A Little Fish Tale Actually
Shark Tale
Review by Ross Anthony

I thought I'd like this film. And it does sport quality: the colors, the expressive animation, the funny faces, cute sea puns, and the quick pace (well sort of).

Unfortunately, after the first five minutes all that juicy stuff kind of fades from the forefront leaving Will Smith to carry this formulaic piece. Smith has done some good work in the past, but here, his vocal contributions wane. While I occasionally was annoyed with Ellen and Albert during "Nemo" (and I like both of them usually), here Smith's voice and/or scripting tend to chafe more often than not. And with Smith's character (Oscar -- who is not an oscar btw) dominating the production, other positives can't save.

Still, the other positives are well worth mentioning. Jack Black and the secondary story line: The Shark without killer instinct. This is more fun, a bit of a coming out of the closet allegory, with Bob De Niro as the father who just doesn't understand. The filmmakers take every opportunity for Mafioso poke-funnery. And, it's pretty cool that Ziggy Marley voices one of the reggae thugs.

Overall, "Shark Tale" is an ocean story without much depth.

From the production notes:
Oscar may despise working in mouths, but his own mouth rarely stops working. Producer Damaschke reveals that Smith's own energy and rapid wit were among the reasons the role was created with him in mind right from the start. "The story evolved over the years, but the one thing that never changed was that Oscar was always imaged with Will Smith playing him. The role was designed around him and everything that he could bring to the story," he states.

  • Shark Tale. Copyright © 2004. Rated PG.
  • Starring Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger, Jack Black Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese, Ziggy Marley, Doug E. Dough, Michael Imerioli, Vincent Pastore, Peter Falk.
  • Directed by Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron, Rob Letterman.
  • Produced by Bill Damaschke, Janet Healy, Allison Lyon Segan.
  • Screenplay by Michael J. Wilson and Rob Letterman at DreamWorks Animation.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:53:37 PDT