//// Writer: Hamish McColl
//// Director: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt
//// Cast: Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, David Tennant, Martin Freeman, Lenny Henry
When it comes to Aardman Animations, I reckon you can't go past Wallace and Gromit in their rousing adventures. Chicken Run was good but the computer animated Flushed Away and Arthur Christmas didn't have the same magic.
Happily Aardman are back with their brilliant claymation here, and as soon as you hear the smooth English charm of Hugh Grant as Pirate Captain, you're know you're in for a fun and warm-hearted ride.
The plot revolves around Pirate Captain wanting to win Pirate Of The Year and how that chance presents itself when he and his band of misfits find out from Charles Darwin that their beloved 'parrot', Polly, is actually a (non-extinct) dodo. Fame and fortune beckon.
Other recognisable voices include Lenny Henry and Jeremy Piven as pirates, David Tennant as Darwin, and Imelda Staunton as Queen Victoria. Salma Hayek puts pizzazz into her tough female pirate, Cutlass Liz, but alas Aardman have fallen into the Disney trap of stereotyping female characters like this as being overtly sexual. Stop it, people! Half the world is female. Why not get half your writers to be women?
Veterans lead this weeks releases with new albums from Tim Rogers & The Bamboos (Album Of The Week) and Daniel Johns plus Ella Thompson, The Vaccines and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.