Pirates! Band Of Misfits Blu-ray Review
In the extremely funny, very enjoyable claymation/animation flick PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS, the aptly named captain of the pirate ship, The Pirate Captain, decides to enter into a contest to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award despite his less than impressive pirate resume. Determined to prove to his rival pirates (Cutlass Liz, Black Bellamy, and Peg Leg Hastings) that he is deserving of the prestigious award, The Pirate Captain and his loyal crew hilariously attack ship after ship with hopes of gaining riches and glory.
On a final and desperate attempt to take over a ship with gold and jewels, The Pirate Captain attacks Charles Darwin’s boat discovering that his parrot Polly is actually a very rare dodo bird. Determined to win something, The Pirate Captain partners with Darwin and sets sail for London, ignoring the warnings and the very well known highly advertised fact that Queen Victoria is extremely anti-Pirate. Hilarity and laughs ensue between the crew, love-sick Darwin, a monkey named Bobo and The Pirate Captain taking his hand at being in disguise as a scientist.
Much like CHICKEN RUN (one of my all time favorites that I quote on a semi-regular basis) or WALLACE AND GROMIT IN THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT, PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS has a wittily fantastic script that is charming and sharp. With superb vocal talent bringing the script to life and delivering the lines just right, you cannot go wrong with this film. Hugh Grant delivers a great performance and gives The Pirate Captain the right amount of over confident, can-do spirit that is infectious. The Pirate with a Scarf’s Martin Freeman provides the perfect balance of caution and intelligence to The Pirate Captain’s foolhardy behavior. Salma Hayek, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Brendan Gleeson, Al Roker are a few names that round out the fantastic voices of the funny characters with delightfully obvious names.
The creative animation and intricate set design just add to the enjoyment of the film. Watching this flick only once won’t be enough to catch all the fun details. I’m sure even after repeat viewings you will still discover something funny. Things like The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate with her fake beard and false deep voice, The Pirate Captain’s reward for capture poster with a sum of money so small that they include a free pen and the assorted disguises are just a few of the moments that will cause you to laugh out loud. It doesn’t get much better than when an animated feature film is sharp, clever and enjoyable for the young and young at heart and PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS falls nicely into that category.
BLU-RAY 3D REVIEW
Although PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS is presented in 3D, nothing about the 3D transfer made it worthy of the 3D glasses. Given the claymation style and innovation usually found from Aardman Animation, I was expecting more creative use of the 3D effects. Sadly, the 3D presentation was lacking, almost as if it was an afterthought. If you’re on the fence about upgrading to the 3D, I suggest sticking with the regular 2D set.
Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1): PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS audio is perfect for all the witty banter, pirate songs and sounds of the sea.
Video (2.35:1): Exceptional video quality you come to expect of new Blu-ray releases. The Pirate Captain’s beard looks magnificent.
Commentary with Director Peter Lord, Co-Director Jeff Newitt and Editor Justin Krish: A very detailed commentary that seems stale compared to the fresh dialogue of the actual film.
So You Want to Be A Pirate! Short Film (18:07): Pirate Captain answers questions
and provides tips on how to be a pirate with the help of his pirate friends and Charles Darwin.
Pirate Disguise Dress-Up Game: This game allows you to create assorted pirate disguises. You must match the wacky ensemble in the example disguise before time runs out!
From Stop to Motion (20:52): Director Peter Lord explains the inspiration for this film, a book by Gideon Defoe (also the screenwriter). This is essentially a very in-depth making of feature that reviews the creation, production and all the ways they transferred the pages of the book to the screen. This is an interesting feature.
Creating the Bath Chase Sequence (8:22): This featurette highlights all the pieces that went into creating the hilarious bath chase sequence.
Peter Lord Short Films: More great films from PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS director that include: What’s Pig (11:25), What’s Pig with Director’s Commentary, War Story (5:27), War Story with Director’s Commentary.
3D set comes with the 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD.