Monday, April 30, 2012

For the Love of Dodo: Obama's Political Allies & The Pirates! Band Of Misfits!

The Pirate Captain has to get an enormous sum of money so he can win the Pirate of the Year award; this is the whole plot of the film. Without doubt, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits presents us with President Obama's tenure as Commander In Chief: not only as the President been trying to get money out of Congress for all his plans to boost the American economy since he took office in 2008, but he's now full-sail into his fund raisers for his re-election campaign because, as the logic of Washington and The Pirates! Band Of Misfits goes, he who has the most money is worthy to be president.
In the original trailer presented above, there is the scene where the Pirate Captain lands on the Leper boat; in the film, it's changed to a "plague boat" (a possible reference to the 2008 Clive Cussler novel Plague Ship and an attempt to make the human race sterile). 
This is really only the second film I have been able to detect really supporting the presidential re-election (not that there aren't others, I just haven't seen them); the other two I have seen are The Vow with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum (please see The Vow & Obamacare) and The Three Muskateers which was really about Obama's relationship with the liberal media (please see Apocalypse 2012: Obama & the Three Musketeers). As a Republican, I generally assume--and I think this is fair--that Hollywood is liberal and on the side of President Obama; I really have yet to see that in film and, what I have seen, may be better if it hadn't been made!
The Pirate Captain (that's his name) and Polly; all the crew believes that Polly is a parrot who is just big-boned, until Charles Darwin identifies Polly as an extinct dodo bird.
The Pirate Captain enters into a contest to become Pirate of the Year, despite his dismal record. Realizing that everyone else has a better chance than he, he decides not to run; his crew encourages him and he embarks on a series of attempts to gain gold by robbing various ships that can't be robbed (such as the Leper boat, a ghost ship, a ship with children on it for a field trip, translating, as those who can't vote in the Presidential election because they are politically disenfranchised). He happens to hold up HMS Beagle, the scientific boat with Charles Darwin on board, and is about to kill Darwin when he tells the Pirate Captain something.
Ham Nite aboard the ship which is the "best thing about being a pirate," the Pirate Captain tells his crew. Why have a ham night? Well, as best as I can figure, since President Obama isn't a Muslim, as some believe he really is, this demonstrates that he's not since Muslims don't eat ham... it's not a particularly good film.
Darwin, the atheist and definer of human beings as animals, tells the Pirate Captain that Polly, his pet, is not a parrot but an extinct dodo bird. What does the dodo bird have to do with President Obama? The environment is really his "love" and his ticket to winning the presidency. The problem is, the Pirate Captain sells the dodo for a ship of gold, is abandoned by his crew, doesn't get the Pirate of the Year award and is left without any friends. So it's a moral lesson to the president with love not to abandon the environment as his main platform.
The Pirate Captain confidently explaining to "Chuck," i.e., Charles Darwin in green coat, that he is perfectly capable of presenting Polly to the London scientific community so he can claim the "untold riches" that awaits the scientific discovery. Obama has tried to sell the idea that Republicans want dirty water, dirty air and more oil drilling, so the bond and union with the scientific community to preserve the environment is a platform Obama believes he owns; this comes out in the caricature of Queen Victoria in the film.
The Pirate Captain's main competitors aren't really for the Pirate of the Year, it's Queen Victoria who desperately wants the dodo Polly and buys Polly for a ship load of gold so Pirate Captain can win the contest. It's discovered, however, that Queen Victoria belongs to a wretched group of international leaders who dine exquisitely on rare and extinct animals just to eat them, so the crew has to band together to save Polly. Within  this scheme of interpretation, Queen Victoria's hatred of preserving the environment through the preservation of extinct/nearly extinct animals might refer to President Obama constantly "crucifying" the oil industry (via his Secretary of Energy wanting higher gas prices) and the vilification of the Republicans as being anti-environment in general.
This was the best image I could locate of the Queen Victoria from the film, but she's definitely worse than any pirate in the film. Why would this be an apt image for the presidential election? Republicans tend to like the British, and Obama tends--at least by his actions--to spit on the British every chance he has. He sent back a bust of Winston Churchill that has been in the White House for decades, gave the official state gift to the visiting prime minister as a collection of Obama's favorite DVDs that wouldn't even play in England and then recently gave the prime minister... a grill. The Pirates! Band Of Misfits, tells the audience in the person of Queen Victoria that the British deserve to be treated as such and anyone who likes the British is just as bad as she is. It's better, by far, the film posits, to be a good natured pirate that's something of an idiot, than to be a real blood-thirsty maniac like Queen Victoria is characterized as being.
Yet, there is an even more important characterization regarding Queen Victoria: Victorian morality. The Republicans, always moralizing, are likened to Victorian morality and the idea of oppressing one's desires but, more importantly, Republicans are hypocrites as, in the film, Queen Victoria says she'll put Polly in a petting zoo and instead plans to eat her. Victoria's rage and her attempt at wiping out the pirates is basically like the Republicans trying to wipe out Democrats from political office in November and, the film puts forth, simply because someone as bad as Victoria wants to destroy the Democrats, must mean that there is quite a bit that is good about them hence, the logic goes, don't vote for her, vote for the Pirate Captain.
The Pirate Captain's crew, or, the constituents of President Obama likely to vote for him. The second pirate from the left, with the large, orange beard is called "the Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate" because it's really a woman dressed as a man. She gives the Pirate Captain several longing glances throughout the film, and is seen without her beard once but, the question has to be asked, is this what the men in the Democrat party think of the women in the Democrat party? That they are really dressing up like men? Or do women in the Democrat party have to dress like men in order to "get in?" For the party that is supposedly the "friend of women," this is really a point that should be discussed in party ranks... but there is also Albino Pirate, and the Pirate with a Scarf, and the Pirate Who Likes Kittens and Sunsets, meaning, that the "band of misfits" by society's standards are those that rally behind Obama. IF I WERE an Obama supporter, which I am not, I would not want to be viewed in such a light, so I feel sorry for those who are being treated as such. Then again, maybe they like that... this isn't the first time "misfits" have been used to describe the politically dis-enfranchised: in 1964, another stop-motion animated feature like The Pirates! Band Of Misfits, used the term for the Island of Misfit Toys, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer because of the political upheaval in society at the time (please see Misfits & Nitwits: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for more).
There is a second political platform President Obama's supporters--the one making the film, anyway--believe he can stand on: sodomy. According to The Pirates! Band Of Misfits, the story is about the Pirate Captain winning the 59th Annual Pirate Of the Year award; the first image of the film is the monkey holding up the card that the story takes place in 1837; 59 years ago is 1778 when (future president) George Washington, as Commander In Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, dishonorably discharged Lieut. Frederick Gotthold Enslin for attempted sodomy with a soldier. For the supporters of Obama who made this film, they are siting President Obama's free entry of gays into the military and the openness of gays serving publicly (even as he takes away their medical benefits) as a reason why he should be Commander In Chief again.
The Pirate Captain with his No. 2 happily admiring the Wanted Posters Queen Victoria has put on his head for rescuing the dodo from her ferocious appetite.
A point of consideration for the film is that Queen Victoria, to get the dodo, pardons the Pirate Captain of all his piracy crimes, and when that happens, he's no longer eligible to win the Pirate of the Year award. By the end of the film, the Pirate Captain has so infuriated and outraged Queen Victoria, that 100,000 gold doubloons are offered for his capture, meaning, that to President Obama's backers who made this film, as long as he is the enemy of the Republicans (Queen Victoria) Obama will have the support of the pirates (the Democrats).
The Pirate Captain and Charles Darwin.
Lastly is the alliance with Charles Darwin.
It is a matter of diametrical oppositions that Darwin's initial "discoveries" and theories about evolution undermined faith and morality in Victorian England. The makers of the film seem to want to do that again. If America will abandon the ugly, hypocritical Victorian values, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits reasons, then we can embrace Darwinism, which means that we don't have to worry about things like religion or morality, especially sexual morality, meaning, the government owes it to us to provide birth control and abortions because we are animals that have to be provided for.
In conclusion, some backers of the Obama administration have made this film to provide advice to the president about his bid for re-election and how he should go about it. If you are a Democrat, you may like the film, you may not, but these are the ideas being presented for your candidate. If you are Republican, the film offers us insight into the thoughts of some factions of the Democratic party and what they are counting on to be Obama's strongest points in the election. The film suggests that all politicians are pirates, but a "good pirate" is better than a dodo eating monarch and animalistic sexuality is better than rigid morality (why don't you scroll back up to the top and watch the trailer again, you might see it very differently now).
The Pirate Captain bedecked in his pink pirate's coat because he's won the Pirate of the Year award.