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Claymation creates comedy in pirate frenzy

By Kyra Smith-Cullen in Arts & Entertainment

May 3, 2012

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“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” uses terrific Claymation skills and humorous jokes to draw any audience of any ages, be they younger children, parents or college students.

The story focuses on The Pirate Captain, who desperately wants to be declared ‘Pirate of the Year’. Unfortunately, he is constantly ridiculed by the more fearsome pirates who are also competing for the prize. So he takes off with his rag tag group of sailors, trying to find an adventure worthy of the prize.

Because of its targeted age group of younger audiences, it does have a moral, and it might seem cliché. But the small jokes and references make it easy to overlook the faults. This movie is especially humorous if you know Darwin’s theory of evolution, but you don’t necessarily have to believe it. That’s the beauty of those jokes – they can make you glad that you were forced to sit through those classes, just because you’ll want to see what the next reference is. However, it does take some artistic license with history, so you might have issues if you’re really picky on that subject.

Since so many animated films are done in CGI, the skill involved in the Claymation is phenomenal. The designers and artist spent so much time and attention on the models, that it can blow your mind. It’s definitely something to check out if you’re a fan of the style.

Casting is always interesting when it comes to animation, because everything relies so heavily on the voice. They did a really good of matching the vocal personalities with the characters on screen. Hugh Grant, who voices The Pirate Captain, manages to bring a light, carefree quality to the voice. Each character’s voice has a certain aspect that solidifies their personality and helps tie in all the visual elements.

At first, I was a little worried about doing a review on this movie, since it comes across as something suited especially for kids. But then I figured that because I’ve done more reviews for more serious pieces (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), as well as the more gender specific movies (The Lucky One), then I might as well do something that would appeal to the child in all of us. Fortunately, “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” satisfies on so many levels. I would definitely recommend it to somebody who is looking for a laugh.

 

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