Netflix’s latest animated film, The beast from the sea, hits all the right emotional notes and is a great adventure, even if it largely follows a plot we’ve all seen before. It’s also director Chris Williams’ best film to date, with more stunning animation than Big Hero 6 and a story that deals with its themes maturely and thoughtfully through colorful, well-developed characters. And it’s a shame the movie didn’t get a proper theatrical release because it has the most jaw-dropping animated sequences I’ve seen all year.
As mentioned above, The beast from the seaThe story does not innovate. Captain Crow (Jared Harris) of the Invincible is a longtime sea beast hunter, on the hunt for the greatest of them all (of course), the Red Bluster. As the King (Jim Carter) is about to arrest him for mocking their ship designed to kill the Bluster, the captain’s first commander and adopted son, Jacob Holland (Karl Urban), convinces the King to give them one more chance to kill the beast.
Meanwhile, wannabe hunter Maisie Bumble (Zaris Angel-Hator) seeks to board the Invincible to witness Crow kill the Bluster. However, the hunt goes awry and the titular beast swallows Maisie and Jacob whole. They will soon learn that the Bluster is not their enemy and that the war between man and beast has been created by those in power for their political gain.
The beast from the sea official trailer
Run nearly two hours, The beast from the sea has a lot to do, but it almost always works. The only element that isn’t necessarily fresh is the story it presents. A hunter on the verge of becoming a captain gradually changes his mind about monsters once the creature itself saves his life and helps him get to shore. But, of course, we’ve all seen it before, and the movie doesn’t add anything new in that regard. But the film makes up for its uninspired plot with stunning animation and impeccable vocal performances from its star-studded cast.
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The beast from the seaThe 119-minute runtime allows Williams and co-writer Neil Benjamin to establish the film’s multiple character arcs, and they’re all equally captivating. Of course, Jacob begins to like Maisie once she shows him how friendly the beast she dubs “Red” is, while his relationship with Crow grows distant as he desperately seeks to kill the beast that stalks him. gouged out an eye.
All the performers do a great job of bringing their characters to life, especially Harris, whose emotional range goes from tender once he first sees Maisie to filling his eyes with rage once she leaves. the Bluster escape. It’s the type of range we rarely see in an animated antagonist, which makes the character extremely vulnerable in the eyes of the beholder.
Crow is one of the most exciting antagonists in an animated film in recent memory, and he’s paired well with supporting villains voiced by Dan Stevens and Jim Carter (a Downton Abbey meeting!). They bring a lot of fun to their respective roles. Carter has a minor presence in the film, but he can liven up every scene he’s in due to how cartoonish the king is. It’s brilliant.
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Urban and Hator have great chemistry and make every scene they share a joy to watch. As incredible as the story of a sea beast is, the action scenes carry legitimate emotional weight. They are grounded in reality, which means the characters are as vulnerable as any human living in this world. It added a level of emotional depth for both characters that seems to be missing in most animated movies these days and made us care for them when they were in danger.
These scenes also solidified their bond for each other, as Jacob begins to warm up to Maisie, whose childlike wonderment sees the beast through different eyes than his adult friend. It’s a different father/daughter relationship that audiences are used to seeing in animated films. Still, it works so brilliantly that you can’t help but appreciate their newfound friendship and the lengths they’ll go to to protect Red from Captain Crow and the Crown.
And then comes the action, which ranks high in my book as one of the most exciting swashbuckling sets I’ve seen in an animated film. The animation in The beast from the sea is highly lit and beautifully detailed, and each shot has an enormous amount of geography. Watching it on a TV screen doesn’t do it justice, because Williams packs so much information into every ounce of the frame. Characters move within the frame with pure kinetic precision as the beast battles a ship or other giant monster Kaiju-style.
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Every action scene in The beast from the sea is as jaw-dropping as the last, and the mise-en-scène gets more elaborate as the film progresses to bigger sets. Seeing an animated film with so much visual expertise behind the camera is great. Yet it’s also a shame that Netflix has barely marketed it and will likely go unnoticed by the masses.
We finally have an animated movie that isn’t strictly for kids and isn’t just great fun for the little ones (with the inclusion of a hilarious supporting character named “Blue”). The beast from the sea will also hold everyone else’s attention with the way Williams directs the action and moves the camera, while gradually developing two compelling characters at the forefront and giving the film the time it needs to build their friendship. It all builds up to an emotionally satisfying climax that may or may not bring a few tears to your eyes, even though you know exactly where the story will go beat for beat.
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But even with a highly predictable story, The beast from the sea still manages to be a spectacular experience with its stunning sets and incredible vocal performances from its cast. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go to Netflix and see this movie ASAP.
The beast from the sea is now available to stream on Netflix. What did you think of The beast from the sea? Let us know your thoughts on our social media!
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