By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 14, 2011 at 2:37AM
You would think by now that audiences were waterlogged by all the swashbuckling at their local mulitplex but with "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" a billion dollar earner -- and the only pirate movie game in town -- it's a little surprising that no one else has tried to get a piece of the action. Until now.
First teased last year with some early stills, a proper trailer has landed for Aardman Animation's "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" and as much as we had some reservations about it, you know what? It actually looks pretty charming. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. The studio behind the excellent "Wallace & Gromit" films has always had a distinct (read: British) comic sensibility that generally forgoes poop jokes and endless pop cultural references for wittier territory and that seems to be the evidence here. A pretty top shelf voice cast has been assembled including Hugh Grant, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Martin Freeman, Jeremy Piven and Salma Hayek and they all seem to be having a blast. We have to say, we had zero expectations but this one left us with some warm fuzzies and this writer, who isn't much of an animation nerd to begin with, will gladly queue up to see this.
In The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain - a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It's a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they battle a diabolical queen (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!