This gentle, animated pirate adventure from the popular Norwegian franchise Captain Sabertooth is pitched at very young children, but even they may find it a little tame.
Sabertooth is a weirdly bland baddie. A pirate in the debonair mode with a bouffanty Louis XIV wig and fine moustaches, he’s unfunny, undastardly, with not so much as a catchphrase to distinguish him. And there’s not much here for adults either, just a smattering of self-aware gags. (Spot the Shoreditchy, man-bunned pirate with a luxurious beard and designer tats.)
The film is set in the Marmalades, an exotic archipelago terrorised by a band of scurvy ruffians led by Captain Sabertooth (perfunctorily voiced by Kyrre Haugen Sydness). Scheming to get his hands on a legendary magic diamond, Sabertooth kidnaps a young boy, Pinky (Tighe Wardell), whom he mistakenly believes nabbed the loot. Actually, the thief is another kid, half-starved barefoot orphan named Marco (Phonsie Wardell), who looks spookily similar to Pinky. Another pair of villains is also in pursuit: Maga Khan, the barrel-chested lord of one of the islands, and his heavily botoxed wife, Sirima (Mary Murray).
The plot proceeds on autopilot, though a couple of the characters are nicely done: the pirate ship’s chef is a temperamental Frenchman doing his best with store-cupboard supplies and the occasional rodent he whacks with his broom. In normal times, Captain Sabertooth is the kind of film that gets slipped out during half-term when parents tend to be at their least fussy and most desperate. Now that cinemas are shut and half-term is a fuzzy nostalgic memory, adults might prefer to download Aardman’s fun, zingy The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists for an at-home treat, or Ray Harryhausen’s The 7th Voyage of Sinbad for something more swashbuckling.
• Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond is available on digital platforms from 18 May.
Source: The Guardian