Each Monday, film fan and champion of the downtrodden Jordan Sims picks out an overlooked gem or unfairly maligned masterpiece – and gives them the spotlight they so dearly deserve.
This week, it’s the turn of Aardman’s wonderful animated caper The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists. Here are five reasons why it’s an underrated classic.
1. The Blue Peter Badge
Voiced by Brendan Gleeson, the interestingly named “pirate with gout” offers a small easter-egg for British viewers. On his hat, pinned with so much pride, is a Blue Peter badge. A wonderful salute to all thing Albion.
2. The advice
“People who live alone are always serial killers” is but one of the pearls of wisdom given away in the script. Rivaled later by intellectual discussions that result in answers like: “And that’s why, in a straight fight, a shark would probably beat a Dracula.”
3. Brian Blessed’s recognition
Anyone who knows of Brian Blessed and his career will also have inescapably noticed the bellow of his voice. Well, the film in fact references this. As well as playing the Pirate King, the name “Brian Blessed” is also one of the candidates for the Roaring category at the ‘Pirate of the Year’ awards. It’s all very complicated… just watch it. You’ll understand.
4. It’s based on a novel
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I always think it adds credibility when a film is based on a book. And this wacky animated beaut, believe it or not, actually is based on a series of books by writer Gideon Defoe. Cracking reads, I’m sure.
5. Everyone’s favourite actors
They’re all in it: Hugh Grant, David Tennant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton – and the aforementioned Brian Blessed. The film has a very British feel, almost like “Carry-On on a pirate ship” or something.
Watch the trailer:
More underrated classics
The Assassination of Jesse James
Without a Paddle
Grave of the Fireflies
The Adventures of Tintin
The Invention Of Lying
The Money Pit
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