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The Real-World Creatures That Inspired The Epic Beasts In The Sea Beast

Animation can take viewers into realms with characters that they could never imagine. Whether it's talking Dalmatians, onion-loving ogres, or a young girl who transforms into a red panda, the possibilities that animation gives for storytellers to unleash their unbridled imagination is endless. So when giving a fresh spin to a classic story formula, animation would seem to be the natural place to go. Such is the case with Netflix's newest animated film, "The Sea Beast." Directed by Chris Williams ("Big Hero 6," "Moana"), the film tells the story of a young girl who stows away on board a ship looking to take down a legendary sea monster, only for new discoveries to be made that could reshape the world they know.

With the epic period piece's narrative spewing shades of classic sea adventures such as "Jaws" and "Moby Dick," "The Sea Beast" brings new life to its classic array of storytelling devices with its vibrant cast of characters and emotional depth. Similarly, its colorful animation and visual style help give the high-flying adventure film a distinct identity that has been acclaimed by outlets such as the Los Angeles Times. Crafting each visual element of an animated movie is no small task and "The Sea Beast" is no exception, especially when it came to the creation of its plethora of cantankerous kaiju, including Red Bluster.

The almighty Red Bluster was inspired by a number of playful sea animals

In an interview with Polygon, director Chris Williams discussed what went into the making of the main creature in "The Sea Beast," the Red Bluster, and the real-life animals that the design team used as a jumping-off point. "We did a lot of research," he says. "We looked at images and videos of sea lions, seals and walruses, and whales, just to see how they moved and how their physiology made sense [as] creatures that live in the water — that could go on land, but were more comfortable in the water. And that pointed us in a certain direction."

The film's art and design team continued to build on Red's look, with further inspiration from animals such as lions to give the creature an elegant and efficient way of moving, according to Netflix Film. As can be imagined, Red, as the film's titular monster, had the most time and effort put into her creation, with her design having the most back-and-forth of any of the creatures. However, that doesn't mean that the film's design crew didn't put much effort into the bevy of other beasts within the film. From the Prickleback's crocodilian-inspired back plates and movement to the Purple Crustacean's Japanese Spider Crab-esque mouth shapes to Blue's squishy pug-like build, every creature within the expansive world of "The Sea Beast" had mountains of work put into even the smallest details, resulting in a feast for any monster lover's eyes.