Seal Team

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Seal Team
Seal Team
Photo: Netflix

MOVIE:

Seal Team

WHERE TO WATCH:

Netflix

CRITICS RATING:

3/5 stars 

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

After losing his bestie to a ruthless shark, fearless seal Quinn assembles a quirky crew to fight back, enlisting seasoned warrior Claggart and his military mind to train new pals Beth, Geraldo, Switch and Jing. 

Quinn and his squad soon use shrewd tricks and fresh flips to defend their share of the sea from their always-hungry adversaries and finally prove that seals are more than just shark food! 

WHAT WE THOUGHT: 

Seal Team, which launched on New Year's Eve, is the story of Quinn, a seal who spends his days relaxing in the sun, splashing in the beautiful waters off the coast of Cape Town, and swimming for his life from Great White Sharks. When he decides it's time for the food chain to bite back, Quinn recruits a ragtag team of like-minded seals brave, stupid and crazy enough to try and teach those sharks a lesson. 

  • Decider says: "Seal Team has laughs-a-plenty and a sense of good natured camaraderie in its heart," not to mention "inspired voice casting" and "the kind of sight gags that look beyond cartoon kids' fare." 
  • Common Sense Media recommends Seal Team for ages six and up, saying: "Though it doesn't have the big-name studios behind it, this movie holds its own in the animation and voice acting categories... You can't help but root for the seals." 
  • Parent Previews says: "Seal Team is an animated Netflix production that does what it's supposed to do: amuse children while delivering some positive messages."
  • Cinema Express says: "This animated feature by Greig Cameron and Kane Croudace hits all the right notes for an endearing hour-and-a-half of fun."

The all-star cast is far from wet behind the ears. Jessie T. Usher (A-Train in The Boys) stars as Quinn, opposite the likes of Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (Omni-Man in Invincible), Emmy winner Matthew Rhys (Philip in The Americans), Emmy nominee Kristen Schaal (Mabel in Gravity Falls, The Guide in What We Do In The Shadows) and four-time Annie Awards nominee Patrick Warburton (Joe Swanson in Family Guy), as well as South African stars Sharlto Copley (Wikus van der Merwe in District 9) and John Kani (Rafiki in The Lion King). 

Grammy Award winner Seal plays a singing seal called Seal Seal and action legend Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables) portrays a dolphin called Dolph - two castings which tell you everything you need to know about both the film's humour and how swimmingly everything fell into place for the production. 

Seal Team is the feature film debut of South African writer-director Greig Cameron, working from a story by Wayne Thornley (Adventures in Zambezia) and Brian and Jason Cleveland.   

"Believe it or not, our underwater military animal team is based on a real unit that trains seals and dolphins to disarm mines," says Greig. "Admittedly, the real-life version probably isn't armed with exploding sardines and octo-suits made out of octopi that can change colour..."

Greig leaned into the ridiculousness of the seals vs. sharks premise. "Cape fur seals forming a military SEAL team to fight sharks is something so silly and ridiculous, it makes me grin," says Greig. "It makes everyone grin."

But co-director Kane Croudace says for all its silliness, behind the madcap gags and rapid-fire punchlines, Seal Team is also an inspiring underdog story that everyone at Triggerfish related to. 

"It's about a hero who is brave, stupid and crazy enough to want to do the dangerously impossible," says Kane.

"That's a theme that resonates throughout my working career. Right at the beginning of my time with Triggerfish, we wanted to make a feature film at the bottom of Africa with a totally inexperienced crew, which everyone said was impossible. We went and did it anyway. If anyone working at a 'proper' studio had seen our workflows on Adventures In Zambezia, they would have given us 150/1 odds against us ever finishing it. But shielded by our stupidity and bravado, we managed to do it and we've got better with each subsequent project. So I think Quinn's attitude to the task ahead is mirrored in our tenacity in getting these films made.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:

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