The latest from Aardman Animations, “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” (released elsewhere as “The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists”) carries all the hallmarks of the British studio’s wit, speed, and visual creativity. A stop-motion animated effort, the movie is a delightfully entertaining yarn that puts a little cheekiness back into cinematic pirating, especially after the gradual disruption of jollity found in the last three “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels. Besides, what’s more fun to watch, a mincing Johnny Depp or a plasticine figure of extraordinary flexibility and cartoon possibility, plundering and bumbling across a vividly designed and colored background, surrounded by pure mischief? It also doesn’t hurt that “Band of Misfits” is easily the most charismatic performance Hugh Grant has delivered in over a decade.
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