Shark Tale (2004) voices Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Rene Zellweger, Jack Black, Angelina Jolie directed by Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman Movie Review

Shark Tale (2004)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Shark Tale (2004)

Animated Fish Formula

In the underwater city Oscar works for Sykes at his carwash where he is popular with the customers and he is popular with everyone outside of work with younger fish looking up to him. When one day he swims out of the territory he finds him self in the gangster shark territory of Don Lino and his sons Frankie, who adores violence, and Lenny who is vegetarian. When Frankie is accidentally killed Oscar uses it as a chance to boost his status in the community but he doesn't realise what he is letting himself in for by saying he slayed a shark.

Back in 2004 when "Shark Tale" came out the world of animation as we know it now was still fresh as whilst Pixar had given us "Toy Story" in 1995 they weren't churning them out and neither was Dreamworks who only really grabbed audience's attention in 2001 with "Shrek". As such I remember very well back then that a new animation was an event, something to marvel at because of the mix of humour and pop culture references as well as big stars who queued up to do voice work. Jump forward a decade and for me a new animation is rarely an excuse to get excited because in those intervening years we had one animation churned out after another which worked to a formula and in doing so even making some of those original animations now feel tired and that includes "Shark Tale".

Shark Tale (2004)

If you break it down "Shark Tale" understandably keeps the storyline simple for its intended young audience with Oscar being a recognizable sort of character who wants to impress and learns a life lesson along the way due to his actions which of course gets him some romantic attention. Then there is the comedy with plenty of colourful humour and simple slapstick for children along with more subtle humour which makes it work for grown ups such as Sykes who is voiced by Martin Scorsese having Scorsese's bushy eyebrows. Being a world which takes us to a fishy version of an American city there are all the fishy versions of recognizable things and it all moves a long at a decent snap. But over the years that same paragraph could have easily been adapted for many an animation and sadly the familiarity of the formula makes "Shark Tale" now less impressive.

Then there is the voicing and "Shark Tale" seems to have had the actors queuing up to appear with the likes of Renée Zellweger, Jack Black, Angelina Jolie and Martin Scorsese as well as his old buddy Robert De Niro all lending their voices to characters. But "Shark Tale" is dominated by Will Smith as Oscar a character whose energy and loudness ends up being annoying rather than entertaining.

What this all boils down to is that back in 2004 "Shark Tale" was a good animation and seemed so fresh but due to the over use of the formula watching it now makes it a less impressive experience and one which in truth becomes annoying due to the over the top nature of Oscar.

Tags: Shark Movies