In many aspects, Netflix has reached a level in its in-house productions comparable to anything coming from the largest Hollywood studios, but feature-length animation remains something of a notable exception. This isn’t all that surprising, as the kind of animated feature films produced by the likes of Disney and Pixar require huge staffs and an immense allocation of resources. But executives at Netflix seem determined to demonstrate that the company can do anything that any other studio can do, and that’s likely how we end up with something like the newly unveiled The Sea Beast. The animated feature, which released its first trailer today, boasts very detailed animation that shows a definite influence from some of the biggest studios in the industry, with a story that likewise evokes the likes of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.
The Sea Beast is directed by Oscar winner Chris Williams, who likewise directed two of the best-reviewed animated features in recent or semi-recent memory, Big Hero 6 and Moana. Its cast isn’t quite as star-studded as the typical Disney feature, but it has some serious talent, starring Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Dan Stevens, Jared Harris, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Kathy Burke. As the official synopsis reads:
In an era when terrifying beasts roamed the seas, monster hunters were celebrated heroes – and none were more beloved than the great Jacob Holland. But when young Maisie Brumble stows away on his fabled ship, he’s saddled with an unexpected ally. Together they embark on an epic journey into uncharted waters and make history.
Oh yeah, there’s some serious Moana “youth stowing away with a great hero” vibes going on there. The trailer below, meanwhile, features some seriously impressive animation, although we have to note that the audio and vocal deliveries sound like they might be a bit … flat? Here’s hoping that potential issue can be smoothed out before The Sea Beast comes ashore on Netflix on July 8, 2022. Check out the trailer below.