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  • Debbie Cerda

Sail the High Seas with THE SEA BEAST

Academy Award–winning filmmaker Chris Williams (Moana, Big Hero 6, Bolt) launches viewers into a fantastical adventure full of monsters in The Sea Beast, a computer-animated adventure film from Netflix Studios. Williams co-wrote the original screenplay with Nell Benjamin and produced alongside Jed Schlanger.

Legendary monster-hunter Jacob Holland (Karl Urban) finds an unexpected partner when young orphan Maisie Brumble (Zaris-Angel Hator) stows away on the fabled ship, the Inevitable, alongside his adoptive father, the infamous Captain Crow (Jared Harris). Together they embark on an epic journey into uncharted waters and brace themselves for the ultimate challenge: end Captain Crow’s 30-year vendetta by taking on the most feared of all sea beasts, the mythical Red Bluster.

The world-building in The Sea Beast is impressive, as it creates a vivid and immersive universe filled with all manner of monsters. Monstrous creatures that the crew encounters includes the Prickleback, a ferocious green beast with whipping tentacles and a massive pair of jaws, and the Purple Crustacean, an enormous crab-like sea monster with massive pincers.

Creatures from an uncharted island are less frightening and even a bit lovable, including a peculiar horde of yellow, rotund animals, as well as the gelatinous freshly hatched Blue. The appearance of these characters is pivotal in changing Jacob and Maisie’s attitudes and beliefs about monsters.

The animation and visual elements are exquisite, with the designs of the creatures and landscapes being both imaginative and visually stunning. The action scenes are riveting, and the film does an excellent job of building tension throughout the climactic scenes.

The character development in The Sea Beast is also noteworthy, as Jacob and Maisie's relationship grows and evolves throughout the story. Their dynamic is both heartwarming and entertaining, with Maisie bringing a sense of wonder and curiosity to Jacob's gruff personality. I also enjoyed Marianne Jean-Baptiste’s stern portrayal of Sarah Sharpe, the loyal first mate of The Inevitable.

The Sea Beast is impressive in how it demonstrates sailing commands and navigation. A sailing master directs the movements of the ship under Captain Crow's commands, with significant consideration given to real-world actions of masts, sails, rigging, and wind direction. Further investigation reveals that Gordon Laco who was a consultant for the nautical drama Master and Commander consulted for The Sea Beast.

The Sea Beast also touches on themes of friendship, teamwork, and overcoming differences, which adds empathy and depth to the story, making this movie relatable to viewers of all ages. The film's pacing is spot-on, with a perfect balance between action, character development, and world-building.

The Sea Beast is an impressive animated film that will capture the imagination and hearts of viewers. With its engaging characters, imaginative world-building, and thrilling action sequences, it is a must-see for fans of the animated adventure fantasy genre.


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