Pirates have had their share of onscreen appearances over the past few years. For one, Johnny Depp—whose eccentric personality as Jack Sparrow in 2003’s The Pirates of the Carribbean earned him an Oscar nomination—has become the face of pirates for many theatergoers.
But last weekend, another face of piracy arrived in theaters and this time both parents and young children will be able to enjoy a tale of adventure on the high seas.
The Pirates: Band of Misfits, a feature that relies on stop-motion animation, is a rare treat. It’s a high-quality animated film that wasn’t created by Pixar. Instead, the movie was created by directors Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt, who brought audiences 2000’s delightful Chicken Run.
Pirates tells the story of the naïve but empathetic Pirate Captain, whose quirky crew is full of intriguing characters. Voiced by Hugh Grant, this captain has his eye on one particular prize and it’s probably not the prize you imagine. Instead of seeking gold and treasure, his goal is to win the highly sought-after “Pirate of the Year Award,” a recognition that has alluded him for years. He’s like the Susan Lucci of the pirate kingdom. Although his ragtag gang supports his endeavor, his rivals for the prize mock his ineptitude.
One of the best things about this film is the creative ways that it incorporates humor into its endearing story. From the pirates’ attempts to disguise themselves in the company of Victoria to the Pirate Captain’s botched plan to steal money from other ships to a silent monkey’s cue cards that tell audiences what he’s thinking, Pirates inventively earns its laughs time and again.
Children will enjoy the film’s wonderful animation while parents will enjoy its quirky brand of comedy. Additionally, the movie also subtly packs in a strong moral message about the value of friendship over fame.
At one point, towards the end of the film, the Pirate Captains says, “It’s only impossible if you stop to think about it.” It’s a sentiment played for laughs but more valuable than a punch line. With so many children’s films aiming to achieve a low bar and just attract kids into the theater, Pirates is full of surprises.
Movies like this are rare but not impossible to find. “Stop thinking about it” and check out this family film today.