This post is from the new blog I’m contributing to, Five Hombres
I’m not certain what it was which made me want go and see The Pirates! in an adventure with scientists. It certainly wasn’t their starring role in the UK film industry’s latest preaching-to-the-converted stop film piracy advert at the beginning of every film i’ve seen for (what feels like) the past 6 months. Although to be fair, I didn’t realise that the pirates were also promoting a film until the posters appeared in cinemas a month ago (that’s either a win or a loss for pre-awareness depending on your point of view)
It might have been the delightful T4 behind the scenes of Pirates! special I found the other weekend when I was looking for the Hollyoaks Omnibus. I was filled with the love of stop motion animation from years past, before Aardman took a (un)surprising shift to CG animation with Flushed Away; which ironically is exactly what that film did to Aardman’s successful track record.
But most likely it was down to when I sent a mass SMS message the other weekend to find companions for a cinema excursion and with the options of Pirates!, Hunger Games and Wrath of the Titans (don’t you judge me) the only one with a 100% response of “sorry I’m busy, but I really want to see that one” was Pirates! My cinema going mass SMS list has never agreed in this fashion before, so after the weekend we went to see it.
Right about now you’re probably thinking that this blog post is just a poor attempt at a film review in the style of ain’t-it-cool-news. While you’re mostly on the money, the point of this post is that The Pirates! In an adventure with scientists is a fantastic film which you owe it to our British cinema to go and see.
Aardman Animation have been around for a long time, they invented Morph you know (you probably did) and then gave us the inspired Creature Comorts. Wallace & Gromit was a wonderful piece of quintessentially British whimsical comedy (although it did get a tad stale after it tried to transcend to the silver screen) and Chicken Run was a work of genius even if it did star Mel Gibson.
But it all went a bit a awry when some suits no doubt said that stop motion animation was dead and CG was the future, which resulted in Flushed Away. We shouldn’t be too hard on Aardman as Disney went through a similar and far more drastic cull of its hand drawn animators following Lilo & Stitch. But like Disney, Aardman were eventually allowed back to their roots and we have the fantastic Pirates! to show for it.
It’s a great British film based on (I have now discovered) great British books with a great British sense of humour (channeling the best of Python and Carry on) great British cast with a British studio and a British writer and a British Director – admittedly it was probably mostly funded by the Japanese (Sony).
It’s hard to be proud to be British when we’re lead by numpties and our media is the envy of secret service agencies with no scruples world wide. But sometimes something comes a long, in this instance a film, which makes you laugh, warms your heart and makes you proud that you’re part of a culture, part of a nation, which could bring something like that to life.
We owe it to our culture, to our media, to homegrown honest fun for all the family, to go and see this film to show the suits, to show the world which rams lowest common denominator trash down our throats every week, to show ourselves the kind of entertainment that can exist, that do exist, that we deserve, that we want.