Shark Bait (2006) (aka: The Reef)

Fish Pi

Purple finned goldfish Pi ends up having to go it on his own when his parents get caught up in The Net but fortunately Pi meets Percy, a young porpoise, who along with his porpoise friends help him make it to reach the Caribbean reef where he is to find his aunt Pearl. When he gets there he finds himself falling foul of Troy, a tiger shark, who has a thing for Cordelia, a glamorous pink angel fish who has been on the cover of National Geographic twice.

The famous question is "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" but there is a variation on that "Does the animation tell the story or is the story a vehicle for the animation?". It is what I pondered as I watched but really sat through "Shark Bait" or "The Reef" as it is also known, I pondered it because this felt like a poor excuse for showing off the animation skills of a group of artists rather than telling a story and that immediately makes this weak.

I am not explaining things clearly so let me put it straight, the story is of no importance what so ever to what happens on the screen. What is important is the colourful, quirky characters and their accents so that a young audience, who this is intended for, won't realise that there is nothing going on other than the basic level of entertainment from stereotypes, be it a fish being the equivalent of a pushy Jewish mother to a rapping fish. Maybe for a young audience this works but for grown ups the weaknesses are easier to spot than the actual good bits. And as that is it, it makes "Shark Bait" extremely lightweight.

What this all boils down to is that as entertainment for very young children "Shark Bait" might just work but for adults it is far too weak and comes across as little more than a showcase for some computer animators.

Tags: Shark Movies