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A-list stars help make 'Sinbad' a sure classic

By SHEILA NORMAN-CULP, Associated Press Writer

Some of the best-looking people in Hollywood have another attribute that's often overlooked: their voices. In the astonishingly animated "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas," A-list stars like Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer help create a sure classic, destined to be hauled out by generations of exhausted parents seeking relief on cold, rainy Saturdays.

Pitt's rascally Sinbad is a Robin Hood of the seas, "liberating" treasures from royalty to keep his motley crew employed and further their dreams of retiring in Fiji. No bloodlust here, not even greed or malice or revenge, just a lazy working man seeking a life of ease as the king of thieves.

But whoops, this time Sinbad's prey is none other than his old friend Proteus (Joseph Fiennes), the prince of Syracuse. Proteus is sailing home with the Book of Peace, a treasure that will allow his kingdom to enter a new era of prosperity.

Sinbad's plan to nab the sacred text is interrupted by Eris, goddess of chaos (Michelle Pfeiffer), whose swirling, morphing, jet-black hair is practically a character unto itself. The book disappears and Sinbad is sentenced to die. As noble princes will do, Proteus takes his place. Sinbad has 10 days to find the book and return it before his friend is executed.

To make sure he doesn't welch on the deal, Proteus' fiancee Marina (Zeta-Jones) sneaks onto Sinbad's boat - and ends up charming his crew and saving his life.

The script has it all - slapstick, love, moral choices, thrilling adventure scenes, a chiseled leading man and a mischievous but not completely evil villain.

By mixing 2D (hand-drawn) and 3D (computer) animation, the filmmakers managed to evoke both individual emotions and rollicking action without showing any seams.

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