The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

Hugh Grant, starring in his first animated role, is the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side, and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals B…lack Bellamy and Cutlass Liz to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they do battle with the pirate-hating Queen Victoria and team up with a young Charles Darwin, but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure! 3.5 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

Omniscore:

Certificate U
Genre Adventure, Animation, Family
Director Jeff Newitt Peter Lord
Cast Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Piven, Brian Blessed, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant
Studio Sony Pictures UK
Release Date March 2012
Running Time
 

Hugh Grant, starring in his first animated role, is the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side, and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals B…lack Bellamy and Cutlass Liz to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they do battle with the pirate-hating Queen Victoria and team up with a young Charles Darwin, but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!

Reviews

Empire Magazine

Olly Richards

It’s so, so very daft in such a clever way. Defoe’s way with words is equally elegant and random, the perfect match for Peter Lord’s skill with a visual gag. The screen is consistently filled with jokes to pick up on later. It’s got the humour of a sozzled, posh, elderly relative saying something enormously erudite and witty one second and then blathering bizarrely on about pigs being a type of fruit the next. It’s all so delightfully loose for something that requires such regimented precision to produce.

27/03/2012

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Some people think you can improve children's minds by playing them Mozart. I think you could treble the IQ of any child, or indeed adult, by putting them in front of an Aardman product like this.

29/03/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

So it goes, one nifty joke leapfrogging another, one squiggle of animated magic exceeding the bit before. Peter Lord's rat-a-tat-tat direction would almost exhaust you were it not for the wit-blessed charm swirling about it. You hardly know what loopy turn the film will take next: all that's certain is that it will dazzle the eye, and plaster a smile on your face.

30/03/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Robbie Collin

A richly detailed, mind-bogglingly clever piece of work, but it feels every bit as hand-moulded and tangibly squidgible as their earlier, half-hour Wallace and Gromit shorts. It doesn’t look expensive; nor does it look cheap. It just looks the way Aardman films should, which is glorious.

22/03/2012

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Time Out

Tom Huddleston

Movies like the Shrek series have largely devalued the idea of a film aimed at both children and parents, but ‘The Pirates!’ gets the balance spot on. Kids will be enthralled by all the action, slapstick and yo-ho-ho-ing while the olds will get a kick out of the intricate visual detail, sparkling wit and wild historical inaccuracies: find me another movie in which Jane Austen chucks a beer mug at the Elephant Man.

29/03/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

In perhaps his greatest role yet, Hugh Grant voices the Pirate Captain, and somehow not seeing his floppy hairdo makes him all the more convincing. His luxuriant, modelling-clay beard is his pride and joy, and occasionally he stores his overweight parrot in it.

30/03/2012

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The Independent

Laurence Phelan

As well as that very specific sense of humour that characterises Aardman productions (it is somehow exactly right that one of the pirates should sport a Blue Peter badge, for example), Pirates! has an invigorating new irreverence – presumably a product of the imagination of Gideon Defoe, who originally wrote and then adapted the source novels.

01/04/2012

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Total Film

Neil Smith

By the hour mark, though, an inertia has set in that not even Queen Vic doing ninja flips on her giant floating fortress can dispel. Only Aardman would think of pinning a Blue Peter badge on a pirate hat or adding a cameo from Elephant Man Joseph Merrick. Yet it soon becomes evident such ingenious grace notes are embellishing a slender concept that, while perfectly suited to a half-hour short, struggles to sustain a full-length feature.

19/03/2012

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The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

It’s a great piece of animation, but a mediocre work of storytelling ... On paper, the film may seem an imaginative romp — I mean, when did you last see Queen Victoria or Darwin as baddies? But on screen it never adds up to anything we can connect with. Yes, The Pirates! is full of appealing secondary characters — particularly Martin Freeman’s Pirate with Scarf — but the Pirate Captain himself is never as endearing as he should be.

01/04/2012

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The Observer

Philip French

The graphic work is charming, the voice casting excellent, and there's a small part for the Elephant Man. Chuckles and smiles rather than plank-walking belly laughs are the order of the day.

01/04/2012

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The Scotsman

Siobhan Synnot

You’ll catch the Blue Peter badge attached to a pirate hat the first time round, and maybe spot the golf sale man in the background of Victorian London, holding his billboard, but the film is rich enough to reward second and third viewings.

27/03/2012

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

There is nothing much going underneath the story except that pirates were as silly as those who chased them across the seas. Unfortunately, Johnny Depp and Co have already told us that ad nauseam.

30/03/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

After 30 minutes you start to hanker for Wallace and Gromit.

29/03/2012

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