Seal Team
review by Bobby Blakey

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Animated features offer up filmmakers to take silly and often strange chances with stories that wouldn’t work otherwise. The ideal of animals in human situations is nothing new, but when handled right can be all kinds of fun. The latest, Seal Team brings together a great cast including J.K. Simmons, Kristen Schaal, Patrick Warburton, Sharlto Copley, Dolph Lundgren, Matthew Rhys, and Jesse T. Usher. Could this film bring the action and fun or will it get lost at sea?

 

Seal Team follows Quinn, a lovable yet tenacious seal who assembles a Seal Team to fight back against a gang of sharks overtaking the neighborhood after his best friend is killed in a shark attack,. But this merry band of international seals are not at all trained for such a mission. They seek the help of a much more skillful combatant, Claggart, but even his tricks and flips can't whip these guys into shape. However, with a little bit of ingenuity, intelligence and a lot of heart, our Seal Team may actually be able to bring peace back to their undersea community.

 

The idea here is both clever and silly so was hoping that it might bring both of that to the forefront, but instead it’s a mixed bag of good and bad that struggles to really connect. The first is the animation which is a bit strange. It has that stuttered like moving effect used to much better success in films like Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse. The character designs and world around them is fine, but just didn’t blend well for me with this effect on it. It made it feel like it wanted us to believe it was top motion instead of the computer animation and for me just was off putting.

 

The story itself is simple and actually offered up a lot of laughs and action, but it runs way too long. After a while it felt like it was repeating itself with the

same montages and action piece set ups that could have been streamlined with about 20 minutes or so trimmed off. When it is working it is a ton of fun with some great characters, jokes and ongoing gags most notably a specific shark that yells and the various weapons they use. Sadly the run time and pacing often make it hard to stay with it before getting fatigued.

 

Obviously this is a film for the kids and they will no doubt have a blast with it and chuckle quite a bit, but even they will likely struggle to stay with it that long. This is a fun premise and works more than it doesn’t and thankfully some of its issues may not affect others the way it did me so give it a try and decided for yourself.

 

Check out Seal Team when it hits Netflix on December 31st.