The Pirates! Band Of Misfits
Directed by Peter Lord & Jeff Newitt
Despite having strong animation and a great voice cast, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits has nothing more to offer than light, sporadic entertainment.
I don't really see what the filmmakers were going for with this movie. Being a fan of Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, the thought of a pirate movie made by these same people sounded quite entertaining. They had the set-up, but the writers didn't seem to know where to go with it. It's not particularly funny, dramatic, or creative, with a sub-par story arc that allows for very little character development. And as far as tone goes, this is a difficult movie to identify. It's too disenchanted to be a fun kids movie, but far too childish to be for adults.
The plot of this movie is beyond idiotic. The sheer laziness that went into developing this story is astonishing, considering the painstaking time and effort that went into the animation itself. It feels as if they had the idea of making a clay-mation pirate movie, animated a short sequence involving a "Pirate Of The Year" trophy, and then somehow (and miraculously) couldn't find anything better to do with it story-wise. The story completely lacks flavor, taking every cliche approach possible to help what little plot there is to progress, and the result is a worthless pile of 80+ minutes. There are several amusing moments to be found along the way, but they are few and far between.
Given the target audience of this movie is probably somewhere between 8-12 years old, I found much of the intended humor in this movie to be wildly off target. Name-dropping the likes of Jane Austen and John Merrick isn't funny in its own right, and if it wasn't intended to be funny, what purpose could it have possibly served? At least with some of the corny pirate jokes the laughs were hit-and-miss, but with simply making references or name-drops just for the sake of it, there is no humor of any sort to be found. The key to humorous references is to blend humor in with the references, or in the very least attempt some form of joke to go along with it. The writers of this movie don't seem to understand that. Batman. See? It's not very funny.
I went into this movie with fairly low expectations and still walked away disappointed. It should go without saying that that is not a good thing. With the exception of the animation, this movie really had nothing going for it. The voice-acting was decent, the story was weak, the jokes were stale... All-in-all, this is not a good movie. I definitely wouldn't recommend it.