In THE PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS, Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It's a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they do battle with the pirate-hating Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a young Charles Darwin (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!

Director's Statement

THE PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS is a project very dear to my heart, not least because the production went so beautifully smoothly. I don't mean that we had no problems, of course – that's never going to happen! – but there was a very clear and coherent train of thought which for me ran all the way from the original book to the final sound-mix. Gideon Defoe, the author, wrote an original book and then produced a brilliant screenplay from it. I had the full backing of Sony, who were marvellous partners, and embraced the eccentricity and daring lunacy of this very British project. And then in production I also had the luxury of having the entire production team under one roof in our Bristol studio. Everyone from the craftspeople who built the puppets and the props, through the floor crew of lighting, rigging and animation, to the VFX team who produced superb effects and computer enhancement – everyone was working together in one place. So communication was clear and direct and simple. Everyone in the crew was encouraged to feel complete creative ownership. As a result there was a fantastic atmosphere. As director, I felt supported and inspired every day by the passion, talent and commitment of that crew. For me, animation is all about performance and my voice actors and animators combined to bring to life fabulous, real believable characters. And then because of the amazing design team, those characters were placed in a stunning, beautiful and very funny world. Basically I'm saying that on this project all my dreams came true. I'm so grateful for the opportunity.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Peter Lord

Written by: Gideon Defoe

Produced by: Julie Lockhart

Editing: Justin Krish

Original Score: Theodore Shapiro

Nominations and Awards

  • European Animated Feature Film 2012