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Shark Tale (2004)

  Directed by: Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman
Written by: Rob Letterman, Michael J. Wilson
Starring: Jack Black, Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese, Will Smith, Renée Zellweger
Links: Shark Tale on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Cartoon/Animation

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Shark Tale (2004) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Toy Story (1995).

"More under-the-sea fun for the kiddies" - a review by pearly

Shark Tale pulls out a whole host of big names to voice the characters in this underwater romp. But nothing they do can bring it out from behind Finding Nemo (2003)'s shadow, and the similarities are numerous and disturbing.

Oscar (Will Smith) is a bad-ass fish who works at the local Whale Wash, but dreams of better things. His long-suffering friend Angie (Renée Zellweger), who has a secret crush on him, just hopes that one day Oscar will notice she's there. When Oscar gambles away the money that he owes his boss, and is taken out to deeper water in a mafia-style hit, he meets up with two sharks: Lenny (Jack Black), a kind-hearted soul who is trying to get a taste for the shark life, and his brother Frankie, who is only too happy to show him the way. When Frankie is accidentally killed, Oscar unwittingly becomes "The Shark Slayer", and his dreams of making it as somebody begin to come true. But Oscar must determine whether those dreams are actually what he really wants.

Shark Tale follows the same kind of formula that so many children's films do; having a moral that you can see coming a mile off. The story is fun enough, but the themes could fairly be referred to as being shoved down your throat. I found that, to begin with, the plotline was pretty wishy-washy, and it didn't start to settle into a proper pace until a third or so of the way through. And while all the colour and style and action of a great children's animation film were present, and the film had the star power of so many actors behind the characters, I couldn't stop myself from comparing the whole thing to Finding Nemo.

I thought that the film was fun, but not nearly as fun as Finding Nemo, and there were a lot more dubious bits in Shark Tale that had me turning up my nose, the best example of this being the presence of the tie-in single, Car Wash, with little Christina Aguilera and Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliot style fish. I wouldn't have minded this as a final credit song, but for it to pop up in the middle of the film was a little much.

I've brought this up numerous times in my animated film reviews, but Shark Tale is another brilliant example of the copied theme animated film double-ups, just as we saw with A Bug's Life (1998) and Antz (1998) a few years back. And just for the record, Pixar is still winning.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 28 Feb 2005

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