By Australian Council on Children and the Media
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Pirates! Band of Misfits movie image
© Sony Pictures
 
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Rating
  • Suitable for viewing by general population
Recommendations
  • Not recommended for children under 5
  • Parental guidance for children under 8
  • Suitable for children over 8
Warnings
  • Contains frightening scenes
  • Contains inappropriate language
  • Contains violence and scary scenes
Genre Children's animated adventure comedy
Length 88 minutes
Release Date 05/04/2012

Story

Under the leadership of the Pirate Captain (voice of Hugh Grant), these pirates are indeed a band of misfits. Not quite sure how to be dastardly, they keep attacking the wrong sort of ships in their quest for gold. For example, they attack plague ships, a naturist ship and ghost ships. But the Pirate Captain needs to steal lots of gold to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award, which he has never managed to do.

They eventually attack a ship that has Charles Darwin (voice of David Tennant) aboard. He recognises that the Pirate Captain’s parrot Polly is in fact a long-lost Dodo. Darwin sees this as his chance to win the Scientist of the Year Award, so he tries to capture Polly. He also wants to impress Queen Victoria (voice of Imelda Staunton), who is known to have an appetite for exotic creatures. This adventure takes the Pirate Captain and his crew to the foggy city of London, where they are involved in plenty of mischief and mayhem.

Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Pirates; execution
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.

This movie has a lot of slapstick violence, which is presented for us to laugh at. For example:

  • There is a lot of swashbuckling and sword-fighting.
  • Things are blown up and destroyed.
  • When people fight, they often hit each other with objects such as frying pans and rolling pins.
  • Cutlass Liz blasts her way in with a shotgun, then stabs someone with a sword.
  • The Pirate Captain threatens Darwin with a sword and then smashes things up in his room.
  • The pirates make Darwin walk the plank.
  • Queen Victoria orders the Pirate Captain’s head to be chopped off, and a scene shows him with his head on the block. The executioner, in black, lowers the axe as far as the Captain’s neck, but he gets a last-minute reprieve. This scene could be quite scary for children.
  • Queen Victoria has a sword fight with the Pirate Captain.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • Some of the pirates look scary, because of their wooden legs and eye patches.
  • Some of the pirates are quite aggressive, especially when they fire their guns and act in a menacing way.
  • London looks very creepy in the fog. A scene shows pirates hanging from posts, but they’re actually seated.
  • Darwin’s home looks very creepy from the outside. Inside there are stuffed bears with large teeth.
  • Queen Victoria is presented as a rather manic person who often gets very angry.
  • Queen Victoria belongs to a society of people who eat exotic creatures. The society almost chops off Polly’s head before she is saved.
  • The Pirate Captain and Polly fall from an air balloon and are heading towards a ship’s propeller when they are saved at the last minute. 

From 5-8

Children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above, especially the one where the Pirate Captain is about to have his head chopped off. 

Over 8

This movie should be OK for this age group. 

Sexual references

This movie has some sexual references. For example:

  • The Pirate Captain falls into a tub where one of the crew is taking a bath. We discover later that this crewman is in fact a woman dressed as a man.
  • A scientist says that his invention is ‘good for looking down ladies’ tops’. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie shows some use of substances. For example, the pirates often drink beer. 

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, the Pirates attack a naturalist ship, but these scenes don’t show much nudity. 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language

This movie has some infrequent coarse language. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Pirates! Band of Misfits is an animated adventure comedy made for children. The main pirates are really quite harmless, and the violence isn’t intense or graphic. But young children might find the movie too scary. You should note that, in spite of the movie’s G classification, the Australian Classification Board warns that it contains ‘very mild comedic violence and coarse language’.

The main message from this movie is that people and animals are more valuable than gold and recognition.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include loyalty, friendship and companionship.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues. For example, fighting and hurting other people isn’t really funny and would cause harm in real life.

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  • Last Reviewed 2012-04-17