Good nature only gets you so far, but it's hard to hate a film when it's made with the best intentions. The Pirates hits its mark square in its squidgy plasticine nose. It has no grand illusions, no aspirations to be anything more or other than it is, which is a lot of silly fun. Screenwriter Gideon Defoe and directors Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt keep the humour quotient sky-high, and there's likely not a single gag herein that won't appeal to at least somebody. A fair few sank to the seabed at a rate of knots for me, while others continue to put a smile on my face even now as I write this review. It's my temperament, I'm sure, being a Brit weaned on goofy British comedy, and The Pirates is the epitome of such in 2013 at both its best and its worst. Cringe you may, as I did, and laugh too, as I did, perhaps even both simultaneously, as I intermittently did. This is a comedy through and through, so what do you expect? I imagine Aardman Studios expected precisely that - to induce amusement and embarrassment in their audience in equal measure on average, and it does you a whole lot of good. Good nature, best intentions, all as standard. Aardman continue to forge a path for themselves in the industry; it's a path no-one else has followed (mercifully), maybe due to their command of the stop-motion medium or their unique sense of humour, or due to the mediocre dividends at the box office. The Pirates may be derivative of other Aardman films, but the filmmakers seem quite aware of this, and proud too, at least that their work isn't derivative of that of their rival larger American studios. That's their path, after all, and this is Aardman's. It's not art, it's a lot of silly fun.