Finally, I saw a decent movie today (with my two older kids along with a cousin): “Sea of Monsters.” Afterwards, my seven year old said, “I just want to watch the beginning again and again.” I loved the beginning too! It’s all about how Thalia, the daughter of Zeus, gave up her life to save her three friends: Annabeth, Luke, and Grover. Here’s the actress who plays young Thalia. I can’t find a good shot from the movie.
As a result of Thalia’s bravery, instead of dying, she’s transformed into a tree. The tree provides a magic barrier to protect Camp Half Blood. The plot of “Sea of Monsters” is that this tree is poisoned, so not only is Camp Half Blood vulnerable to monsters, but Thalia is dying. In order to save Thalia, the Golden Fleece must be recovered.
Annabeth, daughter of Athena, is the one who realizes the golden fleece is what is needed to save Thalia. The daughter of the goddess of wisdom, Annabeth is the smart one. Her role as the courageous, brilliant best friend of the hero, Percy, is similar to Hermione’s role in the Harry Potter series.
A third strong female is Clarisse, daughter of Ares, the god of war. Clarisse is ambitious and competitive.
For these three characters, I encourage you to take your kids to this movie, though I wouldn’t take a kid under 6. But, I don’t want to mislead you. “Sea of Monsters” is Percy’s movie. He is the hero. The quest of recovering the golden fleece is actually assigned to Clarisse, but when she can’t pull it off, guess who steps in to save the world? The way Percy takes over Clarisse’s quest really annoyed me in the book. It annoyed me slightly less in the movie, because the way this is presented, instead of it being all about Percy, it’s more like Clarisse realizes she needs to work with others. It’s great to see Clarisse be the one to place the fleece on the tree; her important action restores Thalia to life.
Kids watching “Sea of Monsters” not only get to see one girl helping another, but the whole movie is driven by Annabeth’s friendship for Thalia. “Sea of Monsters” is one of the very few this year to pass the Magowan Test for Gender Bias in Children’s movies. The Magowan Test is inspired by the Bechdel test. The criteria is (1) At least two females who are friends (2) go on an adventure (3) and don’t wear revealing clothing.
This movie is kind of cheesy. I don’t know why the special effects look so fake as opposed to the Harry Potter movies or the Lord of the Rings movies. Also, while the books are really funny, and the pacing is perfect, the humor doesn’t work in the movie. Scenes that are supposed to make you laugh are just goofy. That said, if I had to pick one movie to take kids to this summer, “Sea of Monsters” would be it.
Reel Girl rates “Sea of Monsters” ***H***