The Sea Beast is a 2022 Netflix animated movie that focuses on legendary monsters who control ocean waters. Hijinks ensue when a young girl stows away on the ship of a famed sea monster hunter. Sea monsters and courageous sailors collide in this animated Netflix film when the latter tries to take down these monsters, seeing them as threats to mankind.
Our new favorite stowaway is Maisie Brumble, a deep brown skin girl of African descent who plays a major role in the storyline. Maisie (Zaris-Angel Hator) is also played by an African American voice actor, lending some authenticity. Maisie stows away on Captain Crow’s (Jared Harris) ship. Inspired by her late parents who unfortunately died during a hunt, Maisie eventually joins the crew and becomes fast friends with Jacob Holland (Karl Urban). When Jacob and Maisie are stranded on a deserted island inhabited by sea monsters, Maisie discovers that all monsters are not “monstrous,” some are just “misunderstood” by the public. While the bigger creatures can seem terrifying, the smaller creatures Maisie meets and befriends show that not all the monsters are as scary as they seem to be.
The strong representation of African Americans and women in The Sea Beast is refreshing. Maisie Brumble and Sarah Sharpe (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) are characters who have major roles in the movie played by two African American voice actresses, represented positive opportunities and diverse casting. Bonus points for the socially responsible decision to allow Maisie to wear her natural hair, giving positive representation for the natural hairstyles of people of African descent.
The names of the ships such as the Inevitable resemble real ships in the real universe and other movies that center around sailing the seas. Furthermore, the plot of The Sea Beast has an ironic twist for the viewers. While it seems that the sea monsters are wreaking havoc against mankind, the climax reveals that it is all propaganda and deception among the public, as Maisie sees the truth of the sea monsters themselves. The conclusion reveals to the viewers that the sea monsters need to be left alone; Crow and the rest of the kingdom witness the beasts’ passive nature and reform for the better.
Overall, The Sea Beast shows viewers that not all sea monsters are dangerous and gives viewers a perspective on the deeper beliefs of these creatures. An original animated tale that’s often as daring as its characters, this animated movie sends audiences on a voyage well worth taking.