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Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 2:37 pm
by Remo D
For years (okay, I guess when Disney started resorting to stuff like THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE rather than classic myths and stories for their animation "events"), I've been wondering "Why don't they do a SINBAD cartoon???"

Well, Dreamworks beat them to it--and dropped it in the middle of the summer wars, where it's sinking without a trace. Oops.

Naturally, I took my son to see it anyway (mainly because I wanted to see it). And no doubt about it, it's a grand animated adventure that's likely to please those who bother to make the trip. Well cast voices, some excellent monsters...

...and yet, it's just not Sinbad! There's practically no trace of the noble adventurer we remember from the Harryhausen films... and yes, dammit, even that Lou Ferrigno movie with the same title as this but for one missing word!

Still, can't be surprised--Dreamworks is notorious (and not alone) in playing hell with the source material (look no further than THE PRINCE OF EGYPT and THE ROAD TO EL DORADO). For the record, what we get is Brad Pitt voicing a "lovable rogue" type who's introduced while carrying out a brazen act of piracy with his crew(?!).

He's going to learn morals and attain the heart of a true hero before it's over, you just know it in the first five minutes. And he's not so bad--he and his men carry out raids and flash swords around, but subject their adversaries to comic inconveniences rather than killing them (no surprise). Oh, and he has a cute animal sidekick, too (a slobbering bulldog named--honest to goodness--"Spike." Do I smell a lawsuit?). And we also get the obligatory "daring" bits--one of Sinbad's butt-cheeks showing through a hole torn in his pants and a rude reference to "pickles and eggs" at a contrived moment.

You can pretty much imagine the rest--it's an original story that has nothing to do with the Arabian Nights, so far as I can tell. There's just as much dumb luck as derring-do, and Sinbad's constantly being put in his place by the "woman on shipboard" that his loyal crew, naturally, sides with ever time.

I'm sorry--was this called "Sinbad?"

Entertaining and skillfully executed, to be sure--but still a missed opportunity in my book.