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Magic Arch

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Magic Arch
Полное погружение.jpg
Don't make my tentacles laugh!
Genre: Adventure
Family
Fantasy
Musical
Directed By: Vasiliy Rovenskiy
Produced By: Roman Borisevich
Maxim Rogalsky
Vasiliy Rovenskiy
Written By: Alec Sokolow
Starring: Stephen Ochsner
Daniel Medvedev
Liza Klimova
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Liongate
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Runtime: 83 minutes
Country: Russia
United States
Hungary
Language: Russian
English


Magic Arch 3D (Russian: Полное погружение) (Released as Sea Level 2: Magic Arch in the United States) is a 2020 Russian-Hungarian-American computer-animated musical adventure film directed by Vasiliy Rovenskiy, written by Alec Sokolow, produced by Licensing Brands and Luminescence Kft. The film was released in September 29 2020 on DVD and VOD platforms by Lionsgate.

Plot

Delphi is a shy dolphin with an active imagination that discovers a Magic Arch misused by evil moray eels, which have become gigantic and plan to take over peaceful Fish Town. Delphi needs to reunite with his friend Zeb the Masked butterflyfish and his long-lost father Dolfius in order to gain the strength and power to conquer the morays, protect his city, and win over the love of his life.

Why It Isn't Magic

  1. To get the elephant out of the room, it's one of the 20 rip-offs of Finding Nemo, alongside Izzie's Way Home, Shark Bait, Go Fish, Back to the Sea, and Finding Jesus.
  2. Poor voice acting, that sounds like the voice actors are tired and unenthusiastic instead of ready.
  3. Misleading title: The film is advertised as a sequel to SeeFood, despite having no relation to that film.
  4. Terrible worldbuilding compared to Finding Nemo. Almost nothing much is revealed about the sea in which the film is set in and there's barely any lifeform there due to his excessive use of sunken temples through the backgrounds.
  5. The character designs (with the expection of the moray eels) are pretty unconvincing, as their textures look like they were made of chocolate.
  6. All the characters are one-dimensional and cliched:
    • Delphi is the shy protagonist who wants to fit in but has something that gets in his way.
    • Zeb is generic and has no personality other than being a butt-monkey comic relief.
    • Alpha is the stereotypical bully that gets redeemed at the end.
    • Mia is the protagonist's girl of dreams.
    • The moray eels are the "villain that wants to take over the land" cliché.
    • Octavian the octopus is the cranky old man.
    • Demetra is the old turtle who give advices.
  7. The lip syncing is way off, with sometimes the voices can't synchronize with the characters facial expressions (most likely because the movie is made in Russian and then dubbed into English).
  8. False advertising: In the poster, there's a shark behind the main characters, but he barely appears on the film and he is only used at the end where he is accompained by Udo the anglerfish and two other sharks in a attempt to eat Octavian.
  9. Unfunny attempts to humor, with the jokes normally having some fish puns.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The CGI animation looks decent for the standards of Russian animation.
  2. The design for the moray eels are well done and it almost looks identical to her real-life counterparts.
    • In fact, Murenius the leader of the morays is a Green moray, while one of the 3 henchmen is based on a Fangtooth moray.
  3. An arch that allows anyone to any fish what they wish to be is a very interesting concept.
  4. The musical numbers are nice to listen to.
  5. The scene which shows a flashback of Mia as a baby and getting adopted by Octavian and his sunfish is very heartwarming.

Trivia

National Cinema Fund sponsored the movie, considering that Licensing Brands (the film's production company) is a subsidiary of the Russian government's screen production industry.

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