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The Pirates! Band Of Misfits DVD Review

“The Pirates! Band Of Misfits” is the type of movie in which all the best parts are presented in the trailer.  

As a big fan of Aardman (the studio behind “Wallace and Gromit”), I was naturally looking forward to their latest stop-motion animation project, “The Pirates! Band Of Misfits.”After all, how can you go wrong with a stop-motion animated Pirate comedy? Alas, little goes right with this disappointing animated feature.

Remember that fun trailer for ‘Pirates’ that was first released in theaters? Well, not only does it contain all the best bits from the movie, but it should be considered false advertising as it doesn’t represent the movie at all. A lot of the confusion probably stems from the fact that ‘Band Of Misfits’ is only the U.S. title. The actual title in the U.K. is “The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists” which is certainly more aptly named.

If you’re expecting a wacky Pirate adventure, that’s not what we get here at all. Instead, we get a story about a Pirate Captain loser who wants to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award (AKA whoever gets the biggest treasure haul). His plans change, however, when a young Charles Darwin tells him he already has a rare treasure, the Captain’s faithful dodo bird companion (a rare bird). Darwin coaxes the Captain to enter the bird in the Scientist of the Year Award promising great riches, but Darwin clearly has his own plans. Along the way, there are also problematic run-ins with the pirate hating Queen Victoria.

So, as you can see from the trailers, the Darwin angle is completely hidden from the trailers and it’s not hard to see why after seeing the movie because it’s a complete snooze fest. The plot (and the movie itself) become tiring after the 20 minute mark. If it wasn’t for the fish or Mr. Bobo’s flashcard humor, there would be nothing to amuse audiences much throughout the overlong runtime.

Even though I wasn’t a fan of the characters, I will admit that the voice acting is top notch. It’s clear High Grant, David Tennant and especially Martin Freeman are having a blast here as they all earn their paychecks with lively acting. It’s just a shame they weren’t given better material.

Summary: Watch “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit” and skip “The Pirates! Band Of Misfits.”


Visually, the film, which is presented in 2.35:1, gets nothing but praise from me. The stop-motion animation is exquisite and it no doubt looks even better on Blu-ray.

As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, it is also a rousing success.

* Ultraviolet Digital Copy.
* Code for a “Little Big Planet 2”/”The Pirates! Band Of Misfits” extra.
* Sony trailers.
* DVD-ROM Extra: Printable Activity Pages.
* “Mr. Bobo’s Flash Card Challenge”- A DVD word game.
* “So You Want To Be A Pirate!”- A nearly 18 minute animated short in which the Pirate Captain hosts a talk show like program.
* An absolutely dull commentary by Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt, and Justin Krish.

August 27, 2012 - Posted by | DVD review | , ,

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