You sunk Tim Riggins's battleship!
Why is it so tough to make a great modern-day pirate movie? The first Pirates of the Caribbean romp came close, but that film suffered somewhat from a super-sized runtime and dull leading man (not Johnny Depp -- the other one, Borlando Gloom). Otherwise, the list of pirate-related projects from the past few decades offers one misfire after another, from Roman Polanski's Pirates to Renny Harlin's infamous Cutthroat Island to that shoulda-gone-direct-to-DVD Veggie Tales feature The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything to, of course, all three POTC sequels.
As one of the founding members of the British animation studio Aardman Animations, Peter Lord has watched the company grow from a tiny two-man operation to a full-fledged cartoon factory that produces commercials, TV shows and movies using both computer animation and its signature stop-motion house style popularized in such shorts as Creature Comforts and The Wrong Trousers. Over a decade ago, Lord himself shepherded Aardman into feature filmmaking by co-directing the hit Great Escape homage Chicken Run, and now he's back behind the camera for their latest big-screen effort The Pirates: Band of Misfits, which stars Hugh Grant as a 19th-century Pirate Captain who doesn't let the fact that he isn't the sharpest cutlass in the drawer stop him from leading his crew across the seven seas. Lord spoke with TWoP about how Grant found his voice for the part and whether it's best for cartoon animals to be seen rather than heard.