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

Comments (31)

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Caroline 2 April, 2012 13:24
I also cannot wait to hear David Tennant as well....have been following on facebook and am so excited about this and Wallace & Gromit.....CHEEEEEEEEEESE
Michael Walker 2 April, 2012 15:46
I'd like to go on an adventure with Prof. Julius Sumner Miller. His passion for science education was awesome and he was a great communicator. I reckon an adventure with him would be mindblowing
ANNE-MARIE LOOYESTYN 2 April, 2012 16:02
Captain James Cook , He sailed the seas, A discoverer, a mapmaker And his country he did please! This is the one I would go on an adventure with :)
Randen Kovacevic 2 April, 2012 16:03
I'd love to go on a journey with Galileo. He could help me find undiscovered stars to name after my beautiful children; William, Steven and Carolina. xo
Simona Meli 2 April, 2012 16:06
I would choose to go on a long sea voyage with Charles Darwin to see what adventures we could go on and discover more about the land, animals and how people work.
Deborah Lee-Talbot 2 April, 2012 16:18
Edward Said would be my historian of choice. Anyone that can make you stop and question your own values, that of your culture, while exploring the significance of another's values and culture is a talented educator.
Alannah Ronaldson 2 April, 2012 16:25
I would love to go on an adventure with Dr Emmett Doc Brown from back to the future because he can take you backwards or forwards in time to see whatever you want to see :0)
Leonie McCallum 2 April, 2012 16:30
Captain Cook. We have a lot to be grateful for thanks to him - what an adventurous legend he was!
Melissa Quinton 2 April, 2012 16:31
Sir Richard Attenborough - he never dates! is very knowledgeable and such a legend. It would be an honour just to meet him.
Kylie 2 April, 2012 16:37
Herodotus, because if you're going on an adventure with a historian you may as well choose the 'Father of History', and besides, who wouldn't want an adventure in the 5th century BC!
Kylie Price 2 April, 2012 17:10
Benjamin Franklin, because he was not only a great scientist, but a man who was active in engaging others to learn, think, explore and discover. I'm sure he would have loved a place like Scienceworks!
Judith 2 April, 2012 17:56
I'd love to go on an adventure with Donald Thompson, studying the animals of Northern Australia. I volunteered at the Museum Victoria (Mammalogy Department) many years ago and worked on preserved specimens that Thompson collected. I would have loved to see the animals alive in their native habitat, rather than preserved in alcohol.
Rebecca Costa 2 April, 2012 18:23
id like off gone on a adventure with Abel Tasman, he the 1st white person to decover tasmania and never killed the aborigines, he came in peace.
Bronwyn Marley 2 April, 2012 19:10
John Harrison - not a scientist as such, but a watchmaker who solved one of the greatest scientific problems of all time - longitude. To go on a voyage with him and one his 'timekeepers' would be fascinating and life changing.
Rita Annesi 2 April, 2012 19:41
Captain James Cook , would be an adventure to go on with because history was made ..., Our beauitful place Australia was born .. we call it home , thanks for being the first to see and discovery it when you landed on , just knowing what it was like to see it and how he felt when he saw it for the first time . it has changed heaps i wish that he could see it now with his own eyes , thanks for finding me place called home it means alot of everyone xoxox
Sue Picard 2 April, 2012 19:56
Give me David Attenborough 45 years ago - I'd ask him to get a new wardrobe, then enjoy the view! Our first safari would be to the Amazon to see some untouched wilderness and amazing biodiversity.
Mezza Dee 2 April, 2012 21:46
Albert Einstein would be my choice . A man who changed the scientific world for generations past, present and future with theories of relativity and quantum physics. A brilliant mind!
Christian Price 2 April, 2012 22:14
Nikola Tesla would be my co-adventurer of choice... he was into some next-level stuff, know what I'm saying? Pretty sure he could, like, travel to other dimensions or something. And if movies are to be believed, he'd bear a striking resemblance to David Bowie.
Elena Caffrey (11) 3 April, 2012 09:40
Charles Darwin he is my Favourite naturalist/scientist because I am really into animals. evolution and that. P.S. David Tennant rocks!
Carrie Churchward (age 9) 3 April, 2012 09:46
I would go on a trip with Galileo because he could show me the big red spot on Jupiter up close.
Matilda.age 6 3 April, 2012 10:20
I would like to go with Nicholas copernicus to wonderland to look at the stars.he could tell me the names of the stars.In the morning we could go to a tea party.the next day we could chase the rabbit to the queen of hearts.
Rowena Flynn 3 April, 2012 10:36
I would like to adventure to the Antartic with geologist Douglas Mawson, sled husky teams, find Adelie penguins, fight frost bite and elephant seals and try not to get the ship crushed in the ice.
Matthew Ch 4 April, 2012 08:41
I would like to go on an adventure with my Dad. He's the one that introduced me to history and there's a lot of interesting stories that I never got to ask him about.
Owen Saxton (age 10) 4 April, 2012 09:15
It would be cool to go space hopping with Brian Cox, i would really like to take a holiday in outer space!!!
Vikki 4 April, 2012 16:49
Albert Einstein...everywhere you adventure with Albert Einstein would be an adventure in itself. It would be so interesting to get an insight into his brilliant analytical mind. He not only is a great Physicist, but also a great Mathematician...and I love numbers ! Quote: ‘The important thing is to not stop questioning’....ahhh....E = mc2
Benjamin Mullens 4 April, 2012 20:07
Albert Einstein nothing like watching flashes of electricity being thrown around a room whilst not singeing yourself or burning your eyebrows off!!!
Kyal 4 April, 2012 21:48
Thomas Crapper,,, It would be amazing to listen to all of stories and how he came up with the idea of the toilet! It would be like; 'You know it would be cool if you could sit down and you know... do your business and press a button and it just disappears.... LOL
Jules 5 April, 2012 20:09
I would like to go on an adventure with Able and Baker on a mission to space to find out what how space looked to monkeys.
Louie 5 April, 2012 20:33
I would like to go on a dig with Heinrich Schliemann so I could help him discover all the treasures at Troy.
Jareen 6 April, 2012 12:33
Thanks for all your great responses! The competition is now closed and we'll announce the winners soon.
Jareen 11 April, 2012 09:59

Arrrhhhh.... thanks to everyone that entered our Pirates competition.

10 of our favourite scurvy adventurers are:

  • Michael and Professor Julius Sumner Miller
  • Kylie and Herodotus 
  • Judith and Donald Thompson 
  • Bronwyn and John Harrison
  • Sue and Sir David Attenborough
  • Matilda and Nicholas Copernicus
  • Rowena and Douglas Mawson
  • Kyal and Thomas Crapper
  • Matthew and his dad  
  • Louie and Heinrich Schliemann

To those lucky adventurers, email your postal address to and we’ll post out your Pirate! Booty. Arrrhhhh....

And don’t forget, keep yer spyglass on the Scienceworks Facebook page and Twitter account. They’ll be giving away tickets to see The Pirates!  Band of Misfits - in cinemas now!

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About this blog

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