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Netflix's The Sea Beast 2 Director, Plot And More Details

2022 unleashed a truly great slate of animated features onto the world, 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 you might have missed one equally entertaining animated journey: Netflix's "The Sea Beast." This 3D animated adventure centers around the unlikely partnership of Jacob Holland, a sea monster hunter (Karl Urban), and Maisie Brumble, a young orphan girl (Zaris-Angel Hator). They pair up to find a supposedly dangerous sea monster. While the film earned a spectacular critical response and became Netflix's most-streamed original animated film, it hasn't gotten the same kind of accolades that "Pinocchio" or "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" have netted.

Nevertheless, it's clear that something worked about the colorful swashbuckling adventure. Netflix officially greenlit a sequel to the film on January 6, 2023. 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"? That's what we're here to reveal.

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, and it's likely that development for the film was going on for a year or two before the announcement was made. This means there's a good chance that its sequel's production could take just about as long. 

Director Chris Williams had been asked about a potential follow-up for quite a while — well before the official announcement, in fact. Speaking to ComicBook.com 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. No matter what comes out when, we know for sure that he's currently a very busy guy.

What is the plot of The Sea Beast 2?

While the plot of "The Sea Beast 2" is unknown at the moment, Chris Williams has given hints about what we can expect from the next seaside journey. Although the first film's story has a beginning, middle, and end, the world and characters of "The Sea Beast" open the door to endless possibilities. The idea of traveling across the seven seas to discover new 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 options at play here and Williams is open to it all. 

When asked about the sequel by The Hollywood Reporter, Williams said, "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 of the film, as they've given up their way of life due to the kingdom's newfound alliance with the sea monsters. 

He reiterated both points in conversation with /Film, noting that Jacob's desire to protect Maisie could clash interestingly with Maisie's willfulness. "Then I thought about the world," Williams mused, "because one of the things that I emphasize a lot when we were putting together the first one is that it had to feel believable ... I started wondering, 'Would every single hunter in the world be so willing to lay down their lance and give up their source of income and their identity and their source of pride and their sense of history? Would they be so willing to give it up?' And maybe not all of them would be."

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Who is starring in The Sea Beast 2?

One of the greatest strengths "The Sea Beast" brings to the table is its stellar voice cast. Alongside its energetic animation, the film's performances imbue each character with emotion, humor, and pathos. This creates a strong foundation for the larger-than-life sensibilities needed for such a larger-than-life story. While no cast confirmation is out yet for "The Sea Beast 2," it's not too far of a stretch to ponder who we'll be hearing in the next animated tale. 

Key to it all is the duo of Karl Urban as hard-headed sailor Jacob and Zaris-Angel Hator as infectiously adventurous Maisie. The actors' chemistry is endearing and colorful, and their ensuring journey of trust and understanding gives the film its beating heart. So, bringing them back for 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 is the titular sea beast, Red. While not confirmed, Chris Williams has expressed a willingness to exclude the leviathan. When asked about Red's return by The Hollywood Reporter, Williams said, "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 Chris Williams. His career began at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he worked in various positions on films such as "Mulan," "Lilo and Stitch" and "Brother Bear." 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, won the Oscar for best animated feature, 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 do it 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."

What will The Sea Beast 2 be rated?

"The Sea Beast" is rated PG, and its sequel will probably net the same label. What does PG mean, exactly? It's one step up from a G rating, which denotes a film is for general audiences. G-rated movies aren't inappropriate for anyone, even the youngest kids. PG, on the other hand, means that parental guidance should be employed when deciding if a kid can handle the film in question. A PG movie is liable to contain a few scary moments the littlest kids might not be able to take, and maybe a few crude jokes. But beyond that, it's smooth sailing.

"The Sea Beast" is a good example of the PG rating: It boasts genuine thrills, well-designed monsters, and some moments of actual peril. It's the kind of stuff that might give a three-year-old nightmares — but it's also the kind of stuff that blows an eight-year-old's mind. Bottom line? It's a great movie the whole family can enjoy — so long as you don't have any fish-phobic pre-schoolers in the house.

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 more original animated films, such as "The Willoughbys," "Over the Moon," and "America: The Motion Picture," but 2022 saw an explosion of new feature-length content. 

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