By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)
Set during an unknown time in the past, the 2022 Netflix animated movie ‘The Sea Beast’ is about hunters slaying sea monsters to keep their home-shores safe. Directed by Chris Williams (Big Hero 6 fame), this fantasy flick is kind of like “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets “How To Train Your Dragon”, and while visually it is as stunning and lavish as animated tales can be, the storytelling isn’t as compelling.
Plot overview: A little girl called Maisie Brumble stows away on a ship filled with ‘hunters’ who are out on a mission to kill one of the most dangerous sea beast known to mankind. But there’s more to the beast than meets the human eye, and Maisie embarks on an epic journey with the famous hunter Jacob Holland to learn more. Older viewers can already see where the story is going.
‘The Sea Beast’ is definitely a great engaging flick for younger kids, with interesting moral lessons, some of which may be a little to deep for pre-teen viewers. The animation is a feast for the eyes, bright, colorful, with a beautiful little royal island; but the character design of the main protagonist – the leviathan sized sea beast – felt lacking in imagination, it looks like a giant lump with eyes. It’s the only thing that stuck out like a sore thumb, everything else was exquisitely designed, with great attention to details. Chris Williams and team re-create a fascinating sea-faring world, with their codes and distinct way of speaking.
The central theme of how those in power control information and exploit those around them for selfish gains was done well. It teaches a valuable lesson to children – to question everything and not simply believe what they are told. Too bad I couldn’t get to like the primary sea-beast in the tale. Even Maisie’s character felt a little annoying and too wise for her age. Some of Maisie’s actions should’ve been performed by Jacob instead; and the climax was too convenient and cliched. Or maybe I was just in a more cynical mood than usual while watching this flick.
It’s a 6/10 from me.
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