Review by Dan Skip Allen
The Sea Beast has a legacy filmmaker attached to it, making it a film people should pay attention to: Chris Williams, who has been involved with pretty big Disney films like Moana, Big Hero 6, and others. His pedigree as an animator, a writer, and a director is pretty extensive. He may not be one of the biggest names in the industry, but his latest movie shows he's a very good filmmaker. It's one of the best animated films of the year so far.
In an undisclosed kingdom in a time and place not really said (but it looks like the colonial age or Victorian age), so-called monsters roamed the open seas, and so monster hunters were born. The Inevitable is captained by Captain Crow (Jared Harris) and is the number one monster hunter ship in the fleet. He rescued a young boy, Jacob Holland (Karl Urban), who's now all grown up. He is his trusty captain's mate. When a young girl Maise (Zaris-Angel Hator), shows away on the ship, everything he thought he knew about hunting monsters is turned on its head.
The voice cast in this film is fantastic, but the real champion of this film is the animation. The computer animation is absolutely breathtaking to behold. It is no surprise considering Chris Williams's pedigree. The monsters have an animated look to them, but everything else looks real. There are islands, town settings, kingdom castles, and many scenes of the ocean that look amazing. The detail involved with the ships is so intricate and detailed, and so is the clothing characters wear in the film.
Like many animated films, this film has some great messages about nature and understanding the wilderness and its creatures. History plays a big part in why we do what we do regarding how we treat animals. How people treat something that they don't understand is a big part of the progress of society. The Sea Beast handles these topics very well.
Netflix has been hit-and-miss with its animated films, but I can honestly say this is a fantastic film. Netflix invested in good people who have a great track record with animation. Chris Williams got good screenwriters with a good story to tell and used his expertise to implement their ideas into a beautiful, fun, action-packed animated film. All great animated films have great messages in them, and this one also does, but younger audiences will enjoy this film as well. The cast is terrific, and I was instantly sucked into these characters' stories from the beginning.
The Sea Beast is now in theaters and hits Netflix on July 8.