Based on the book "The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists" by Gideon Defoe, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits is a swashbuckling, stop-motion, claymation animated comedy adventure that follows the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) and his band of misfits (Freeman, Gleeson, Roker, Yelchin, and Jensen) as they frolic on the high seas in an amusing quest to win the coveted "Pirates of the Year" award. Along the way they battle a diabolical queen (Staunton) and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist (Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure! (Gary Reber)
Special features include hours of kid-friendly extras with commentary by Director Peter Lord, Co-Director Jeff Newitt, and Editor Justin Krish; the short film So You Want To Be A Pirate! (HD 18:07); a Pirate Disguise Dress-Up game; the featurettes From Stop To Motion (HD 20:52) and Creating The Bath Chase Sequence (HD 08:22); two Peter Lord short films: Wat's Pig (HD 11:25) and Wat's Pig with Director's commentary (HD 11:25), War Story (HD 05:27) and War Story with Director's commentary (HD 05:27); previews; Mr. Bobo's Flash Card Challenge game; and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.35:1 1080p MVC digitally native 3D picture is absolutely stunning and breathes life into the spectacular stop motion, claymation animation, creating an action-packed fun pirate world. Picture quality is first rate and equal to the excellent 2D version in every parameter. The color palette is warmly hued with natural tones that are never exaggerated but perfectly balanced and shaded. Fleshtones are rendered in the tradition of Wallace & Gromit. Contrast is superb with deep, solid blacks and revealing shadow delineation. The extent of detail is unprecedented in animation, with plenty of eye-candy, for an arousing engaging visual experience. The imagery is absolutely pristine throughout, with virtually no crosstalk ghosting artifacts. The 3D visuals exhibit an incredible sense of realistic space, depth, and perspective. Characters are naturally shaped, with dimensional volume rendered impressively. The Captain and his shipmates are wonderfully dimensional, and the pirate ship appears lifelike in a Disney kind of way. Resolution is fabulous, with fine detail evident throughout in foreground and background imagery, especially during close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. Dimensional depth is always realistic, with impressive positive parallax perspective. At times, negative parallax effects extend out from the screen, but they are always executed with artistic taste. The 3D impressively creates a spatial dimensionality that is compelling and imaginative in what is a remarkable fantasy world. This is a visual experience that will enthrall the entire family, with an appreciation of the exceptional talent of the digital and claymation artists that created the movie. This is definitely one of the finest presentations in 3D to be released. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is spectacular and so much fun! Theodore Shapiro's orchestral score really steers the story with a resounding beautiful recording. The music is nuanced throughout with incredible clarity, dimension, and revealing instrumental timbre. The music score is spatially engaging throughout, with effective dynamics and punch. Atmospherics and sound effects deliver a large soundfield with impressive directionality. The sound is holosonic® throughout. Dialogue is naturally presented with realistic spatial integration and at times is directionalized. Foley effects are impeccably synchronized and nicely recorded, to convey realism. Low-end response is also superb, with natural .1 LFE extension to sub-25 Hz frequencies at times. Sound effects are impressively resolved and dimensional. And when all the elements are combined, there is an uncanny sense of immersion and soundfield envelopment. This is simply one of the finest 5.1-channel reference-quality soundtracks ever released. (Gary Reber)