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Surprisingly Fun

So last night, after a rather dismal ending to a long day at work, we had an impromptu dinner with some friends. They brought over their Netflix DVDs, one of which was Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003). I remember this coming out years ago, thought the voice acting sounded promising, but I wasn’t entirely impressed with the use of computer graphics. I’m pretty picky about how much CG I can handle without being pulled out of the imaginary world I’m in. We popped it in after we filled up on pasta and French bread, and enjoyed the show.

Roc from Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas

Well for those of you who’ve seen it, you can imagine my glee at seeing the scene with the giant bird. Sure, it was a more of a snowy ice bird, and it had a strange fringe around its neck, but you have to appreciate these things when they happen. It’s not every day that they make it into films, and especially not a chase scene like here. It still didn’t compare for me to the eagle from The Rescuers Down Under (1990), even though she never had such a dynamic chase scene, nor did she benefit from all that extra CG. She had a much sleeker design in a lot of ways, and although I do like the Roc’s style from Sinbad, every time I saw it I felt like I had to remind myself that it was a bird and not some sort of alien or insect.

Some of the best parts of the film really shine with the voice acting. Brad Pitt’s Sinbad really comes off as a charming, suave thief. And of course Michelle Pfeiffer’s Eris is particularly sick and twisted, and you can tell that they gave her extra screen time just because they saw how well she played the part.  In contrast the baddie in Marahute, Eagle from Rescuers Down UnderRescuers (McLeach played by George C. Scott) isn’t quite as lovable and entertaining as Pfeiffer’s Eris. They both are pretty much vicious just because they can be, but Eris seems to have a lot more fun doing what she loves best. In Rescuers, Eva Gabor and John Candy really are the show stealers, so it’s not surprising that the villain doesn’t quite get the attention he deserves.

Then there comes the comparison of morals. In Sinbad, its quite a slippery slope between hero and villain, and Sinbad bounces back and forth on the line several times throughout the film. He seems to resist being categorized. In very much the contrast to this, it’s never a question in Rescuers who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy, a trait of Disney’s that always makes me eye-roll.

Not quite sure when this became a comparison between two giant birds in two films I’ve enjoyed, but I guess that’s what happens after a day of reflection. I love writing about these fantastic creatures, so of course I enjoy movies of them too! Go on and rent these films at your favorite movie shop and let me know what you think.

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