The film is based on Gideon Defoe's novels 'The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists' (the Pirates encounter Darwin and Bobo) and 'The Pirates! in an Adventure with Whaling' (the Pirates face off against Cutlass Liz).
During the film, Brendan Gleesons' character Pirate with Gout, has a Blue Peter badge on his hat. This badge was given away on the show Blue Peter (1958), also the name for the show is derived from the flag flown from ships leaving port.
When Queen Victoria tells the Pirate Captain that "I may have the heart and soul of a weak woman" she is quoting from her predecessor Elizabeth I, who made a very similar remark in a famous speech in 1588 when England when threatened with the approach of the Spanish Armada.