Blu-ray Review: Great Release For ‘The Pirates! A Band of Misfits’

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CHICAGO – Aardman’s Animation “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits” is a wonderfully clever slice of family entertainment that’s probably second to only “ParaNorman” when it comes to the best animated cinema of 2012. Sony has treated the film and its fans very well with an extras-packed special edition of the Peter Lord film that comes with a spectacular short film, 3D version, UltraViolet edition, and more. It’s one of the best family Blu-rays on New Releases shelves right now.

The logical place to start with “The Pirates!” is with the smart, clever movie itself. Check out my theatrical review for my thoughts on the movie but know that it plays even better the second time than it does the first. Like so much great animation, there are jokes and references that you don’t even catch the first time. It’s such a creative piece, never once feeling like it was a part of a marketing or focus group process and working for multiple generations.

Nearly as fun as the full-length film itself is a great mini-movie called “So You Want to Be a Pirate!” which not only features the voice talent from the film but was created by many of its producers. It’s somewhat randomly slapped together in terms of plot — one sometimes gets the idea that it exists largely of ideas that couldn’t make it into the complete film — but it’s incredibly funny. A bit about “Lubbermatosis,” a disease that stops pirates from saying “Arrr” makes it worth watching on its very own.

Joining the mini-movie are an informative commentary (that sometimes gets a bit too factual and a little dry) and some excellent insight into the making of the film via behind-the-scenes featurettes. There are games and even short films. It’s a fantastic set for a movie that, even just a few months after its too-brief domestic run, feels like it’s going to stand the test of time.

The Pirates! A Band of Misfits was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 28, 2012
The Pirates! A Band of Misfits was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 28, 2012
Photo credit: Sony

Set sail for a fun-filled voyage and hilarious pirate antics with the biggest Band of Misfits on the seven seas! When the infamous Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is shunned once again by his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz, he sets his sights to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award! With his trusted dodo, Polly and rag-tag crew at his side, the Pirate Captain will need to battle a diabolical queen, save a young scientist and never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: Adventure!

StarClick here to buy “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits”

Special Features:
o Mini Movie: So You Want To Be A Pirate!
o Filmmakers’ Commentary
o DVD-ROM Link
o Pirate Disguise Dress-Up Game
o From Stop To Motion
o Creating The Bath Chase
o Peter Lord Short Films
o Mr. Bobo’s Flash Card Challenge

“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” features voice work by Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Anton Yelchin, Brendan Gleeson, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, and Al Roker. It was written by Gideon Defoe and directed by Peter Lord and was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 28, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

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