The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!

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The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!
"Good guess but actually no." - Pirate Captain
Genre: Action
Directed By: Peter Lord
Written By: Gideon Defoe
Based On: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe
Starring: Hugh Grant
Martin Freeman
Imelda Staunton
David Tennant
Jeremy Piven
Salma Hayek
Lenny Henry
Brian Blessed
Distributed By: Columbia Pictures
Sony Pictures Releasing
Release Date: 28 March 2012 (United Kingdom)
April 27, 2012 (United States)
Runtime: 88 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
United States

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (released in North America, Australia and New Zealand as The Pirates! Band of Misfits) is a 2012 British-American stop-motion animated swashbuckler comedy film produced by Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures Animation as their second and final collaborative project. It was directed by Peter Lord.


Accompanied by his ragtag crew, an enthusiastic pirate captain (Hugh Grant) sails the high seas and dreams of besting his bitter rivals, Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek), in a quest to win the coveted title of Pirate of the Year. The captain's quest takes him and his comrades from the exotic shores of Blood Island to Victorian London's foggy streets. Along the way, they battle a clever queen and join forces with a young scientist named Charles Darwin (David Tennant).

Why It Rocks

  1. The Pirates! is a marvelous looking film, you could really tell that a lot of creativity and effort went into it.
  2. The colors and backgrounds are plentiful and rich with always something interesting to look at,
  3. The character designs are appealing with the title character being the most prominent.
  4. The 3D is one of the rare instances where it enhances the visuals and action rather than detract from it.
  5. Theodore Shapiro's music is enough to rouse the spirit, and does very well conveying a sense of adventure with the songs featured that are fun and memorable.
  6. The characters appeal because of their larger-than-life personalities, true the names are on the generic side (Pirate Captain, Pirate with gout) though, that was probably the intention.
  7. The cast itself was one of the film's main attractions and the voice work is first rate. Hugh Grant shows impeccable comic timing, and Salma Hayak voices Cutlass Liz with lots of sass.
  8. "I'm the Pirate Captain, and I'm here for your gold."

Bad Qualities

  1. Some controversy broke out with the leprosy joke in the original 2012 trailer.
  2. The subplot where the Pirate Captain wants to win Pirate of the Year goes nowhere.


The Pirates! received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 86% of 150 critics have given the film a positive review; the average rating is 7.24/10. The website's consensus is, "It may not quite scale Aardman's customary delirious heights, but The Pirates! still represents some of the smartest, most skillfully animated fare that modern cinema has to offer.". Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 73 based on 31 reviews.


  • This was the last Sony Pictures Animation film produced by Aardman Animation.
  • Pirate Captain's "Good guess but actually no." line is often mistakened as "Well yes, but actually no.", which later became a meme.


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