Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Cannes Review: Todd Haynes' 'Carol' Starring Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara Cannes Review: Todd Haynes' 'Carol' Starring Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara Cannes Review: Gus Van Sant's 'The Sea Of Trees' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe & Naomi Watts Cannes Review: Gus Van Sant's 'The Sea Of Trees' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe & Naomi Watts Cannes Review: Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone And Parker Posey Cannes Review: Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone And Parker Posey Simon Pegg Reveals Daniel Craig's Role In 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Simon Pegg Reveals Daniel Craig's Role In 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Cannes Review: Yorgos Lanthimos' Outstanding 'The Lobster' Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz & John C Reilly Cannes Review: Yorgos Lanthimos' Outstanding 'The Lobster' Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz & John C Reilly Watch: Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard In The Intense First Clip For ‘Macbeth’ Watch: Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard In The Intense First Clip For ‘Macbeth’ George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Watch: Another Chucklesome Trailer For Aardman Animations's 'The Pirates! Band Of Misfits'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist October 25, 2011 at 1:42AM

In the era of Disney's multi-billion dollar "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, it's easy to forget that, for most of the 20th century, the idea of a film revolving around swashbucklers and sea dogs was pretty much box office poison. Sure, Errol Flynn might have brought them in in droves in the early years of the talkies in "Captain Blood," but since then, disaster followed disaster, with the likes of Roman Polanski's "Pirates" and Renny Harlin's "Cutthroat Island" entering the all-time hall of train wrecks.
0


In the era of Disney's multi-billion dollar "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, it's easy to forget that, for most of the 20th century, the idea of a film revolving around swashbucklers and sea dogs was pretty much box office poison. Sure, Errol Flynn might have brought them in in droves in the early years of the talkies in "Captain Blood," but since then, disaster followed disaster, with the likes of Roman Polanski's "Pirates" and Renny Harlin's "Cutthroat Island" entering the all-time hall of train wrecks.

But then came Johnny Depp, Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski, and the genre is suddenly big business again. 2012 mercifully brings a break in the Jack Sparrow series, but pirates won't be totally absent from movie theaters, thanks to "Wallace and Gromit" and "Chicken Run" creators Aardman Animation, with their latest stop-motion epic "The Pirates! A Band of Misfits" (or, internationally, "The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists"). And if the new trailer that debuted over at Empire is anything to go by, it looks like more fun than all the "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequels put together.

Based on a popular series of children's books by Gideon Defoe, and directed by "Chicken Run" helmer Peter Lord (along with Jeff Newitt), it involves the hirsute pirate captain, The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant, seemingly having more fun than he's had in years), and his trusty crew (which includes Martin Freeman, Ashley Jensen, Russell Tovey, Brendan Gleeson and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) who evades the attentions of the evil Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton), in an attempt to beat his rivals (Jeremy Piven and Salma Hayek) to the Pirate of the Year award, only to accidentally end up kidnapping scientist Charles Darwin (David Tennant).

From the looks of the latest clip, it seems unlikely to be up there with Pixar and Miyazaki as life-changing examples of the medium, but it also displays a silly, Pythonesque sense of humor throughout, and has at least a few gags in there that are better than most live-action comedies that we've seen this year. Together with the typically detailed characters and sets from the studios, this looks like something that could be a pleasant little surprise next year, and it's good to see Aardman bouncing back from a tough half-decade (their only theatrically-released film in the last five years, "Flushed Away," tanked, and their relationship with DreamWorks was terminated as a result) with both this and the equally promising "Arthur Christmas." "The Pirates! In Adventure With Scientists" opens in the UK on March 28th, while the identical-in-all-but-name "The Pirates! A Band Of Misfits" opens in the U.S. two days later.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Animated Films, Hugh Grant, The Pirates! Band of Misfits


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates