Captain Monty Takes the Plunge, Jennifer Mook-Sang, Kids Can Press, 2017.
In this fun children’s book, Monty the Malodorous has a well-kept secret. He cannot swim.
To hide his secret, Monty declares that “Real pirates don’t bathe! Yar-har-har!”
But the not taking a bath thing catches up with him. Monthy falls in love with Meg the mermaid. It is Meg who tells him, “You’re a real nice pirate, Monty, but you smell like stinky boots.” Monty begins to consider rethinking his avoidance of contact with water.
Pirates reminds us why we love British comedies. The film, one of the best stop-action animation films I’ve seen, is absurd in all the best ways. Just imagine the best of Monty Python in a stop-action animated film minus the dirty jokes.
The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) sets out to win the Pirate of the Year Award. All he wants is some recognition from his peers that he is good at what he does. This sets him out to find the largest booty (insert PG jokes here), but always landing on the wrong ships; a ghost ship, a ship of school children on a field trip, a ship of lepers, and a ship of nudist. Finally, he attacks the ship carrying Charles Darwin (David Tennant), yep you read that correctly. Charles Darwin.
Darwin is journalling about his ship-filled scientific discoveries. Upon meeting Pirate Captain and his Polly, which is really the only surviving dodo bird, Darwin (whom Pirate Captain starts calling Chuck) convinces the pirate to go to London to present the bird at a scientific gathering to win the prize money. Darwin is seeking not so much recognition by his peers, but recognition by Queen Victoria. Pirate Captain is blinded by the deceit because of his own ambition to receive recognition from his peers.