Aardman Animation returns to its stop-motion roots with the charming, amusingly-titled The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists. Taking a leaf out of Pirates Of The Caribbean's book, it tells of small but loveable group of rogueish pirates led by the simply- titled The Pirate Captain (voiced by a dashing Hugh Grant). He's competing against other, more attention-seeking pirate contestants in a bid to win the Pirate Of The Year competition. Along the way, he teams up with Charles Darwin and his monkey butler(!). However, his real enemy is the boo-hissable Queen Victoria who REALLY hates pirates. The film is packed with a lot of laughs and sight gags, some of them intentionally anachronistic (a Rubik's cube?). There's also genuine heart too that makes it a hard film to dislike. Stop-motion animation films can take up to 5 years to produce and it's obvious that a lot of care and attention has gone into the story, characters and the animation itself. Like a Pixar film, there's something here for everyone. If you can, stay for the delightful end credits as well.
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