Movie Reviews

The Sea Beast Movie Review

The Sea Beast was a surprisingly well-made Netflix animated movie about a young girl named Maisie who dreams of becoming a sea monster hunter, so she stows away on a ship belonging to her favorite captain.

For a Netflix original movie, the animation is beautiful, especially the settings like the ocean, islands, and castles. The best shots were whenever the characters were in the ocean and the water looked so lifelike. It’s not on the same level of animation that the ocean had in Pixar’s Moana, but it’s pretty close. The animators of The Sea Beast should be proud of what they accomplished in this movie. Hopefully Netflix continues to push out quality animation because I would love to see another movie studio step up to Pixar.

Though formulaic, the Sea Beast has a compelling take on the “Monster Hunter” trope. In this story, sea monsters exist and these pirate-like hunters seek them out and it’s during these scenes where the movie really shines. It was a level of intensity that I didn’t expect to see from a PG animated movie. The battles felt epic because of the pure destruction caused by it as well as the high stakes for the characters. It always felt like a character that I cared about was going to die and that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Characters such as Maisie and Jacob Holland were extremely likable and they have some solid voice acting to back it up. It was a delightful experience for me to see Zaris-Angel Hator as Maisie put her excitable energy into her performance. I was worried that Maisie was going to be another annoying kid, but she was instead adorable and inspiring as Maisie stood up for what she believed in; even against her childhood heroes. Karl Urban as Jacob Holland was an especially pleasant surprise because I didn’t recognize his voice until I read his name in the credits. Urban truly transformed into this character and he was my favorite in the movie. Besides being cool, Jacob Holland has outstanding character growth throughout the film. Jacob Holland holds on tightly to his hatred of sea monsters due to his upbringing in the kingdom of The Three Bridges. He is presented with new information as the movie progresses and he actively puts in effort into changing his mindset. This is a real life experience that his character goes through and it was great to see that portrayed in this movie.

My only issue with The Sea Beast was that there were a couple of points in the story that either don’t get explained fully or serve no true purpose to the plot. Firstly, the movie says that there is a war between humanity and the sea monsters but at no point does it explain how the war started or why it’s been happening for so long. Because this war is the catalyzing event of the plot of the movie, it’s imperative for it to inform us why it matters. Instead, it’s left up to the imagination and that doesn’t work for me.

 Secondly, there’s a point in the movie where Captain Crow, the main antagonist, must visit a witch so that he could get a weapon powerful enough to hunt the main sea monster. The movie puts a lot of emphasis on how dangerous it is for Crow to make a deal with this witch and it sets up that dealing with the witch will lead to something awful happening down the line, but nothing happens. The only purpose for the witch being included in this movie was to get the main characters from one location to the next. It was disappointing for me to get all of that build up with no payoff. These issues however were not enough to take my enjoyment away from this movie.

The Sea Beast was very entertaining from start to finish. I hope that families will give this movie a chance because it may well be one of the best animated movies of 2022.