Tuesday, May 15, 2012

From the People that Brought You Wallace and Gromit: Pirates! Band of Misfits

With my work schedule going from essentially 2 PM until 7 PM, it's kind of hard for me to get the initiative to go to the movies these days unless I'm going on a Saturday. However, today I decided (as I sometimes randomly do) to check the movie screenings for a short matinee preferably occurring before noon. Well, as luck would have it, one of the movies that I have been dying to see was showing at 12:00 and was only about an hour and a half long. Yes, dear friends. The film was Pirates!: Band of Misfits.

Not those kinds of Misfits...

Despite seeing quite a few trailers for this movie, I feel like it never really caught the public's eye. Which is too bad because it's amazing.

For those of you out there who are (like me) huge fans of the Wallace and Gromit movies, this movie will give you your claymation fix. Nick Park creates characters that are both incredibly sympathetic and yet will have you smacking your hand to your forehead for about a third of the running time. Yet somehow, in the way of the Wallace and Gromit series, this combination works incredibly well. And although the main protagonist has the heart of a lion and the brain of a bird, he is balanced out with the overcompensated secondary character.

Can you guess who's who?

But anyway, to get into what the actual movie is about, I'll give you one guess. (If you guessed "pirates" you were correct. Mostly.) The "band of misfits" is quite a motley crew, boasting pirates that don't even have real names, including: Albino Pirate, Pirate with Gout, Pirate With a Scarf (a.k.a. #2), and Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (who, it's hinted throughout the movie, is a woman disguised as a man).

Who needs real-people names?

 Around the time of the notorious Pirate of the Year awards, it looks as though Pirate Captain is going to be outdone again by his peers. And yet, after attempting to pillage the ship of a certain Charles Darwin and finding a rare bird on board, things seem to be looking up. But Charles may be a little bit more shifty in this film (no relation to Creationism, kids, calm down) than the audience may first suspect. And in line with Darwin is the terrifying Queen Victoria, who has a decidedly more sinister air to her in this film.


The film is adorable. I was literally sitting in the theater by myself guffawing like an idiot (act surprised). There are bit jokes and jokes that run the length of the film. And quite honestly, even though I'm a hopeless fan of children's movies, I would recommend this movie to any of my friends. Seriously. It's a short running time, has a cute message, voices by some of Britain's biggest stars (including hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, and Brendan Gleeson), and really, the artistry in it is incredible. I don't know why more people don't do claymation, but the results are 3D with cartoon simplicity, and texture and realistic movement with subjects that are very clearly unreal. Even if you can't check out Band of Misfits, have a look at some of my other favorite claymation masterpieces, which include: Coraline, Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers, Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, Mary and Max (a bit more mature fodder), and Corpse Bride.

9 outa 10. Funny stuff.


  1. havent seen this yeat but looks like a good one!
    love clay animated films, i find it so impressive!

    great blog! love reading your reviews, i am now following so i hope to read many more!


    1. it's so cute, I recommend it to anybody. and thanks!!