Sea Beast, The

image for Sea Beast, The

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Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 11 (violence, scary scenes, themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Sea Beast, The
  • a review of Sea Beast, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 August 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children aged 8–11 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 11 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Sea Beast, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild violence, themes, fantasy themes and scary scenes
Length: 116 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

History books say that during the ‘Dark Times’, sea monsters came right up on land and plucked women from their gardens. Though they have been hunted to the brink of extinction, the sea creatures have learned to fight back and there is one in particular that keeps evading capture: the legendary, Red Bluster (aka 'Red'). Captain Crow (voice of Jared Harris), a famous monster hunter, has his heart set on avenging himself against the creature that took his eye and he will stop at nothing to prove himself to the King and Queen who have grown tired of paying the hunters for their services and, instead, have raised a navy to attack the sea creatures. As Captain Crow and his crew set out in their final search of ‘Red’, Jacob (voice of Karl Urban), the future captain of ‘The Inevitable’ and adopted son of Captain Crow, discovers Maisie (voice of Zaris-Angel Hator), an orphaned stowaway who wants to hunt sea monsters herself. Maisie knows the history books almost by heart and has the ability to see things that others do not. It is Maisie who discovers that not everything is as it appears and that her heroes might actually be wrong. When ‘Red’ saves her life, an unlikely friendship is formed but will it be enough to save them all or to change the course of history?

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Monster hunting; Cruelty to animals; Loss of family; The complications of war; The harmful power of inaccurate information masquerading as history.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • A young boy floats on a piece of wood and watches from afar as a sea monster wraps its tentacles around a ship and appears to crush it while men scream.
  • Jacob repeatedly addresses his crew as ‘fish killers’.
  • Monster hunters fire cannonballs at a sea creature. They fire arrows into the creature and stab it. Jacob shoots it with a harpoon. The creature is angry and comes up beneath the boat, trying to unsettle it, while Jacob and the captain slice off its tentacles.
  • Jacob is nearly eaten by a sea creature that comes up under him with its mouth wide open. Jacob clings onto the creature’s back and stabs it with a knife. Captain Crow stabs the creature in the underbelly with a harpoon and the beast dies, floating down into the depths. The captain dives in and saws off half of the creature’s horn before it reaches out a tentacle and grabs the captain’s leg, dragging him down and attempting to drown him. The captain is rescued at the last minute and the creature is left to drown in the depths.
  • Characters plot to kill ‘Red’ with cannons and spears.
  • The monster hunters fire numerous cannonballs and explosives which hit Red in and around the face. The hunters launch lots of harpoons and lances into Red’s back and body so it will have to drag the ship with it and so that it will become tired and lose its will to fight.
  • Red tries to create a whirlpool and attempts to break the ship. Men scream as they fall from the ship and the boat begins to break.
  • Jacob tries to stab Red with a lance.
  • Red splashes Jacob with a huge wave, causing him to crash backwards against a palm tree.
  • Jacob throws a cute little creature that Maisie found into the bushes, telling her that random creatures are dangerous, and that they lay eggs in your mouth and burst out through your chest cavity.
  • A sea monster tries to eat Jacob and his dinghy but Red comes to the rescue.
  • Red and a crab-like, sea creature fight each other on the beach. Maisie grabs the creature’s eye, Jacob throws a sword at it and Red tosses it into the deep sea.
  • Jacob bashes himself in the face and thighs, trying to break a spear.
  • A soldier shoots Red.
  • A navy aim all their cannons at Red, firing every one.
  • Maisie runs towards the cannon blasts, trying to save Red, and is hit and hurt.
  • Red ploughs into the navy ship, breaking it in half.
  • Red is stabbed with a huge, poisoned harpoon and almost immediately goes down, paralysed and unable to move.
  • Captain Crow repeatedly refers to a beast that took his eye.
  • A character says that he will not rest until the bones of every sea beast lie at the bottom of the sea.
  • Jacob and Captain Crow fight with swords.
  • Red is about to eat Captain Crow until Maisie tells him to stop.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are a number of scary-looking monsters that attack characters or ships, often wrapping their tentacles around them or attempting to eat them through numerous sets of teeth.
  • There is an evil witch who looks very creepy and sinister and who sells Captain Crow a terrible poison that will kill Red.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Maisie goes against the captain and cuts Red free, despite the fact that he threatens to kill her. When she and Jacob are in a rowboat, having been thrown overboard, the captain tells Jacob to bring her in, all the while aiming his gun at her. While Jacob hesitates, Red rises up from beneath them and swallows them, dingy and all. Maisie is clearly scared as she and Jacob realise they have been swallowed by a beast. Both think that they are going to die, though they debate whether Red will chew them up or digest them with acid.
  • There are numerous scenes where Red is being attacked. When he helps Maisie and Jacob, his back is still peppered with the harpoons from an earlier battle. Later, Red is poisoned and partially paralysed when he is brought to the royal court; he falls down against buildings as he tries to remain upright. Some sensitive children may be distressed by these scenes.
  • Maisie runs towards cannon fire, trying to protect Red, but gets hit and hurt herself. She is lying on the ground motionless and later Jacob finds her bleeding. When Maisie is finally brought back to the ship she is barely conscious but gets a faint view of Red being tied down and attached to the ship before everything goes black.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted

Sexual references

  • None noted

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Jacob has his shirt off and his torso is exposed while a doctor stitches up a cut in his back.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Monster hunters drink flasks of alcohol and tankards of beer aboard their ship.
  • Maisie grabs a frothy beer but Jacob takes it away.
  • Characters drink alcohol in a tavern and toast to their adventures. Jacob says that, “drinks are on us and no one will go thirsty tonight”.
  • Captain Crow asks Jacob if he could use a drink.
  • A song is sung about how we: “raise a glass to the sky and drink before we die”.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Hell
  • Ass
  • Coward
  • Bollocked.

In a nutshell

The Sea Beast is an animated adventure featuring a diverse cast and an interesting storyline that will give viewers a lot to think about and discuss. Due to the themes and violence, this is not a film for young children but one that can be enjoyed by slightly older kids and tweens.

The main messages from this movie are that just because something is written down and widely accepted, it doesn’t make it true; and that we should fight against injustice and stand up for what is right, even if we are the only one standing.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Bravery
  • Wisdom
  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Persistence
  • Teamwork.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Simply following along with accepted beliefs even when they are causing harm or pain.
  • Annihilating animals because we think they are scary, with no regard for their welfare or for the ecosystems affected.
  • Perpetuating false claims for greed or power.
  • The cost of waging war.