Sinbad, Legend of the Seven Seas

Sinbad, Legend of the Seven Seas
Film review by: Witney Seibold

Sinbad
            The elements: classical story and characters. Colorful palate. Love triangle. Action set-pieces. A few giant monsters. And an abandonment of any source material in order to provide these things. In other words, “Sinbad, Legend of the Seven Seas,” the new animated adventure film from DreamWorks, fits embarrassingly well into the spot usually reserved for Disney’s ultraformula films. I still can’t fathom why animation studios would want to take a perfectly good classical story, already full of beasts and magic and adventure, and pare it down to usual and shallow banality. It’s not a triumph to apply different sources to the same studio-concocted story. But that’s a gripe I have with animated features in general (and Disney in particular). Sinbad actually does have a few merits on its own.
            Sinbad (Brad Pitt) is a pirate out to steal The Book of Peace. This book is being transported to Syracuse by his long-lost childhood friend Proteus (Joseph Fiennes). They are reunited while fighting a big Cthulhu beastie, and become friends once again. When the Book is stolen from Syracuse by Eris, Goddess of Chaos (Michelle Pfeiffer), Sinbad is blamed, and must sail to the edge of the world to retrieve it. In tow is Proteus’ fiancée, Marina (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Adventure, etc. ensues.
            I saw a Digital Light Projection of this film, and while DLP is being hailed as the next revolution in film, it did not enhance my viewing of Sinbad. The colors were indeed brighter, to the point that I had to rub my eyes periodically to let them rest. Also, and this may not be the fault of the projection, but the film really had a tough time of blending the traditional cell animation, and the stuff done with computers (the characters were mostly hand-drawn, the ships and monsters were CGI).
            The film’s merits come mostly with Eris, who was animated as if she was eager to return to gaseous from. She shifted and undulated uncontrollably, and it was a wonder to watch. Also, the overall energy was cheerfully up. I just could have done without this particular story, as I could have the copious amounts of animated dog drool.

Sinbad Eris

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Published in: on June 3, 2009 at 6:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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