Seal Team Movie Review: A fair and watchable animated effort
Despite some pitfalls in the humour department, Seal Team, with its story and rag-tag bunch of characters, proves to be an engaging animated feature
This animated feature by Greig Cameron and Kane Croudace hits all the right notes for an endearing hour-and-a-half of fun, and yet it could have done just that bit better in the humour department. It’s not that it doesn’t employ enough of it, it’s just that the underwater gags and chuckles don’t land as well as they were envisioned in the writers’ room. Seal best friends Quinn and Benji often head away from their island in search of fish. But in their exploration of the depths for food, they venture into shark-infested waters. Quinn is the more daring of the two, willing to take several crazy risks to catch that lone fish, while Benji is the voice of reason, often talking down his ever-excited friend from doing something stupid. As the search for food on the seal island gets more desperate (the nasty-tasting barnacles are the only options till the great sardine run), Benji comes to understand Quinn’s way of thinking. On another adventurous food expedition, the duo encounters a shiver of sharks, and attempts to take refuge in an old wreck. Quinn is saved in the nick of time by an old seal with a moustache while Benji isn’t so lucky. The former is beside himself, unable to shed the guilt of putting his best friend in harm’s way. Meanwhile, everyone on the seal island is preparing for the sardine run, not realising that the sharks use this time as the perfect opportunity to hunt the seals in droves. Quinn tracks down the old, moustachioed seal who saved his life, only to find out that he used to belong to an elite human-animal navy unit. The former wishes to form a team of his own to stave off the apex predators that threaten his kind, but the grumpy former special forces seal refuses to be a part of the operation. Quinn has to use his wits to do something before the sharks come down heavily on his fellow seals.
Director – Greig Cameron, Kane Croudace
Cast – Jessie T Usher, JK Simmons, Patrick Warburton, Kristen Schaal, Sharlto Copley,
Julian Alexander Smith
Streaming On – Netflix
Overall, Seal Team proves to be a rather enjoyable film. The story isn’t bad and the zany characters and their interesting backstories are well worth engaging in. The funniest of them all (genuinely, I mean) is a seal who refers to himself as the Great Geraldo. “A few ravenous seal-eating sharks is nothing for the bravest seal in the ocean. I, the Great Geraldo, once escaped from an aquarium using only my wits and perfectly symmetrical features,” is the guy’s stock phrase, and it never gets old. What’s hilarious about it is not the words, per se, but rather, the grandiose and pompous way in which he says them, with emphasis on his “perfectly symmetrical features” at the end (as well as the timing of the said sequences). I recall having smiled or laughed every time Geraldo beats on about being the bravest seal and his symmetrical looks. For the film to have been even more engaging, such tropes ought to have been utilised to a greater degree. Claggart’s training of his new wards isn’t a bad set of sequences, either, with the rag-tag bunch of seals floundering at his every command. The narrative and its theme of sticking it to the bully, ocean style, is quite watchable, and promises to be doubly so for children, but it sure could have done a better job with its humour. Several scenes try hard to crack you up but fall flat due to their cliched nature.
The voice-acting of the cast is especially impressive, with JK Simmons (Claggart), Patrick Warburton (Geraldo) and Kristen Schaal (Beth) being the standout performers. Seal Team’sa nimation and music add to the film’s overall appeal as well. But for the story to be in the sameleague as a Finding Nemo, it needed to be a whole lot funnier. Despite some pitfalls in that regard, it does more than okay, promising to be a riveting watch for children. Going on adventures, facing your fears, standing up to the ubiquitous bully, and the invaluable bond of friendship, you’ll find it all in this action-packed oceanic tale of 100 minutes. Definitely worth a watch!