The Sea Prince and the Fire Child/The Story of Sirius is currently available both in uncensored sub and slightly censored dub on Crunchyroll for FREE. Both versions run at 108 minutes.
.... How... just HOW does this film even exist??
So a few back notes. First of all, this is a Sanrio movie from 1981. You will find absolutely no reference to any of the beloved Sanrio characters in the film, as it acts as a stand-alone.
What hooked me, outside of the flashy poster, is the Sanrio name initially, but looking further, I found the following Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal actors:
Mami Koyama: Esmeraude in Sailor Moon R and Queen Serenity in Sailor Moon Crystal.
Tôru Furuya: Tuxedo Mask in Sailor Moon through Sailor Moon: Sailor StarS. Also, ex-husband of Mami Koyama.
Keiko Han: Luna in Sailor Moon through Sailor StarS.
The film is only one-third anime. One third was done in Australia, the other in New Zealand.
The film was originally released in Japan in 1981. It was first advertised as a "family film" but the family thing would later be dropped. It would again be sold in the United States quietly in 1982 on VHS as a "family film" only to be later re-sold on DVD as "Unrated". As such, the MPAA has yet to give this film an official rating.
And it's existence is driving me nuts.
So a little back story. Once upon a time, King Glacus/Oceanus lived with his sister, Queen Themis/Hyperia. The two were inseparable, almost like lovers, and they used their combined powers over fire and water to create the Earth. The two gods lived peacefully, until a third god, Argon/Algorac got jealous of their union. So he spread a bunch of lies about the two, got them to fight each other, and due to sea trolling, had them split apart, so that Queen Themis would sulk on land and King Glacus would take to the sea. A higher god punished Argon for trolling, took out his eye and banished him to the sea, and gave the eye to Glacus. But the fire and water people were now at odds, so the siblings agreed to keep their kingdoms separate forever. Glacus used the eye to bring peace to the water kingdom and Themis created a sacred flame to also keep the water calm and help her kingdom stay youthful.
Centuries later, King Glacus has two sons, Sirius and Teak/Bibble. It's Sirius's 16th birthday, so the King decides "Eh, you're grown enough." and hands over the eye and the crown to the boy, making him king of the sea. But while everyone starts kissing each other, (this really happens) the party is interrupted by a giant salamander named Mabuse/Mugwug. He wants the crown and the eye for himself, so he stalks Sirius and Teak for the rest of the movie along with his gang of thugs. his job is to annoy.
Sirius swims for a while, and finds the sacred flame, which is being fanned by a naked fairy named Malta. Malta is to keep the flame going for the next week or so, until her 16th birthday, where she is to become the new fire queen. At first, the kids are afraid of each other, but quickly let teenage hormones get the better of them, and they fall in love.
This leads to a very long series of issues for the teens. While Sirius is away, evil jellyfish attack all of his friends and bloody his younger brother, who rats him out for dating a forbidden fire child. Malta's friend Piale completely rejects the fire and water children's relationship, and is jealous as it's revealed she really really really has a crush on Malta. But when Malta neglects the sacred fire, Piale sets herself on fire and kills herself, so that a new flame will stay alive for a few hours for the fire queen. And while the good natured turtle Moelle means well by telling the star-crossed kids about a way they can restore the relationship of fire and water by making their way to Mobius/Elysium Hill before Malta is turned into the next queen, his wise words come too late, as the kids are imprisoned by their parents... um.... shortly after finding out they are cousins.
Malta escapes and finds the hill, but is not able to do anything without Sirius, who is not only imprisoned, but ends up being trapped as Teak accidentally awakens Argon on a failed mission to free his older brother, getting himself, Mabuse and a whole ton of innocent fish killed in the process. By the time Sirius climbs up to the hill, it's too late. He's blind, Malta is the new fire queen and the spores they needed to travel to a new star have all left without them.
The ending is morbid and depressing. If you ever read William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, then you already know the ending, but the royal siblings have learned their lesson, and fling the bodies into space to form a new world, while they fix the mess on Earth, reunited.
Oh and as for Argon? Well um.... Glacus took care of that in the four seconds he was on screen. We just um... let's move on.
The mouth animation is almost non-existent. It's all over the place one scene, and then freezes the next. Some segments look like they were drawn in the 1960's, while random sea waves will be done in a foil style with either tricaster or CGI. Some parts are animated well while other parts have a serious lag.
The timing of the film is another issue. Some segments are too long while other segments are short and have little explanation.
The characters are a point of contention. The friend characters come across as obnoxious, and Malta's snarky hot and cold behavior is grating. One minute, she's loyal to Sirius, the next she's accusing him of forgetting her. The only character I actually felt badly for was the fire queen, who isn't really a bad person. In fact, she doesn't even do anything violent. She's just put into one bad situation after another while trying to parent Malta. Although both siblings should be slapped for dumping their king and queen roles onto teenage kids, who are still trying to find themselves.
And then there is nudity. So much of it! While you can argue it's not "too bad" for a bulk of the film, the segments with Malta get more heavy, especially where both Sirius and Piale hold and touch her inappropriately. As she becomes the new queen, the nudity gets more explicit. Considering the age of the kids and the fact that their parents are fully clothed, this is highly disturbing.
And then there's the big issue. This film is an incestuous take on Romeo and Juliet. You would think that after learning that they are cousins that the focus might be on setting things straight with their parents, but instead, they use this as a fuel to keep their romance going. Why is this not an issue?? Why does this film make incest look romantic??
The Sea Prince and the Fire Child is not suitable for children, or anybody sane over the age of 18. It's a bleak film with a depressing ending and an unsavory cast of visuals.
It's not really an anime, but it's not a cartoon either. It's a Cartanime, a hybrid of the two styles, usually incorporating Flash, Anime Studio, ToonBoom or a similar animation program. The series can come from Italy, Canada, Japan, America, Taiwan or Korea, and rarely, India!