SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS is a delightful surprise. It’s an extremely exciting, well-written animated movie with some exciting sequences that rival big screen epics.
The movie tells the story of Sinbad of Arabian Nights fame. In this version of the oft told tale, Sinbad is a pirate, trying to cap off his career by stealing the Book of Peace. When he boards the ship which is carrying the Book of Peace, he discovers his old friend Proteus. Eris, the goddess of chaos, sends a horrific monster down to attack the ship because she wants the Book of Peace. Proteus and Sinbad fight side by side to destroy the monster.
When they get to the town of Syracuse, Sinbad is feted at a banquet for helping to save the ship. The Book of Peace is put in an honored position in a lighthouse, and the kings of the Seven Cities drink a toast in a service that resembles communion, with Proteus’ father holding a chalice with a cross on it.
Meanwhile, Eris impersonates Sinbad and steals the Book of Peace. Sinbad is blamed and condemned to death, but Proteus says that he will take Sinbad’s place, freeing Sinbad to go to the edge of the world to the home of Eris in Tartarus to retrieve the book. Proteus’ betrothed and beloved, Marina, goes with Sinbad to make sure he retrieves the Book of Peace. Many harrowing adventures occur, some of them extremely exciting and frightening, before some twists and turns bring this mythic tale to an end.
The good news is that Sinbad has many very positive themes. Sinbad the thief and sinner needs to choose the right way, recovering the Book of Peace. He needs to lay down his life for his friends. He needs to choose honor over selfishness, truth over falsehood, and trust over irresponsibility. . . in fact all those Christian virtues which are set forth so clearly in the Bible, the real Book of Peace. Thus, there is a Christian allegory running underneath the mythological story.
Sinbad, himself, has to look in the mirror to find out who he is and who he wants to be. He sees that he’s been selfish, cold-hearted, cruel, and irresponsible. So convicted, he chooses the truth and the right way.
There are several minor cautions, however. Much of the mythology seems all too convincing. Some of the action violates the logic of the story. The world of chaos ruled by the goddess is nominalistic. There are several clear sexual innuendoes, and the sirens almost appear to be naked at times. Furthermore, there are some Romantic elements, in the philosophical sense, which, though rebuked, are not entirely resolved. Also, there is a lot of sword play, scary monsters and frightening situations.
Even so, SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS has some incredible writing. The story carries you to the end in such a dramatic fashion that the children sitting next to me at the screening were clapping and cheering. I have seldom seen such an enthusiastic response from children at a screening. The quality and moral virtues of SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS are surprising because the trailers and advertisements do not even hint at the excellence and virtues of the movie itself which can be summed up in the biblical mandate from John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (NIV)
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SUMMARY: SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS is a very well-written animated adventure tale about Sinbad the sailor trying to retrieve the Book of Peace from an evil spirit to save his friend. There is a strong Christian allegory with strong moral values running underneath this mythological story, which includes, however, some light sexual innuendoes and scary monsters.
(CCC, Pa, BBB, Ro, L, V, S, N, A, M) Very strong redemptive worldview in a mythological (pagan) setting with a very strong redemptive premise, several clear moral themes and intentional Christian allegorical elements such as a goddess who seems to symbolize Satan, a book which appears to symbolize the Bible, a scene which appears to symbolize communion complete with a chalice with cross on it, a lighthouse illuminated by the "Book of Peace," several clear acts of self-sacrifice for others, a substitutionary act, a nominalistic realm of chaos, and a romantic epithet which says to "follow your heart"; some scatological innuendoes including off-color remark about dog grabbing your leg if he likes a woman, some sexual comments including catcalls and vomiting; lots of sword fights, battles with frightening monsters, man killed by monster, almost drowning, and other action elements; sexual innuendo; upper male nudity remarked upon in a provocative way, sexy women and sirens who are almost naked; toasting with alcohol; and, thievery, stealing, lying, and other immoral acts are clearly rebuked.
GENRE: Mythological Fantasy