The Pirates! Band of Misfits

[4.5 stars] The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012) on IMDb [Amazon Link]

When I put this in the Netflix queue, I was expecting a mildly amusing animation aimed primarily at the kiddos. (It's from Sony Pictures/Aardman Animations.) But what I got was a hugely amusing movie that has plenty of laughs for the big kids too. Recommended for anyone who likes comedy.

The movie is set in 1837, and pirates infest the seas, on the lookout for (heh) "booty". (That's slightly ahistorical, but never mind.) Our hero, the Pirate Captain, is—for a pirate—a remarkably likeable fellow, albeit not too bright, with a ragtag, but fiercely loyal, crew. His primary goal is to be named "Pirate of the Year" by the Pirate King, but he's hopelessly outmatched by his peers. He desperately needs to make a huge score.

Fortuitously, the Captain's ship meets up with—what are the odds—Charles Darwin! (Who's accompanied by his extremely sharp simian companion, Mr. Bobo. Mr. Bobo can't talk, but uses fluent sign language. Using literal signs.) Darwin notices that the ship's exceptionally odd and ugly parrot is not a parrot at all, but a dodo, previously believed extinct. Darwin convinces the Captain to head off to London, where he'll receive untold riches and fame for his bird. And, undoubtedly, Pirate of the Year honors.

Ah, but it turns out that the new Queen, Victoria, really, really hates pirates. So the P.C. soon finds himself in hot water.

The movie is a feast of hilarious sight gags—pretty sure I missed a lot of them—and clever dialog. Hugh Grant voices the P.C. perfectly.

Last Modified 2012-09-18 3:48 PM EDT