Movies: The Pirates! Band of Misfits!

Voices By: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant
Directed By: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
Written By: Gideon Defoe
Sony, 2012
PG; 88 min
3.75 stars (out of 5)


Well, my seven-year-old can identify Martin Freeman at one hundred paces, and in animated form to boot ("That's the guy who's going to be Bilbo! It even looks like him a little bit!"). Hmm.

In short, a cute movie that I probably enjoyed more than my children, their chief pleasure seeming to be that I was amused. They didn't at all understand the bit about eating endangered species, but became very excited over Ham Nite (because they all like ham). Also, my two youngest couldn't read the signs Mr Bobo held, and my oldest couldn't read them quite fast enough, so I spent a lot of the movie translating. (I would have tried to explain that Queen Victoria wasn't quite the villainess the movie suggested her to be but decided that was a rabbit hole I wasn't willing to start down.)

Still, in all a win. My kids like Wallace & Gromit and find the stop-animation/claymation style visually interesting. It was probably more their lack of pirate knowledge that worked against this film on the whole. But none of it was very scary, which was good for the little ones, and there were still just enough tense moments to keep my oldest engaged. I don't know that I'd bother to add it to our DVD library or anything, but The Pirates! is a safe bet for, say, something to watch in the car or on a plane. At home the kids might not care to sit through it again—they'd likely go find something else to do—but when captive, as it were, they'd willingly watch it once more.

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