Sinbad always conjures up images, at least
for the Masked Reivewer, of the classic 1958 Ray Harryhausen film,
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (and the not quite as classic 1977
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger). There have been many
versions of the Sinbad story, and, quite frankly, the Masked Reviewer
doesn't know where this whole Sinbad thing started. His
recollection was that Sinbad was originally somehow affiliated with the
Arabian Knights, but in the movies throughout the years (including
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas), Sinbad often seems to be thrown
in against creatures and situations from Greek mythology. Sirens,
minotaurs, wizards, goddesses, even golden fleece.
This film features
Sinbad as a pirate in ancient Greece. Sinbad isn't a Greek name.
Most of the other people in the film have Greek names (aside from
"Spike", the dog, and most of the crew who have salty piratey names like
"Kale" and "Rat". Oh, and the female lead, voiced by Catherine
Zeta-Jones, called Marina). So, maybe they aren't all named after
Greek mythology after all.
This is an animated film. As such, it's intended primarily for
kids, but the Masked Reviewer isn't a kid, so he's going to tell you
what an adult thinks of it. Granted, it will be the opinion of a
man who wears a mask, but nonetheless, an adult.
First, and most importantly, it must be stated that there are no
overweight black comedians in this film. That will be a huge
relief to parents, small children, and everyone else. That Sinbad
is probably too busy working on Houseguest 2.
The film is more or less your typical animated adventure story.
You've got your action, your big evil bad guy (or gal, in this case
voiced by Michelle Pfeiffer), your comedic sidekicks, your love story,
and your goofy anthropomorphosized animal. It's by Dreamworks,
so it lacks the DIsney super-sweetness and musical numbers. More
like Prince of Egypt than Aladdin.
The artwork is great in the film. They keep with the current
trend of combining computer graphics and traditional cel animation, and
it is used to good effect in this film. The computer animation is
amazing. The backgrounds are vivid and rich. Some people
will notice that the color scheme of the movie goes from very bright and
vibrant in the beginning to dark and muted for most of the movie.
This is done for dramatic reasons, but for those of you who like your
animations brightly colored all the way through, you may be in for a bit
of a disappointment.
The voice acting was very good. Brad Pitt as Sinbad was the
highlight. He brought a bit of Yosemite Sam to the character of
Sinbad by stammering and muttering "Oooooooh!" a lot. An
interesting side note to you voiceover trivia buffs...Russell Crowe was
slated for the role of Sinbad up until fairly recently, by movie
production timetables. That's it. That's the extent of the
Masked Reviewer's interesting background tidbits for Sinbad.
Other voices are provided by Joseph Fiennes (does he pronounce his
first name correctly, or does he have a pretentious pronunciation like
his brother Ralph?) and Dennis Haysbert..
The film features a couple of jokes just for the adults that are
chuckle-worthy. It's probably not the first choice of grown-ups,
but it's easy to sit through if you get dragged along to the movies with
some snot-nosed kid.
Kale, Sinbad's first mate has extremely large round nipples.
Just so you know. They're like buttermilk biscuits.
Also, he's not really a legend of the seven seas. He only gets
to one, maybe two, tops.
The film seems to have a few too many quiet moments, which won't be
noticed by adults until every single kid in the stinkin' theater starts
to squirm and cry and yell in their seats. But those moments
quickly resolve into more action and things settle down.
If you like animated features, this one is fine. A little light
on the comedy, more straightforward adventure, but fun nonetheless.
If you loved Prince of Egypt, this is probably most similar to
that, or maybe The Road to El Dorado (if anyone actually saw that
film). For what it is, Sinbad is singood.
Expectation from the Title: A documentary about a former "Star
Search" winner doing stand up on the cruise ships.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
Even Brad Pitt's voice is hunky.
The Pros: Not to kiddyish for adults, a couple of funny
moments, nice artwork.
The Cons: Other than the 1st Mate's nipples, there's no