This story is about how two hermit crabs with different backgrounds come to find one another. Harriet grew up in a pet store, popular. Herbert is a loner in the wild with no friends or family. One day fate brings them together. Harriet longs for adventure. Herbert wants to play it safe. Along the way they meet some interesting characters, overcome obstacles, face heartache and find love.
For fans of Disney and Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” “Harriet and Herbert’s Day at the Beach” might be a suitable alternative—even a gentle companion piece—for young viewers. In this film, opposites attract when it comes to Harriet, a sheltered but confident type, and Harry, a more streetwise fellow without the confidence and freedom to seize life as an adventure. The pairing of Harriet and Herbert takes them on a journey that allows them to understand how to live in the other’s shell (they ARE hermit crabs, after all).Again, in reference to “Finding Nemo,” the writers pack in a lot of characters over the course of a 66-minute movie. The adventures bounce from place to character like a pinball machine. Younger filmgoers may still remain hooked from the vibrant choice of colors, both in and out of the sea. Parents will surely enjoy that entertainment value as well. The narrative feels intelligible in some places, although it is forgivable in such a short film. The interactions between various sea creatures (equipped with an array of wild, wacky accents) left me lost in places, or made me question if the dialogue propelled the story or was simply filler. The more often Harriet and Herbert were featured in the same scene, the more engaged with the point of the story I was. There is even a musical intermission that felt unnecessary to story. Aside from that, “Harriet and Herbert’s Day at the Beach” is still not a movie intended for all ages, admittedly—which is not a bad thing. The color palette draws a youthful attention, and the cartoony sets were rather quirky and enjoyable. Since it is so child-friendly and demonstrates a good understanding of friendship and the length it takes to be such a friend and perhaps even a lover, Dove is proud to award the film with the Approval for All Ages seal.