Aardman Animation is one of the most reliable animation houses outside Emeryville (the headquarters of Pixar). From the early days of Morph through the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit onto films like Chicken Run and Flushed Away, you can always be fairly sure of fun when the company is involved. Unfortunately that hasn’t always translated into big box office, which resulted in their deal with Dreamworks Animation ending early. Luckily though Sony was looking for ways to expand their animation output and so they stepped up for The Pirates! (and last year’s Arthur Christmas).
Peter Lord co-founded Aardman with David Sproxton back in the 1970s, but this is the first film he’s directed since he co-helmed Chicken Run with Nick Park back in 2000. Thankfully he hasn’t lost his touch, as The Pirates! is great fun, full of Aardman’s trademark attention to detail and visual jokes, along with a playful sense of humour and a plot that never takes itself too seriously, but still manages to create memorable characters. [Read more…]