Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: When a young girl stows away on the ship of a legendary sea monster hunter, they launch an epic journey into uncharted waters—and make history to boot.
Review: Of all the animated movies I’ve seen for the year so far, The Sea Beast turned out to be the most surprising in that I knew nothing about it prior to sitting down to watch it and I was genuinely surprised as to how good it is.
Director Chris Williams (Big Hero 6 and Moana) takes his skills to the next level with this story that feels like a blend between Pirates of the Caribbean and Godzilla. A young girl named Maisie (Zaris-Angel Hator) runs away from the orphanage with dreams of joining the crew of a ship called The Inevitable (best name for a ship ever) crewed by the most well-renowned group of Monster Hunters to ever sail their dangerous seas.
The crew is led by the grizzled and obsessive Captain Crow (Jared Harris) who has made it his life’s mission to hunt down and kill a sea creature known as The Red Beast. His crew is a loyal one and consists of his second-in-command, Sarah Sharpe (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and his adopted son whom he rescued as a boy, Jacob Holland (Karl Urban). The hunters are beloved by the people of the kingdom but when the King and Queen threaten to replace them with their Royal Navy Jacob and Captain Crow make a deal with them—if they can capture The Red Beast the Monster Hunters will remain the ones in charge of protecting the kingdom’s oceans. Still, nothing is at it seems and when young Maisie stows away on the ship, she as well as Jacob end up on their own adventure where they learn history is written by the victors and sometimes the victors lie.
The beauty of The Sea Beast, besides the stunning animation (I couldn’t stop admiring how much detail was put into the little things, like Maisie’s hair, the beautiful skin tones and the gorgeous backdrops) is how simple it appears on the surface, yet how complex it truly is. On the surface it’s a tale of adventure set against the high seas. The kaiju-like sea creatures are initially introduced as predators and by their mere size and appearance kids can easily enjoy this as a swashbuckling adventure. But as the story unfolds and Maisie and Jacob learn more about the creatures that inhabit their world, adults will come to realise this story utilises typical action-adventure tropes to convey a message of non-violence, similar to the stellar Everything Everywhere All at Once.
It’s a movie about the dangers of accepting the stories told by our leaders without checking the facts ourselves, about the damage ignorance can do, even when you think you’re doing the right thing, and, when it comes to Captain Crow, the self-destructive nature of single-minded obsession.
So if you skipped this one because it wasn’t given the big screen treatment, I highly recommend you rectify that error pronto! The Sea Beast is everything fans of animated movies are looking for. With its flawless animation, stellar voice cast, tight pace and engaging story, one can only hope more people check this out and spread the word on how good this movie is.
Score: 8 out of 10
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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Have you caught The Sea Beast (Get it? You get it)? What did you think of it? And you can check out more animated content below: