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‘The Sea Beast’ reviews hail Netflix’s surefire family hit of the summer

Critics have been raving about Chris Williams' animated childrens' film, marking it a certain triumph for Netflix Animation studios.

The Sea Beast
Image via Netflix

In the Netflix Animation original children’s film The Sea Beast, a young girl stows away aboard the ship of a man obsessed with hunting sea monsters. And if viewers are hunting for a monster hit, then The Sea Beast looks to be a worthy trophy. According to uniformly positive reviews, animation veteran Chris Miller’s first solo foray as writer/director is the critics’ choice for parents to play for their kids on repeat in lieu of hiring a babysitter.

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Miller’s most recent credits include co-directing and writing the story for Walt Disney’s Moana, which did big numbers at the box office and remains a beloved and popular hit on Disney Plus. Miller also is credited for “Creative Leadership” and was an executive producer on Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet. The Sea Beast is his first film for a studio other than Disney.

It also features a cast surprisingly light on celebrities. While most animated films do their best to book a voice cast with big names, The Sea Beast stars veteran character actors Karl Urban, Dan Stevens, and Kathy Burke.

And The Sea Beast has been raking in good reviews even though the film’s run time tops out at almost two hours, longer than most movies made for children, an audience with a notoriously short attention span. Screen International calls it “a dazzling triumph,” while Slash film calls it “a roller-coaster ride of nautical entertainment.”

Next Big Picture writes, “The creature designs are fantastic, and the gorgeous animation style brings them and the entire world to vibrant life. A strong message within the narrative makes the film more than just a fun watch for children but one for the whole family.”

And Variety raves, “The results, while not entirely convincing, are just gorgeous — worth seeing on the big screen if at all possible. Just don’t let your kids try to convince you that killer whales are our friends, or that “Jaws” was such a lie that we needn’t be wary of sharks.”

The Sea Beast will premiere on Netflix July 8th.