Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Aardman's animated The Pirates! Band of Misfits is extremely silly. A happy pirate sets out with his rag-tag crew to win Pirate of the Year at all costs. Though full of anachronisms, the action takes place in the Victorian era, with Charles Darwin & Queen Victoria as the villains of the piece. I was aghast at the film's version of Queen Victoria, who is truly nasty, brutish & short. I liked the detailed sets, no doubt crammed with jokes I totally missed, though I was at least quick enough to notice the sign for a Chinese dentist named "D.K. Ying." The stop-motion animated figures have the familiar ping-pong ball eyes, wide mouths & large hands of other Aardman characters but lack the hand-molded feel of Wallace & Gromit. The movie is aimed at kids, though the books on which it is based are apparently not. I saw it in 3D, which enhances the film's environments but is not essential. I was the only person at the lunchtime matinee. Definitely spooky & absolute validation of my slacker status.

§ The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012)
Directors: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
88 min

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