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"What could be more perfect than this? A noble prince, a priceless treasure and a black-hearted thief. Oh, this is going to be fun..."— Eris' Opening Narration
A Lighter and Softer re-imagining of the famous Sinbad stories by Dreamworks Animation, making use of a transitional blend between traditional and 3-D computer animation.
Sinbad - in this version a charming pirate captain - is on a quest to steal the legendary Book of Peace and take it for ransom. However, when he attacks the ship carrying The Book, he runs into his childhood friend Proteus, who is responsible for the book's safety. They are suddenly attacked by a Sea Monster (sent by Eris, Goddess Of Discord, who has her own plans for the Book) and they team up to kill it. After nearly drowning in the ordeal, Sinbad is approached by Eris herself, who strikes a deal with him to steal the Book of Peace, in return for which he gets all the riches in the world.
However, Eris then steals the Book herself and frames Sinbad for the robbery, getting him arrested and sentenced to execution. Proteus takes Sinbad's place in prison, pleading to the Council that Sinbad be allowed to prove his innocence by stealing the Book back from Eris. If Sinbad fails or does not return, Proteus offers himself to be executed instead.
Accompanied by his faithful crew and Proteus' fiance, Marina, who is along to make sure Sinbad keeps his end of the deal, our hero must now journey past the edges of the Earth and into Tartarus, Eris' Realm of Chaos, to retrieve the book and return before Proteus' time runs out...
The film made use of the same blend of 2D and 3D animation seen in Disney's Treasure Planet (released a year earlier), mixing traditionally animated characters with CGI-created creatures, objects and backgrounds in 3D. Although only a mild financial success, the movie, like Treasure Planet, has a good cult following.
Provides examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Sinbad's knife pierces the stone floor when it is simply dropped. He also uses them to climb up an icy mountain.
- Accidental Kiss: Marina falls on Sinbad's lips during the Sirens' attack.
- Action Girl: Marina.
- Ambiguously Brown: All of the crew, really. Some look Greek, some Arabic, some Asian. Rat looks Hispanic, but he actually speaks Italian.
- Anti-Hero (Type V -> Type IV): Sinbad.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Kale doesn't buy Sinbad's story of his encounter with Eris. After saving a boat with a magical book inside from a gigantic sea monster. (It might have helped if Sinbad had not opted to describe the encounter as "Eris has a thing for me and invited me back to her place.")
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Happens at least three times during the course of the film. Four if you count Eris' pets.
- Badass Beard: It's easier to count the exceptions to the rule, there are so many beards in this movie.
- Bald of Awesome: Kale.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Kale manages to block a sword with his teeth, before using it to toss the attacker overboard, throwing back his head with enough force to pull his opponent (still holding the hilt) along with it over the railing.
- Bash Brothers: Sinbad and Proteus against Cetus.
- Batman Gambit: Eris' Evil Plan relies entirely on manipulating first Proteus' nobility and then Sinbad's selfishness. She has the former completely pegged and only narrowly misjudges the latter.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Sinbad and Marina have tons of it.
- Big Entrance: Eris shows up during Sinbad's execution and Heroic Sacrifice. Said entrance involves the clouds spiraling into a tornado, creating a waterspout, and Eris emerging from the mist in a fifty-foot version of herself.
- Big Friendly Dog: Spike. His way up helping in the opening fight scene? Attacking a crew member... by licking his face.
- Bilingual Bonus: Whatever Rat says in Italian.
- Black Best Friend: Kale.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Kale.
- Boring Return Journey: After Sinbad has spent the majority of the film traveling to Tartarus to confront the goddess Eris (overcoming numerous obstacles set out by the aforementioned goddess), his return journey to Syracuse is apparently instantaneous. However, Eris has not actually been defeated yet, and while her loss or victory depends more on Sinbad's decision than anything else, she still has every reason to try to prevent him from getting there.
- Cassandra Truth: "So I meet Eris, Goddess of Chaos, she's got a major crush on me, and she invited me back to her place."
- Cast of Snowflakes: In spite of not having Loads and Loads of Characters, each one is intricately designed and recognizable.
- Chekhov's Gun: Sinbad's dagger. Eris mentioning she has to keep her word when it is given.
- Conspicuous CG: All of the monsters, most of the ships and all of that water.
- Cosmic Keystone: The Book of Peace seems to act as this.
- Cosmopolitan Council: Of the non-evil, non-plot important variety - The Delegation of the Twelve Cities are in Syracuse to await the arrival of the Book of Peace. King Dymas rules Syracuse (see Shining City), which is Greek. Marina is from Thrace. Of the other 11 delegates, one looks Nordic, two look distinctly Asian, two look distinctly African, one looks vaguely Byzantine, one looks Egyptian, and one looks vaguely Arabic.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Sinbad.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sinbad, much of the time.
Sinbad, while climbing the ice cliff: Oh, she couldn't see the bird? Everyone else saw it. It's as big as a freakin' ship! Marina? Marina's looking the other way!
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Marina.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Near the end, Eris gives her word she'll give the book back to Sinbad if he were to correctly pass her test; answer honestly if he would go back to save Proteus whether or not he got the book. He said yes, but Eris said he lied and threw him away. A quick Heroic BSOD later, he comes in to stop Proteus' execution and willingly take his place, if only to honor the sacrifice his friend gave to him. Eris is pissed, but Sinbad remembers what she said and calls out that she gave her word before, forcing her to return the book and let him live.
- Eldritch Location: Tartarus, where reality is completely out to lunch.
- Enthralling Siren: Sirens are water elementals.
- Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Spike, after Sinbad's cruel treatment of Marina.
- Evil Plan: Near the end, Sinbad figures out Eris' goal. Kill off Syracuse's heir and thereby cause a succession crisis: guaranteed discord.
- Fan Disservice: "Come and GET IT, ladies!"
- Fire-Forged Friends: Conversed; Sinbad and Proteus.
- Genre Killer: The film's low financial success caused Dreamworks to abandon 2D animation completely, turning to CGI movies such as Shrek. Interestingly, the 2002 Treasure Planet did the exact same thing to Disney, causing them to leave traditional animation for the Computer-generated variety. These two events combined might be why this blend of animation has never been seen since. However, as mentioned above, both movies have since achieved moderate "cult hit" status, suggesting there might be some other reason for their less-than-stellar financial performance.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Oh, so many times.
Marina: [perusing Sinbad's stuff] Stolen from Venezia... From Pompeii... [holds up a bejeweled bra] And from a brothel in Syracuse.
Sinbad: A sword at my throat, at my chest, at my--
Random Sailor In Background: PICKLES AND EGGS!
Sinbad: [[[Beat]]] You get the idea.
Sinbad: Think of the beaches.
Kale: Beautiful, if you like mosquitoes.
Sinbad: Think of the sun.
Kale: It's monsoon season.
Sinbad: Oh, then the women.
Kale: They're cannibals, Sinbad.
- And later, a conversation between Sinbad and Marina:
Marina: Look, clearly, I can't appeal to your honour. But I have other ways of convincing you.
Sinbad: [hopeful] Really?
- Giant Flyer: The Roc, of the Death From Above variety.
- Graceful Loser: Proteus in the love triangle; at the end of the film he gently encourages Marina to go with Sinbad rather than holding her to their engagement to marry.
- Gratuitous Italian: Rat.
- Hartman Hips: Marina is noticeably curvy.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Who's bad? Sinbad!"
- Indy Ploy: "It worked?"
- In Name Only: As they appeared in The Arabian Nights, Sinbad's stories were set around Arabian/Chinese cities populated with Muslims and told of the sailor's seven (mis)adventures that made him a rich man. This movie throws it all out in favor of a Mediterranean setting populated with Greeks/Italians and tells of the pirate's (mis)adventures as he learns the true meaning of friendship and love. So... Yeah. There's a guy named Sinbad, there's a boat, and there's a giant bird.
- I Gave My Word: As a Goddess, Eris is bound to this, whether she likes it or not.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Played With: In this case, lying is the most relevant. Because he told the truth, Eris has to give the book back.
Eris: You're a selfish, unprincipled liar!
Sinbad: Wait a minute. I didn't lie.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Proteus
- It's All About Me: Sinbad
- Knife Nut: Sinbad is a good version. He'll use swords as well, but prefers his knives. This backfires on him when Eris uses one to frame him for the book's theft.
- Left the Background Music On: Marina wonders what that sound is...
- Leitmotif: Eris has one, and it's awesome. Tut-tut-tun-tun! with a One-Woman Wail at the end of the second set of bars.
- Sinbad also has a particularly badass piratey-sounding one, which kicks in every time he carries out an Indy Ploy.
- And in the scene where Eris disguises as Sinbad to steal the Book of Peace, the two Leitmotifs dance together and intertwine.
- Letting Her Hair Down: Marina (both literally and figuratively).
- Like an Old Married Couple: Sinbad and Marina instantly fall into this once she sneaks on board the ship.
- Like You Would Really Do It: In-universe version. Sinbad sets off for Fiji with no guilt instead of questing for the book because he believes Proteus's father would never let them execute his son. And he's right...but Proteus refuses to leave.
- Loveable Rogue: Sinbad, of course.
- Love At First Sight: The whole reason Sinbad left his life with Proteus was because he instantly fell in love with Marina who was brought in to be Proteus' wife.
- Meaningful Name: Marina means sea.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast:
Rat: Tartarus, from which no sailor ever returns. The Tartarus of Lost Souls, where they grind your bones and pickle you spleen and--
Sinbad: No, Rat, this is the nice Tartarus. With lots of beaches and drinks, y'know, with the little umbrellas?
Rat: "Non ci posso credere, non ci posso credere mi hanno fregato ancora!"
- Oh Crap: Everyone gets one when Eris shows up at the end.
- One-Woman Wail: The introduction to the Sirens' Song. It then transforms into Ethereal Choir.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Boy howdy, although this is more readily apparent in the production sketches (which are by the same fellow who designed the dragons in How to Train Your Dragon and can be seen on the DVD.) Cetus looks like a combination of everything in the fisherman's platter. The Roc looks a bit more owlish than usual and can run about on all fours like a vampire bat. The Cyclops, had they appeared in the film, would have either been crab-men or fish-people.
- Parental Bonus: When Marina is in Sinbad's cabin:
Marina: Clearly I can't appeal to your sense of honour. But I have other ways of convincing you.
[Sinbad glances up and down on her.]
Sinbad: Uh.. Just how do you expect to do that?
Marina: By speaking your language. *pulls out giant diamond*
- Prehensile Hair: Eris' hair never stops moving. Ever.
- Race Against Time: Proteus' execution draws near...
- The Reveal: We don't know what caused Sinbad and Proteus to fall out until the beginning of the third act when Sinbad reveals he saw Proteus meet Marina at the dock for their arranged marriage. Rather than stay and resent his best friend, Sinbad chose to to leave.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Done not so subtly with Proteus and Sinbad. They even dress in blue and red clothing!
- Sadistic Choice: "So, if you don't get the Book...will you go back to die?"
- Scenery Porn: The backgrounds are truly breathtaking.
- Shapeshifting: Eris, who is able to change her appearance when it suits her best.
- Shield Surf: During Marina's rescue.
- Shining City: The Royal City of Syracuse; filled with gleaming white, gold domed buildings and spires, built upon and amoung impossibly high Ghibli Hills, which are all connected by elegant walkways. There is even an elevated canal for ships, linking the seas with the Royal Palace. King Dymas is surely one of the most under-appreciated city building kings in the history of fiction. Its a shame that we only see it for a few minutes of the movie though.
- Side Bet: Those Two Guys in Sinbad's crew have this down to a Running Gag. They bet on everything. Special mention goes to when the ship reaches the edge of the World: "Pay up! It's flat!"
- Sizeshifter: Eris is able to go from normal size to massive whenever she feels like it.
- Slap Slap Kiss: Marina and Sinbad. They quite literally resort to throwing things at each other during an argument.
- Stripperiffic: Marina's first outfit.
- Team Pet: Spike.
- Those Two Guys: Jin and Li, who are forever placing bets.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Rat and Kale. Mostly Kale.
Sinbad: Oh, get a shirt on, before you poke someone's eye out!
- ↑ ""I cannot believe, I cannot believe I was cheated again!"