blood, more walking the plank, more steely pirate bad-assedness. Queen Victoria is one crazy woman in this movie, enough to get PETA up-in-arms for ages. The other pirates the Pirate Captain competes against for the Pirate of the Year Award (Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven) are swashbuckling good fun, even if they are more than a little rude toward the beloved Hugh Grant's character. Also, Hugh Grant gives a surprisingly different performance than the one he's known for in his rom-coms; his pitch is deep and fierce and his performance is touchingly funny without any over-saturated fluff. Gideon Defoe is spot on for creating a movie that is appropriate for the kiddies and a book that has humour for the older kids. See the movie because Aardman's stuff is always funny, but definitely read the book to get the original story.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyous genius!, April 8, 2012
After years of disappointment the Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) resolves to finally win the Pirate of the Year competition and so embarks on a series of raids on passing ships in the hope of earning sufficient booty to compete with the his rivals Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) and Black Belamy (Jeremy Piven). However he is still plagued by bad luck with the best produced by a succession of raids being the capture of Charles Darwin (David Tennant). Still at least Darwin is able to identify that Pirate Captain's beloved parrot Polly is in fact a dodo, supposedly extinct for over a hundred years. This gives them both an idea...!

Pirates! is a gloriously hilarious, exquisitely produced movie. Its very much a children's movie but with plenty of sly asides to keep adults on their toes as well. The sets are stupendous and almost beg a second viewing in themselves to allow the viewer to try to aborb all the teeming detail. Both the voice performances of the cast, and the painstaking detail of the stop-motion animation are flawless.

I thought it as close to perfect a piece of film-making as I have seen in many years and I hope for more adventures of the Pirate Captain and his crew in the not to distant future.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great for the family, October 21, 2012
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I'm really picky about kids' movies. If my daughter enjoys it, fine, but she isn't what you might call discerning. This is one of the few that I actually enjoyed watching with her. Sharp humor, clever writing and fantastic to look at. It even has David Tennant! What else could you want?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun!, May 7, 2012
This review is from: The Pirates! Band of Misfits (DVD)
I've come to expect good things from Aardman Animations, and this lives up to my high expectations. The story itself is kid-friendly and amusing, but with plenty for the grownups to enjoy. The generally gentle tone avoids aggression and darker themes, so will probably work well for all but the most skittish of kids. Best of all, production values are of the best quality. The stop-animation figure have just the right goofiness, beautifully animated. The sets are spectacular, too - each one is actually constructed and decorated as you see it on screen, and there are dozens. And, in a few places, it seems that modern technology enhances this most classic of animation styles. Clouds, flame, and water effects work well, adding a touch of realism to the whimsical figures and props. Like the Wallace and Gromit tradition before it, Pirates is a hoot!

-- wiredweird
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SHIVER ME TIMBERS!, August 28, 2012
Pirates have become cool again with the trilogy of films made by Johnny Depp but those films might be just a tad too intense for the youngest of children. With that in mind the folks at Aardman studios, the stop motion group responsible for Wallace and Gromitt among other things, have come up with some pirates of their own. They've just been unleashed with this film.

The story follows a group of pirates that aren't quite up to snuff in the pirate hierarchy. Sure they have the peg legs and eye patches, but this ragtag group just doesn't seem to pillage near as much as most. They're led by the Pirate Captain who does his best to keep his crew happy and content (hey, don't forget ham night!). But Pirate Captain has dreams of his own, of becoming the Pirate of the Year.

The only problem is the amount of pirating he and his crew does. With Cutlass Liz and Black Bellamy always bringing in more booty they win the competition every year. Rather than allow him the chance to do better, the group always ridicules him as well.

That could all change when Captain Pirate and his crew board a boat stocked with all sorts of stuffed animals and body parts. The boat belongs to Charles Darwin who's been seeking a special scientific discovery so that he can become the Scientist of the Year award back in London. He too has had a tuff time but when he sees Captain Pirate's parrot he recognizes it is not a parrot at all but the extinct dodo bird. Darwin convinces Captain Pirate to take him to London along with the bird where they will win all sorts of treasures for their discovery.

Even though the queen has placed a bounty on the heads of every pirate to sail the seven seas the group heads for London. Once there Darwin attempts to steal the bird from Captain Pirate to claim the award for himself. He fails and Captain Pirate wins the award, stunned to find that it isn't booty at all but an award along with the chance for time with, of all people, the Queen! Darwin failed to mention the reward would be time spent with the woman of his dreams.

The Queen also wants possession of the dodo bird for her private zoo but Captain Pirate doesn't give in easily. After discovering he is a pirate and nearly decapitating him, she stops and pardons him in the hopes he will turn over the bird. When she offers treasure as well, Captain Pirate sees the chance to return to Blood Island with more booty than anyone has ever claimed and win the prized Pirate of the Year award. But all doesn't go as planned, something that always seems the case with this group.

The story may seem pretty well straight forward but in truth there is more beneath the obvious here. It's not just about Captain Pirate winning the award and gaining some self esteem. Instead the story is more about discovering who you really are and what is really important in life. For Captain Pirate that boils down to winning the award he's cherished for so long or remaining true to both Polly (the dodo bird) and his crew.

As with all Aardman Studio films this one is chock full of sight gags that run from beginning to end. Each one may be a small portion of the film seen but they all will garner laughs from adults as well as children. They do a nice combination of jokes that older viewers will get but won't offend the young crowd.

The stop motion animation is as always amazing. In a world where computer animation seems to have taken over, it's nice to see someone using this technique and not allowing it to fade away. Somehow just watching it makes you realize how creative and artistic it is in comparison.

The final word about this film though is that it is truly entertaining. It's a movie that both young and old will enjoy and have fun with. Topping that off is the fact that it offers something that youngsters will not realize they are getting and that is a set of morals to accompany the tale. They'll learn that wanting something and doing anything for it at the sake of losing everything that is truly important isn't quite worth it. And for a movie to entertain and get that point across is truly an amazing feat. So hoist the rigging and set sale for the high seas with this film that the whole family can enjoy.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great fun for kids, May 11, 2012
This review is from: The Pirates! Band of Misfits (DVD)
We (husband, myself, and first grader) went to watch this movie last weekend, and though my husband hated it, my daughter and I thought it was a fun movie. There is nothing ground-breaking in terms of animation, effects, or plot here - it is what it is - a fun movie that will probably be enjoyed better by kids than by adults.

The storyline is simple enough (and I can't compare it to its source work as I've not read the book this is based on) - Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant delivering quite a good voice-over) is a pirate that has seen better days and who has never really achieved any pirating glory. He has however amassed a loyal following in his rag tag crew members, and a pet bird that turns out to be quite, quite unique.

Pirate Captain decides he absolutely must enter the Pirate of the Year contest though he is up against some renowned pirates, i.e. sexy female pirate Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek delivering her lines in a swoon-worthy performance) and several other prominent pirates, all of whom have garnered many glories in their pirating adventures. Feeling out of his depth, Pirate Captain decides to give it up but fate of course has other plans.

Pirate Captain and his crew, together with naturalist Charles Darwin (David Tennant) find themselves heading to England, where the pirate-hating Queen Victoria dwells. Will Pirate Captain get what he wants, or will he be doomed like other unfortunate pirates who've felt Victoria's wrath?

The story moves along at a mercifully quick pace, and the laughs are there, though nothing stellar. My daughter enjoyed the movie and I thought it was good fun too - though of the forgettable variety. The animation in the tradition of Walllace and Gromit is cool and that was the highlight of the movie for me really. Final verdict - great fun for kids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not a good movie, May 10, 2013
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Not for kids, not for adults. The funniest sections were in the preview. The rest goes down hill. Not worth the media it is printed on...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious after the first 15 minutes, April 29, 2013
By 
This review is from: The Pirates! Band of Misfits (DVD)
I was really looking forward to watching this movie. The characters look great, and for the first 10 - 15 minutes or so, it is fairly entertaining. After that, it becomes an unbelievable slog to get through the movie. The characters are extremely annoying, boring, and repetitive. The movie seemed like it was 3 hours long - just from curiousity, I fast forwarded the rest of the movie after hitting yet another tediously annoying bit ... and it went on and on and on .... Definitely glad we just rented this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A golden pirate adventure!, December 30, 2012
By 
Andrew Ellington (I'm kind of everywhere) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Pirates! Band of Misfits (DVD)
I remember sitting in the theater to see The Muppet Movie and seeing this hilarious film trailer and thinking that I absolutely couldn't wait to see it. I see so many cartoons that it is a joy to find one that truly appeals to both adults and children. It is also fun to find one that isn't so dark. The recent trend with the princess movies is sad (Princess and the Frog and Brave both at times being downright scary) and so I'm always looking for a FUN film to watch with my daughters. Well, we never got around to seeing this in the theaters, but last night we snuggled up on the couch to take it all in, and I'm so happy that we did.

This was hilarious!

The Pirates! Band of Misfits tells the story of The Pirate Captain, a simple minded man who captains a ship that is, well, not all there. His ship his falling apart, his crew is week and incompetent, his parrot is fat and in a society where the more feared you are the more important you are seen, The Pirate Captain is only worth 12 doubloons. Still, The Pirate Captain is hopeful of becoming Pirate of the Year. He applies and then sets off on an adventure to find a lot of booty.

But he hits a snag when he meets Charles Darwin and finds out that his fat parrot is anything but a parrot, but is the long thought extinct Dodo Bird. What happens next is pure hilarity.

The Claymation process is astonishing and so much fun to watch, and the progression of story is great. It never grows tired because each additional slice of storyline feels intended and fresh. I couldn't stop laughing, and the visual gags are met each step of the way with smart humor. The plaque cards are a great touch and the pirate humor is golden. Nothing feels wasted or unnecessary. The voice work is superb, with Hugh Grant and David Tennant taking the cake.

At the end of the day, these misfits hit it out of the park!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun with Pirates, October 14, 2012
By 
Mr Mac (Pocono's, PA USA) - See all my reviews
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Being a fan of Ardmen Studios creations, I can hardly give an unbiased opinion. I liked the movie. Pure entertainment
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