Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

Movie Information
Rating: Dependable
Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Main Performers: Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer
Director: Patrick Gilmore and Tim Johnson
Studio: Dreamworks Animated
Year: 2003
Run Time: 85 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG

Eris, the goddess of chaos, makes a deal with Sinbad: bring her the Book of Peace and she’ll make him rich. Sinbad agrees and follows Proteus, Sinbad’s boyhood friend, to Syracuse, intent on stealing the book. But Eris disguises herself as Sinbad and steals the book herself, framing Sinbad who is then sentenced to death. Proteus takes his place and Sinbad is granted ten days to find the book and return it or else Proteus will be executed in Sinbad’s stead. Sinbad and his crew set out for Tartarus to find Eris. Their journey is fraught with obstacles—a swarm of sirens, an island-sized fish, and a giant ice bird. At the edge of the world they find the gates of Tartarus. Eris tells Sinbad that she’ll play a little game with him—if he can answer her question truthfully she will give him the Book of Peace, but if not he will have to leave. Her question: if he doesn’t get the book, will he go back to Syracuse to face his punishment or will he let Proteus die in his place? Sinbad answers that he will go back, but Eris claims he is lying. Sinbad’s crew find him and they return to Syracuse in time to save Proteus’ life. Sinbad faces his punishment and just before the executioner’s blade falls, Eris arrives. Because Sinbad had gone back to die she is forced to give him the book.

The artwork, a blend of digital images and illustrations, of Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is very interesting; particularly the scenes of Eris in her realm of Tartarus. The film was nominated for several design awards including Outstanding Character Design in an Animated Feature Production and Outstanding Production Design in an Animated Feature Production. All of the landscapes are very epic and grand, lending a feel of wonder and adventure to the story. The plot is fun to follow and the main characters are well-rounded. Brad Pitt’s voice puts the finishing touch on Sinbad, making him a snarky and fun character. As a caution to parents, there are moments of mild crude humor. Eris and the sirens are also mildly sensual characters, although this is partly relevant to the plot. The themes of self-discovery and loyalty are present but never overbearing. All in all, a good family movie.