The Sea Beast – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Sea Beast – An Ocean Roar of Friendship

Film is a very interesting medium.  Seeing the unimaginable come alive strikes with varied expectation.  Some look for extravagance while others enjoy a simple journey.  No matter the situation, film provides a window into new worlds, especially when it comes to animation.  In this review, I look at the latest Netflix animated original.  In this film, it is a journey filled with unique thrills of the unknown.  A story of big ideas and predictable outcomes, The Sea Beast is a wonderous adventures of sailing the high seas … with MONSTERS!

We travel to a world where humans live in fear of attacks from the oceans.  To stave off any attacks, brave warriors travel to the far seas to battle monstrous creatures.  With the human world in constant conflict, two unlikely people travel on an adventure that will show … not everything is what it seems.   With any animated film, there is a unique blend of character creation and world building.  As these things coincide, the audience must be able to feel two things: believability and imaginative draw.  From the onset, the outline is relative to any typical fantastical adventure.  You have an ingenious conflict, a set of distinct characters and the eventual unlikely pair.  These elements are introduced in the first act, beginning with a (voice over) prologue to the conflict between the human world and sea beast.  Within this, you are also introduced to the famed crew of The Inevitable.  You learn about their history and the backstory of Captain Crow (Voiced: Jared Harris) and Jacob (Voiced: Karl Urban).  Through a series of visual spectacle appeal and intuitive action, you get a sense of danger that lives in the ocean.  After a series of plot driven events, Jacob cross path with Maisie (Voiced: Zaris-Angel Hator).  Through unlikely circumstances, she ends up on their ship.  This leads into the second act where The Inevitable is tasked with capturing The Red Bluster.  While traveling the ocean, we begin to get more revealing detail about the crew.  As indifference causes some internal strife, their situation turns dire when they encounter the beast.  Through some amazing action and visuals, the crew gets separated from Jacob and Maisie, as they end up stranded in open ocean.  From this point, the focus (of the film) turns from its world-building/action prowess towards characterized moments.  As such, the surface level hooks start to evolve, providing more levity to the current situation.  There are heavy foreshadowing elements, but the film begins to have weight because of the wholesomeness between Jacob and Maisie.  These two add dimension, which turns the journey into a poignantly driven narrative.

As Jacob and Maisie’s relationship begins to build, it parallels the mysteries of the far oceans.  Their lovable antics provides an indifference to the father/daughter motif, creating a relative string (for the audience).  Through their own gravitas, it leads to certain truths about the sea beast and the conflict with the humans.  Certain revelations provide them with a way back home, which leads to further encounters with the hunters.  As all the threads come together, it leads into a third act that struggles between the wholesome detail (of the characters) within predictable motifs.  Even as subtlety is fractured by convenience, it does lead into a genuine climax and an epilogue of closure four our characters.  The Sea Beast is a great animated adventure, providing fun within its predictability.  If you are a fan of animated films, imaginative or adventure tales, this is for you.  It is available on Netflix, but this would have been fun seeing on the big screen.      

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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