Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Netflix's The Sea Beast 2 - What We Know So Far

2022 saw a great slate of animated features be released, from DreamWorks' "The Bad Guys" and "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" to Henry Selick's "Wendell and Wild" to Guillermo del Toro's "Pinocchio." But one equally entertaining animated journey, Netflix's "The Sea Beast," was shoved under the rug. The 3D animated adventure sees the unlikely partnering of Jacob Holland, a sea monster hunter (voiced by Karl Urban), and Maisie Brumble, a young orphan girl (voiced by Zaris-Angel Hator), who pair up to find a supposedly dangerous sea monster. While the film saw a great critical response, with a current Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating of 94%, and became Netflix's most-streamed original animated film (via Cartoon Brew), it hasn't gotten the same kind of award season buzz that "Pinocchio" or "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" has been generating. 

Nevertheless, it's clear that something worked about the colorful swashbuckling adventure, as Netflix officially greenlit a sequel to the film on January 6, 2023 (via The Hollywood Reporter). So, now that we know we'll be getting more sea-faring adventures in the near future, what can we expect from "The Sea Beast 2?"

When will The Sea Beast 2 be released?

At the moment, there's been no official word as to when "The Sea Beast 2" will hit Netflix. The original 2022 movie was announced in late 2018 (via Variety) and it's likely that development time for the film lasted a year or two before the announcement, meaning there's a good chance that its sequel's production could take roughly just as long. 

Director Chris Williams had been asked about a potential follow-up for quite a while, and well before the official announcement. Speaking to Comic Book after the first film's July release, Williams said, " ... with 'The Sea Beast' it almost felt like it was so wrapped up that there wasn't anywhere to go, which was fine. But honestly, I have been thinking about it, and I do have some notions about where you'd be able to go next with it. And it is true that it's a pretty expansive world, and so there haven't been any direct conversations about it, but I could potentially be game for it."

On January 6, 2023, it was announced that Williams would direct both the sequel and an original animated fantasy feature for Netflix (via Animation Magazine). 

What is the plot of The Sea Beast 2?

While the plot of "The Sea Beast 2" is unknown at the moment, Williams has given hints about what we can expect for the next seaside journey. Although the first film's story seemed to have a beginning, middle, and end, the world and characters of "The Sea Beast" open a door for endless possibilities. The idea of traveling across the Seven Seas to discover new kaiju-sized leviathans is a tantalizing temptation for the eight-year-old in all of us, but the rich relationship built between Jacob and Maisie could see just as much intriguing development. There's quite literally an ocean of possibilities at play here and Williams is open to it all. 

When asked about the sequel by The Hollywood Reporter, Williams explained that above all else, "I was thinking about this brand new family of Jacob and Maisie that have been thrown together. Suddenly Jacob is a parent, a parent to an especially willful kid, right? And so when you see them on the dock, you know that's not what parenting looks like. It's far messier, far more complicated and more trying at times than that. So the idea of the challenges of this new family became interesting to me." He also pointed out how interesting it would be to watch the hunters evolve in the aftermath, as they gave up their way of life due to the kingdom's newfound alliance with the sea monsters.

Who is starring in The Sea Beast 2?

One of the strengths that "The Sea Beast" brought to the table was its stellar voice cast. Alongside the energetic animation, the voice performances imbued its characters with a believable, larger-than-life sensibility needed for such a larger-than-life story. And while no cast confirmation is out yet for "The Sea Beast 2," it's not too far of a stretch to imagine who we can anticipate hearing in the next animated tale. 

Key to it all is the duo of Karl Urban as the hard-headed sailor Jacob and Zaris-Angel Hator as the infectiously adventurous Maisie. The rich chemistry built between the voice actors was fully present, and their characters' journey of trust and understanding gave the film its beating heart. So, bringing them back to the sequel is a no-brainer. Additionally, it would make sense to bring back former antagonists Captain Augustus Crow and Sarah Sharpe, voiced by Jared Harris and Marianne Jean-Baptiste, respectively, to explore how their characters are adapting to the changing world. 

One character we may not see in the follow-up, however, is the titular sea beast, Red. While not confirmed, director Williams has expressed a willingness to exclude the leviathan, telling The Hollywood Reporter when asked about Red's return, "Can I say... maybe? One of the things that is true about story is that it always evolves. Dramatically, even ... Almost anything I say now, in four years, can be completely different."

Who is directing The Sea Beast 2?

Returning to the director's chair for "The Sea Beast 2" will be animation veteran Williams. His career had its beginnings at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he worked in various story positions on films such as "Mulan," "Lilo and Stitch" and "Brother Bear" (via IMDb). He made his directorial debut in 2008 when he and Byron Howard helmed the Disney animated comedy adventure "Bolt," which earned an Academy Award nomination in the best animated feature category.

His follow-up effort, "Big Hero 6," which he co-directed with Don Hall, yielded more positive results. Released in 2014, the film earned more than $650 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo), won the Oscar for best animated feature (via The Washington Post), and spun off two animated series. He then co-directed the 2016 two-time Oscar-nominated Disney film "Moana" alongside longtime Disney veterans Ron Clements and John Musker. 

The decision to leave Disney after 25 years was not easy, but Williams knew he had to if he wanted to fulfill his dreams. As he told The Hollywood Reporter, "I agonized over it a very long time ... They treated me very well, I was very comfortable, and the relationships I had there stretched decades. But I felt like I had to detach from that, partially to tell a story that sat outside the bounds of what you normally consider North American feature animation ... I didn't want to nudge the boundary, I wanted to leap over it."

Where to watch the first Sea Beast

"The Sea Beast" can be watched right now on Netflix. The streamer's reputation for live-action original films and TV shows is well-established, but their animation division has taken a little more time to get going. Netflix Animation's first foray into animated features was the 2019 Oscar-nominated holiday film "Klaus," directed by Sergio Pablos. Over the years, the studio has slowly, but surely, released original animated films such as "The Willoughbys," "Over the Moon," and "America: The Motion Picture," but 2022 would see an explosion of new feature-length content available. 

As per Variety, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos announced in 2020 that the studio would focus on churning out six animated features a year. While they fell one short of that goal in 2022, the year nevertheless saw a noticeable boom of original animated features hit the platform, including "Apollo 10 1⁄2: A Space Age Childhood," the disaster-plagued Wendell and Wild," "My Father's Dragon," "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" and, of course, "The Sea Beast." Time will tell how the streamer's game-changing plans turn out going forward, but animation fans can rest assured that Netflix will have no shortage of new and exciting animated worlds for viewers to visit.