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The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! is Stop-motion Genius, Say Critics

Posted on the 23 March 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! is stop-motion genius, say critics

The Pirate Captain, with sword and beard.

The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists! is a film produced by Aardman, the same studio that makes the Wallace and Gromit animations. Based on two books by Gideon Defoe (no relation to Daniel), it stars Hugh Grant as the useless Pirate Captain, David Tennant as a scheming Charles Darwin, Imelda Staunton as a sword-fighting Queen Victoria, and Martin Freeman as Pirate Number Two. The Pirate Captain wants to win a “Pirate of the Year Award”, but faces competition from his rivals, Peg Leg Hastings, Cutlass Liz and Black Bellamy. His companions – the Pirate with Gout, the Pirate with a Scarf – aid him, along with his parrot, Polly, which is actually a dodo. Critics are delighted.

Tangibly squidgible. Robbie Collin in The Daily Telegraph was hitting the roof with excitement and joy. He said that George Osborne’s comments about extending tax breaks to British animators were spot on. Stop-motion animation “is an incredibly time-consuming, labour-intensive business,” but Collins spent the entire film “gawping in dangly-jawed wonderment” at the artistry that went into it. It’s “richly detailed, mind-bogglingly clever”, but “as hand-moulded and tangibly squidgible” as Wallace and Gromit. It looks “glorious.” Grant has “immaculate comic timing.” The film has a “mischievous, utterly English sense of humour”, owing something to Douglas Adams and Terry Gilliam. Collins would “gladly pay to watch it again and again.”

Great – if you’re a pre-teen boy. Charlotte Skeoch on The Huffington Post was a bit more restrained, and, admitting to her love of “plasticine moulding”, said that the comedy “could be a younger sibling to the Monty Python boys.” It’s “every pre-adolescent boy’s celluloid wet dream. Pirates? Check. Wacky science? Check. No women unless they’re wearing a fake beard or fat and funny? Check. It’s even got a monkey butler.” But it doesn’t have an gags for the grown ups. And it shouldn’t have been in 3D – Skeoch’s “little eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.” The cast are “valiant”, though. It’s “a corker for the kids”, but it “could do better.”

A family favorite. Nonsense, said WhatCulture. It’s “undeniably hilarious” and ranks up with Aardman’s “finest work.” The attention to detail is perfect, and there are “well-placed” historical and cultural references, such as when the Pirate Captain asks whether Darwin and his monkey butler are related. The score is “tub-thumping”; but he also thought that the 3D wsas misused, with “too many gimmicks.” But that won’t stop the film becoming “a family favorite.”

Watch the trailer here! Yo ho ho!

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