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Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas (2003)

All ages will be able to enjoy the fast-paced action and incredible scenery.

Directed by:

Patrick Gilmore

Tim Johnson

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 85 minutes

UK Certificate: U

Country: United States

If you only see one cartoon this year based around a ruddy great ship chock-full of swash-bucklers, make sure it's this one. In comparison to Disney's dishwater-dull 'Treasure Planet', this Dreamworks escapade is positively riveting. In fact, even looked at in its own right, it's extremely not bad.

The star-studded voice-over cast includes Michelle Pfeiffer as Eris (the slinky Goddess of Chaos), Catherine Zeta-Jones as Marina (a feisty love interest for Sinbad) and Brad Pitt as the man himself. None of them let us down, each adding their own nice individual touch to an adventure that sees Sinbad battle the usual array of sea monsters, storms and giant flying thingies.

Ray Harryhausen most famously brought such legendary tales to the screen with his ground-breaking effects wizardry but, bearing in mind we're talking Dreamworks here, this one's hardly short a few visual treats of its own. The fusing of top-notch computer imagery with a more old fashioned line of cartoonery makes for an impressive blend. Some of the backdrops used are quite simply stunning, whilst the big action battle scenes look just the ticket – but as usual it's the female characters who look realistic whilst the men just look strangely out of proportion. Why does that always seem to happen?

If there's one main criticism it's that much of the humour might go over the heads of the target audience – this does have a 'U' certificate after all. Some may also struggle to understand what's a surprisingly deep ending. But all ages will be able to enjoy the fast-paced action and incredible scenery.

I have a sneaky suspicion Pixar's forthcoming 'Finding Nemo' will blow this one out of the water – but, for the time being, 'Sinbad' is well worth the admission fee.

It's Got: A remarkably well-behaved pirate crew.

It Needs: Better marketing – this ones in serious danger of slipping by completely unnoticed.

Summary

An animated gem for the summer hols – this could turn out to be the best-kept secret in the Dreamworks portfolio.

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