3 StarsLegend of the Sea is a Korean animated film that has been kicking about for a while before being recast with American actors in a bid to cash in on some of that lucrative childrens’ home video market. The fact that it’s a charming little sucker with cute touches like a prawn army that makes up the imperial guard only adds to it’s offbeat appeal. The Eastern Sea has been peaceful under the reign of the Dragon King, that’s about to change when the evil octopus Ocho is freed from her banishment and unleashes her vengence upon the kingdom. Draco, the prince, is the only one who knows of her plans and leaps into action to stop her. The story also involves the search for and protection of a luminous pearl. The theme is one of peace and prosperity, if you missed that, don’t worry the characters chant that very phrase no less than five times in the closing scenes.
The lead character is an adorable creation known as Drako the Dragon, impressively voiced by Rob Schneider. This is a tale aimed at and made for very young children. There are moments of light comedy throughout but nothing offensive or questionable occurs. My personal favorite character is a Bruce Lee inspired star fish. The upper end of these types of films are able to entertain adults and children simultaneously. No such luck here, there is very little directed at anyone over the age of 12.
Outside of the main titles that are done in both Korean and English, the American distributor does a good job covering the fact that this is a outsourced production retrofitted to sell in the states. Throw in a name like Rob Schneider, include a couple of jokes about Los Angles traffic and bam, you’ve got a flick that could pass for a native. Although kids may be thrown off when, on a few occasions, the animated characters break out in songs that are recorded in foreign languages, or maybe they won’t as kids are sophisticated nowadays. I’ve seen children work iPhones with more fluidity than my parents.
The songs are pleasant (those in English), the characters are cute and the colorful yet subpar animation won’t bother the younger set. Your kids will most likely be amused for the 76 minute running time. However, my guess is that they won’t be begging you to include it in their repeat viewing collection.
Director: Benjamin Toh
Stars: Rob Schneider