The Pirates – Band of Misfits! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012) Film Review


I’ve been a fan of Aardman Productions since Wallace and Gromit. Or before, even – if you haven’t had a chance to check out Rex the Runt, do. It’s a fairly surreal animation series for adults (well, not specifically – it’s not rude. I just don’t think kids’d like it all that much.) The Pirates is the most recent outing for Aardman, and it certain reaches the same high standard of storytelling.

It follows the Pirate Captain, an affable but not very effective pirate, in his attempt to win the Pirate of the Year Award. He is being helped by a variety of misfit pirates, but they have no chance at beating the other, more impressive pirates. Sailing away, they come across Charles Darwin, who covets the Pirate Captain’s “parrot” Polly, which is actually a dodo. From here is a series of crazy chases and misadventures that takes them to England and meeting Queen Victoria, who covets the dodo like no other.

It’s funny and silly and an excellent film for children. What would be even better would be for it to be a television series. The characters are engaging and silly, and there is the opportunity for some educational content. Well, the possibility – although if Queen Victoria is represented as a madwoman who will go to all lengths to get the Dodo and Charles Darwin as a lonely man desperately seeking love, then perhaps there may be an issue with the educational content.

The Pirates was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature