The most successful animated films have always found a way of entertaining both their younger target audience, as well as the taller folks accompanying them. This proved to be a challenge for the stop motion animation The Pirates! A Band of Misfits, which appeared to have little difficulty in entertaining the grown-ups, but fell short with keeping the children interested for the duration of the film.
The story centers on a blundering band of pirates, led by the inept The Pirate Captain (yes, that is actually his name), set out to snatch the highly coveted Pirate of the Year award from their rivals.
The cast is studded with recognisable voices, including Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Selma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Anton Yelchin, and Brendan Gleeson, to name a few. Not surprisingly, the actors handled the British humour with ease.
This welcome humour from across the ocean was provided by screenwriter and novelist, Gideon Defoe. His screenplay is littered with jokes for adults (not to be confused with adult jokes) that regrettably seemed to fly over the heads of the children in the audience.
Directors Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt, who have not directed anything in over a decade, succeeded, for the most part, in providing a lot of visual humour and entertainment for your toddlers. The audience never became restless watching the claylike characters’ wacky adventures.
As a comparison, The Pirates! A Band of Misfits falls somewhere between Chicken Run and Pirates of the Caribbean. If your children enjoyed either of those films, they’ll have a blast with this one.
Bottom Line: Parents, if you’re looking for a family friendly show that won’t put you to sleep, this movie willdo the trick.
Runtime 88 minutes