In a time when great monsters roamed the seas, people relied on the skill and bravery of the monster hunters. “Live a great life and die a great death,” is how the saying went. Books told tales of their triumphs and adventures, and at this particular time, an inquisitive orphan became determined to tell her own tale.
Maisie (Zaris-Angel Hator), a young girl in a group home, spoke of the hunters with sheer joy and was determined to become one. A fabled ship, the Inevitable, was led by Captain Crow (Jared Harris) and had one of the world’s best hunters on it in Jacob (Karl Urban). The one monster that had eluded the captain for so long was the Red Bluster. By order of the king and queen, they either killed the beast or be banned from hunting altogether.
The film is terrific and offers an alternative to so many children’s films that overly focus on singing. There’s storytelling within a story, but you won’t find any musical numbers here. Instead, you’ll be whisked away to a life at sea with music by Mark Mancina.
While taking everything in, you might get the feeling that you’ve been in this particular place before. There were a lot of How To Train Your Dragon vibes throughout the film, and because of that, there weren’t many surprises. Also, a two-hour runtime was totally unnecessary. A ridiculous side quest added nothing to the story, and again, the story was completely predictable. They could’ve gone deeper and explored more monsters (as only a handful were introduced) but it didn’t affect the story in a negative fashion.
The Sea Beast gets a 9 out of 10. What’s woefully familiar for adults will most likely bode well for its targeted audience (children). The film is still humorous without going overboard into the realm of “silly”, yet pushes the envelope with an unexpected curse word from Captain Crow. All in all, it’s a delightful film that’s loaded with representation and courage.
Don’t be surprised to hear about this title in awards conversations!
The Sea Beast will be available on Netflix globally on June 8.