“ Genre: Children's DVDs - Animation / To Be Announced / Director: Peter Lord / Actors: Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed ... / DVD released 2012-09-24 at Sony Pictures Home Ent. / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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The second in my 3 for £16 from Amazon buy for daughters birthday and this was a 'treasure'. Described by the guardian as "bursting with fun and packed with gags" I was looking forward to watching this 1 hour 24 minute DVD and we wasn't disappointed.
Produced by columbia pictures with sony animation, who are also responsible for wallace & gromit and chicken run. The animation is very much more in that style than the disney format. This is the based on Gideon Defoes "the pirates" series. It was released in 2012 and was Directed by Peter Lloyd
The DVD cover gives an idea of how mad cap the film is, with swashbuckling skullduggery...
I would not have guessed without reading the sleeve that Captain Pirate is Hugh Grant, but his first mate mate 'Scarf' was very obviously Martin Freeman. Other voices that stood out instantly was the booming bellow of Brian Blessed cast brilliant as the voice of the Pirate King. Other voices included Lenny Henry (Peg Leg Hastings), Salma Hayek (Cutlass Liz), David Tennant (Charles Darwin), Imelda Staunton (Queen Victoria) and Jeremy Piven (Pirate Black Bellamy).
Captain Pirate is desperate to become pirate of the year, unfortunately he is just not good enough as a pirate, despite his best efforts. He tries to pillage Charles Darwins boat and this leads to his Polly being noticed as being a Dodo bird. He then hatches a scheme to help him win the pirates competition... Im not going to ruin the story for you but theres some great scenes of crossing the map and some real laugh out loud moments.
Extra bits on this DVD include Mr Bobos flash card challenge and from stop to motion. It also has Ultra violet option which allows you to download, stream or wifi this movie.
Ive rated as a Doo Yoo 5 as this DVD was funny with great gags as well as a decent storyline, it made a great family night in.
Being the big kid that I am I had been interested in this film since it was released in the spring of 2012. However, I didnt see it at the cinema and although I had planned to rent it either through sky box office or blinkbox I never got round to it. Therefore when I saw it was showing on Now TV which is sort of like the monthly on demand subscription service with sky movies I knew I needed to watch it straight away! As I watched it through Now TV this is a film only review. I believe the film is based on a book of the same name by Gideon Defoe.
The Pirate Captain is a proud man. He is proud of his ship and proud of his pirates but sometimes it is clear that he seems to be a little too positive. His ship is beginning to look run down and the trophy cabinet is pretty much bare. Every year the Pirate Captain enters The Pirate of the Year competition and he is always convinced he will win therefore it always comes as quite as a shock when he is pipped to the post. Truth is, The Pirate Captain is a bit of a rubbish pirate. He is more concerned with the ships regular Ham Nights than he is with robbing other ships and getting a haul of valuable booty.
However, this year is going to be different. The Pirate Captain is going to fulfil his role as captain and he is going to bring home the prize. This is debatable - he tries to rob a plague ship but soon it becomes apparent that maybe, just maybe he could be in with a shot. He meets Charles Darwin who admires his beloved parrot Polly. Polly is getting on a bit now but she is always by her masters side. The whole ship love Polly and she is very spoilt. However, Darwin makes a shocking admission - Polly is not a parrot. Instead she may well be a dodo which, if true is likely to be the major scientific discovery of their time as dodo's are extinct.
The pirates and Darwin must get to work before the Pirate of the Year competition is held. Is Polly really a dodo? And more importantly, will The Pirate Captain win his much longed for title?
I had high expectations of this film. I had been waiting to see it for quite some time and had heard good things about it from various sources. In addition to this I had been impressed by the cast so therefore I was really expecting wonderful things!
The plot was well thought out and it was one that had me intrigued from the outset. Obviously this is primarily a kids film and I think the plot would be interesting to all of the family really and it is easy for children to follow. From the outset there is a clear goal in sight - the Pirate of the Year competition and it is quickly recogniseable that Polly seems to be their best bet on how to win. The role of Polly in the film is great because 99.99999% of people love animals and she is rather cute therefore meaning it is easy for even younger children to understand what is going on.
The main character in the film is of course The Pirate Captain. Initially I was a little dubious about whether or not I would really like him but I'm unsure why I felt this way! I think I just thought that he was kidding himself a little with the Pirate of the Year competition and he was giving his pirates false hope when really surely he could see he didnt stand a chance of winning going about things the way he did. However, within about 5 minutes of the film beginning I was growing to love him and by about 20 minutes in I was very fond of the character and felt quite protective over him. He is a vulnerable and naive character and I actually think that this is really good in this film because it shows younger audiences how even though people may appear to be strong and feisty this is not always the case. It also highlights how easy it is for people to be taken advantage of. The Pirate Captain is played by Hugh Grant. Although I knew he was in the film this didnt quite register when I watched it and it wasnt until the credits rolled that I put 2 and 2 together because he really doesnt sound like Hugh Grant in this film! However, he does do a very good job of portraying the pirate.
The character of Charles Darwin is played by David Tennant and I had mixed feelings about Charles throughout the film as he really did seem to have two sides to him. Although he is instantly loveable and he looks cute and he seems gentle and well mannered, some of his actions leave a lot to be desired! Again I think this is a good thing to have in a film as it portrays the moral that people are not always what they seem, you cant judge a book by its cover etc. I thought David Tenant did a wonderful job of portraying Charles Darwin and I really looked forward to seeing him in scenes.
The film is very funny and also very clever. There is lots of humour for children and this is easy to understand and clear but there is also clever implications and assumptions for the older audience. This is done very well and I found myself laughing throughout.
The animation is done very well. The pictures are crisp and clear and the characters move seamlessly. I believe that this can be viewed in 3D and I imagine this would be great fun and visually stunning. However, I can only comment on the 2D version but I found this very well done and visually appealing. The colours used are bright and it is one of those films where it is really easy to watch it and you almost forget you arent actually watching real people and instead your watching animated characters.
I thought the film ran for the perfect amount of time. Of course, films aimed at the whole family need to be concise to avoid boredom and this had a good run time of 88 minutes which I felt was just right. Everything was covered and in enough detail but nothing was dragged out.
The film was released in 2012.
It is rated a U.
It runs for 88 minutes.
It was directed by Peter Lord.
It stars Hugh Grant, David Tennant, Brendan Gleeson, Brian Blessed, Imelda Staunton and Lenny Henry.
108 customer reviews on Amazon UK give it an average rating of 4.5 stars.
The DVD can be picked up for just £5 from Amazon UK at the moment.
This film is very funny and I believe it will be enjoyed by anyone over the age of about 4. There really is something for everyone in the film and it is very funny. It is definitely worth the £5 asking price on Amazon and it is certainly worth thinking about watching over the easter holidays.
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Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the bearded Pirate Captain, a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less than successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream which is to beat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz to the much coveted Pirate of the Year Award. The quest takes the Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.
Characters in the Film (Main Characters)
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* Pirate Captain is the captain whom hasn't yet won the Pirate of the Year award and wants to win it this year. He is a funny character and he is also my favourite character whom I find quite amusing. Hugh Grant voices this character and this isn't actually too obvious as I think he sounds very different.
* Charles Darwin is a scientist on a boat whom is researching different animals and creatures. His boat gets attacked by Pirates which is how Captain Pirate and Charles Darwin meet. Charles Darwin is voiced by David Tennant.
* Queen Victoria hates pirates and wants them all gone. She doesn't realise at first that Captain is a pirate and wants to take Polly off of his hands and put her into her own personal zoo at the palace. She gets very angry when she learns that Captain is a pirate and not a scientist. Her character is voiced by Imelda Staunton.
* The Pirate with the scarf (no given name) is the closest pirate to Pirate Captain and is head of the other crew men; his character is voiced by Martin Freeman.
* Others characters in the film are voiced by Salma Hayek, Lenny Henry, Brendan Gleeson, Ashley Jensen, Jeremy Piven and more.
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* * * Please note: before you read this, it may contain spoilers if you haven't already seen the film ***
The film starts at Buckingham Palace in London with the queen telling her servants she wants the Pirates gone forever. We then see the pirates on their ship and get to meet Pirate Captain who does a dance in front of his crew. We also get to meet Polly (Dodo) whom is a rather large, over-sized bird. We learn that pirate Captain wants to try to win the Pirate of the year award as for over 20 years he hasn't yet won the award and think's he has a very good chance of winning it this year. We see the pirates sail their huge boat across the sea to a local village where has to collect a form for the Pirate of the year award. Whilst in the local pub, we also meet to other pirates who also want to win the award including Cutlass Liz a female pirate. Pirate Captain fears that he has absolutely no chance of winning the award so decides to throw his entry away in which Polly decides to eat. You can tell this is an Aardman animation film due to the look of the characters in the film. Pirate Captain and his crew visit many other boats whilst on the sea to demand & collect gold but doesn't succeed in getting any. Pirate Captain goes to Charles Darwin's boat to demand gold and is rather upset when all there is in animals on the boat. Just as Charles Darwin is about to walk the plank he realises Polly is a very special parrot and wants to take her to London so he tells Pirate Captain this whom isn't interested at first until Charles explains to Captain that there is a large prize to be won. With Darwin on board the shop heads off to London where the crew are worried about what might happen to them there as the Queen hates pirates. Captain gets invited to stay at Darwin's house where some of Captains crew suspect that Darwin is up to something. His suspicions are right and Darwin and his monkey try to steal Polly and take her away from Captain. Darwin tries to convince Captain not to go on stage with Polly as he won't have a clue what to say or do on stage but Captain goes ahead and does it anyway and gets a huge round of applause. Queen Victoria soon realises that Captain isn't a scientist but is in fact a Pirate and she hates pirates. Darwin has to try and get the Dodo from Captain for Queen Victoria but this doesn't prove easy when Captain Pirate decides to go back on his shop with his crew on the sea. Darwin changes Captain's mind and he goes back to the Palace only to find out that the queen wants the dodo and she tries to get Captain to give Polly up by showing him a room full of gold. The crew are happy when Captain returns to the ship with lots of gold for everyone. Pirate Captain gets awarded Pirate of the year award, how-ever as he has been pardoned by the Queen he is not eligible for the award which means he can no longer be a pirate and must hand in his pirate hat and coat. The crew are disappointed in him, especially when they realise that he has given Polly to the queen in return for the gold which has now been confiscated. Captain breaks into the royal zoo in order to rescue Polly but finds Darwin whom has now become a tramp and he tells Captain about what the Queen is really up to with the endangered animals. Captain along with Darwin plan on rescuing Polly so go on the hunt for her using an airship. They finally find the Royal boat in which they think Polly is on. They manage to get onto the ship and into the kitchen where Polly has been locked in a cupboard. The Queen finds Captain and Darwin and using swords they fights each other. This part of the film is quite funny as we see Captain wrapped in sausages and Queen Victoria get knocked over by rolling barrels. Will Captain Pirate eventually get Polly back or will Queen Victoria fly off into the distance with Polly? I'm not going to reveal any more about the film as I don't want to spoil the ending.
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There is some music throughout the film which involves mainly instrumental short clips of music. None of this was really, very memorable as I was concentrating on the film more than the actual music. The music that is played in the film goes with the scenes.
Where to buy the DVD
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You can purchase the DVD online form various different places such as Amazon, Play.com and HMV. The DVD is priced on Amazon for £9.99. To buy this on Blu-Ray it will cost slightly more at around £15.00.
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* Commentary with Director, Co-Director and Editor
* Mr. Bobo's Flash Card Challenge - This is a puzzle game where there are 3 possible answers to each flashcard. There are only a total of about 5 flash cards so this game is very short.
* From Stop to Motion - You see the characters and the sets being made by different people. They have made this quite fun as the characters come to life when the people aren't looking. This is also tells you about how the film started.
* Creating the basic chase sequence
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I was not disappointed with this film and really enjoyed it. I loved all the characters in the film especially Captain Pirate. The storyline and the characters were brilliant. There is some humour in the film which makes it fun for kids and the characters are really likeable. I don't have a favourite part in the film as I enjoyed all of it. I particularly like the end of the film when you see some funny clips of the characters on the boat as well as Queen Victoria tangled in some trees on an island. I watched some of the Stop to Motion special feature which was quite interesting to learn about the film. The Flash Card game isn't very fun and I don't rate this very highly, my nephew is aged 5 and I don't think he would really understand it. I have watched this film on my own (yes, big kid I know) and I plan to watch it with my nephew as he loves these types of films. This is a fantastic film and one of which I think children would really enjoy, highly recommended.
(review may also appear on ciao)
Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) seems to be a bit of a failure as a pirate, he is determined to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award this year, after missing out for 20 years in a row he feels the odds must be on his side this time.
To win the award he needs to be the Pirate with the most booty, after some ribbing from his fellow Pirates he sets off with his mismatched crew to pillage as much booty as he can.
After many unsuccessful attempts involving boarding a ghost ship, a plague ship and a children's field trip Pirate Captain feels very down and takes to his room. It is only when his second in command The Pirate with a Scarf (Martin Freeman) talks him around does he make one last attempt to secure the booty.
This brings him across the rather sad and failed scientist called Charles Darwin (David Tennant) who manages to persuades Pirate Captain that the ships "Parrot" Polly is the way to "untold riches" if only he, Charles Darwin, could bring it to London to be displayed at the coveted Scientist of the Year Awards.
Pirate Captain refuses to allow Polly to be taken and insists on accompanying Charles Darwin to London, this is where the adventure begins. Full of amazing disguises, run-ins with Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) who hates Pirates and has a rather unsavoury secret of her own, crafty plans from Darwin and his hentch-monkey Mr Bobo to steal Polly and much much more. . .
The family and I are already big fans of anything made by Aardman so we were never going to miss this. We all settled down on the sofas under blankets while the rain hammered on the windows, boy were we in for a treat.
Right from the start I can see that a lot of effort went into the production of this film, the backgrounds and scenery are amazingly detailed and add to the overall quality feel of the film. The characters are done in the usual Aardman style with over exaggerated features, in particular Queen Victoria's huge bottom and Pirate Captains rather luxuriant beard.
The choice of voice actors was very well made; I recognised most of them apart from David Tennant as Darwin. There were quite a few laughs to be had from Bobo with his flash cards.
Never before have I watched a film where Queen Victoria was portrayed as the villain, it made for a very interesting story line, her particular dislike of Pirates was very amusing and her "secret" reason she wants to get her hands on Polly well hidden till the big reveal.
I particularly liked the names of all the Pirates especially The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (Ashley Jensen) and the Pirate Who Likes Sunsets and Kittens (Al Roker) the descriptive names matched the Pirates very well and there are a few very funny moments involving The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate.
I enjoyed the soundtrack by Theodore Shapiro, with tracks from The Pogues, The Clash, Jimmy Cliff and Supergrass the music was well timed and went with the mostly upbeat feel of the film. I really liked a line from one song "I am not crying, my eyes are just sweaty today" that is one line I may use myself when feeling down.
As with the majority of children's films there is a good moral story running throughout the entire film. The moral of the story is not hammered home but at the end you do feel good about the whole story.
With a runtime of 88 minutes and a U classification it is the ideal family film, young kids will laugh at the daftness of the characters and there are plenty of jokes tucked in there for the adults. The action is pretty much non stop, as you would expect from a bunch of Pirates, and there is never a dull moment. This is a thoroughly recommended film.
The DVD can be brought from amazon.co.uk for £10 with free delivery and the Blu Ray is £16.
Thank you for reading.