Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
|Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tim Johnson
|Produced by||Jeffrey Katzenberg
|Screenplay by||John Logan|
|Music by||Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Edited by||Tom Finan|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
|Running time||85 minutes|
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is a 2003 American animated swashbuckling fantasy comedy drama adventure film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by DreamWorks Pictures, using traditional animation with some computer animation. It covers the story of Sinbad (voiced by Brad Pitt), a pirate who travels the sea to recover the lost Book of Peace from Eris (voiced by Michelle Pfeiffer) in order to save his childhood friend, Prince Proteus (voiced by Joseph Fiennes), from accepting Sinbad's death sentence.
Sinbad and his pirate crew attempt to steal the magical, mystical "Book of Peace" while it travels to Syracuse, Sicily, protected by Proteus. Proteus was once Sinbad's best friend as a child and he tells him if it ever meant anything he can prove it. Sinbad tries to steal the book anyway, but is prevented when Cetus attacks the ship. The two work together to fight off Cetus and for a moment reaffirm their bond. Just when it seems the beast is defeated, Sinbad is dragged off the ship. Proteus goes to save Sinbad, but as he is royalty he is stopped by his crew. Drawn underwater by Cetus, Sinbad is saved by Eris, the beautiful Goddess of Discord, who offers him any boon he desires in exchange for the Book of Peace. Sinbad and his crew go to Syracuse to steal the Book; but leave without doing so. Anticipating this, Eris impersonates Sinbad and steals the Book. Sinbad is sentenced to be executed, whereupon Proteus sends Sinbad to retrieve the Book instead, placing himself as hostage, and Proteus' fiancée Marina goes to make sure that Sinbad succeeds. To prevent them from succeeding, Eris sends a group of mythical sirens, who entrance and seduce the men aboard Sinbad's ship with their hypnotic singing voices, but do not affect Marina, who pilots the ship to safety. She later sends a Roc to capture Marina, but it is killed by Sinbad.
After these and other incidents, Sinbad and Marina enter Eris' realm, where she reveals that her plan was to maneuver Proteus into Sinbad's place, leaving Syracuse without an heir, and agrees to surrender the Book of Peace only if Sinbad truthfully tells whether he will return to Syracuse to accept blame and be executed. She gives him her word that she will honour the deal making it unbreakable even for a god. When he answers that he will, Eris calls him a liar, and returns him and Marina to the mortal world. Sinbad is ashamed and he admits Eris is right and that he truly believes deep down he is a selfish liar.
In Syracuse, the time allotted to Sinbad has elapsed. Proteus readies himself to be beheaded, saddened by his friend's betrayal. At the last minute, however, Sinbad appears and takes his place. An enraged Eris appears suddenly and saves Sinbad by shattering the executioner's sword to pieces. She berates him for his actions. Sinbad, shocked, realizes that this was still part of her test and that he has beaten her by proving his answer to be true after all. Eris is furious but cannot go back on her word and so reluctantly gives the Book to Sinbad before vanishing.
With the Book restored to Syracuse, Sinbad and his crew leave Syracuse on another voyage, leaving Marina behind. Proteus sees that Marina has fallen deeply in love with Sinbad, so he releases her from their engagement and sends her to join Sinbad's ship.
- Brad Pitt as Sinbad
- Catherine Zeta-Jones as Marina
- Michelle Pfeiffer as Eris
- Joseph Fiennes as Proteus
- Dennis Haysbert as Kale
- Adriano Giannini as Rat
- Timothy West as King Dymas
- Jim Cummings as Luca
- Frank Welker as Spike
The monsters and the backgrounds in the film are mostly computer-generated, while the human characters are hand-drawn.
Russell Crowe was originally going to voice Sinbad, but he dropped out due to scheduling problems. He was replaced by Brad Pitt, who wanted to make a film his nieces and nephews could see. He explained: "They can't get into my movies. People's heads getting cut off, and all that." Pitt had already tried to narrate previous DreamWorks animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, but "it didn't work," with Matt Damon taking over the role. Pitt's purist intentions worried him that his Missourian accent would not be suitable for his Middle Eastern character. Despite that, the film-makers persuaded him that his accent would lighten the mood.
Michelle Pfeiffer, who voices Eris, the goddess of chaos, had struggles with finding the character's villainies. Initially the character was "too sexual," then she lacked fun. After the third rewrite, Pfeiffer called Jeffrey Katzenberg and told him that he can fire her, but he assured her that this was just part of the process.
A PC game based on the film was released by Atari, who worked closely with one of the film's directors, Patrick Gilmore. It was released prior to the VHS and DVD release of the film. Burger King released six promotional toys at the time of the film's release, and each toy came with a "Constellation Card" Hasbro Inc. produced a series of Sinbad figures as part of its G.I. JOE action figure brand. The figures were 12" tall and came with a mythical monster.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 45% of its critics gave positive reviews based on 121 reviews. Metacritic gave the film a 48/100 approval rating based on 33 reviews. However, Roger Ebert gave the film 31⁄2 stars and concluded that, "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is another worthy entry in the recent renaissance of animation, and in the summer that has already given us Finding Nemo, it's a reminder that animation is the most liberating of movie genres, freed of gravity, plausibility, and even the matters of lighting and focus. There is no way that Syracuse could exist outside animation, and as we watch it, we are sailing over the edge of the human imagination".
That the film removed the story from its Arabic context and places it in a Greek setting earned it some criticism. Jack Shaheen, a critic of Hollywood's portrayal of Arabs, believes that "the studio feared financial and possibly political hardships if they made the film's hero Arab", and claimed that "If no attempt is made to challenge negative stereotypes about Arabs, the misperceptions continue. It's regrettable that the opportunity wasn't taken to change them, especially in the minds of young people". At one point, Shaheen asked Katzenberg to include some references to Arabic culture in the film.
On the film's opening weekend, the film earned $6,874,477 for a $2,227 average from 3,086 theaters, and $10,056,980 since its Wednesday start. It reached sixth place at the box office and faced early competition to Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Finding Nemo and Hulk. The film rapidly declined with a 37% second-week plunge to $4,310,834 for a $1,396 average from 3,086 theaters and finishing seventh. The film closed on October 9, 2003 after earning $26,483,452 in the United States and Canada with $54,284,432 overseas for a worldwide total of $80,767,884.
After DreamWorks Animation suffered a $125 million loss on the film, Katzenberg stated, "I think the idea of a traditional story being told using traditional animation is likely a thing of the past."
All music composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, except as noted.
|1.||"Let the Games Begin"||3:04|
|2.||"The Book of Peace"||1:41|
|3.||"The Sea Monster"||3:32|
|7.||"Eris Steals the Book"||1:53|
|13.||"The Giant Fish"||1:05|
|18.||"Is It the Shore or the Sea?"||3:28|
|20.||"Marina's Love / Proteus' Execution"||2:02|
|21.||"Sinbad Returns and Eris Pays Up"||7:45|
|22.||"Into the Sunset"||2:22|
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- DreamWorks SKG (May 12, 2003). "Atari Brings the Action of Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas to the Home PC; New PC Game To Be Based on Upcoming Major Motion Picture". Business Wire. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- "Sinbad Sails His Way Into Burger King". JunkFoodNews.net. 2003. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
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- DreamWorks SKG (June 10, 2002). "DreamWorks SKG and Hasbro Team Up for Action-Packed G.I. JOE Figures Based On The New Animated Feature Property, 'Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas(TM)'". PR Newswire. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
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- Ebert, Roger (July 2, 2003). "Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Clarke, Sean (July 23, 2003). "Printing the legend". The Guardian. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Eller, Claudia; Hofmeister, Sallie (December 17, 2005). "DreamWorks Sale Sounds Wake-Up Call for Indie Films". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 11, 2013. "The company nearly went bankrupt twice, Geffen said during a panel discussion in New York this year, adding that when the animated film "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas" flopped in 2003, the resulting $125-million loss nearly sank his company."
- M. Holson, Laura (July 21, 2003). "Animated Film Is Latest Title To Run Aground At DreamWorks". The New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
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