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The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (released in North America, Australia and New Zealand as The Pirates! Band of Misfits) is a 2012 3D stop-motion animated swashbuckler comedy film produced by the British studio Aardman Animations and the American studio Sony Pictures Animation as their second and final collaborative project. Directed by Peter Lord, the film is based on the 2004 novel The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, the first book from Gideon Defoe's The Pirates! series. It follows a crew of amateur pirates in their attempt to win the Pirate of the Year competition.

The film was distributed by Columbia Pictures and was released on 28 March 2012 in the United Kingdom, and on 27 April 2012 in the United States. The Pirates! features the voices of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Lenny Henry and Brian Blessed. The Pirates! is the fifth feature film by Aardman Animations, and its first stop-motion animated feature since Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit in 2005, and Aardman's first stop-motion animated film released in 3D and shot in 2.35:1 widescreen.


In London, 1837, Queen Victoria is told that England rules the entire ocean, with the exception of the pirates, whom she despises. Meanwhile, the Pirate Captain leads a close-knit group of amateur pirates who are trying to make a name for themselves on the high seas. To prove his worth, the Captain enters the annual Pirate of the Year competition, the winner being whoever can plunder the most gold. After several failed attempts to plunder mundane ships, they come across HMS Beagle and capture its lone passenger, Charles Darwin, who recognizes the crew's pet "parrot," Polly, as the last living dodo. Darwin recommends that they enter her in the Scientist of the Year competition at the Royal Society of London. Darwin allows the Pirate Captain and his crew to stay at his house for the night, in the hopes of stealing Polly for himself in order to impress Queen Victoria, his love interest.

The pirates disguise themselves as scientists to enter the competition, and the dodo display wins the top prize, which turns out to be a meeting with the Queen. The Captain hides Polly just before the meeting. The Queen requests that Polly be put in her petting zoo, but the Captain refuses and accidentally reveals his true identity. The Queen orders him executed, but Darwin steps in to spare the Captain's life, telling the Queen that only the Captain knows where Polly is kept hidden. The Queen pardons the Captain and orders Darwin to find Polly by any means necessary. Darwin takes the Captain to a tavern with Mr. Bobo, his trained chimpanzee, gets the Captain drunk, and steals Polly. The Pirate Captain chases them into the Tower of London, where the Queen is waiting. She dismisses Darwin and instead offers the Pirate Captain enough treasure to ensure his win as Pirate of the Year in exchange for Polly. He accepts the offer and returns to his crew, assuring them Polly is still safe in his beard.

At the Pirate of the Year ceremony, the Captain is announced as the winner, but rival pirate Black Bellamy reveals the Queen's pardon in a newspaper and explains that if pardoned, then one is no longer a pirate and, as such, cannot be Pirate of the Year. The Captain is stripped of his treasure and pirate attire and admits the loss of Polly to his crew, who abandon him. The Captain returns to London and decides to rescue Polly. He reunites with Darwin, learning that the Queen is a member of an exclusive society of world leaders that feast on Endangered creatures, and that Polly is to be served at their next banquet. The Pirate Captain and Darwin work together to steal an airship and find the Queen's flagship, the QV1, while Mr. Bobo sets out to find the rest of the Captain's crew to enlist their help.

Aboard the QV1, the Queen locates the Captain and Darwin and attempts to kill both of them, but Mr. Bobo and the crew come to their aid and defeat her. They accidentally mix the ship's stash of baking soda with vinegar, causing a violent reaction that breaks the ship in two. The Captain rescues Polly and they all escape safely, leaving behind the furious Queen. His action earns him the highest bounty known to pirates, 100,000 Doubloons, placed on his head by the Queen, restoring his pirate reputation as well as marking him as the most dangerous pirate alive. The Pirate Captain and his crew, along with Mr.Bobo, continue to explore the high seas in search of their next adventure.