SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS – I’m skeptical about the idea of hiring contemporary box-office stars to attract audiences to an animated feature. If the casting is good, it works; if they’re being hired just for their name value, it fails. (Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore and company sounded positively bored on the soundtrack of Titan A.E.) The happy surprise in Sinbad is the rich, robust performances we get from Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Michelle Pfeiffer. I never quite forgot who I was listening to, but fortunately, their personalities perfectly suit the characters they’re playing (or is it the other way around?).
As for the film itself, it’s a delightful mélange of action, adventure, fantasy, comedy, and romance—a heady mix that hits all the right notes. In fact, I can’t think of a live-action romantic comedy of recent times that has the wit or sexual tug-of-war enacted so brightly by the leading characters here.
The animation is consistently good, although I would prefer not to have three-dimensional computer-generated figures like the sea monster integrated into a two-dimensional world. Disney’s been doing this for the past decade, but I still find it jarring to the eye. That aside, Sinbad is a treat for adults and kids alike, and another success for the Dreamworks animation studio.