Film Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!

A host of celebrity voice-overs and a funny, historical storyline make this animated children’s film a hit for all ages.

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!

Cert. U

4/5 stars

HUGH Grant lends his voice to Pirate Captain, an unsuccessful, but much-loved, pillager of the seas, who is determined to win Pirate of the Year at Blood Island’s annual ceremony.


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He must find a way to beat out booty-rich rivals, Black Bellamy (voiced by Jeremy Piven), Peg Leg Hastings (Lenny Henry) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayeck), who all think Pirate Captain and his rag-tag crew are a joke.

Desperate to rob as much gold as possible, the crew stumble onto Charles Darwin’s (David Tennant) boat, who points out that their ‘overweight parrot’ is in fact a rare Dodo bird.

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Darwin lures them to London to present the bird at a science fair, but Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) is famed for her hatred of pirates and proves to be a more forceful adversary than Pirate Captain ever faced on the open seas.

As with most children’s films, adult chaperones may find it drags on a little, but the storyline is a lot more developed and educational than the slap-stick, animal-based humour the likes of Kung-Fu panda put us through, or the over-done vampire/wizard love triangles we’ve endured recently.

The stop-motion animation is a warm alternative to the glitzy computer-generated stuff that’s now the norm, and the characters are well-matched to their celebrity voices.

Definitely one for the boys.

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