Starring: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Selma Hayek, Anton Yelchin, Brian Blessed

Directed by: Peter Lord

Synopsis: Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the Year Award. The quest takes his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

In an attempt to break the tyrannical hold that Cars and it’s even more insidious younger brother, Cars 2, has over my son and our household in general, I thought I would try him with this. He was having none of it and walked off within three minutes, but I stayed until the end, and am fully glad I did.

The Aardman Animation team hit the big screens with this slightly mad cap adventure with an all star voice cast. And it’s pretty damned funny!

I’ll start by saying, I’m not a fan of Aardman’s talismans Wallace and Gromit. I didn’t like it as a kid and I’ve never understood peoples affection for it. I do however understand how ground breaking it was, and how Aardman themselves continue to be. For me, this film as a far better example of their very British sense of humour, as well as some really ambitious animations.

The cast is great, and the jokes are really funny, regardless of age. It ranges from little nods to the adults, touches like the Pirate King (Blessed) wearing a white jumpsuit a la Elvis, to full on slapstick for the kids. It is a zany world that features real life characters such as Queen Victoria and Charles Darwin, and some cracking pirates. The story is kind of all over the place, as the title would suggest but it’s never short of enjoyable.

If I was an Aardman sceptic beforehand, they have won me over with The Pirates!

3.5 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. Sounds interesting. I might give it a shot at some point.

  2. Really enjoyed this one, plenty of laughs to be had and the animation is fantastic. Nice write up pal.

  3. In 2012 we saw the trailer in London, didn’t have the time to watch The Pirates, though. This is a definite must see.
    Thank you so much for this great review, Tom! 🙂

  4. On Saturday mornings, our local theatre plays older ‘family favourites’ for $2.50 – I took my daughter & her pal to see this one a couple months ago, we really enjoyed it as well!

    • Glad to hear that Stephen! It’s very ‘English’ but obviously has translated well in all parts of the world. It’s funny because I always hated Wallace and Gromit, but this won me over totally!

      • I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone opposed to Wallace & Gromit, I thought they might have been almost as critically immune as Led Zeppelin or chocolate.

        It took me until the end to realize it was Hugh Grant as the lead. Martin Freeman I at least spotted within his first sentence!

      • Yeah Martin Freeman was easily discernible, the character actually looked like him. But Hugh Grant wasn’t his usual bumbling self so was harder to detect. Brian Blessed was easy obviously!! That guys whisper is louder than my shout!

        Wallace and Gromit is indeed a national treasure over here. I can’t fathom it!

  5. I think it’s funny that you liked it more than your son 😀

    • Haha trust me, if you met my son you would realise that it’s not funny! He has no time for anything other than Cars, A Bugs Life or Finding Nemo! In fact you could call him a Pixar snob haha

  6. This was an animation I actually wanted to check out (do love me some pirates), so I just might. Great review!

  7. Aardman has done better before, but at least they were able to make me laugh quite a few times with this. Good review.

  8. How come I never heard about this one? I find that quite shocking considering the cast looks quite good. I think this may be worthy of giving a go at some-point or another.

  9. Ive heard this is excellent. Ive always loved Aardman since I saw The Wrong Trousers. Great review Tom

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