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My Opinion right after watching movie
My opinion right after watching Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is that I was disappointed. I did not have high expectations for this movie, but the way they built it up was going so well, but from the climax on, everything went south. There was already unanswered questions in the beginning and the characters were already kind of underdeveloped, but it seemed like they were getting more developed and the story was getting richer, but it failed. I am still mind-boggled with what the film tried to pull off. It tried to be an epic, but failed.
I found little to no information about the development of this film. Originally, the film was going to focus on 1 of the 7 adventures of Sinbad and for there to be 6 more sequels, but after The Road to El Dorado flopped, they decided otherwise, so this film was in development since at least 2000. They changed Sinbad and all the other characters to being Greek instead of Arabic. From what I assume, this is because of 9/11 and they wanted to avoid controversy. The voice actors/actresses did not meet until they were promoting the film. This film is also the first film to use the Linux operating system (I do not know what it is, so don’t expect details). Also, Katzenberg pitched the idea to Eisner when he was working for Disney, but he said no, so this was one of the first projects he had in mind for DreamWorks.
I am just going to say that I am not going to go much into detail about the story, since there is not that much detail after I watched it. It was building up to something nice and I was getting invested but how everything got so rushed and cluttered from the climax on just ruined it for me.
Okay, the film starts with Eris (Michelle Pfieffer) talking to her monster/minion about a prince protecting a book and a cold-hearted thief wanting to steal it on the ocean seas. Sinbad (Brad Pitt. Great……) and his pirate crew attempting to steal the magic book “Book of Peace” so they can stop robbing to retire on Fiji. They go on the other boat and fight them (making some really bad “humorous comments” along the way), but he recognizes his ex friend Proteus (Joseph Fiennes) and they decide to talk for a bit.
So Proteus practically begs for him not to steal the book, since it is his job to bring it safely to Syracuse, and if their friendship which ended 10 years ago (when they were kids) meant anything, Sinbad would not do this, but he tries to anyway. They get interrupted when Cetus (the monster with Eris) abroad the boat, both groups of sailors fight him off and kill him, but Sinbad is dragged underwater to meet Eris. I must just mention this,
So she blows a big bubble to put him in so he can breathe, and she asks him to steal the Book of Peace for her and he’ll be richer than he can every imagine and have the entire world to himself. Being the greedy douche he is, he takes the deal, and she tells him the big star will lead him to her hoe Tarturus where he can bring it to her. So he sells out to someone he knows is evil.
After Sinbad told his crew about what happened underwater, they decide to go to Syracuse to rob the book. Proteus returns the book and the entire kingdom celebrates the book being brought back. Sinbad and his crew are let in by Proteus which does not sit well with the guards and his father (Timothy West). He introduces him to his fiancée Marina (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who the thief starts to develop a small attraction for.
He recognizes Marina as the man-stealer who stole Proteus from him and tells his mates that they are leaving. Eris witnesses this and decides she is not having any of this. Meanwhile, Marina and Proteus are having a more than comfortable conversation that people who are acquainted are not as friendly and comfortable; there is a little romantic like between them, no one can tell me different. Eris easily sneaks into the hall the book is in and puts herself in a Sinbad puppet? to take out the guard and steal the book, framing him.
Everyone soon realizes that the book was stolen and only Sinbad could have taken it. Sinbad is arrested and Proteus lectures him about stealing the book and him betraying Syracuse. After Sinbad looked into his eyes and told him he did not steal it and Eris did, the prince realized he was telling the truth. The ambassadors (including Marina) are about to sentence Sinbad’s case, but Proteus interrupts and tells them to let him take his place instead and Sinbad fetches the book, willing to die if Sinbad never gets the book.
So they are back on their ship and Kale (Dennis Haysbert) is preparing them to go to Theseus but the heartless Sinbad tells them they are going to Fiji since his old friend’s impending death is not his problem. He goes into his room to find Marina there, shocked. She tells him that she is there to make sure he goes to Theseus to save Proteus’ life. She would not have done this if she did not care a lot or have some feelings for Proteus. She only convinces him to go to Theseus is by bribing him with diamonds (though he thought she meant sex at first, which he would not have minded), and throws her in his dog’s room, which is the worst on the ship.
Eris sends mythical sirens after them so they can never make it to Theseus. Marina escapes her “room” and when she approaches Sinbad, he insults her by saying a ship is no place for a woman, so our hero is a SEXIST douchebag. Let’s give DreamWorks a round of applause for their hero. Come on.
So the water sirens go after the group of horny men and lose control of the ship, but Marina and to a lesser extent Spike the dog saves them and the ship. How did Eris not know Marina was on the ship if she can see anything from the world from where she is? So the men who quickly recover realize Marina saved them and instead of thanking her and still upset at stealing his
boyfriend (no offense) friend, he yells at her for his ship being broken in some areas and the fact that a woman was controlling his ship. Wait a minute. What relationship has the two main characters hating one another for getting stuck into a situation that they did not want to be in, throw a bunch of insults at one another, and then quickly starts a relationship…….
So his crew members and Spike make him give her a forced thanks and they yell at one another some more. The next day, they land on some island to get things to repair the ship, and he is still mad at her, so he tries to make her stay on the ship. He gets even madder when she says tree syrup will repair the ship and everyone agrees with her and compliments her, so he insults her and hints that his ex-friend and his type are gay saying he is the only man she’s met, causing her to throw a syrup bucket at him. This turns into a word of insults and a throwing fest.
Turns out they were on some monster and they run from it. So the mood is somehow lightened and she asks how he and
Tulio Proteus met and knew each other. He gives this story of how he was running for his life and had knives near his neck, chest, and dick (no lie), and Proteus went to fight by his side (remember, they were kids from what BOTH said). She asks how they split apart and he said they went on different paths.
So Eris finally and somehow realizes that Marina is on the boat and sends a Roc (a horrible example of CGI) to capture and kill Marina, turning her into a damsel in distress at the moment. He somehow gives a shit and goes to save her, and they escape this ugly piece of CGI.
I am assuming that was an attempt to make them trust one another (this is all in the same day), and they end up in a suggestive pose, and they start to become attracted to one another. In that night, they have another heartfelt moment about her dreams of joining the sea, and him revealing that the most beautiful thing he saw (her) was why the two split apart as her man was betrothed (they were still children). So, he was that mad and sexist to her because she took his friend, though was always attracted to her, with her feeling bad for him? I’ll go with it I guess.
They soon end up at Eris’ home and he asks for the book back. He realized that she wanted Proteus to get set up so there will be no heir at Syracuse and it will fall under glorious chaos for her to take over. She tells Sinbad his heart is as black as hers, as he is stealing Marina from him, and Marina suddenly steps in to defend him. She decides to play a game with him, where he has to answer honestly to one question and if he does, he will get the book and if he doesn’t, he will either run off with Marina or die at Syracuse. She asks him, and he says he would go back to die.
Thankfully, she does and refuses to give him the book. Theseus disappears and Sinbad finally believes he is a bad guy who is a selfish liar. Marina refuses to believe that and is sad that he’ll have to go back to die and offers that she’ll explain everything while he escapes. She weirdly thinks he is a good guy and she loves him, ignoring the way he demeaned her a day before.
Apparently, the 10 days Sinbad was given has suddenly passed, though it has only been two days (did the film makers just ignore the other 8). If they INCLUDED THE OTHER 8, THEN MAYBE I WOULD BUY INTO THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, THE RELATIONSHIP, EXPLAINED PLOTHOLES. URGH. Proteus is about to be beheaded, but Sinbad shows up to take his place.
Justice was about to be served, but Eris interrupted unfortunately by turning the sword into pieces. She yells about how he ruined everything. He said he didn’t lie and that how gods always hold up to their deal. She gives him the book because of this.
So he opened the book and it made Syracuse lighter? Anyhow, he is seen as a hero and decides to leave since land is not his style. Proteus tells Marina she should go with Sinbad because she loves him and she belongs in the ocean. The two lovers reunite, share a passionate kiss, and take off to Fiji with their crew.
Most of the characters in this film are likable (except the main), but for a lot of them, the ending and development ruin a lot of them and makes them come off as contrived, lost, and frustrating. They become rushed and unfocused.
Honestly, everything in the film except the characters are made from CGI. I see no reason why this is traditionally animated when they were going to use CGI for every single background, effect, and more. It would be one thing if the CGI looked good, but it really does not.
They should have either made this a fully CGI film (which it seems like they wanted to do but wanted to give 2D a last resort), but it still would have looked ugly. The character designs are nice though and gives the animation a redeeming quality, though not much.
There are no songs in the movie, but the soundtrack full of scores was composed by the DreamWorks regular Harry Gregson-Williams. The scores are really the only things in the film that reach the good level, as it sets the theme really nicely and you feel like you are in the adventure with them. Nothing else I can say, since none of them will be stuck in your heads after watching the movie.
Reception at Release
The film opened on July 2nd, 2003 and opened at #6 behind Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Legally Blonde 2, Charlies Angels: Full Throttle, Finding Nemo (which has been out since late May 2003), and Hulk, and dropped to number 7 on its second week. It closed on October 9, 2003 making $26,483,452 domestically and $54,284,432 overseas which totals in a worldwide total of $80,767,884, making it a huge bomb at the box office. While it bombed, it still made more than it’s $60 million budget. It failed critically too, with people calling it mediocre, rushed, and it got some criticism for making the characters Greek instead of Arabic. I found no info for awards, so I am assuming it got ignored completely by all awards big and small. Katzenberg said after the film’s poor performance, ”I think the idea of a traditional story being told using traditional animation is likely a thing of the past,’‘. They were expecting this to not be a big hit since Disney’s Treasure Planet flopped in the winter of 03, while Shrek, Monster’s Inc, Ice Age, and Finding Nemo were huge box office hits. In the early 2000s, the public were preferring CGI films over the mediocre-bad traditionally animated films which showed with the traditionally animated films of this company to the performance of Shrek, so…
This film is largely ignored by the public and is buried 6 feet below by DreamWorks. It is only talked about when people are saying it is a huge reason why 2-D films failed. It has a small cult following like Road to El Dorado. This can be said as an end of an era for DreamWorks where they lost a good amount of their creativity for cliché money-grubbing films and 2-D animation was dead at the company.
Story = 3.5/10
Characters = 4.5/10
Music = 8/10
Animation = 5/10
- Dreamworks Review: Introduction (animatedkid.wordpress.com)
- DreamWorks Reviews: Chicken Run (animatedkid.wordpress.com)
- Dreamworks Review: The Prince of Egypt (animatedkid.wordpress.com)
- DreamWorks Review: The Road to El Dorado (animatedkid.wordpress.com)
- Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas (myoldaddiction2.wordpress.com)