Hugh Grant Voices Lead PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS - Aardman Animation's Stop-Motion Film

Whenever there's a new stop-motion animated movie from Aardman Studios ahead on the horizon, my heart misses a beat thinking about the awesome possibilities that await me in the future. You see, before Pixar took the crown of the 'kings of animation' in the mid 90's, it was Aardman's unique clay models moulded into film stars with his original Wallace & Gromit trilogy that were the undisputed Gods of animation. And whilst Pixar might hold the baton right now, Aardman's legacy of films and impact on film animation - specifically how to push cinematic boundaries of storytelling with the medium, shouldn't be downplayed. Even if it does carry the troubling and very eager title The Pirates! Band of Misfits (based on Gideon Defoe's irreverent book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists), I'm certain Aardman co-founder Peter Lord's first stop-motion animated film since Chicken Run is going to be something to see... Sony and Aardman announced the cast for the stop-motion animated film today that will be led (as the pirate above) by the voice of the increasingly less interested in the film business - Hugh Grant (his first animated role and about all the enthusiasm for work he can muster to do right now) alongsideMartin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen. Plot synopsis below;
Hugh Grant, starring in his first animated role, is 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 battle a diabolical queen (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!
Pirates! Band of Misfits is due March 30, 2012.

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.