“Monster Of The Sea”, The Animated Film That Teaches Us To Distrust The Official Story

“Monster Of The Sea”, The Animated Film That Teaches Us To Distrust The Official Story

“Monster Of The Sea”, The Animated Film That Teaches Us To Distrust The Official Story

The fascination with sea creatures is ancient. In the oldest stories, in literature and in the cinema, curiosity about the mysteries that the oceans hide is a recurring theme. Netflix Animation’s new movie, “Monster of the Sea”, takes up this tradition and gives it a twist.

With a spectacular visual display, where the realism of the water and the design of the characters stand out, the film shows how history can be a deceitful construction and teaches that the heroes can also be wrong.

The film is 119 minutes long and is recommended for ages seven and older. It was unanimously recognized by critics in terms of the quality of the animation, although opinions on the script are divided, with some voices objecting to the excess of moralizing educational content at the end of the film.

This is the first film that the American Chris Williams directs alone. He had already gotten into the maritime theme by co-directing a highly praised Disney movie, 2016’s “Moana.”

Now he presents us with a high-level work, whose art would be much better used on a movie screen . The quality of the animation stands out especially in the way the ocean is shown, something that happens throughout the film. And in the design of each of the characters, both the protagonists and the secondary ones.

The story told by “Monster of the Sea” is reminiscent of an unavoidable classic of universal literature: “Moby Dick” , Herman Melville’s novel that was made into a film for the first time in 1926, with “The Beast of the Sea”, by Millard Webb. And it even has scenes reminiscent of “Jaws”, the 1975 Steven Spielberg film, and “Pirates of the Caribbean”, the adventure franchise that was born in 2003. With this background, Netflix presents us with a story that reviews the “official history ” of what happens in the seas.

In the beginning, we see the protagonist, the girl Maisie Brumble who lives in a hospice for orphans and dreams of tales about sea beast hunters . Her bedside book tells of the legendary adventures of Captain Crow.

Like Moana, the little girl rebels and goes to sea: in this case, it is not sneaking away, like the Polynesian princess, but rather managing to get on “The Inevitable”, the ship captained by Crow, as a stowaway. she alongside her adopted son, Jacob Holland, and her first mate, the mysterious Sarah Sharpe.

His obsession is hunting the “Red Bluster” , a sea monster responsible for taking out Crow’s eye, for which he wears the classic pirate patch. Another allusion to “Moby Dick”, since in Melville’s work, Captain Ahab at all costs wants revenge on the white whale because he ripped off his leg.

But these sailors are not pirates: they work for the crown, but not to steal the gold and treasures that other ships were transporting and to devastate the Caribbean ports, but their mission is precisely to hunt beasts of the sea.

However, behind the ferocity shown by the beasts, there is another story that little Maisie will manage to bring to light, together with an incredulous Holland, who will have to unlearn everything that he incorporated since he was a child. And at this point the film will enter a field that was addressed by “How to train your dragon” , the 2010 Dreamworks film based on the books by Cressida Cowell, where it tells how the Vikings fought the mythological beasts until I understood that they must be friends.

In both cases, the ferocity of the beasts finds its explanation in the fact that they respond to the attacks of human beings . The two films share the questioning of what is socially considered true.

What it resembles, above all, is “Red Bluster”, or Roja, as Maisie renamed her, and Toothless, the supposedly dangerous black dragon from “Night Fury”. They both have rounded teeth and cat eyes.

In “Monstruo del mar” the approach becomes more political. It is that behind the hatred of sea beasts, as Maisie manages to unmask, are the King -who is very similar to Radcliffe from “Pocahontas” (another story that, in its own way, questions the official version of colonization)- and the Queen -whose appearance reminds Elizabeth I of England played by Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth”, the 1998 film. Already in “Moana”, we can see how the demon Te Kā is none other than the goddess Te Fiti, whom a Maui Confused, he stole her heart. Here too the animation of the water had been highlighted. It is no coincidence that the soundtrack for “Monster of the sea” was composed by Mark Mancina, the same one who made the music for “Moana”.

Recently, another film, in this case from Pixar, tackled false beliefs and sea monsters: “Luca”, from 2021. It is a spirit of the times that -fortunately- gives rise to questioning all paradigms.

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