This was a great Ray Harry Hausen movie. The story was engaging and the characters were so much more 2 dimensional then in other Hausen movies. The ending scene was a lot like another sinbad movie. Very deja vu.
When Prince Kassim is turned into a baboon by his evil stepmother Queen Zenobia so that her own son can claim the throne, Kassim's sister, Princess Farah, enlists the aid of her maritime boyfriend Sinbad in order to save the day. Joining forces with the powerful alchemist Melanthius, the two lovers along with the simian prince journey to the north pole where the secrets of an ancient temple may be able to return the prince to his human form. But Zenobia won't give up without a fight leading to all sorts of tiresome mayhem involving poorly animated bugs, monsters, and mythical beasts. Using cheap Mardi Gras costumes, cartoonish effects, and performances which go beyond abysmal, Sam Wannamaker's fantasy flop doesn't even come close to matching it's predecessor, 1958's classic The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, despite being filmed in the "miracle" of Dynarama (translation: lots of bad green screen backgrounds and even worse stop motion sequences featuring some moth-eaten action figures from the back of Ray Harryhausen's closet). Wannamaker can't even get his mythology straight resulting in a confusing Disneyland jumble of Egyptian pyramids, Arabic minarets, and Yankee accents. However, in the role of Sinbad, Patrick Wayne (John's son!) is extremely easy on the eye, if somewhat grating on the ear.
Filmed in "Dynarama" (whatever the heck that gimmick was), Sinbad (from 1977) was one of those easily forgettable, fantasy, adventure tales that, when it tried to be funny, it wasn't, and when it tried to be dead-serious, it was a laughable joke.
This $3.5 million production was neither wondrous nor spectacular. Many of its scenes were, unfortunately, shot from in front of back-projection screens. And the "Ray Harryhausen", pre-CG monster effects were mediocre and disappointing at best.
This was the sort of predictable movie-nonsense that would best be appreciated by a much younger, naive and less critical audience than myself. I'd say that at least twenty minutes could've easily been edited from this film's 112-minute running time and I'm sure no one would've been in the least bit upset.
About the only really noteworthy thing to say about "Sinbad" was that its title character was played by the dashing, 38-year-old Patrick Wayne, son of the famed, veteran actor, John Wayne.
Not the very best of these films of pre-CGI fantasy magic,.. but it is good fun, and a grand tour of all the special effects devices that were in use at that time. The bonus feature, "Chronicles of Ray Harryhausen" (narrated by Loenard Nemoy), surveys the complete creative evolutions of this remarkable innovator, from his beginnings in the family garage up to his receipt of the Acadamey Award for lifetime achievement. This bio-doc is a film-buffs treasure full of clips from all Harryhausen's best work,.. and better than the film ! (Its the main reason for the 4.5 stars.)
A favorite from my childhood, featuring the animation of Ray Harryhausen.
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