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The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (original title)
Trailer
2:20 | Trailer
Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

Directors:

Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt (co-director)

Writers:

Gideon Defoe (book), Gideon Defoe (screenplay by)
Reviews
Popularity
2,811 ( 1,077)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Grant ... The Pirate Captain (voice)
Martin Freeman ... The Pirate with a Scarf (voice)
Imelda Staunton ... Queen Victoria (voice)
David Tennant ... Charles Darwin (voice)
Jeremy Piven ... Black Bellamy (voice)
Salma Hayek ... Cutlass Liz (voice)
Lenny Henry ... Peg Leg Hastings (voice)
Brian Blessed ... The Pirate King (voice)
Russell Tovey ... The Albino Pirate (voice)
Anton Yelchin ... The Albino Pirate (voice)
Brendan Gleeson ... The Pirate with Gout (voice)
Ashley Jensen ... The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (voice)
Al Roker ... The Pirate Who Likes Sunsets and Kittens (voice)
Ben Whitehead ... The Pirate Who Likes Sunsets and Kittens (voice)
Mike Cooper Mike Cooper ... Admiral Collingwood (voice)
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Storyline

Always outclassed by fierce opponents such as Cutlass Liz, Peg Leg Hastings, and Black Bellamy, the hopeless, Pirate Captain, decides it's high time he won the prestigious 1837 "Pirate of the Year Award". However, this is easier said than done, as the determined captain embarks on a foolhardy quest along with his ragtag crew of misfits which involves Queen Victoria herself, an extremely rare dodo bird, and a brilliant young scientist named Charles Darwin. Will Pirate Captain manage to pull off a surprise victory? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Laugh your booty off See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild action, rude humor and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The inhabitants of the "plague ship" are clearly lepers, and were named as such in the trailer. The word leper was removed from the finished film after complaints by a Leprosy charity organization. See more »

Goofs

When Charles is describing the new species of Barnacle he discovered, he is seen with his back facing his collection of animals. In the next shot, the animals are to his right. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
servant: Admiral Collingwood!
Queen Victoria: Well, Admiral
Admiral Collingwood: Great news, Your Majesty! The French are defeated at last. Also the Russians, the Portuguese, the Chinese, and the Welsh.
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Crazy Credits

"And introducing Mr. Bobo as himself". See more »

Alternate Versions

For the US release, Anton Yelchin replaced Russell Tovey as the voice of the Albino Pirate, and Al Roker replaced Ben Whitehead as the voice of the Pirate Who Likes Sunsets and Kittens. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Fiesta
Written by Jem Finer, Shane MacGowan, Edmund Koetscher, and Rudi Lindt
Performed by The Pogues
Courtesy of Warner Music UK Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
British humor for the whole family
4 December 2012 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

Aardman Animations has probably been more consistent than Pixar, especially of late, yet the stop-motion powerhouse doesn't get half the attention. "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" didn't buck the box-office trend, but it proves that even with the most generic of premises, Aardman knows how to appeal to a diverse audience.

Intent on winning the prestigious Pirate of the Year award, the generically named Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) scours the ocean in search of treasure with his deeply loyal crew of ham-loving pirates. When famed pirates Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) burst his bubble, however, he becomes desperate. After hijacking the boat of scientist Charles Darwin (David Tennant), he discovers his beloved parrot Polly isn't a parrot after all, and could win him the fortune he seeks to make his Pirate of the Year dream come true. But to do so, he'll have to travel to London, where the pirate-hating Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) awaits.

If you're looking for a film that epitomizes British humor, "The Pirates" is exactly that. The jokes are silly, clever and come in rapid-fire fashion, many under the radar. Few animated films balance pure slapstick and wit the way this film does, which is a Hallmark of the best family films. "Despicable Me" is the closest recent example. Most films that do both deliver them in segmented fashion, whereas certain scenes are more physical for the kiddies and others smaller moments are for the adults. "The Pirates" can get both demographics laughing at the same time.

That said, "The Pirates" doesn't deliver that many belly laughs for the adults. It prefers being quirky and totally silly and it commits to this style early and often. Characters such as The Albino Pirate (Anton Yelchin) spout the most absurd things out of their mouth, but because writer Gideon Defoe never yields, what could come off as bungling stupidity comes off as funny bungling stupidity.

The film moves at a brisk pace, perhaps because a lot of the traveling by boat happens in 2D animated sequences on a treasure map (though one of the pirate's jobs is to throw red discs out the back of the boat so that red dots show up on the map). The major sequences move quickly into one another, fitting some positive character and theme-building moments in between. The result is a well-structured little film with plenty of big, physical adventure and a decent enough amount of heart.

Nothing about the story is that emotionally moving, though Martin Freeman voicing Pirate Captain's No. 2 man gives it a good go as the only logical or thoughtful character in the entire film who often calls Pirate Captain out on his impulsive and ignorant behavior. Instead, "The Pirates" succeeds largely on its potent sense of danger, anchored by the terrifying Queen Victoria who couldn't have been equipped with a better voice than that of Staunton.

Grant does surprisingly strong and practically unrecognizable voice work as the Pirate Captain, a character both likable and one you can only shake your head at some times. He's the perfect lead for a silly family film such as this. He's heroic and embodies good leadership qualities (hence why his crew adores him), but in child-like fashion he often forgets what's most important, which allows for an easy way for the kids to access the thematic points of the story.

So much of "The Pirates," however, will go over kids' heads, though not in some inappropriate way. Rather, much of what makes the movie so funny is how it plays with pirate genre conventions and film conventions in general, which kids obviously have no concept of. Start to finish, it never ceases to find the clever thing to do or say.

Simply, "The Pirates" will have audiences of all ages grinning from ear to buccaneer.

~Steven C

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 April 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pirates! Band of Misfits in 3D See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,137,734, 29 April 2012

Gross USA:

$31,051,126

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$123,054,041
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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