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.
Release Year: 2012
Rating: 7.1/10 (2,200 voted)
Critic's Score: 73/100
Stars: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven
Storyline After years of humiliation and failed attempts to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award, Pirate Captain and his oddball crew take on the cream of the pirating crop - Black Bellamy, Peg Leg Hastings and Cutlass Liz - in a race to pillage the most booty. They soon cross paths with lovelorn scientist Charles Darwin, who persuades the Captain that the crew's prized 'parrot', Polly, could be the answer to the 'untold riches' they are searching for. Their adventure takes them to Victorian London where they meet Darwin's sidekick 'man-panzee' Mister Bobo, and the notorious pirate-hating Queen Victoria herself. It soon unfolds that Darwin's motives for helping the crew are not what they seem, and the Queen has an evil hidden agenda of her own. The Pirate Captain must choose between basking in the glory of being crowned Pirate of the Year, or staying faithful to his trusted crew.
Cast: Hugh Grant
The Pirate Captain
The Pirate with a Scarf
Peg Leg Hastings
The Pirate King
The Albino Pirate
The Pirate with Gout
The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate
The Pirate Who Likes Sunsets and Kittens
(voice: US version)
The film is based on Gideon Defoe's novels 'The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists' (the Pirates encounter Darwin and Bobo) and 'The Pirates! in an Adventure with Whaling' (the Pirates face off against Cutlass Liz).
Girl Scouts/Guides (only Scouts in USA) and Boy Scouts did not exist during the reign of Queen Victoria. Lord Baden-Powell began organizing Boy Scouts in 1908 and Girl Scouts/Guide started later, all after Queen Victoria died. Girl Scouts USA celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2012.
[looks at Darwin's house]
You don't get many girls, do you?
No. He. Doesn't.
A rousing triumph from Aardman
Having loved Aardman's other work, especially Wallace and Gromit,
Creature Comforts, Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep, I was much looking
forward to The Pirates! And I found myself loving it. Apart from
sagging slightly in the pace in the middle with a couple of scenes that
could've done with more punch perhaps, it has all the attributes that
made me love Aardman in the first place.
For instance, The Pirates! is a marvellous looking film, you could
really tell that a lot of creativity and effort went into it. The
colours and backgrounds are plentiful and rich with always something
interesting to look at, and the character designs are appealing with
the title character reminding of a youthful Wallace with hair and a
beard. The 3D is one of the rare instances where it enhances the
visuals and action rather than detract from it.
Theodore Shapiro's music is enough to rouse the spirit, and does very
well conveying a sense of adventure. The songs featured are fun and
memorable. I also loved the crispness and wit of the dialogue managing
to appeal to children and adults alike, and the story is exciting with
lots of charm and heart. The characters appeal because of their
larger-than-life personalities, true the names are on the generic
side(Pirate Captain, Pirate with gout) but that was probably the
intention. I did enjoy seeing the likes of Charles Darwin and Queen
Victoria as well, and they especially Queen Victoria added a lot to the
As for the vocal cast, the cast itself was one of the film's main
attractions and the voice work is first rate. Hugh Grant shows
impeccable comic timing, and Salma Hayak voices Cutlass Liz with lots
of sass. Jeremy Piven shows that he can do wonderfully with a character
that is strongly-written and provides a good contrast to Grant's Pirate
Captain. Brendan Gleeson and Brian Blessed give rousing turns, David
Tennant's Charles Darwin charms and Imelda Staunton voices Queen
Victoria as if she were born to do it.
Overall, Aardman does it again, a wonderful family film that anybody
could enjoy. 9/10 Bethany Cox