The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)

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Released 26-Sep-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Making Of-2
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 84:29
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (58:50) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Peter Lord
Jeff Newitt

Universal Sony
Starring Hugh Grant
Martin Freeman
Imelda Staunton
David Tennant
Jeremy Piven
Salma Hayek
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Theodore Shapiro

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Greek Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

†††† Aardman Animation are one of the best animation studios operating in the world today, up there with Pixar and Ghibli, however when it comes to stop motion animation even those two cannot compete (and probably don't try to). If you have been living under a rock, Aardman are responsible for Wallace & Gromit plus films like Flushed Away & Chicken Run. Their most recent theatrical release is The Pirates! Band of Misfits which followed close on the heels of Arthur Christmas. Pirates has now been released on both shiny disc formats, however Arthur Christmas is unsurprisingly being released closer to Christmas.

†††† Anyway, this film is another dose of fun and silliness from Aardman, directed by Peter Lord who hasn't directed one of their films since Chicken Run. It is loosely based on a children's book, The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists, and is the first Aardman film to be filmed in 3D. The story involves a fairly inept bunch of pirates led by The Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) whose greatest desire is to win Pirate of the Year. His rivals for the crown include Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek), Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Peg-Leg Hastings (Lenny Henry). His crew includes his loyal and reliable number 2 (Martin Freeman) and a collection of pretty ordinary pirates including an albino, one with a cork nose, one with gout and Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate who might just be a woman in a beard. In their many attempts to capture some booty they come across Charles Darwin's (David Tennant) ship. He tells them that their ship's parrot is actually a rare dodo and that it is valuable if taken to London to enter in the Science prize. Unfortunately, London is the home of Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) who has set out to rid the world of pirates. Can they win both the science prize and Pirate of the Year?

†††† This is a very funny and extremely silly film which is very enjoyable to watch. There are many sight jokes, one-liners, inspired comedic ideas and lots more including a monkey butler. This is combined with some great action sequences to provide some excellent entertainment for kids and adults alike. The animation is a combination of stop motion and CGI and looks fantastic. The sets are marvellously detailed with many jokes in the backgrounds to be enjoyed. You will pick up more each time you watch the film. The music used also adds a lot of fun to the film. The film did not do as well at the box office as previous Aardman productions but it certainly didn't disgrace itself either.

†††† The film is also available on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D.

†††† There is lots of fun to be had here for adults and children. Get it!

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Transfer Quality


†††† The video quality is excellent.

†††† The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

†††† The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail was excellent for DVD.

†††† The colour is excellent for DVD showing off the great colours of the animation.

†††† There was some minor shimmering occasionally.

†††† There are subtitles in English, English for the Hearing Impaired, Greek and for the commentary which were clear and easy to read.

††††The layer change is quite obvious, causing a pause.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


†††† The audio quality is very good.

†††† This disc contain an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 plus a Descriptive Audio track and a Greek dubbed soundtrack in the same format. This is a very good soundtrack without being really outstanding.

†††† Dialogue was mostly easy to understand although the subtitles proved useful. I felt that the dialogue was a bit low in the mix resulting in a need to have the DVD louder than really necessary.

†††† The music is great, both the score by Theodore Shapiro and use of pop songs which really worked well.

†††† The surround speakers were used quite well for voices and some of the action sequences without being spectacular.

†††† The subwoofer was used to support the music and action such as cannon shots.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


†††† A good selection of extras are included.


†††† The menu featured an intro, music, motion and lots of fun.

Audio Commentary - Peter Lord, Co-Director Jeff Newitt & Editor Justin Krish

†††† Quite a good commentary featuring the creative team. They cover on-screen trivia, stop motion use vs. CGI use, the sets, animation challenges. They are interesting and personable. Worth a listen.

Mr Bobo's Flash Card Challenge

†††† Visual puzzle game which is not well explained and takes a few questions to work out what is actually going on. Once you do itís not bad. Too hard for smaller children.

From Stop to Motion (20:02)

†††† High quality making of which includes details of the animation approach, the source material, design, story, creating puppets, the detailed sets, mouths, voices, animating the water plus sound and music. Very interesting.

Creating the Bath Chase Sequence (8:03)

†††† Scene specific making of which documents the months of work which went into one of the most complex sequences in the film plus some of the secret methods they use are revealed. Some cross over to the longer making-of.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

† † The Region 1 release seems to be the same.


††† Aardman release another funny and silly animation this time featuring pirates.

††† The video quality is excellent.

††† The audio quality is very good.

††† The extras are pretty good.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
2 Disc Edition - James O REPLY POSTED
Region 1/A release also include short films by the director and a different game - Anonymous REPLY POSTED