The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Directors: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt

Writer: Gideon Defoe

Voice Cast: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Lenny Henry, Brian Blessed, Russell Tovey, Anton Yelchin, Brendan Gleeson, Ashley Jensen, Ben Whitehead, Al Roker, Mike Cooper

Synopsis: Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action, rude humor and some language

It's A Plunderful Life

Arguably one of the funniest films that I've ever seen. There's something to be said about claymation style films, as the creators of "Chicken Run" have done it again. However, what makes the movie even more interesting is that it also uses traditional 2-D animation, in certain scenes, while still predominately using claymation throughout the rest of the film. The end result is arguably one of the most visually unique animated features out there.

For example, the map traveling scenes, in this movie, are done in 2-D animation, which creates a lot of comical scenes throughout the film, to show our protagonists traveling across the globe.

Plus, it's especially nice that each character has a unique style to them, along with terrific voice acting to boot. Although I wouldn't say this movie is historically accurate, but hey it's a cartoon, so who cares, right?

Anyways, the film centers around a band of misfit pirates, who sail the seven seas. Unlike most pirate ships, this one features a crew like no other. Sure, you still have the traditional peg legged ones, or the ones with hooks for arms. However, the crew also concludes a woman dressed up as a man, a fat parrot that's actually a rare dodo bird, while others are just fish that are dressed up in a fancy pirate hat. Indeed, you'll never find a pirate crew quite like this.

Of course, where would a pirate crew be without a captain? And what better captain to lead a band of misfit pirates than our own beloved Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) himself? Yes, Pirate Captain is the actual name of the main character of this adventure, as odd as that seems. But then again, this is an oddball crew, so that might be perfect.

Unlike most pirate crews you'll find in films, this one is more like a family. Sure, they all have their flaws and whatnot, but they tend to stick together whenever they need each other. Pirate Captain is admired by his crew, as he's practically like a hero to them. Sadly, he's never been able to win the coveted "Pirate of the Year" award. He always enters, but he always looses to his rivals.

The contest is held every year in a place aptly dubbed "Blood Island", since it's formed in the shape of blood according to Pirate Captain. The contest is not only based on how much gold the pirate steals, but it's also based on the bounty on their heads. If the pirate excels in all these areas, then the infamous Pirate King awards the winner "Pirate of the Year"; where they'll be both admired and envied by their peers.

Unfortunately, all of Pirate Captain's attempts end up in failure, as he rushes to try to win the award. But as luck would have it, he ends up plundering a science ship one day, who's sole passenger is Charles Darwin. Frustrated at another failed plundering attempt, Pirate Captain whines saying how he wishes something would go right in his life. After hearing his short rant, Charles notices that Pirate Captain's parrot is actually a rare dodo bird, and tries to plea with the Captain to let him have it, so he can present the bird for London's annual science fair; where the winner not only gets recognition by their peers, but other riches as well. Although Charles is a bit vague about what those untold riches are exactly, it's enough to convince the Captain to enter the fair, while being disguised as a scientist.

Needless to say, something goes wrong, as the Queen hates pirates with a severe passion. Every pirate knows this, but Pirate Captain is determined to get that gold no matter the cost. And, that's basically all readers need to know about the story, without giving away too much.

Although the story is a bit predictable at times, it's actually a lot of fun to watch. In fact, I would have to say this is one of the funniest animated films that I've ever seen. Not only are the characters very interesting, but the way the story is presented is also very unique as well.

For example, when audiences meet Charles' pet monkey, we soon find out that he communicates using only index cards. Throughout the whole movie, the monkey is pretty funny, but the scene that strikes me the most is the one where Pirate Captain decides to raid the Queen's ship. As soon as Pirate Captain divulges his plan, the monkey drops a few index cards reading, "Are you out of your @$%#ing mind?" It was made even more hilarious when we saw that monkey had already gone running off, after dropping those index cards on the ground.

Throughout the entire film, it layers one joke after another, to where audiences can't help but love this movie. If you haven't seen it yet, then you're definitely missing out on it, as it's arguably one of the best animated movies ever made at a rating of four out of four.




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