In a dress-down Friday moment, I thought you might like to hear  my thoughts on Jane Austen’s latest film appearance….in Aardman Animations latest feature-length film,  Pirates: an Adventure with Scientists.

The film is based on the children’s books by Gideon Defoe, and is silly, daft and…jolly good fun. The books are Douglas Adams-y in tone, and revolve around the hapless goings-on of The Private Captain and his crew. The crew are a rum bunch and are never individually named. They are merely referred to as The Albino Pirate, The Pirate with Gout, The Pirate with a Scarf and …The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (And yes, no one guesses she  really is a girl…the beard no doubt helps her in her disguise-see below)

The Pirate captain is dim and ineffective, and the story revolves around his Parrot ( really a Dodo-see below) his quest to be Pirate of the Year, the crew’s love of ham, Charles Darwin( Yes, the Charles Darwin) and his monkey, Mr Bobo and ….Queen Victoria. Its all rather silly and yet rather magnificent at the same time.

Jane Austen appears, totally anachronistically, for the film  is set in 1837, in a tavern scene, ( Tavern scene!) and it is a fleeting appearance so if you do go to see the film, keep an eye out for her. I won’t give away the joke, save to say it involved the Pirate Captain and the Elephant Man.

The cast is tremendous. Hugh Grant voices the Pirate Captain beautifully and David Tennant is poor Charles Darwin. As is typical of Aardman animations, there is a lot going on around the main action and visual jokes abound. I thoroughly enjoyed this silly, funny film. Despise me if you dare.

Here’s the trailer to tempt you: