Pirates! feels awfully short and a little wasteful on the characters, but it is an entertaining piratical romp.
The Pirate Captain, as he is known, is perhaps the least threatening and likeable terror-of-the-seas, and when he is laughed at for competing in the Pirate of the Year Awards he sets off to prove himself! His quest involves Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, a plotting monkey and the Captain’s own overly plump parrot.
There’s a very British feel about The Pirates! which I found refreshing; I liked the choice of music, mostly pop and indie songs, and while the humour was classic ‘Ardman Animation.
The film’s narrative meat comes from the Pirate Captain’s lack of infamy and his bid to reclaim unsavoury respect again. This is novel for a pirate film; a pirate being “pardoned” by the Queen of England becoming a death sentence for the pirate’s honour.
There are some nice ideas involved, and praise to ‘Ardman for going back to clay animation (no more Flushed Away, please!) giving it a jolly vibe. The animation of the pirate ship was funny, hard to believe, but true.
The negatives are purely due to the film being very short, and not substantial enough. While I greatly appreciate shorter films in this day and age, Pirates! didn’t give all of the characters (and a decent voice cast!) quite enough time. For example, I’m sure Salma Hayek’s character got maybe three lines?
Still, its a fun little romp. Harmless and nice to look at, probably good for a rental.