'The Pirates! Band of Misfits' Critic Reviews
My 7-year-old guest tugged my sleeve midway through the screening and whispered, "This is a good movie." I'll second that.
Offers fewer innuendos about 'sparkling booty' than might be found in an American animated effort or a Kim Kardashian mall appearance. [Still], my timbers remain unshivered.
It's a special treat for anyone who's lost their pirate verve in recent years, returning to a realm of endless seas, bearded men of dubious character, and delicious ham dinners.
The science competition gives the filmmakers another chance to add a dash of Wallace, but pay attention as some of the film's best gags lie around the edges of the screen (make sure to read business signs both on Blood Island and the streets of London).
It starts out as a fairly easy spoof of the pirate-movie tropes resurrected by Depp and Disney but quickly finds humor in Victorian science, awards shows, Jane Austen and Elephant Man cameos while mostly avoiding the easy pop-culture gag.
Swashbuckling, family-friendly frolic on the high seas, subtly referencing evolutionary science with an insidious spoonful-of-sugar.
Pirates is just what audiences have come to expect from Aardman: smart, adventure-driven comedy with all-ages appeal and an affinity for clever sight gags.
If you crave an animated adventure that isn't dumbed down, this is for you -- a pirate adventure in the spirit of Wallace and Gromit.
One Guy's Opinion
Droll, delightful...[and] jovial enough to redeem the whole pirate genre, which one might have thought had been tarnished irredeemably by the last two dreadful 'Caribbean' movies.
Tampa Bay Times
Exactly how much wind is left in the sails of pirate movies after Capt. Jack Sparrow is an issue. There are only so many ways to buckle a swash, or shiver timbers. When Veggie Tales beats you to an idea for animation, you know rough waters lie ahead.
Glenn Heath Jr.
The film is content as it is to run clever one-liners and 19th-century pop-cultural references into the same comedic whirlpool.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
"Pirates" plays like a fussy film made by fussy little fussbudgets, clever chaps all wrapped up with making perfect Plasticine trees, but who lose track of the forest - the funny movie that is supposed to be animated around all this detail.
For all its posturing (it's based on the books by Gideon Defoe, who also wrote the script) and visual elan, Pirates never really raises anchor.
Las Vegas Weekly
A worthy addition to the Aardman stop-motion canon.
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Harmless fun, with the occasional inspired gag.
Time Out New York
Anyone still doubting that the Claymation studio behind Wallace and Gromit deserves a seat at the grown-ups' table only needs to see its pitch-perfect collaboration with author-screenwriter Gideon Defoe...
ABC Radio (Australia)
This is the first time I've gone to an Aardman film and left feeling that there wasn't anything in it for me.
Feels perfectly of a piece with everything else the studio has made-- daffy, self-assured, willing to try pretty much anything, and utterly unique.
BBC Radio Five Live
[Not] just a hoot and half -- funny, clever, and wittily animated, basically pure delightful perfection -- but perhaps the sneakiest educational film ever... [F]riends are an excellent sort of booty, but... knowledge is the bestest booty of all.
Pirates' attention to detail and determination to give the audience a rollicking good time is worthy of acclaim.
Forget the rum; it's the fun that's running dry in Aardman Animation's The Pirates! Band of Misfits.
Matt's Movie Reviews
Pirates... is a visually appealing film, and there are moments of adventure and comedy spread throughout which will entertain. But enthusiasm can only take a film so far, with Pirates... an enjoyable yet middling animated tale.
The Pirates! does feel a tad slight, but as with Arthur Christmas, Aardman have hit on a pleasant winner that appeals to all ages.
Sydney Morning Herald
It has a very English kind of daffy humour, absurd but good-hearted, and it is pitched at adults as much as children.