The Sea Beast is a 2022 computer-animated adventure film directed by Chris Williams, which premiered on Netflix on July 8. The film stars the voices of Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. It follows the story of a young girl who stows away on the ship of a legendary sea monster hunter. The two embark on a great adventure and discover a secret about the creatures that lurk in the ocean. In a review published by The New York Times, they praised the film’s animation and visuals and wrote, “The Sea Beast is capably animated. Its backgrounds and underwater shots are particularly stunning, though the characters’ facial expressions rarely match the enthusiastic voice acting. Its fantastical creatures range from uninspired (the Red Bluster) to irresistible (an aquatic sidekick of Maisie’s named Blue).” If you enjoyed watching The Sea Beast, here are five adventure movies worth watching with your family.
How To Train Your Dragon
The Sea Beast shares a very similar plot to the 2010 American computer-animated action fantasy film How to Train Your Dragon, which features dragon slayers instead of sea monster hunters. It was loosely based on the 2003 book of the same name by Cressida Cowell and was directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois. It stars the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, and Kristen Wiig. The story takes place in a mythical Viking world where a young Viking teenager named Hiccup aspires to follow his tribe’s tradition of becoming a dragon slayer. However, when he encounters a dragon, he finds that they are not the ferocious beasts he has believed in. Common Sense Media praised the film’s touching and relevant themes, saying, “It’s not just about a nerdy kid hoping to show up to his peers and win the attention of a pretty girl in the process. Instead, it’s about the pressure of living up to your father’s expectations, self-identity, war and peace, growing up, and other seemingly heavy themes seamlessly woven into a funny, gripping adventure.”
Moana is a 2016 American computer-animated musical adventure film directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, co-directed by Chris Williams and Don Hall, and produced by Osnat Shurer, with a screenplay written by Jared Bush, and a story by Musker, Clements, Williams, Hall, Pamela Ribon, and the writing team of Aaron and Jordan Kandell. The film introduces Auliʻi Cravalho as Moana and also features the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, and Alan Tudyk. The movie is about the strong-willed daughter of the chief of a Polynesian village chosen by the ocean to reunite a mystical relic with a goddess. When a blight strikes her island home, Moana sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod who has the power to save her people. Along the way, she discovers that she has within her an identity and strength she never imagined. Maui and Moana’s special bond will remind you of Jacob and Maisie in The Sea Beast. The Guardian published a review of the film commending its direction and wrote, “Having made their names with the hand-drawn triumphs of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, directors Ron Clements and John Musker here segue seamlessly into their first C.G. feature, embracing the malleable magic of digital animation while retaining the clear lines that underpinned their previous work.”
The 2002 American animated science fiction action-adventure film Treasure Planet, produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures, also features stunning animation, pirate ships, and an adventure not in water but space. The film was co-written, co-produced, and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements and featured the voices of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brian Murray, David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, Roscoe Lee Browne, Emma Thompson, Michael Wincott, Laurie Metcalf, and Patrick McGoohan. It is an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 adventure novel Treasure Island. The film follows the story of Jim Hawkins, a young boy who discovers a map that leads him on a quest to find the legendary Treasure Planet. Along the way, he befriends the pirate Captain Silver and learns the importance of friendship and loyalty. Treasure Planet is an exciting and visually stunning film that will leave audiences wishing they could explore the universe themselves. Common Sense Media praised the film’s animation saying, “Computer and hand animation are brilliantly combined, using the best of both worlds so that the characters have a full range of expressions while the vistas are magnificently three-dimensional. This is exactly what animation should be about, presenting us with a thrillingly imaginative adventure utterly liberated from trivialities like the laws of physics and possibility.”
The Water Man
The Water Man is a 2020 American drama film directed by David Oyelowo, in his feature directorial debut, from a screenplay by Emma Needell. The film stars Oyelowo, Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina, and Maria Bello. The Water Man centers on Gunner (Lonnie Chavis), a young boy who becomes determined to find a mythological creature known as the Water Man after his mother (Rosario Dawson) falls ill with an incurable disease. Gunner enlists the help of an unlikely ally, a local girl named Jo (Amiah Miller), and together they set out on an adventure to find the Water Man. It is a film that will resonate with audiences of all ages and will leave a lasting impression. The New York Times published a review of the film and wrote, “The mythos the movie trucks in carries hints of Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke” and the Y.A. novel and film adaptation “A Monster Calls.” But this picture is a more anodyne vision overall; even when the narrative calls in a wildfire to raise the emotional stakes, the viewer remains confident that things will work out.”
Pete’s Dragon is a 2016 American fantasy adventure film directed by David Lowery, written by Lowery and Toby Halbrooks, and produced by James Whitaker. It is a remake of Disney’s 1977 musical film of the same name. The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence, and Robert Redford. The film tells the story of an orphaned feral boy who befriends a dragon in the Pacific Northwest. Pete has lived in the woods for six years with his best friend, dragon Elliott. However, when Natalie discovers them—a forest Ranger who works at Millhaven National Park—Pete is forced to leave his home and live in civilization. In a review by Vox, they praised the film’s take and portrayal of themes such as loss and wrote, “The 2016 Pete’s Dragon, while not flawless, succeeds because, in a summer full of bombast, it’s content to be quiet. And in a story about the importance of companionship, it’s not afraid to let its characters face real risk and loss.”