Review: The Pirates! In an adventure with scientists (U)

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BRISTOL-BASED Aardman Animations discover their sea legs in this salty escapade for the entire family based on the book by Gideon Defoe, who pens the screenplay.

It’s the mid-19th century and Queen Victoria (voiced by Imelda Staunton) has declared war on all pirates who dare to sail around Britain’s waters.

The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is the leader of a ragtag group of seadogs, whose enthusiasm far exceeds their ability to plunder booty.

As a result, The Pirate Captain and his crew are a laughing stock, derided by rivals such as Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven), Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) and Peg Leg Hastings (Lenny Henry).

To prove the naysayers wrong, The Pirate Captain sets out to capture a Bank of England treasure ship only to storm The Beagle instead and capture a young Charles Dickens (David Tennant) and his primate manservant Mister Bobo.

The scientist leads the pirates on a merry dance that might just end with the beleaguered Captain taking home the much coveted Pirate Of The Year prize.