What a delight it was to see this witty movie today. It combines the science of Charles Darwin, the hegemony of Queen Victoria, and
the silliness of Pirate stereotypes. The Aardman studio claymation characters have always been finely textured. I think of Gromit’s eyebrows rising up and down in an actorly way.
Now that the figures are digitally enhanced, the Pirate Captain’s beard
is especially sumptuous. It is even capable of hiding a dodo bird in its thick curls.
Anyone who thinks that this movie is strictly for children is going to miss the wit of a pirate asking, when facing Darwin and his
trained monkey, “Are you two related?”