"The Pirates! Band of Misfits"... not band of thieves, like I incorrectly inquired about when purchasing movie tickets to see this film. *facepalm*
A stop-motion, animated film produced by Aardman Animations and directed by Peter Lord.
Starring Hugh Grant, Selma Hayek, and Jeremy Piven and more!
An all around enjoyable film. The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is tired of being a failure in the pirating community and tired of losing the Pirate of the Year award each and every year. This year, he vows to make a statement. He comes across Charles Darwin on a boat the pirates try to plunder. He realizes the "parrot" he owns is really a rare dodo bird and that he can make a lot of money off of it from the royal science competition.
Charles is really the shifty character, with his henchman/servant monkey in a monocle. He's constantly trying to steal Polly for his own glory and for his love, Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton). We think the queen just wants the dodo for her zoo, but the terrible reality is that she wants to eat the dodo. And she doesn't care much for Charles, either.
The Pirate Captain does something terrible and sells Polly to the queen, so that he can get a lot of booty and become Pirate of the Year. She, also, pardons him of all his crimes. This causes trouble for the Captain because though he has the most booty, he's no longer considered a pirate anymore.
So now he has no Polly, and is cast out from the pirate society. It's ironic since pirates are already considered outcasts of society. What's a man to do? He needs to get Polly back, that's what. She was more than his "parrot," but the heart of his ship.
He fights the queen in a pretty cool sword fight, saves Polly, regains the allegiance of his crew and makes a giant mess with baking soda and vinegar. All in a day's work.
I loved the various disguises the pirates had. You have the "Suspiciously Curvaceous Pirate" who's already in disguise, but then on top of that, there are the girl scout disguises and the scientist disguises, too. How does nobody realize she's a girl?! Why would she even hide the fact that she's a girl, especially when there's Pirate Liz (Selma Hayek), swinging her hips and sword around? It doesn't make sense.
The sequence on the pirate boat was a lot of fun when they're all going on about "Ham Night." The various plundering sequences was funny too on the leper ship and the ghost ship.
I loved Queen Victoria riding her little pony. It was so ridiculous.
I saw "The Pirates!..." the same day I saw "The Five Year Engagement." I'd recommend seeing the latter more, but The Pirates! is a great family type film. The film encourages you to be proud of who you are and to remember that awards and accolades mean nothing in comparison to the love of friends and family.
Al Roker's credit as the "Pirate who likes Sunsets and Kittens" was pretty funny, too.
I can't say I have a favorite character, but I like the group as a whole.
Thumbs... stars... grades... I'm constantly switching between what I use but for The Pirates! Band of Misfits, I give this film four stars.