MV Blog


Arrrggghhh, PIRATES!

by Jareen
Publish date
2 April 2012
Comments (31)

When I heard Gideon Defoe’s book, The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists, was being adapted into a stop-motion animation film by the highly revered Aardman Animations, I was extremely excited.

The claymation character, The Pirate Captain from the movie, The Pirates! Band of Misfits. The Pirate Captain from The Pirates! Band of Misfits movie.
Image: Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures
Source: Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Australia.

After almost a year of anticipation, The Pirates! Band of Misfits opens in cinemas today in Victoria and Queensland, 5 April nationally, and I can’t wait! Why am I so excited? Well, for two main reasons:

1. The Pirates! is an Aardman Animations studio film

Wallace and Gromit Wallace and Gromit - the world's most famous inventors.
Image: Aardman Animations
Source: (C) Aardman Animations Ltd 2012

Aardman are famous for creating two of the world’s greatest inventors, Wallace and Gromit. At Scienceworks, we’re not only busy preparing the jumbo crates to send the animatronic dinosaurs from our Explore-a-saurus exhibition to Scitech, Perth, we’re also busy preparing for our next exhibition, Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention. More about that exhibition another time, lad.

While researching for this blog post, I was fascinated to learn that The Pirates! movie took Aardman over five years to create - two years of scripting, one and a half years of storyboarding, designing and building puppets and sets, one and a half years of shooting and a final thre months of post-production to stick it all together. Phew! That’s about the same amount of time it takes to develop some of Museum Victoria’s major exhibitions.

2. My love for stop motion animation film

I adore stop motion animation film. I love the attention to detail. The little figures in their little costumes holding little props standing in little sets, all meticulously handmade and painstakingly moved a fraction of a centimetre at a time, that magically culminates in living, breathing characters acting out wonderful and moving storylines.

For The Pirates! it took 70 talented model makers to make over 250 puppets, including 23 background pirates, 18 background scientist characters and 55 special characters. Check out this behind the scenes video from Aardman on ‘Puppet Maintenance’ during the making of The Pirates! movie.


Arrrrggghhh, now for the fun part - the giveaway. And it's just for you, me hearties!

WIN The Pirates! Booty Pack

Promotional image of The Pirates! Band of Misfits movie From the creators of Wallace and Gromit, The Pirates! Band of Misfits film opens in cinemas this Thursday 5 April.
Image: Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures
Source: Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Australia.

To celebrate the movie coming to Australia (and really, to start the ‘Wallace & Gromit are moving in to Scienceworks in May’ celebrations), we’re giving away ten The Pirates! Booty Packs to MV Blog readers.

Each Booty Pack is packed with cool The Pirates! treasure including a digital watch, activity kit, stationery set and a copy of the The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists (a book more suitable for big kids).

To be in the running to win, simply leave a comment on this post telling us which scientist (or historian) would you love to go on an adventure with and why. Submit your comment before 9am, Friday 6 April. We’ll select 10 of our favourite scurvy dog answers.  

So get cracking and tell us about your dream adventure!

P.S. A big thank you to Sony Pictures Australia for providing us with this awesome Booty Pack of The Pirates! treasure to giveaway to you! And, if you want to win tickets to see the film, make sure you follow Scienceworks on Facebook and Twitter.

P.S.S. Don't miss hearing David Tennant as Charles Darwin in the film too! Swoon!


The Pirates! website

Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention exhibition at Scienceworks - buy your tickets online now!

Aardman Animations on YouTube

About this blog

Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.