The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

(PG) Sony DVD/BD/Digital Download

This claymation surprise from those clever and patient folks at Aardman is a treasure trove of laughs.

The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is a perennial loser of the Pirate of the Year to rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) and wants to set it right by finding enough booty to qualify and finally get in the running.

His motley crew are nothing if not loyal and encouraging in his pursuit of the cup and so they set about plundering — but keep coming back empty handed.

When perchance they stumble on Darwin’s boat their fortunes change, primarily because Pirate Captain’s bird Polly is actually a Dodo, in fact, the last surviving one.

Darwinhits upon the idea of taking Polly back toEnglandand winning a Science prize for the discovery of the last known Dodo.

There is so much humour in the film that some of the gags won’t be caught by just one viewing. This is such a great family romp that children will insist.

Wallace and Gromit have a special place in the Aardman canon and this comes very close. Like all their animated features it’s the loving attention to detail that enhances the experience. The streets of Victorian London are lovingly made to scale.

Befitting the deadpan humour, it’s hilarious that the villain is actually Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) — something only the English could do with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Barely a moment goes by without something to make you smile. Pirate Captain and his feckless crew are hugely entertaining.

Adrian Drayton

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