|The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Columbia Pictures, 2012.|
Cultivated from the same old-fashioned, endearing school of sloppy claymation which is almost, almost lost, The Pirates: Band of Misfits is a fun, dog-eared exercise in simple imagination which stands head and shoulders above other Spring theater family fare.
Aardman Animations has made a name for themselves as an artistic, pure-hearted animation house which aims to create genuine entertainment for children all shapes and sizes, to move them and to make them think. Nick Park's Wallace and Gromit felt like such an old-fashioned breath of fresh air next to everything else in the 90s. That Park "sold" his studio to a larger American studio was an obvious result of his success and recognition. Chicken Run and Curse of the Were-Rabbit are the enjoyable fruits of this labor.
With The Pirates!, Aardman (and Columbia) spoof the Pirates of the Caribbean's recent blockbuster success, and pretty well, at that. The script is tart and witty, the direction and visual design very focused. The voice cast is crucial: Hugh Grant and Salma Hayek are both wonderful.
When it comes to family films which are intelligent and creatively constructed, this one is worth taking a look at.