The Sea Beast movie review as a movie goes beyond just entertaining (2023)

The similarity that exists in the stories of series or movies is more and more frequent, characters, setting, and aesthetics, especially if it is animated movies, in this genre, few original ideas come to surprise us for better or for worse.

The most recent animated film by director Chris Williams (Big Hero 6) has been compared to How to Train Your Dragon (2010) basically because of its aesthetics, The Sea Beast is an original production of the Netflix platform that involves an interesting theme as well as moving about how to defend those who need it and this is proof that there is still creativity to make quality cinema.

Like the wonderful Chickenhare and the Hamster of Darkness (2022), this project has a particular purpose. Although it is aimed at a younger audience, its basic message is something that goes beyond just wanting to have a good time.

What is the film about?

Maisie Brumble (Zaris Angel-Hator) is an orphan, but the memory of her parents as great monster hunters is her greatest motivation to one day be like them and make a name with which she will be remembered, determined to face any danger. takes refuge on the ship of Captain Crow (Jared Harris) a famous monster hunter and his adopted son Jacob Holland (Karl Urban) who along with his crew chases a legendary beast through the seas.

It is clear that this work bears the influence of the literary classic Moby Dick written in 1851 by Herman Melville and of which innumerable adaptations have been made, in this case, what we see, although it is somewhat original, is its clear message, which sustains all this history is In other words, without this element nothing would make sense and the way they approach it is what makes it even more interesting, Netflix in its productions has already accustomed us to the fact that its advertising is good, interesting and even misleading.

Advocating for what is politically correct we have the protagonist who is an orphan girl of color but who has all the attitude to stand out in a world and in an environment where adults are the ones who decide and the monarchy has the last word and the absolute truth, one that everyone follows blindly and without investigating first, it is so easy to manipulate an entire population when it is ignorant of what is happening around it, the most incredible thing about all this is that being already in the 21st century you have to resort to this type of work so that the little ones have an idea of ​​what is happening.

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This is simple, on the one hand, we have a girl and on the other, a monster hunter, when their lives and their stories come together the two embark on a great adventure in which they will have to make strong decisions in the face of a truth that they ignored and that involves a decade-long war between beasts and humans, The Sea Beast features monstrous sea creatures that roam the seas freely making these routes dangerous to travel, since the dark ages that take hundreds of years it is said that these giants supposedly started Attacking ships and towns, the exclusive elite of monster hunters have taken to the sea slaying beasts to make the waters safer for all in the name of the King and Queen.

Animated films have the objective of mainly entertaining children with adventure stories that involve a lot of action even though their characters are not concrete or complex, what does it matter as long as it has these elements that make it audiovisually attractive like the recently released Lightyear but, in other cases can attract the emotional sensitivity of adults who get involved with the plot and we participate in what happens in it as in Chickenhare, I put these 2 examples because while one has great super production and the other does not the difference between both is abysmal, the second has what the first lacks and that is its content.

Technically this film is set in a fantasy world where a period of adventure takes place in which we see large ships sailing the seas, the costumes that have been extremely careful down to the smallest detail, and the frames and shots that it has can go from the simple to the most dizzying, this is something unusual to see success in a product that, although it is not a Hollywood super production, complies with each of the rules that it imposes itself without neglecting the concept of animation, Disney As that great monster producer has already proven to be a failure when it comes to bringing this type of story to the cinema, clear examples of this are Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), which was not understood by children or adults, which is what they wanted to tell us. or Treasure Planet (2002) based on a literary classic that is almost perfect and that confusingly adapts the classic with the modern and interplanetary, fortunately, that does not happen here.

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This project has the wonderful wisdom of being told in 3 acts, in the first one, which is the one with which this story opens, it feels more like its own and a more fantastic version of Moby Dick and from this moment it directly tells us that the oceans in that world are full of giant and evil sea monsters that sink all kinds of ships in their path thus proclaiming themselves in their greatness as the owners and masters of the sea, the prologue helps us to meet a lonely boy who survives one of these provoked accidents by some fucking monster and that is adopted and well educated by the captain of the sunken ship, when he grows up he becomes part of the crew and a hunter who has sworn and perjured himself to kill these beasts even if it costs him his own life and of course, for the honor of kings.

The first action sequence we see is skilfully set up to establish the characters and build the plot, it’s tremendously exciting what they’ve done, there are a lot of jumps, falls, swords, cannons, and harpoons that the crew is using to face one of these sea creatures that is equal to or larger than the ship. After this battle where the colossus has fallen dead, they return to earth and it is here that Jacob meets this colored girl named Maisie who decided to escape from the orphanage and leave everything behind to have the adventure of her life, by a flashback we know that her parents were also hunters who died in a battle and sank along with their ship, Maisie is presented as a faithful reader of books where these feats are recounted in a very exaggerated way, which in turn serve as a driving force in their emotions to decide to lead that life and be famous and recognized by all especially by the kings but more than this so that her parents, wherever they are, feel proud of her.

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We have Captain Crow who is a separate case, he is severe, orderly, and very calculating in his work, which he does with pleasure and good humor underneath, his sensitivity is appreciated from the first minutes when he has a moving talk with Jacob where he makes it clear that sees this impetuous young man as an heir to his ship and its glories

For the second act, after back and forth and back and forth, this girl becomes and is not part of the crew, it is already specifically stated that the person they are looking for is a gigantic, dangerous and well-asshole legendary sea monster that is like the leader of all of them and that years ago was the cause of Crow losing an eye, Red Bluster appears and begins the action and the hunt in an extremely exciting and very well executed sequence where we can appreciate how well built they are the characters at this point, we understand what their main motivations have been to do what they do and all framed in an excellent and impeccable animation, the end of this battle gives way to the third and last act of the film, Maisie and Jacob are separated from their companions and adrift they will live a very different story that will lead them to question whether what they are doing is correct or defend these giants who possess a truth that nobody expects and co mo girl quote “Maybe you can be a hero and still be wrong”

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The script written by Chris Williams and Nell Benjamin states clearly and concretely that we should not believe in everything we see and less if this is unfounded, they state that both Maisie and Jacob are a good match despite the age difference, that in these times it is almost unthinkable that a production like this presents the friendship between an adult and a minor and here the 2 have something in common, they are attracted by the fact of being able to bravely face the sea beasts, what they do not know is that they reveal that the truth may be more complicated than what the books detail and what the kings have told them. I can’t wait to tackle this third act and tell what happens but no, I reserve this so that they will be as surprised or more than me when they see it.

As I mentioned before, his message here is not stupid or misleading, and much less does he intend to educate us by saying the same thing as other arguments, this one works especially well in this historical fantasy scenario that quotes the real world by presenting its diversity of ideas with its social challenges, the undeniable and plausible advantage it has over other films in the genre is how it tackles the current problems in a fantastic setting, its dark threats, and its mature themes and this cannot be pointed out in any way to underestimate the intelligence and value of their viewers, let alone play guess who.

It shouldn’t surprise us and yet it does that a movie like this pits 2 completely different generations in their view of things young against old is already a very clichéd and hackneyed topic where we know and guesses that one will learn from the other, here that idea passes by and no trouble or concessions are taken when showing it, it challenges all those preconceived ideas that are part of the general rule that occupies the genre, the story itself could seem very standard in its structure, however, what it raises It is very opportune and even more so when radical changes are taking place in our world and our surroundings.

The great base of all this that we see is to defend the oppressed, no matter how much they try to defend themselves or are ignored and mistreated, Maisie’s character serves as a catalyst that true power is not given by a weapon but by education and as we make use of it and defend what is right, the change it presents is that first, it believes that these monsters are a threat and then realizes and is willing to protect them at all costs and in turn show everyone that for years they have been wrong fighting a meaningless war against a wrong enemy, an act that requires great courage and fortitude to know the difference between what is said and what is real.

The production design has created something very complex that seems simple, the sea creatures that we see are incredible, all different with their unique personality, it is at this point that it has been compared with How to Train Your Dragon that I have no doubt not for a moment that the reference they make is completely brazen and direct as a more original and transformed copy, the animation is surprising, what we see does not pretend to be real but on the contrary, maintains and respects that fantastic fiction.

Regarding the voice casting, we have Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste and they all do a wonderful job, something that becomes moving and emotional more because of the well-structured dialogues and the depth and feeling that each of them brings to their characters.

The music composed by Mark Mancina has all those elements that perfectly frame what we see, piece by piece they have been carefully selected so that everything sounds and looks spectacular as a whole.

In conclusion, The Sea Beast is more than an animated film that wants to educate the viewer, it is a clear example that these types of projects show new things that are very well managed that go beyond just entertainment.

The Sea Beast is now available on the Netflix platform.

Tags: Netflix

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