Even before I became a Mom, I would fantasize about taking my kids to see movies. In this fantasy, we were laughing so hard, our popcorn was flying all over the place, I didn’t have to cover their eyes OR their ears and tickets cost $2.50.
I realize how high I’ve set the bar but this is the water mark for all movies I attend or purchase with my family.
The good stuff about this film: It’s about pirates and there was nothing inappropriate, scary, or violent for my boys. There are lots of great characters and the animation was amazing. We went to the theater before noon, so the tickets were six bucks instead of 12! (I realize cost has nothing to do with the film but it’s my review and I’m cheap.)
The bad stuff? No laughs. Not one from my family or the other families in the theater. There was one guy laughing in the very back. He was alone. And I’d bet my reviewer’s wage that he owns everything Monty Python has ever made on collector’s ultra 3-D blue ray.
And that’s where I think the problem was…subtle British humor. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some fumbling, mumbling Hugh Grant in my romantic comedies, but voicing the Pirate Captain in an animated kid’s movie? Not so much. My boys don’t do droll.
Let’s review: (pun intended) In his desire to be crowned “Pirate of the Year”, the Pirate Captain leads a misfit crew across the sea searching, to no avail, for Pirate Booty. (pun NOT intended). After many misses, they take over Charles Darwin’s ship. I don’t have to tell you that all the Darwin puns and jokes flew right over my seven and four year old’s heads, right? Heck, I’m not sure I caught them all. In my defense, I am a product of the U.S.’s education system. Which is why the movie’s original title, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists was changed for release here in the States and the Darwin part of the movie wasn’t highlighted in the trailers. Well, they fooled me.
After Darwin realizes that the Pirate Captain’s parrot is not a parrot at all but an up-until-then-thought-extinct Dodo bird, he turns into a devious bird-napper. The plot thickens. Darwin has told the Pirate Captain that he will win a fortune if he showcases the bird at a scientist contest which would give him the booty he needs to win Pirate of the Year. All this is going on while they are running from Queen Victoria. Why? Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you she hates pirates. It’s a British thing I guess.
I always ask my boys what they thought about the movie when we get out:
4 yr.: “I liked the popcorn and the chocolate. I put one popcorn and one chocolate in my mouth at the same time and it was soooo yummy!”
7 yr.: “I liked it. It was about pirates!”
Me: “I didn’t hear you laughing. Did you think it was funny?”
7 yr: “I think I was laughing on the inside.”
Me: “Would you like to see it again?”
7 yr: “No thank you, Mommy.”
4 yr: “I will see it again if I can have popcorn and chocolate together in my mouth at the same time.”
Well, at least I’ll save $29.99 not having to buy it on Blu-Ray.