The Pirates! An Adventure With Scientists
Aardman Animation is the closest thing to Pixar that the British have, and they prove once again here with this charming and funny old school stop motion effort that their writers are every bit as talented. As wry and self aware as you'd expect from them, it's that rare beast - a film that that all members of the family can enjoy equally.
Hugh Grant voices the well-meaning, somewhat deluded captain of a low grade pirate ship, "Pirate Captain." Generally perceived as the poor man of a group of dastardly sorts (including Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven), he sees an opportunity to prove his worth and collect the most bounty, by winning Captain of the Year at an annual awards show. The seemingly impossible might just become possible when he realises that the ship's pet bird is actually a dodo - which was thought long exteint. After bumping into Charles Darwin on their travels, the Pirate Captain and his loyal crew head risk their lives to travel to Queen Victoria's London, where they can show off their prized asset.
When the characters are crafted with as much care as the impressive animation, then generally you're on to a winner. Grant's dulcet, often neurotic, tones are perfect for this guy; like the actor's best work always is, he lands just on the right side of charming. Also impressive are the crew, our own Brendan Gleeson included - the Dubliner getting to use his distinctive voice to often amusing effect.
It's a quirky enough film, but it's also an accessible one. Granted, there's only so far a film of such broad a rating can go, but the chuckles are there in abundance from very early on. The animation itself certainly adds to the charm; you can really feel how painstaking a process it was to make, and it really compliments the kooky feel of proceedings.
Funny characters in a funny situation being funny... basically.
Story by entertainment.ie | 16:28 | Friday 14th September 2012 | DVD review