Box art for The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

anime & animation, comedy

Set sail for a fun-filled pirate adventure with the biggest band of misfits on the seven seas!

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 6
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
2 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Educational value
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Violence & scariness
2 out of 5

Pirate adventure blends Victorian history, high-seas fun.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Pirates! Band of Misfits isn't your typical pirate adventure, but there's still action, mild high-seas peril, a little bit of colorful language ("hell," etc.), and some parent-targeted jokes about the two historical characters depicted in the movie: Queen Victoria and Charles Darwin. Although the pirates use guns and swords and have hand-to-hand fights, they don't face any real danger until the climactic battle with the queen; before that, their enemies are schoolchildren, lepers, and ghosts. That said, the queen is quite menacing, and Darwin is greedy in his attempts to steal from the pirates. But the pirates themselves, rather than being bloodthirsty and selfish, are more like a family that sticks together, loot or no loot.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about why pirate movies are so popular. What is it about pirate tales that continues to be so compelling for movie audiences? How are the crew members in The Pirates! different than other movie mateys?
  • How does the movie depict Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria? Do you think that the characters are portrayed accurately? Is it OK for filmmakers to take liberties with historical figures for the sake of humor?
  • Some of the movie's jokes are specifically aimed at grown-ups; do you think too much of the humor is historical or for adults? Do you think jokes for parents are necessary in kids' movies?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Pirates are right up there with vampires, werewolves and people saying "LOL" out loud on the list of Played-Out Pop Culture Phenomena, but leave it to Aardman Animation to find the remaining reservoirs of fun in a bunch of seafaring scalawags.

- Alonso Duralde, TheWrap, Friday, April 27, 2012

Fresh: That the film happens to be in 3-D, with digitized settings and backgrounds, doesn't detract from the timeworn charm of watching blob-like characters lurch erratically through harebrained comic pratfalls.

- Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fresh: The action is beautifully staged, delightful, and exciting.

- Bruce Diones, New Yorker, Monday, May 7, 2012

Audience Reviews

4 stars

An Aardman production with absolutely no input from Nick Park, surely not? It's ok though, good old Peter Lord makes sure this film is animated beautifully and is aptly silly. It's a great film, full of silly British humour and wonderful animation (I hate the phrase Claymation). It's a shame more UK made films can't take a leaf out of it's book instead of pandering to American audiences (although what was so wrong with the original title 'The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists'?). Jolly good fun for young and old.

- SirPant, Thursday, October 11, 2012

3 stars

"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" feels far more conventional than Aardman's past hits, and at times it steals from its own predecessors such as Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit a bit too much, but it fortunately retains the clever British wit and unique animation that are the two main trademarks of the beloved studio.

- fb791220692, Monday, October 8, 2012

3 stars

Join the crew and kick some booty. Very good animated movie! The animation is top notch, as it should be. Aardman are the masters of their art and having dabbled in stop-motion animation myself, I understand the time and effort that must go into making a stop-motion feature. Aardman has come a long way from the rough and ready clay models of The Wrong Trousers but the models still maintain their distinctive style and it is obvious that care has been taken during each of the millions of frames. The voice cast is excellent. Most of the actors are instantly recognisable but David Tennant puts on a convincing accent for his interpretation of Charles Darwin. The actors help to make the scrip very funny and I'm pleased to see that the filmmakers have stuck with a mostly British cast and stayed away from an A-List star. It's just great to see another stop-motion clay animated film from Aardman in the big screen, but this time it's in 3D. The 3D is pretty good, but even in 2D the film is still wonderful to watch. These kinds of family films are rare these days. While kids these days like movies with talking animals and some other mediocre stuff, this one uses the ludicrous elements in a smart way. Like I said, it's not new but it's still an exciting and enjoyable film. Go see it! After years of humiliation and failed attempts to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award, Pirate Captain and his oddball crew take on the cream of the pirating crop - Black Bellamy, Peg Leg Hastings and Cutlass Liz - in a race to pillage the most booty. They soon cross paths with lovelorn scientist Charles Darwin, who persuades the Captain that the crew's prized 'parrot', Polly, could be the answer to the 'untold riches' they are searching for. Their adventure takes them to Victorian London where they meet Darwin's sidekick 'man-panzee' Mister Bobo, and the notorious pirate-hating Queen Victoria herself. It soon unfolds that Darwin's motives for helping the crew are not what they seem, and the Queen has an evil hidden agenda of her own. The Pirate Captain must choose between basking in the glory of being crowned Pirate of the Year, or staying faithful to his trusted crew.

- MANUGINO, Saturday, October 6, 2012