If you’ve followed Aardman Animations’ upward trajectory from the Wallace and Gromit shorts to Chicken Run to the Wallace and Gromit feature film and beyond, you’re probably stoked for their take on the pirate genre. Well, you may not exactly be disappointed with Pirates! Band of Misfits, but the company’s latest doesn’t really stack up favorably to the top-notch Aardman stuff. It’s fun to see bumbling pirates (led by Hugh Grant), and it’s particularly odd and rewarding that their big quest involves Charles Darwin and a science fair, but Pirates! doesn’t quite establish itself firmly enough. It’s great that the studio hasn’t forsaken stop-motion altogether (they’re heavily into CGI now), but Pirates! doesn’t completely capture the ol’ Aardman magic.
Director: Peter Lord
Producer: Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Julie Lockhart and Carla Shelley
Cast: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Lenny Henry, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Ashley Jensen, Al Roker, Mike Cooper and David Schneider