I really like stop-animation films, there is something about stop-animation, the way the characters move, their facial expressions that's so just charming.
This film in particular was very sweet. It had the traditional underdog betrays friends over fame plot, but it was done well. It also had an amazing voice cast from Hugh Grant, David Tennant and Martin Freeman with appearances from Lenny Henry and by the looks of the end credits, a cameo from Mr Peter Lord of Aardman himself!
The film isn't as laugh out loud funny as I expected, and plot is a familiar one, though that ironically enough, is to be expected - after all you can't have a miserable ending in a feel good film can you?
However, that doesn't really matter because the message is still just as important and because the film is still a fun ride, with a cast of characters I enjoyed watching.
The film also, in my opinion, has a warmth and sweetness to it - the crew are sort of genuine and slightly innocence characters, especially in the case of the Albino Pirate, and have an unfailing loyalty to the Captain. The scene where they sit waiting for the Pirate Captain on Ham Night reminded me of a family waiting for a missing member before they could eat - and in many ways the ship's crew is one big supportive family, and that really endured them to me.
Meanwhile, animation itself is incredible, the sets are vast and atmospheric, and full of detail. The CGI sea doesn't take away from the animation either, but blends in naturally, and I think, looks better than perhaps stop-motion water would have done. As usual there are lots of little quirks in the animation to look out for, and I'll probably have to see it again to appreciate and spot them all!
In short, if you want something full of fun and warmth that will cheer you up, or you just want to see a panoramic, beautiful piece of stop-motion animation, this is the film!