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24 Reviews
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre, creative, fun!
Probably too complex for Western children, this is a deeply touching and amusing tale! At first it wasn't obvious where the story was going, but I think that's a plus. Told with unleashed imagination, this is a wildly playful and beautifully animated romp. However, one has to question the lesson it attempts to impart, which is a little murky. The whole thing is a complex...
Published on October 15, 2012 by Veritas Voracius

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of Offensive language!!
I have no idea why they would put this kind of language into a cartoon?!?! I heard what I thought was 'idiot' and 'go to hell' and I wasn't even watching it--just heard it from the other room. Needless to say, I sat down and started watching it with my 3 year old, and once what I thought I had heard, was confirmed---the movie went off and will not be played again in our...
Published on May 2, 2012 by mommy2twoboys


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of Offensive language!!, May 2, 2012
This review is from: Sea Level (DVD)
I have no idea why they would put this kind of language into a cartoon?!?! I heard what I thought was 'idiot' and 'go to hell' and I wasn't even watching it--just heard it from the other room. Needless to say, I sat down and started watching it with my 3 year old, and once what I thought I had heard, was confirmed---the movie went off and will not be played again in our house. And I also agree with another reviewer---it has a very 'dark' theme to the movie. And the crabs in the dark were very unsettling for my 3 year old who had lots of questions about them.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars amazon wouldn't let me rate zero stars!, April 6, 2012
This review is from: Sea Level (DVD)
how low can a movie go? It's dark, onfusing, stupid, aweful acting, slow, weird, and not for children. One of the characters repeatidly beats his children! Enough said!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's not Nemo, March 17, 2012
This review is from: Sea Level (DVD)
Slow, boring and confusing. This movie was painful to watch with my kids. There are plenty of better movies out there. Don't waste you time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre, creative, fun!, October 15, 2012
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This review is from: Sea Level (Amazon Instant Video)
Probably too complex for Western children, this is a deeply touching and amusing tale! At first it wasn't obvious where the story was going, but I think that's a plus. Told with unleashed imagination, this is a wildly playful and beautifully animated romp. However, one has to question the lesson it attempts to impart, which is a little murky. The whole thing is a complex allegory about living in peace with a predacious bully who terrifies you but who also protects you from ever lurking but unseen threats. One cannot help but think it's a metaphor for U.S. occupation in the Middle East, and if this is the intended message, it's quite sad. Depictions of child abuse throughout are disturbing, and yet these scenes illustrate how the bullied become bullies in turn. The art work, crazy plot twists, glimpses into another culture, and much more make the movie really engaging and well worth watching. Its creators sought to illustrate how industrial waste is devasting wild life, and for that they get many kudos. But if you're showing this to children, you may want to discuss whether it really is preferable to live in close, terrifying proximity to a monster, who won't harm you as long as you satisfy his basic hungers, because he protects you from other real, but unseen, monsters roaming in the wilds, rather than living an unfettered life in which you take your chances with the dangers that lurk everywhere, for everyone. Personally, I'd opt for freedom.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, March 2, 2013
This review is from: Sea Level (Amazon Instant Video)
Sea Level is absolutely gorgeous. The animation comes pretty darn close to a Pixar level of quality, the characters are interesting and fleshed-out, and the plot is fascinating (once you figure out what's going on). There's a lovely message throughout the movie about sharks: they aren't mindless monsters, they are simply following their genetic programming, and there are far worse things out there to worry about. In a day and age where sharks are far too often the villains, its wonderful to see them in a positive light. And unlike a lot of children's movies these days, Sea Level knows when to slow down, be quiet, and let the characters' expressions tell the story.

Plus, sharks in mecha suits. Can't go wrong there.

I do notice a lot of the more negative reviews are people who either got this for their toddlers and were horrified by the darker content, or people who simply couldn't follow the story. To the former, I would like to point out that this movie is rated PG. There are some creepier moments; such as the human villain slapping his son around, the eel and his spider crab army and one of the shark characters seeing a bucket full of blood-covered shark fins (that scene made ME shiver, and I'm in my 20's!). This movie is for older kids; remember, just because it's animated doesn't mean it's automatically for the really little crowd. To the latter, I can't help you there. The story is pretty complex, with lots of twists and turns and subplots. Pay attention (and maybe watch it a couple more times) and you might pick up on what's going on.

In short, Sea Level is gorgeous and great for anyone (preferably older than toddler aged) in your family who loves sharks and/or has a great sense of imagination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cute Movie, April 26, 2013
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This review is from: Sea Level (DVD)
This movie grabs the attention of children of all ages and yes even adults. The adventures have meaning and lessons to learn as this water adventure is a splash of fun for the entire family.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful movie, not suitable for young children, June 3, 2012
This review is from: Sea Level (DVD)
The irony is that the cover depicts a harmless-looking scenario and conjures images of that wonderful animated feature "Finding Nemo", so of course my seven-year-old, a great fan of FM, asked if we could rent this. I didn't see any harm in it, until we actually started watching it. I make it a point to watch any unfamiliar title with my child, so I can intervene if it is not suitable.

This is clearly not a suitable, feel good type of movie for young children, especially in the 3-5 age group. It has many dark elements and scary scenes that will probably give kids nightmares. The story centers around Pup, a young bamboo shark, who tries to rescue egg sacs poached by humans from a coral reef. His journey is aided by a benign shark and an old sea turtle among others, but is still fraught with many perils.

The animation was underwhelming, and the storyline just didn't mesh for me and it would be even more confusing for a young child. The scenes in the deepest parts of the ocean populated by mean and scary looking sea creatures was just a little over-the-top and of the nightmare inducing kind. Avoid this at all costs!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tons of fun., February 23, 2014
This review is from: Sea Level (DVD)
I saw this at wal-mart the other day and got it becuse it looked like fun. And i was right. Sea Level is a fun movie with awesome animation,fun story,loveable leads,hateable bad guys,and awesome soundtrack. The people in this sound awesome. I love shark tale, I love nemo but this is the best. Warning its rated PG so its NOT for ages 1-5. Its for ages 6-100. But this is a fun film. 10/10
5 stars.Awesome for $5.00. And has vudu copy for on the go at wal-mart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts out at Sea Level but Sinks Pretty Fast, February 5, 2014
By 
ONENEO (Buffalo, NY) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sea Level (DVD)
Well we all know that Finding Nemo set the standard by which all other underwater CG films are compared and to date, few (if any) have managed to get the formula right. Beginning with DreamWorks’ Shark Tale and crossing over A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures 1 & 2, The Reef (and Reef 2), Dolphin: The Story of a Dreamer and ultimately ending with the abysmal Legend of the Sea; that’s roughly the order I’d place them in from best to worst but the question becomes where does Sea Level fit in all of this?

To cut to the chase, it ends up coming in closer to the “worse” side of the list though in all fairness it’s definitely better produced and certainly more tolerable than the unwatchable Legend of the Sea and actually trumps 20th Century Fox’s Dolphin the Story of a Dreamer in most categories as well. If none of this means anything to you, let’s take a look at the film on its own merits for a better understanding of where it succeeds and where it comes up short.

Sea Level comes to us by way of Silver Ant; a Malaysian animation outfit where it was originally called SeeFood and hit theaters in March of 2012. Working with 40 animators, the team took roughly two years to complete the animation process. Coming in at a runtime of 92-minutes, Sea Level boasts a very appropriate PG rating for animated intensity and some inappropriate language – parents, take this rating seriously. Children being called idiots, getting smacked around and the word “hell” all make appearances here.

The story centers on an unlikely duo- Pup, a young bamboo shark and Julius the intimidating but good hearted oceanic white-tip shark. Pup discovers egg sacs within his reef while exploring only to be startled by human poachers who show up out of seemingly nowhere and steal the eggs.

Determined to locate and restore the un-hatched shark eggs to their rightful environment, Pup sets out on a ridiculously challenging task, with the aid of Julius, a wise sea turtle, a shady sting-ray and a few other characters, to get the eggs back from the domain of humanity.

While seemingly straightforward a plot structure as a film geared for children should be; Sea Level’s greatest crime is that the delivery is incredibly muddled. Somewhere along the way, we have some good intentions like sharks being more than mindless killing machines, humanity is to blame for the disappearance of a lot of the ocean’s species, pollution is bad and so on but the trouble is they are so strangely integrated into the story that any value they may have originally contained are filtered right out.
Take for example the ludicrous concept that fish, well at least this one particular bamboo shark, is capable of living on land and breathing air. In my opinion, this in and of itself undoes 99% of the film’s message (not to mention all of the research the crew allegedly did to master the movements, behaviors, and mannerisms of the actual animals appearing in the piece).

If this weren’t enough, by the end we have the other shark running around in a mech suit, we have an army of chickens hoping the sharks succeed, young kids getting arrested by the police and so on. In short, it doesn’t take much for the whole thing to come unraveled.

Then there are the environmental themes scattered about that really don’t make things any better for the floundering prose. Yes there is a plant shown dumping toxins into the ocean that we occasionally flash to and there is a scene where the sea turtle is struggling to get air on account of the plastic shopping bag wrapped around her head but then we’re given the subplot that an evil eel and his band of crabs are supporting the pollution as part of their plan for oceanic domination. Wait, the lesson here is that certain creatures are pro-pollution?

At the end of the day enough plot holes to drive a submarine through mixed with odd pacing that seems more like sequences were simply strung together than it does a continuous narrative will keep Sea Level from ever challenging the dominance of top entries in the genre.

In the plus column, the characters, backgrounds, animations, they’re all pretty nice. Rendering is smooth and clean, particle effects and layering are very well done. On account of the fact that film, though created in Malaysia, was originally recorded and animated in English means that moth flaps and timing are all spot-on (avoiding the biggest pitfall known to plague imported foreign animated works).

At the end of the day, Sea Level is by no means unwatchable but the beautifully drawn colorful DVD cover-art does little to portray some of the major inconsistencies contained within. Silver Ant displays a lot of potential, talent and passion in this piece but they would be wise to bring a western consultant on board for future projects should they wish to have a go at the leaders of the animated feature film industry.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good movie which held the intereste of the Grand Boys 9 and 3, April 11, 2014
By 
Craig M. Houck (Binghamton, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sea Level (DVD)
Good movie, some interesting plot turns.
Clever device the octopus invents.
Adults can watch this and enjoy it with the kids.
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Sea Level
Sea Level by Sea Level (DVD - 2012)
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