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File: Pirates! Band Of Misfits
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, known internationally as The Pirates! Band of Misfits, is a 3-D stop-motion animated film produced by Aardman Animations in partnership with Sony Pictures Animation.
It was directed by Peter Lord, the director of Chicken Run. The film was distributed by Columbia Pictures and was released on 28 March 2012, in UK, and is scheduled for 27 April 2012, in US. The Pirates! features the voices of Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Imelda Staunton and David Tennant.
The film is based on the first two books from Gideon Defoe's The Pirates! series, The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists and The Pirates! in an Adventure with Whaling. It is Aardman Animations' first stop-motion clay animated feature released in Digital 3D and their first stop-motion film since Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
A crew of amateur pirates under the direction of the ambitious but equally novice Pirate Captain try to plunder ships so that the Pirate Captain can accomplish his dream of winning the Pirate of the Year Award And Outsmart his Rivals, Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz. They hijack the Beagle and encounter Charles Darwin, who informs them that Polly, the supposed parrot of the pirate crew, is actually the last living dodo. The pirates go with Darwin and his trained chimpanzee Mr. Bobo to London to show Polly to the Royal Society. Their plan is a success, but the pirates (who have disguised as scientists) are unmasked by Queen Victoria, who hates pirates.
The Pirate Captain leaves Polly with the queen in return for a pardon and a large gold treasure. He presents the treasure at the Pirate of the Year competition, but he is disqualified and exiled when his pardon is discovered; in addition, his crew abandons him when they learn that he sold Polly. Returning to London in an attempt to save Polly, the Pirate Captain reunites with Darwin. Together they find out that Queen Victoria is planning to eat Polly and other rare animals at a secret meeting with other heads of state on her flagship, the QV1. The duo hijack an airship from the Royal Society, fly to the QV1 and confront Victoria. With the support of the pirate crew and Mr. Bobo, they are able to save Polly, sink the QV1 and defeat Victoria. In the end, the Pirate Captain learns the value of friendship and loyalty while Darwin finds a girlfriend and Mr. Bobo joins the pirate crew.
Despite being a stop-motion film, Aardman is extensively using computer graphics to complement and enrich the film with visual elements like sea and scenery. Peter Lord commented, "With Pirates!, I must say that the new technology has made Pirates! really liberating to make, easy to make because the fact that you can shoot a lot of green screen stuff, the fact that you can easily extend the sets with CG, the fact that you can put the sea in there and a beautiful wooden boat that, frankly, would never sail in a million years, you can take that and put it into a beautiful CG scene and believe it."
In January 2012, it was reported that the latest trailer of The Pirates! attracted some very negative reactions from the leprosy community. In the trailer that was released in December, The Pirate Captain lands on a ship demanding gold, but is told by a crew member, "Afraid we don't have any gold old man, this is a leper boat. See," when his arm falls off. Lepra Health in Action and some officials from the World Health Organization, expressed that the joke shows the illness in a derogatory manner, and it "reinforces the misconceptions which leads to stigma and discrimination that prevents people from coming forward for treatment." They demanded an apology and removal of the offending scene, to which Aardman responded: "After reviewing the matter, we decided to change the scene out of respect and sensitivity for those who suffer from leprosy. The last thing anyone intended was to offend anyone...". LHA responded that it was "genuinely delighted that Aardman has decided to amend the film," while the trailer was expected to be pulled down from websites, and the theatrical version of the film has got the "leper" word replaced with "plague".
On August 14, 2011, Peter Lord tweeted that they're working on the sequel idea.
This film is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for mild action, rude humor, and some language, making it the third Aardman Animations movie to use this rating and is the first stop-motion film from Aardman to receive this rating. In the UK it has been rated U by the BBFC for very mild language, violence, threat and innuendo.
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