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Review: Shark Tale (2004)

Shark Tale (2004)

Directed by: Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman

Premise: Oscar (Will Smith), a small fish, forms a pact with a shark named Lenny (Jack Black) to con a reef community.

What Works: This is a fairly funny movie. Like Shrek, a lot of the humor is intertextual, meaning that it makes a lot of pop culture references. There is a healthy mix of juvenile and mature humor, but the adult jokes are not so mature that parents will be embarrassed to bring their children to the theater.

What Doesn’t: As funny as it is, the film is a bit shallow and uses snappy humor to cover for its lack of more complex characterization seen in films like Toy Story and Finding Nemo. The plot is extremely unoriginal and the design of the aquatic fantasy world is very gaudy and distracting, making Shark Tale rather obnoxious to look at.  

Bottom Line: Shark Tale demonstrates once again that animation is on the forefront of cinematic entertainment but it needs to break out of the mold that the genre has found itself in. Shark Tale is an enjoyable film for fans of Ice Age and Finding Nemo.

Episode: #21 (October 3, 2004)