In animation, it has proven to be extremely difficult to recreate the old Disney magic outside of Pixar and Disney itself. The first few films of DreamWorks Animation were essentially Disney-lite until the studio found its irreverent voice in the Shrek films. More recently, Netflix has also been chomping at the bit to capitalize on the Disney audience. And if the first trailer for The Sea Beast is any indication, the streaming service may have a film that could rival the Mouse.
The Sea Beast was directed by Chris Williams, one of the screenwriters behind Disney’s Moana and Big Hero 6. His involvement with this film may account for the similar tone it strikes in this trailer. However, it’s also well-served by the beautiful animation and the imaginative sea creatures. Karl Urban lends his voice to the film as Jacob Holland, the most prominent monster hunter of his era. He’s joined by Zaris-Angel Hator’s Maisie Brumble, a young girl who wants to be a part of Jacob’s crew regardless of his wishes. And as you will see in the trailer above, Maisie seems to find a way to get what she wants.
There’s also a real warmth in the respective performances of Urban and Hator as Jacob and Maisie form an odd father-daughter dynamic against the backdrop of adventures on the high seas. It also looks like most of their bonding will come when Jacob and Maisie are trapped on an island with a wild assortment of creatures.
Here’s the official synopsis, courtesy of Netflix:
“In an era when terrifying beasts roamed the seas, monster hunters were celebrated heroes — and none were more beloved than the great Jacob Holland. But when young Maisie Brumble stows away on his fabled ship, he’s saddled with an unexpected ally. Together they embark on an epic journey into uncharted waters and make history. The Sea Beast takes us to where the map ends, and the true adventure begins.”
Jared Harris also stars in the film alongside Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Dan Stevens, and Kathy Burke. Netflix will premiere The Sea Beast on Friday, July 8.
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