From Aardman Animations, the sensational Claymation studio that’s given us the “Wallace and Grommit” series and “Chicken Run,” comes “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.” The film was five years in the making, which just goes to show it takes a lot of work to be adorable. That’s pretty much what this movie is, but that doesn’t mean I loved it.
Hugh Grant voices the Pirate Captain, an underachieving leader with a typically motley, underachieving crew — “briny rogues,” as he calls them. The Captain hopes to win Pirate of the Year at the annual Pirate of the Year awards. Problem is, he has no booty (insert Kim Kardashian joke here) and is considered a loser by all the other pirates. What to do? Plunder some ships and get some booty!
Unfortunately, when it comes to plundering, our Captain leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, he encounters a scientific vessel with one Mr. Charles Darwin on board, who discovers that the Captain’s beloved parrot Polly is actually a nearly extinct Dodo bird, leading our hero to conclude that if he presents Polly to Darwin’s fellow scientists, he’ll earn booty to spare.
While not exactly a treasure, “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” is no-brainer entertainment for the kids. As for mom and dad? Though many of the jokes are aimed at adults they miss their mark, coming off as merely cute rather than truly funny.
Three out of five stars.