MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
There is an old curse that says: May you be living in interesting times. That surely is the case these days when it comes to watching movies. With streaming services and larger flatscreen TVs fairly pervasive in American homes, many persons are choosing to stay on the sofa rather than attend the local movie theater.
The major studios are still trying to live into this new reality, with some frustrating choices made regarding film distribution. Time-wasting titles such as Lightyear, Minions: The Rise of Gru, and the upcoming Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank are sent exclusively to theaters for their opening month while such visually interesting fare as Luca, Turning Red and Apollo 10 ½ go straight to streaming.
Another film that should have been available to watch on the biggest of screens is The Sea Beast. This family-friendly nautical adventure (taking place in a time adjacent to Moby Dick and Treasure Island) is one of the most beautiful animated films that I have ever seen. Director and co-writer Chris Williams (who also directed Big Hero 6, Moana, and Bolt) and his creative team have crafted an immersive experience that is exciting, heartfelt, and gently affirming.
The story borrows plot points from Moby Dick and Treasure Island, as orphan Maisie Brumble (voiced by Zaris-Angel Hator) stows away on a sailing ship (humorously named The Inevitable) to accompany her hero Jacob Holland (Karl Urban) on a monster hunt. Their expedition is bankrolled by a King and Queen who are quite willing to put others in harm’s way. The expedition is under the command of Captain Crow (Jared Harris) who has lost an eye from a previous encounter with the sea beast known as The Red Bluster. The crew will face off against some scary creatures but there is also the discovery of a cute little sidekick critter that Maisie names Blue.
The rallying cry for the sailors is “Live a great life and die a great death”, which is fairly close to Romans 14:8: “Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” In their journey together Maisie and Jacob will discover what true greatness looks like, and it will include compassion and understanding.
It is a foregone conclusion that the superheroes of the MCU must stay the same, the champions of the DC Universe must constantly be reimagined, and the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, George R. R. Miller and J. K. Rowling must be expanded with prequels. The Sea Beast is a real treat, a stand-alone, life-affirming movie that reminds us that a good story has memorable characters who grow and change through the events they encounter.
Ahoy, matey! This be a real treasure, for sure. Arrgh!
Halo and Pitchfork Rating:
Five halos: A stunningly beautiful film with a positive message about true heroism and looking beyond our fears to greater understanding; true diversity onboard, including a female first mate.
Two pitchforks: Mild sailor behavior including drinking and a few mild cuss words; some scenes of monster slaying that may frighten small children.
Do you have comments about this movie or movie review? E-mail your comments. (Your name and UM affiliation must be supplied in order for your comments to be posted.)
Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
COMMENTS! Do you have comments about this movie or movie review?
E-mail comments. (Comments will be posted to our web site.)
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH,
near Akron-Canton Airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
© East Ohio Conference. All Rights Reserved.