In nineteenth-century Britain, Queen Victoria hates pirates, who are the scourge of the seas. Captain Pirate is beloved my his crew, despite paling in comparison to his rivals Black Bellamy, Cutlass Liz and Peg Leg Hastings. When he enters the Pirate of the Year competition, Captain Pirate must travel far in search of treasure…
A film that should satisfy adults perhaps more than it does children, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is a bright and wholly amusing affair. The film retains its own sense of humour for the entire duration. The comedy should amuse children, although a number of the jokes seem aimed squarely at an adult audience.
Set in the nineteenth century, The Pirates features several well known characters. The film is smart to subvert commonly held depictions of these characters; this generates many of the laughs. The characters are parodied with humour, rather than an underlying nastiness. The Pirates is populated with an interesting cast, both fictional and those based on real people. Darwin and Mr Bobo in particular are great fun.
The Pirates has a distinct British feel to it, no doubt thanks to the crew and cast involved with the production. This feeling pervades the entire film, from the style of comedy to the characters and soundtrack. This aspect should go down well with British cinemagoers. Notwithstanding, the film has the charm and universal appeal to please audiences throughout the world.
The animation in The Pirates is solid, as one would expect from an Aardman Animation film. As with most animation in this format, the 3D works well. There is a good use of music throughout the film, including one particularly amusing song. The Pirates boasts a fine British voice cast, including Hugh Grant in his first animated film. Imelda Staunton stands out as Queen Victoria. Brian Blessed and Salma Hayak are a lot of fun in supporting roles.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is thoroughly enjoyable. It is unlikely that anyone will come away feeling that they have not been entertained.