I saw the The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists last night. I wouldn’t like to say I was dragged along to it, but I don’t normally see these sorts of films, as in ones predominantly aimed at children. However, I’d like to say immediately that this is a film that adults can enjoy as well (unashamedly). As let’s be honest, some kids’ films are so patronizingly dire, that they’ll barely entertain their target audience of 5-10 year olds, never mind the suffering adults who also have to sit through (and fund) these cinematic ordeals.
The film in the UK is rated ‘U’ with the accompanying warning, ‘for very mild language, violence, threat and innuendo’. Maybe I’m too debauched, or possibly just thick, but I couldn’t detect much, if any, innuendo. And I’d be very worried about anyone, regardless of their age, who was offended by this film.
Kids (unless they’re overly cynical teenagers) will love it and the accompanying adults shouldn’t leave the cinema contemplating suicide (or worse)
There are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, the young child sat next to me probably thought I was some kind of lazy-eyed psycho, such was my level of guffawing. Martin Freeman is great as a dependable number two (as he is in the BBC’s Sherlock). He’s clearly a great actor, but I hope he never plays the role of a ‘baddie’. I can imagine he’d be great at organizing a Stag Do, playing pranks that are very humorous, but still in good taste. And I don’t think he’d ever be responsible for leaving the groom tied butt-naked to a lamp-post. Left at the mercy of happy slapping 14 year olds, with camera phones capable of shooting in 1080p and a predilection for uploading their adventures onto YouTube.
The animation is cracking and the voice talent is also very good. The level of detail for the characters and backgrounds is astonishing and the combination of claymation and CGI works well. At times I wanted to pause the film, so that I could appreciate all of the on-screen jokes. The film is genuinely funny and although its message centres around loyalty and integrity, it avoids the pitfall of being mawkish.
There’s a part of me that would’ve liked to see (hear?) Ian McShane as a pirate in this movie, but perhaps he sounds too pirate-y to be The Pirate Captain. Unlike the clearly unpiratelike sounding Hugh Grant, but I suppose that was a major factor for Grant’s casting. I know McShane was in that other pirate franchise, but in my eyes that’s so diabolical it doesn’t count. Maybe I just haven’t gotten over the non-appearance of Deadwood’s Season 4, nor the oft-mentioned 2 Deadwood movies, what a pity.
Anyway, if you like the Aardman stuff, then you’ll really enjoy The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists. It’s a rock-solid family movie that doesn’t patronize its audience. Kids (unless they’re overly cynical teenagers) will love it and the accompanying adults shouldn’t leave the cinema contemplating suicide (or worse).
And if you’re an adult who wants to see this film alone, you’re still on very safe territory going to see this movie.