Sea Level / Sea Level 2: Magical Arch Double Feature
review by Bobby Blakey
There are so many animated films released every week straight to home release. Sadly the majority of them are filled with issues that keep them from every standing out as something more than generic. Every so often there is a gem in there so you never really know what to expect. The latest looking to swim its swim into your hearts is Sea Level 2: Magical Arch, but in case you missed the original Lionsgate is also bringing them both home in a double feature DVD. Could these films be swimming towards that something special or will they get lost at sea?
Sea Level follows Pup, a bamboo shark, who discovers egg sacs while playing around the ocean with his friends. When he sees human poachers stealing the eggs from his reef, Pup makes it his mission to save his family. As he leaves the sea and enters the beautiful, yet dangerous, world of humans, he will prove he isn’t too small to save his family. With the new film getting released I thought it only fair to watch the first one as well. I knew nothing about these but from the images alone it looked like it might be a fun adventure film and it was just that. Sure it’s silly and over the top, but it’s a cartoon so you let that go. The animation is decent enough, but you can tell it’s not up to par with something like Finding Nemo which is where it struggles. Had that film not existed this one might stand up on its own a bit better and for what it is does fine.
Sea Level 2: Magic Arch follows Dephi the dolphin who discovers a magical archway that grants wishes to all who visit. But evil moray eels use the arch to become gigantic and menace peaceful Fish Town. Now, Delphi must summon his courage, master his “secret punch” fighting technique, and find his missing father to rescue his friends and win the love of pretty Mia. It’s time for this dolphin to get swimmin’! Much like the first film this one is another fun adventure with decent animation that works well enough, but just doesn’t always live up to the bigger films out there.
I know comparing these films with a smaller release than the bigger films isn’t overly fair, but sadly that is how most will see them. Both of these work great for the audience they are intended for and not torture for the adults that will no doubt be forced to see them over and over. They both sport good stories and fun adventure as expected complete with vibrant colors and detail that does a good job at bringing these underwater worlds to life.
The filmmakers did something pretty smart here and outside of the name these films are completely separate underwater adventures. This world could be ripe for numerous stories under this franchise title and never need to keep the same characters, but could crossover anytime they want. These two are separate films that you can watch independently or back to back.
Dive into and grab your copies of Sea Level 2: Magical Arch available now as well as the Sea Level Double Feature from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.