The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Release Date: April 27, 2012

No, I'm pretty sure that looks nothing like me.

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Position Staff In Brief
12/12 Les Winan Enjoyable if ultimately harmless.

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For many years now, Aardman Animations has treated audiences across the globe to a genteel flavor of humor that has proven intoxicating. While the animation house does not have a perfect track record (see: Flushed Away), its consistency in delivering quality entertainment rivals even Pixar.

In a six month period, Aardman Animations will attempt something the animation house has never done before. They will release two movies in this time frame, Arthur Christmas and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists. Well, the latter title is not exactly correct. Across the globe, they are selling the movie as a journey of knowledge. In North America, they do not want their latest animation project to sound like school work. So, they have retitled it The Pirates! Band of Misfits to evoke a more palatable theme for this side of the Atlantic. Sadly, this is probably the right decision.

The story is obviously one involving pirates. Imagine Captain Jack Sparrow as an animated character (this shouldn’t be too hard) wearing the wrong trousers and eating a lot of cheese (this should be easy for Aardman fans) and you have the gist of what the project is. Pirates is intended to become a franchise for distributor Sony just as Pirates of the Caribbean is for Disney.

In the first adventure, the crew of the Pirate Captain and his hardy crew of men (and one woman in disguise) discover that their beloved pet, Polly, happens to be the world’s last dodo. When they encounter a helpful researcher named Charles Darwin, he convinces them that Polly will win them an award at a local scientific gathering. Then, he steals the dodo and the rest of the movie involves the crew trying to get her back. Charles Darwin as a villain is a perfect foil for the debut of this franchise and worldwide audiences are already enthralled by it. Then again, they are not as afraid of science/evolution as we are in North America so it may not do as well here as prior Aardman titles. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Main Cast Hugh Grant
Supporting Cast David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Martin Freeman, Jeremy Piven
Director Peter Lord
Screenwriter Gideon Defoe
Distributor Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Rating PG
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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