Monday, March 26, 2012

Book to Big Screen: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

This is a feature where I highlight books that upcoming movies are being based on. Today, I’m highlighting The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, a humorous book by Gideon Defoe that the new movie, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, is partially adapted from.

Publish Date: Oct. 2004
Publisher: Pantheon
Movie Title: The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2012
Genre: Comedy, Adventure
Goodreads Summary: Not since "Moby-Dick." No, not since "Treasure Island." Actually, not since Jonah and the Whale has there been a sea saga to rival "The Pirates In an Adventure with Scientists," featuring the greatest sea-faring hero of all time, the immortal Pirate Captain, who, although he lives for months at a time at sea, somehow manages to keep his beard silky and in good condition.

Worried that his pirates are growing bored with a life of winking at pretty native ladies and trying to stick enough jellyfish together to make a bouncy castle, the Pirate Captain decides it's high time to spearhead an adventure.

While searching for some major pirate booty, he mistakenly attacks the young Charles Darwin's Beagle and then leads his ragtag crew from the exotic Galapagos Islands to the fog-filled streets of Victorian London. There they encounter grisly murder, vanishing ladies, radioactive elephants, and the Holy Ghost himself. And that's not even the half of it.

After receiving a bad tip from another pirate, the Pirate Captain takes his crew south to the Galapagos Islands where they attack the Beagle, a ship they believe carries gold. Instead, they badly damage a scientific vessel with no gold but instead carries Charles Darwin. Darwin is on a mission to find and train a monkey to behave like a man, in essence, creating the first man-panzee. Feeling poorly for destroying Darwin’s ship, the Pirate Captain offers to take Darwin back to England, help get Mister Bobo (Darwin’s man-panzee) accepted into Victorian high society and rescue Erasmus, Darwin’s brother, who is being held captive by the evil Bishop of Oxford.

I usually don’t read comedy but maybe I should more often. I had no expectations of this book but it actually had me laughing out loud a couple of times. The Pirates! is one of those books this is not politically correct but the storyline is so over the top, it’s hard to be offended.

The Pirate Captain is portrayed as the suave, player type whose beard is always silky and well groomed. Darwin, on the other hand, is a geeky scientist who wants to be a success so he can attract ladies and he annoys other scientists with his theories. The villain of the story is the Bishop of Oxford who, by holding a large stake in P.T. Barnum’s Circus of Freaks, wants no competition from Darwin and Mister Bobo. In addition to holding Erasmus hostage, the nefarious Bishop is up to other unsavory activities as well.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits movie is actually based on Defoe’s first two books in the series (The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab: The Novel). I only read the first. Since this is an animated movie about pirates, I’m guessing the movie makers will forgo some of the more adult content (reference to the Pirate Captain being exhausted after entertaining a lady in his cabin for hours; the scarf wearing pirate hoping a girl will put out for him; the Bishop’s illegal activities; people getting run through with cutlasses; a pirate putting on a sheet pretending to be the Holy Ghost and performing wrestling moves) and while this content is mild, it is still not appropriate for younger children. 

As I mentioned before, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is surprisingly funny. While I wouldn’t recommend it for children, more mature teens and adults will find it a quick, laugh-out-loud read. I will be checking out the movie review for The Pirates! Band of Misfits at Plugged In before deciding if I will take my kids to see it.

Have you read either book that the movie is based on? What did you think? Do you plan on seeing the movie?

Content: References to adult situations and violence.


Wendy Darling said...

Oh, I had no idea that the Pirates movie was based on a book! It sounds very cute. It's funny to hear your analysis of the more adult content that will be left out of the movie, hah. You never know, though, those Aardman guys can be pretty cheeky sometimes, they might include a sly mention at least. ;) Fun review!

Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

Anonymous said...

I think...I've read this book. It would have been a while ago, like back in 2005, but I'm pretty sure this was the book! Now I'm going to have to dig through one of my moving boxes full of all the books I read back in high school just to make sure and maybe give it a re-read. I didn't realize there was a movie based off it. I must see it!

- Jackie


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