Will ‘Sinbad’ be a fish out of water?

DreamWorks’ big summer release is a brave one: a traditionally animated movie in a world full of computer-generated images (most notably a CG film about a fish that looks to be the hit of the summer).

“Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,” which features the voices of actors Brad Pitt (in the title role), Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer, opens Wednesday, the same day as “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde” and “Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines.”

But that’s not the main competition. Rather, it is the Disney/Pixar computer-animated blockbuster “Finding Nemo” that will be seeking the same family audience as “Sinbad,” even though “Nemo” has been out for more than a month. DreamWorks believes there’s room in the marketplace for both films.

“We are a completely different thing. We are a swashbuckling adventure movie,” said “Sinbad” screenwriter John Logan. “Nemo” is more of a heartwarming comedy.


As a writer, Logan’s experience is in the live-action arena. He shared an Oscar nomination for original screenplay for “Gladiator.” He also co-wrote the script for the upcoming Tom Cruise movie “The Last Samurai” with Marshall Herskovitz and director Edward Zwick. Logan also wrote “The Aviator,” the upcoming Howard Hughes biopic starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and is currently writing a sequel to “Gladiator.”

Logan said he’s enjoyed the freedom that “Sinbad” allowed him. “With animation, the sky is the limit in terms of imagination. You can do anything with pen and ink. So it’s very liberating.” But he added that regardless of the format, the main ingredient for all film is a compelling story line.

DreamWorks, which scored a huge hit with the computer-generated “Shrek” two years ago -- for which there is a sequel in the works -- fared less well last year with the traditionally animated “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.” Thus far, “Shrek” is the highest-grossing computer-animated movie ever with $267.7 million, and the second-highest among all animated films after “The Lion King’s” $328.5 million. Hand-drawn animation scored a big hit last year with Disney’s “Lilo and Stitch,” which grossed $145.8 million.