"Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas" - Movie Review
- Thursday, July 03, 2003
Rating: PG (for adventure action, some mild sensuality and brief language)
Release Date: July 2, 2003
Actors: Voices of Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer, Joseph Fiennes, Dennis Haysbert, Adriano Giannini
Director: Tim Johnson, Patrick Gilmore
Special Notes: Before Brad Pitt and Michelle Pfeiffer joined the cast, Russell Crowe was originally set to voice the role of Sinbad and Christine Baranski the voice of Eris.
Plot: Sinbad (Pitt), is known for sailing the Seven Seas and for being an opportunistic thief. When Sinbad is framed for stealing the powerful Book of Peace that protects 12 cities and their citizens, he promises to find the book or his best friend Proteus (Fiennes) will die. Along with his pet dog Spike, right-hand man Kale (Haysbert) and the rest of his crew, he sets sail for fun in the sun in the Fiji Islands, figuring that the King won't allow his only son Proteus to be executed. Little do any of them know that Eris (Pfeiffer), the Goddess of Chaos, also wants the book so that there will be more chaos in the world. She tricks Sinbad and makes the council believe he has the book. Unbeknownst to Sinbad, Proteus' fiancé Marina (Zeta-Jones), who's set to marry the prince in an arranged marriage, is stowed away on the ship and convinces Sinbad to do the right thing, find the book and return it so that his friend will live. From that point on, they sail the high seas headed for Tartarus and must deal with a variety of potentially deadly obstacles that Eris places in their way. The closer they get to freeing Proteus and the closer Marina gets to Sinbad … will the King of the Seven Seas save his friend and get the girl?
Good: As an admitted fan of Brad Pitt, I was delighted to learn that he lent his voice to making an animated movie like "Sinbad"; he was perfect for the role! I likewise enjoyed the chemistry between he and Catherine Zeta-Jones and thought they did a great job of creating excitement and adventure with their characters. For kids who have been spoiled by "Nemo" style animation and color, this animated movie may look too cartoonish and drab. But I liked the imagination of the monsters they faced and the colors of the kingdom – it reminded me of the last "Star Wars" movie.
Bad: Since we're dealing with a band of thieves (comical in looks and behavior), there has to be something "rough" about this motley crew. They use crude phrases used like; "I'll dump your butt", "Wake up you idiot", and "I'm severely creeped out." It seems like every kids' movie panders to a belching scene that brings laughs and this one does when a sailor gets seasick. Green slime comes out of a huge sea monster after it swallows a cannon, an enormous creature's eyeball is slimy and Spike the dog licks some of the slime. Sinbad and his crew are a band of thieves, so the plot deals with their desire to steal the Book of Peace and use it as a means of extortion. Sinbad is very chauvinistic towards Marina, so there's lot of dialogue and attitude between them. Eris is a Goddess who enjoys toying with Sinbad and the others, so she puts them through several scary situations: the thieves must fight an enormous, octopus-like monster that attacks their boat, translucent sirens lure the men into a passage where we see many wrecked ships and a line of skulls on a rope, Sinbad, Marina and the others suddenly realize that the island they're on is not an island but a large sea creature, a gigantic snow bird swoops down on the boat and tries to attack various people and it grabs Marina and flies off, but eventually Sinbad rescues her. An executioner with a huge ax is ready to behead Proteus, but Sinbad saves him. The rating is PG for mild sensuality which is mostly in the dialogue, including scenes like Marina looking through Sinbad's belongings and discovering a bra-like piece of clothing. Marina tells Sinbad that she has other ways of convincing him to save Proteus (meaning she has money to pay him), but Sinbad briefly looks at her clothed body. There's a comment made about Spike the dog "hugging your leg, that means he likes you." The watery sirens lure men into a daze and a sailor says, "Come and get it, ladies." Eris is the seductive one who floats around Sinbad and tries to woo him; we even see her in a bubble bath with "bubbles" that cover her bare chest.
Bottom Line: I used to love Sinbad movies when I was a kid, so I thought making an animated movie of his adventures was a good idea. It's hard to judge at what age a child might be scared or frightened by the "monster" scenes in this movie. Parents, it will be up to your discernment to know what's suspenseful or scary for your child, depending on his or her age, level of maturity and tolerance for this kind of material.
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