FIRST LOOK: Aardman’s “The Pirates!”

Lest you think Aardman Animation is abandoning clay animation all together, here’s our first peek at their 2012 release, The Pirates! Band of Misfits:


  • JP

    At first I thought, “Oh, not another pirate movie!”

    But that trailer actually made me laugh out loud at points. Hurray Aardman!

  • John L.

    I have no porblems with them abandoning clay animtion if the results look that promising.

    • http://ulimeyeranimation.blogspot.com Uli Meyer

      This is claymation!

      • Amy

        “claymation” is a term trademarked by Will Vinton.

        This is Clay (actually plasticine) Animation. Or better yet, just good looking, FUN looking film making!!

      • http://ulimeyeranimation.blogspot.com Uli Meyer

        This is clay animation!

      • Chris Sobieniak

        I think I’ll coin it “Plasticinimation!” :-P

      • Aarrrrrrr’d man!

        Excellent, is what it is!

      • http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog/ Michael Sporn

        I’m not sure Aardman uses clay anymore. I think these are constructed puppets.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        That is true. The mostly create just the puppets, though certain features like the face are still clay.

      • john L

        this might be stop motion but I don’t thnik the puppets are actually clay or plasticine

      • Ergo

        Even in chicken run, only the heads were plasticine. It’s just more economical.

  • cjseaton

    I am SOOOOOOOO relieved and this one actually made me laugh out loud. Long live Aardman!

  • tgentry

    This looks better than all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies combined. “This is a leper boat. See?”

    • Hulk

      Yeah I agree. This looks like what the whole ‘Pirates of the Carribean’ Franchise should have been. It seems more faithful to the spirit of the original ride. Bravo Aardman!

  • greg m.

    Looks like a lot of fun!

  • http://jblogger-animart.blogspot.com/ Jamil

    This looks great. The animation is great, and I love their hands poses thumbs up to Aardman

  • Scarabim

    This looks AWESOME!!!!

  • Silence Dogood

    Oh yes! Aardman has always delivered entertainment. Really impressed with the designs here.

  • http://deaniac.deviantart.com Deaniac

    Coming into this article, I thought there’d be a few people complaining about the use of “Blitzkreig Bop” in the trailer, but I’m glad I was proven wrong.

    As for the movie itself…this looks hysterical. I’d TOTALLY see this.

  • Skip

    Can’t wait, and the best part is that it doesn’t look like anything else that’s coming out this year.

  • Mike Johnson

    I will be happy all day because of this!

    It’s not just awesome, it’s Aardman awesome!

  • Chris Powell

    That was absolutely wonderful. I laughed SEVERAL times. Now THAT I would like to see.

  • AJ

    even aardman has the standard movie trailer writing.

  • Jon

    Love it! The UK trailer is much funnier and it has a song!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/video/2011/jul/14/pirates-animation-hugh-grant

    • Well Read Ed

      Yer right, it is funnier! ARRRRGH!

  • TK

    I hope its 3D is as good as Coraline. Stop motion and 3D are made for each other!

  • http://www.inspectorcleuzo.blogspot.com Sandro Cleuzo

    I loved this and can’t wait to see it. The animation and acting is great and much better than some CG animation out there.

  • CC

    I’m very excited to see this! After some terrible CG/stopmotion chevron car ads (if I’m right in thinking that’s still Aardman) it’s so nice to see the studio return to it’s roots.

  • snip2346

    Wait… didn’t they say they made Flushed Away in CG because plasticine doesn’t hold well when drenched in water?! What!

  • Anthony D.

    This looks awesome! I think this might even be the first stop-motion film in 2.35:1 widescreen! Consider me there! :)

  • JM

    Ah! The Ramones. Great choice of music!

  • Carolyn Bates

    Oh boy! That was really funny and it looks great. I can’t wait!

  • Kartoonz kritik

    This may be the first “Pirates” movie I’m actually looking forward to!

    The leper joke seemed a loving tribute to the same type of humor found in Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

  • Lucy

    This looks awesome!!! :D

  • Lou

    ah thats better!
    Looks very entertaining

  • John A

    This looks a hell of a lot more fun than any of those Johnny Depp things.

  • tom

    Oh god, I laughed at the very first gag and I hardly ever laugh during trailers. Let alone outside of a cinema!

    Love the blue peter badge pinned to one of the pirates, looks like it’s going to be filled of classic aardman puns and humour.

  • http://www.stevelightart.com Steve Light

    Looks great, but 3D ……..really???

  • http://exitplanetwhom.blogspot.com gavin

    Where does it say 3d? If it is, it might finally be a 3d film that looks as good as the Snoopy/Yogi-era viewmasters.

  • http://ramapithblog.blogspot.com David Gerstein

    Some funny stuff, obviously.

    That said, the lead character is not the most memorably designed of the group—I’d go as far as to call him one of the weakest.
    And what’s his name? “I am the pirate captain—GNHEM!” Well, that GNHEM is actually him saying his name, but since he jumps and grunts as he says it, it’s indecipherable… Lem? Clem?

    When you’re working in a medium popularly perceived as endangered (clay animation), you just don’t LET a preview go out with these problems.

    • Phil

      His name is “Pirate Captain”. Other characters include “Pirate with the gout”, “Pirate with a scarf”, “Albino Pirate” and “Surprisingly curvacious pirate”

  • Christopher Smigliano

    That was great! The caprtain kinda reminds me of John Cleese..

  • Devin

    The books by Gideon Defoe this movie is based on are hilarious. A good funny beach read. Worth checking out.

  • Skeptical

    Looks great! I’m there. Hope this is the film that puts Aardman on the map in the US.

  • Aarrrrrrrrrr’d man!

    What can I say other than… YAY!
    Stop Arthur Christmas and put more money into this!

  • Aarrrrrrr’d man!

    Is that meant to be Charles Darwin at 1:17 talking about the Sea Monster?

    If so, that’s awesome!

  • Mister Twister

    I am bought.

  • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

    THIS IS THE WORST THING I’VE SEEN SINCE THAT PRINCESS AND THE SALAMANDER THING FROM TWELVE YEARS AGO! ANIMATION SHOULD GO BACK TO ITS ROOTS AND EMBRACE THE IDEALS HELD BY MR. HANNA AND MONSIEUR BARBERA- LIMITED ANIMATION ON A DRAB BACKDROP WITH MORE ANIMATION GLITCHES THAN YOU CAN COUNT ON ALL THREE HANDS. ONLY THEN WILL THE TRUE ANIMATION RENAISSANCE BEGIN AGAIN, AS IT DID ONCE BEFORE, WITH THE INVENTION YOGI BEAR.

    • Aarrrrrrr’d man!

      You really are a sour & sarcastic funny old crumb-dudgeony b-grade cartoon villain, aren’t you.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Wow, I think I’ve just been inspired!

    • http://wingingitstudios.deviantart.com/ Alissa

      Your name makes that post even more awesome, just saying. :)

      Leper boats, oh man this better be good with a fantastic joke like that!

    • KyleB

      I read this in Long John Baldry’s voice and laughed my ass off.

  • Brian Kidd

    The movie looks like a ton of fun. My only question is why do studios always feel the need to dumb down titles for American audiences?!? The original title, which is that of the book series, is great!

  • http://www.studiosoi.de jakob
    • Chris Sobieniak

      Certainly does seem like a better title doesn’t it (and we get a nice song introducing the guys as well).

  • http://www.bobharper.net Bob Harper

    I was stoked when I heard that Aardman was adapting Defoe’s books, instead it being done live action. I’m even more stoked now that I’ve seen the trailer. Every time I see their work, it makes me want to delve into stop motion, but then I see how hard it is and I chicken out.

    • Spencer

      You might say you make a…. Chicken run?

      (anticipated boos)

  • anonymous

    I find myself being excited more and more by animated features that are being produced overseas,mostly in europe. They are away from hollywood’s shadow and it shows in the storytelling and production design.

  • C. Stulz

    This looks great fun, can’t wait!

  • John A

    Next, Aardman needs to give us a clay animated Groo.

    • http://www.bobharper.net Bob Harper

      I would be first in line to buy that ticket!

      • Spencer

        Ditto!

  • Ergo

    I loved the book and when I heard Aardman was making a film of it, I was really excited. After that trailer, I’m confident they nailed it. Perfect tone.