The final traditionally-animated Dreamworks Animation film, a Lighter and Softer re-imagining of the famous Sinbad stories, making use of a transitional blend between traditional and 3-D computer animation.
Charming pirate captain Sinbad (voiced by Brad Pitt) is on a quest to steal the legendary Book of Peace and take it for ransom. However, when he attacks the ship carrying The Book, he runs into his childhood friend Proteus (Joseph Fiennes) who is responsible for the book's safety. They are suddenly attacked by a Sea Monster — sent by Eris (Michelle Pfeiffer), the Goddess of Discord, who has her own plans for the Book — and they team up to kill it. After nearly drowning in the ordeal, Sinbad is approached by Eris herself, who strikes a deal with him to steal the Book of Peace, in return for which he gets all the riches in the world.
However, Eris then steals the Book herself and frames Sinbad for the robbery, getting him arrested and sentenced to execution. Proteus takes Sinbad's place in prison, pleading to the Council that Sinbad be allowed to prove his innocence by stealing the Book back from Eris. If Sinbad fails or does not return, Proteus offers himself to be executed instead.
Accompanied by his faithful crew and Proteus' fiancé, Marina (Catherine Zeta-Jones) - who is along to make sure Sinbad keeps his end of the deal - our hero must now journey past the edges of the Earth and into Tartarus, Eris' Realm of Chaos, to retrieve the book and return before Proteus' execution.
The film made use of the same blend of 2D and 3D animation seen in Disney's Treasure Planet (released a year earlier), mixing traditionally animated characters with CGI-created creatures, objects, and backgrounds in 3D. Although it was a flop at the box office, the movie, like Treasure Planet, has a solid cult following.
Film provides examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Sinbad's knife pierces the stone floor when it is simply dropped. He also uses them to climb up an icy mountain.
- Accidental Kiss: Marina falls on Sinbad's lips during the Sirens' attack. She immediately punches him thereafter.
- Action Girl: Marina.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted. Marina didn't start falling in love with Sinbad until after he showed his bravery, loyalty, and quick wit.
- Ambiguously Brown: All of the crew, really. Some look Greek, some Arabic, some Asian. Rat looks Hispanic, but he actually speaks Italian.
- An Ice Bird: The Roc, which manages to turn a sunny island paradise into a frozen tundra simply by showing up.
- And the Adventure Continues: Marina joins Sinbad and his crew. Not only realizing her dream and affirming her love with Sinbad, but going on more harrowing adventures with them. It's also a Sailing Into The Sunet ending.
- Animalistic Abominations: Pretty much all of Eris' pets, but special mention goes to Cetus and the Roc. It should be noted that these are actually Eris' pet constellations.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Kale doesn't buy Sinbad's story of his encounter with Eris. After saving a boat with a magical book inside from a gigantic sea monster. (It might have helped if Sinbad had not opted to describe the encounter as "Eris has a thing for me and invited me back to her place.")
- Arranged Marriage: Marina was brought to Syracuse 10 years earlier to prepare her and Proteus' marriage. It gets worse when it's revealed that Sinbad left because of it, and Sinbad and Marina start falling for each other. In the end, Proteus decides to cancel their marriage after realizing this.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Happens at least three times during the course of the film. Four if you count Eris' pets.
- Bad Ass Beard: It's easier to count the exceptions to the rule, there are so many beards in this movie.
- Bald of Awesome: Kale.
- Bare-Handed Blade Block: Kale manages to block a sword with his teeth, before using it to toss the attacker overboard, throwing back his head with enough force to pull his opponent (still holding the hilt) along with it over the railing.
- Bash Brothers: Sinbad and Proteus against Cetus.
- Batman Gambit: Eris' Evil Plan relies entirely on manipulating first Proteus' nobility and then Sinbad's selfishness. She has the former completely pegged and only narrowly misjudges the latter.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Sinbad and Marina have tons of it. Exemplified in their argument after she saves them from the Sirens, and again on the island which turns out to be a giant fish.
- Betty and Veronica: With Proteus as Betty and Sinbad as Veronica for Marina. Sinbad gets the girl, and the pair (or at least Marina) even gets Proteus' blessings.
- Big Entrance: Eris shows up during Sinbad's execution and Heroic Sacrifice. Said entrance involves the clouds spiraling into a tornado, creating a waterspout, and Eris emerging from the mist in a fifty-foot version of herself.
- Big, Friendly Dog: Spike. His way up helping in the opening fight scene? Attacking a crew member... by licking his face.
- Bilingual Bonus: Whatever Rat says in Italian.
- Black Best Friend: Kale.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Kale.
- Boring Return Journey: After Sinbad has spent the majority of the film traveling to Tartarus to confront the goddess Eris (overcoming numerous obstacles set out by the aforementioned goddess), his return journey to Syracuse is apparently instantaneous. However, Eris has not actually been defeated yet, and while her loss or victory depends more on Sinbad's decision than anything else, she still has every reason to try to prevent him from getting there. On the other hand, if she were to do so, she would be breaking her word (since her interference would prevent Sinbad from proving whether or not he lied in answer to her question), so her hands were fairly tied. This as much as Sinbad's actual decision may have contributed to why she is so angry during her Big Entrance.
- Brick Joke: Sinbad shows Marina her new room, the food locker which is stocked with nothing but "pickles, eggs and PICKLES!". See Getting Crap Past the Radar below.
- Cassandra Truth: "So I meet Eris, Goddess of Chaos, she's got a major crush on me, and she invited me back to her place."
- Cast of Snowflakes: In spite of not having Loads and Loads of Characters, each one is intricately designed and recognizable.
- Chekhov's Gun: Sinbad's dagger. Eris mentioning she has to keep her word when it is given.
- Childhood Friends: Sinbad and Proteus.
- Conspicuous CG: All of the monsters, most of the ships and all of that water. In addition, a few props (the doors, Spike's personal catapult) and some of the buildings are CG rather than traditionally animated.
- Cosmic Keystone: The Book of Peace. When open, it maintains the weather (and the buildings) in Syracuse. When closed, the Sun doesn't rise and the city crumbles. Eris also implies she might be able to use it to remake the world in the style of Tartarus.
- Cosmopolitan Council: Of the non-evil, non-plot important variety - The Delegation of the Twelve Cities are in Syracuse to await the arrival of the Book of Peace. King Dymas rules Syracuse (see Shining City), which is Greek. Marina is from Thrace. Of the other 11 delegates, one looks Nordic, two look distinctly Asian, two look distinctly African, one looks vaguely Byzantine, one looks Egyptian, and one looks vaguely Arabic.
- Covered in Gunge: The Cetus sea monster gets a loaded cannon as a snack, courtesy of Sinbad, who expects that to kill it. All it does, though, is cause the monster a bit of unhappy belly. In response, it pukes up gallons and gallons of green slime on Sinbad and Proteus. It also pukes up a previously swallowed soldier who only has the "ew" reaction for a second before it is overtaken by his rage at having been swallowed in the first place.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sinbad, much of the time.Sinbad, while climbing the ice cliff: Oh, she couldn't see the bird? Everyone else saw it. It's as big as a freakin' ship! Marina? Marina's looking the other way!
Sinbad: That's an awful long way, and it'll be very, very dangerous.Marina: Don't worry, I'll protect you.
- Marina too. After she calls out the various repairs the ship needs, and he enumerates all the places they'll have to travel through and hazards they'll have to navigate to get the replacements:
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Marina.
- Destroyer Deity: Eris the goddess of discord is kept in check by the Book of Peace, a MacGuffin that Sinbad must recapture from her realm. Otherwise, Eris will sunder civilization and plunge humanity into gloom, misery, anguish and death, just For the Evulz.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Near the end, Eris gives her word she'll give the book back to Sinbad if he were to correctly pass her test; answer honestly if he would go back to save Proteus whether or not he got the book. He said yes, but Eris accused him of lying and threw him away. A quick Heroic B.S.O.D. later, he comes in to stop Proteus' execution and willingly take his place, if only to honor the sacrifice his friend gave to him. Eris is pissed, but Sinbad remembers what she said and calls out that she gave her word before, forcing her to return the book and let him live.
- Driving Question: "Are you a thief or a hero?"
- Dual Wielding: Sinbad does it with swords.
- Dude Magnet: Marina. She gets the attention from Sinbad's crew, Proteus, and before it was revealed, Sinbad.
- Eldritch Location:
- The Dragon's Teeth, lair of the sirens, has ships somehow impaled on rock spires, and ends with a vortex of water that defies gravity.
- Tartarus, where reality is completely out to lunch.
- Enthralling Siren: Sirens are water elementals.
- Ethereal Choir: In the theme for Syracuse/the Book of Peace.
- Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Spike, after Sinbad's cruel treatment of Marina.
- Evil Is Hammy: You can immediately tell Michelle Pfeiffer enjoys going overboard with her villainous voice role.
- Evil Laugh: Michelle Pfeiffer has a delicious one as Eris.
- Evil Overlooker: Eris towers in the background of the poster, looming over the heroes.
- Evil Plan: Near the end, Sinbad figures out Eris' goal. Kill off Syracuse's heir and thereby cause a succession crisis: guaranteed discord.
- Evil Slinks: It would be less effort to count the times when Eris is not slinking. The bathtub scene may be the only inst—nope, her hair still slinks in that scene.
- The water sirens also slink by dint of being made of water.
- Extended Disarming: When Sinbad's crew gets to the party at Syracuse, they have to remove their weapons. Kale and Rat leave their knives, then Jed starts unloading his arsenal of knives, swords, claws, grenades, crossbows, arrows, a massive grappling hook launcher... When Sinbad and crew leave, he's still unloading equipment.Kale: Jed, pack it up.
Jed: What?! B-But I-I-I...I just put the...aww, man! (gathers up his weapons in his arms and follows the crew out the door)
- Fan Disservice: "Come and get it, ladies!"
- Fire-Forged Friends: Conversed; Sinbad and Proteus.
- Flat World: Sinbad and crew discover this to be the case when they reach the gates of Tartarus (causing one of Those Two Guys to have to cough up money for their Side Bet). Although to judge by the way the gate looks in relation to the water when Marina and Sinbad are returned from Tartarus, and that the ship is back in the water just fine, this was likely all an illusion of Eris'.
- Foe Romance Subtext: Eris and Sinbad.Eris: "He's so cute. And so gullible."
- Frameup: After Sinbad agrees to steal the Book of Peace for her, but chickens out upon seeing Marina, Eris steals it instead and uses his knife to point the finger at him. Oh, and creates a doppelganger of him out of chaos for her to literally step into and puppetmaster.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Oh, so many times.Marina: [perusing Sinbad's stuff] Stolen from Venezia... From Pompeii... [holds up a bejeweled bra] And from a brothel in Syracuse.
Sinbad: A sword at my throat, at my chest, at my—
Random Sailor In Background: PICKLES AND EGGS!
Sinbad: [beat] You get the idea.
Sinbad: Think of the beaches.
Kale: Beautiful, if you like mosquitoes.
Sinbad: Think of the sun.
Kale: It's monsoon season.
Sinbad: Oh, then the women.
Kale: They're cannibals, Sinbad.
- Not to mention that the 'flyer' of Fiji has a topless woman.
- And later, a conversation between Sinbad and Marina:Marina: Look, clearly, I can't appeal to your honour. But I have other ways of convincing you.
Sinbad: glances down [hopeful] Really?
- In the Norwegian dub, when Kale is enthralled by the sirens and says "Let's talk love", the word he uses in Norwegian is an old-fashioned word for "lovemaking".
- Downplayed with the sirens. According to the makers, they are naked, but the water animation of them makes it difficult to tell. It's more obvious if you go through it frame-by-frame.
- After the kerfuffle with the Sirens, Sinbad has a hole in his pants showing half his butt.
- Giant Flyer: The Roc, of the Death from Above variety.
- Graceful Loser: Proteus in the love triangle; at the end of the film he gently encourages Marina to go with Sinbad rather than holding her to their engagement to marry.
- Eris too, oddly enough.
- Gratuitous Italian: Rat.
- Hartman Hips: Marina is noticeably curvy.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Sinbad and his mates are more like anti-heroes, but they're still good-hearted men and really value Spike.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sinbad and Proteus were and still are best friends with each other.
- Kale and Sinbad are this given their interactions with one another and the fact Kale is the only crew member to know about Sinbad's feeling for Marina before it was revealed.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: It was Eris herself who told Sinbad that the gods were bound once they had given their word... Also, during her "Reason You Suck" Speech she taunts him about moving in on Proteus'girl before he's even in his grave, and it's his feelings for her that are a big part of why he goes back to Syracuse.
- Honor Before Reason: King Dymas tries to get his son Proteus to escape. However, Proteus refuses because he knows that it'll only cause trouble and ruin Sinbad's honor.
- Hot Goddess: Thy name is Eris.
- Humanoid Abominations: The Sirens.
- Eris as well.
- I Gave My Word: As a Goddess, Eris is bound to this, whether she likes it or not. Sinbad too, which is why she was so pissed at the end.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: Played With: In this case, lying is the most relevant. Because he told the truth, Eris has to give the book back.Eris: You're a selfish, unprincipled liar!
Sinbad: Wait a minute. I didn't lie.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Proteus
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Cetus takes TWO MASTS TO THE HEAD.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Who's bad? Sinbad!"
- Indy Ploy: Sinbad's scheme to fly the ship out past the edge of the world. Also, using the angler fish to cut down their travel time by a huge amount.
- In-Name-Only: As they appeared in The Arabian Nights, Sinbad's stories were set around Arabian/Chinese cities populated with Muslims and told of the sailor's seven (mis)adventures that made him a rich man. This movie throws it all out in favor of a Mediterranean setting populated with Greeks/Italians and tells of the pirate's (mis)adventures as he learns the true meaning of friendship and love. So... Yeah. There's a guy named Sinbad, there's a boat, and there's a giant bird. There are Chinese among the crew though.
- To be fair the roc and the island that turns out to be a gigantic fish is taken from the original Sinbad stories.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Brad Pitt as Sinbad. Just look at him—no difference whatsoever.
- Invincible Villain: Eris, considering she's a goddess playing a game among mortals. None of the heroes even entertain the notion of fighting her directly since they know it's impossible.
- It's All About Me: Sinbad.
- It Has Been an Honor: "Gentlemen, it's been a privilege robbing with you."
- Karma Houdini: Eris gets away with all the trouble she's caused to Syracuse, Proteus, and Sinbad. Justified since she's a goddess and humans can't punish her.
- Knife Nut: Sinbad is a good version. He'll use swords as well, but prefers his knives. This backfires on him when Eris uses one to frame him for the book's theft.
- Left the Background Music On: Marina wonders what that sound is...
- Leitmotif: Eris has one. Tut-tut-tun-tun! with a One-Woman Wail at the end of the second set of bars.
- Sinbad also has a particularly badass piratey-sounding one, which kicks in every time he carries out an Indy Ploy.
- And in the scene where Eris disguises as Sinbad to steal the Book of Peace, the two Leitmotifs dance together and intertwine.
- Letting Her Hair Down: Marina (both literally and figuratively).
- Like an Old Married Couple: Sinbad and Marina instantly fall into this once she sneaks on board the ship.
- Like You Would Really Do It: This gets averted in that even though you know main characters (usually) don't die in a children's animated feature, it's really hard not to hold your breath when that sword is one freakin' inch from decapitating Sinbad.
- In-universe version. Sinbad sets off for Fiji with no guilt instead of questing for the book because he believes Proteus' father would never let them execute his son. And he's right... but Proteus refuses to leave.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Proteus. Lampshaded by Sinbad, when he tells him to get a haircut.
- Loveable Rogue: Sinbad, of course.
- Love at First Sight: The whole reason Sinbad left his life with Proteus was because he instantly fell in love with Marina, who was brought in to be Proteus' wife.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: Eris, unsurprisingly.Eris: Enough talking! Time for some screaming...
- Meaningful Echo: Eris seems to love stealing lines from Sinbad and his crew. Right after Rat comments on the simplicity of robbing the dinner guests, Eris uses his same line of "This is just too easy." She also steals Sinbad's "Lucky for you I have places to go, things to do (destroy), stuff to steal" spiel.
- Meaningful Name: Marina means sea. Also, Proteus means changeable—while he himself doesn't change, it's because of him that Sinbad becomes a hero and Marina, going along on the journey to make sure he keeps his word, discovers her true calling.
- Missing Mom: Where's Proteus' mother?
- Moment Killer: Spike in the last shot of the film interrupts The Big Damn Kiss no less.
- Ms. Fanservice: Marina
- Names to Run Away from Really FastRat: Tartarus, from which no sailor ever returns. The Tartarus of Lost Souls, where they grind your bones and pickle you spleen and—Sinbad: No, Rat, this is the nice Tartarus. With lots of beaches and drinks, y'know, with the little umbrellas?
- Nice Guy: Proteus defines the trope. See Graceful Loser above.
- No-Sell: The sirens' song doesn't affect Marina as she is a woman. Meaning, if she hadn't decide to stowaway, Sinbad and his crew would have been killed by the first challenge they met after leaving Syracuse.
- Oh, Crap!: Everyone gets one when Eris shows up at the end. There's also one when the crew discovers they're on a giant fish instead of an island (courtesy of its eye opening underneath them).
- Ominous Owl: The Roc. While most portrayals go for it looking like an eagle or vulture, this one goes for it looking like a giant, terrifying snowy owl.
- One-Woman Wail: The introduction to the Sirens' Song. It then transforms into Ethereal Choir.
- Only Sane Man: Kale shows shades of this on Sinbad's crew.
- Later, he shares this title with Marina. Before and after she becomes an official part of the crew.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Boy howdy, although this is more readily apparent in the production sketches (which are by the same fellow who designed the dragons in How to Train Your Dragon and can be seen on the DVD.) Cetus looks like a combination of everything in the fisherman's platter. The Roc looks a bit more owlish than usual and can run about on all fours like a vampire bat. The Cyclops, had they appeared in the film, would have either been crab-men or fish-people.
- Papa Wolf: Proteus' father has his most trusted guards bribe some of the other guards so that his son can escape.
- Parental Bonus: When Marina is in Sinbad's cabin:Marina: Clearly I can't appeal to your sense of honour. But I have other ways of convincing you.
[Sinbad glances up and down on her.]
Sinbad: Uh.. Just how do you expect to do that?
Marina: By speaking your language. *pulls out giant diamond*'
- The Power of Friendship and The Power of Love: The only things Eris can't control, or predict, since while she knew Proteus would give his life for Sinbad and that Sinbad was romantically interested in Marina, she refused to believe Sinbad could ever return the favor for Proteus or that his feelings for Marina would inspire him to do the right thing.
- Prehensile Hair: Eris' hair never stops moving. Ever. This is actually a great indicator of who she is: Adjustable, incomprehensible and impalpable as smoke. In one word, chaotic.
- Protective Charm: The Book of Peace seems to be one of these, judging by the glowing aura/field it projects over and around Syracuse, and the way earthquakes, dark clouds, and cracks in the buildings are incited when Eris steals it.
- Race Against Time: Proteus' execution draws near...
- Reality Warper: Eris. Justified because she's a goddess, and double justified because she's a chaos goddess.
- "Reason You Suck" Speech: Eris gives Sinbad two, one in Tartarus and one right after she spares him from death in Syracuse.
- Red Is Heroic: Sinbad's color scheme is red and despite his many faults, he's still a good guy at heart.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Done not so subtly with Proteus and Sinbad. They even dress in blue and red clothing!
- Rescue Romance: Marina seems to realize she's in love with Sinbad after he saves her from the Roc.
- The Reveal: We don't know what caused Sinbad and Proteus to fall out until the beginning of the third act when Sinbad reveals he saw Proteus meet Marina at the dock for their arranged marriage. Rather than stay and resent his best friend, Sinbad chose to to leave.
- Sadistic Choice: "So, if you don't get the Book... will you go back to die?"
- Sand Is Water: In Tartarus. Justified by the whole chaos thing.
- Scenery Porn: The backgrounds are truly breathtaking.
- Shapeshifting: Eris, who is able to change her appearance when it suits her best.
- Shield Surf: During Marina's rescue.
- Shining City: The Royal City of Syracuse; filled with gleaming white, gold domed buildings and spires, built upon and among impossibly high Ghibli Hills, which are all connected by elegant walkways. There is even an elevated canal for ships, linking the seas with the Royal Palace. King Dymas is surely one of the most under-appreciated city building kings in the history of fiction. It's a shame that we only see it for a few minutes of the movie though.
- Side Bet: Those Two Guys in Sinbad's crew have this down to a Running Gag. They bet on everything. Special mention goes to when the ship reaches the edge of the World: "Pay up! It's flat!"
- Single-Target Sexuality: Lampshaded by Eris in regards to Proteus' feeling for his fiancé, Marina.
- Sinbad practically admits that Marina is the only woman he ever fell in love with.
- Sizeshifter: Eris is able to go from normal size to massive whenever she feels like it.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Marina and Sinbad. They quite literally resort to throwing things at each other during an argument.
- Smurfette Principle: After Proteus lets Marina forget about their engagement, Marina becomes the only female member of Sinbad's crew.
- Somewhere, an Ornithologist Is Crying: For some reason the giant ice roc has five toes, and clawed fingers on its wings. But it may be justified because the roc isn't a normal bird.
- Statuesque Stunner: Even at her shortest, Eris is still looking down at Sinbad. When introduced, she's looking down at the Earth.
- Team Pet: Spike.
- Those Two Guys: Jin and Li, who are forever placing bets.
- Threesome Subtext: There is some rather heavy subtext between Sinbad + Marina + Proteus. While Proteus + Marina and Sinbad + Marina are both canonical, the two men bear no jealousy towards each other. Proteus blindly trusts Sinbad to save his life, and they spend a lot of time embracing and staring into each other's eyes. Really, the only reason Proteus couldn't follow them to sea was because of his duties.
- Turtle Island: The island they come across after escaping the Sirens is actually a giant angler fish, complete with giant glowing lure.
- Use Your Head: Part of Sinbad's crew's fighting style.
- The Villain Makes the Plot/Villains Act, Heroes React: Other than Marina choosing to join Sinbad on his journey to make sure he keeps his word, almost everything which happens in the movie is either due to Eris' direct involvement or the creatures she sends to harass and attack Sinbad, with the heroes then having to react to it all. (And that sole choice of Marina's actually turns out to be a big part of why she loses.) This is to the film's benefit, since she is a superb villain.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Sinbad and his crew.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Rat and Kale. Mostly Kale.Sinbad: Oh, get a shirt on, before you poke someone's eye out!
- Waterfall into the Abyss: Appears at the Edge of the World.
- Wham Line:Sinbad: One day a ship came in with [Proteus'] future on board... It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.Marina: What was on the ship?Sinbad: .... you.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Eris gives one to Sinbad about his Designated Hero status.Eris: Proteus isn't even in his grave yet, and you're moving in on his girl!
- World-Healing Wave: When the Book of Peace is restored to Syracuse.
- Wowing Cthulhu: Eris, the Goddess of Discord, halts the execution of Sinbad because he correctly answered her question: "Would you forfeit your life to save your friend?" At first, Eris had called him a liar, declaring Sinbad too selfish to be so noble. However, when he returns to Syracuse empty-handed, Sinbad accepts blame for the theft of the MacGuffin, vindicating his answer. Eris seems poised to squash Sinbad like a bug, but instead accedes the MacGuffin, because Even Evil Has Standards.