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Shark Tale

                   
Shark Tale

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Vicky Jenson
Bibo Bergeron
Rob Letterman
Produced by Bill Damaschke
Janet Healy
Allison Lyon Segan
Written by Michael J. Wilson
Rob Letterman
Starring Will Smith
Robert De Niro
Renée Zellweger
Angelina Jolie
Jack Black
Martin Scorsese
Music by Hans Zimmer
Editing by Peter Lonsdale
John Venzon
Studio DreamWorks Animation SKG
PDI Studios
Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures
Release date(s)
  • October 1, 2004 (2004-10-01)
Running time 90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million[1]
Box office $367,275,019[1]

Shark Tale is a 2004 American computer-animated comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation. In the story, a young fish named Oscar (voiced by Will Smith) falsely claims to have killed the son of a shark mob boss to win favour with the mob boss' enemies and advance his own community standing. The film additionally features the voices of Jack Black as Lenny, Renée Zellweger as Angie, Angelina Jolie as Lola, Martin Scorsese as Sykes and Robert De Niro as Don Lino.

Despite the film's negative reviews, Shark Tale proved to be a box office success, opening at #1 with $47.6 million, which was the second highest opening for a Dreamworks Animation film at the time, behind Shrek 2 ($108 million). It remained as the #1 film in the U.S. and Canada for its second and third weekends, and made $367 million worldwide against its $75 million budget.

Contents

Plot

An underachieving bluestreak cleaner wrasse named Oscar (Will Smith) is fantasized about being rich and famous while making his way to work by following in his dad's footsteps as a tongue scrubber at the local Whale Wash. Soon after arriving he is called to the office of his boss, a puffer fish named Sykes (Martin Scorsese), to discuss the fact that he owes "five thousand clams" and has to pay it back by the next day. After explaining this to his best friend Angie who is an angelfish (Renée Zellweger), she offers him a chance to pay back the money by pawning a pink pearl that was a gift from her Grandmother. Oscar brings the money to the race track to meet Sykes, but becomes distracted by his wishes of grandeur and, upon hearing that the race is rigged, places it all on a long-shot bet by the name of "Lucky Day". Such a million dollar bet is noticed nearby by a beautiful lionfish named Lola (Angelina Jolie), who flagrantly seduces an excited Oscar, but Oscar is very disappointed when she leaves once Sykes tells her he is a whale washer. Sykes is furious that Oscar bet the money but nonetheless agrees to see how the race turns out. Moments before their "horse", "Lucky Day" crosses the finish line he trips and falls on line. The race is lost and Oscar is set to be punished in a secluded area for his impulsiveness.

Meanwhile, on another side of the ocean, in the wreck of the RMS Titanic, a family of criminally-inclined great white sharks has a problem with one of their sons, Lenny (Jack Black) (who is a Vegetarian) . Lenny refuses to act the part of a killer and wishes to not have to live up to those expectations. Finally his father, Don Lino (Robert De Niro) loses patience and orders Lenny's more savage big brother Frankie (Michael Imperioli) to show Lenny the ropes. As the two sharks set out to go in accordance with their father's wishes, Frankie spots the scene where Oscar is being electrocuted by Ernie and Bernie (Doug E. Doug & Ziggy Marley), Sykes' two Jamaican Physalia physalis thugs, and sends Lenny off to attack. The jellyfish spot Lenny and swim off, leaving Oscar alone with him. Lenny frees Oscar but fails to trick Frankie, who becomes annoyed and charges at Oscar when an anchor falls and kills him. Lenny flees, overcome with grief and guilt. As no one saw the deed done and Oscar was seen near the body, everyone thinks he did it, and Oscar sees this as the chance to both redeem himself and receive his fame.

Oscar comes back to the city with a new title of the Sharkslayer. Sykes becomes his manager, Lola becomes his girlfriend, and Oscar moves to the "top of the reef" to live in luxury. At the same time, Don Lino has everyone out looking for Lenny, and when several get close to Oscar's town the other fish expect him to drive them away. On the way he meets Lenny once more who forces Oscar to let him stay with him because he does not want to go home. Soon Angie finds out about the lie and threatens to tell everyone but Oscar and Lenny convince her to keep quiet. Although Oscar desires to please everyone, he soon discovers that he pleases no one; his paramour Angie is heartbroken by the fact that Oscar is no longer honest, while her hedonistic rival Lola repeatedly reminds Oscar that he has her only as long as he is famous. With Don Lino planning revenge, Oscar and Lenny stage an event where Lenny pretends to terrorize the town and Oscar must defeat him, throwing him into the depths of the ocean. Though this further cements Oscar as the Sharkslayer, it greatly angers Don Lino. Oscar leaves Lola for Angie after Angie reveals that she had feelings for Oscar even before he became famous, but this leaves Lola determined to get revenge.

Oscar buys some Valentine's Day gifts for Angie, but before he can present them to her, he finds that Don Lino has kidnapped Angie in order to force a sit-down. Lenny comes along, now disguised as a dolphin named Sebastian. They arrive at the meeting to find Lola next to Don Lino, while Angie is bound and gagged with duct tape and presented to Don Lino on a plate, who prepares to eat her if Oscar doesn't comply. Oscar just laughs and Lenny as "Sebastian" lunges forward to scoop Angie into his mouth, freeing her from Don Lino and giving Oscar dominance over the sharks. However, he spends too much time threatening the sharks and doesn't realize how much pain Lenny is in, and Angie is regurgitated onto the table. Don Lino suddenly realizes it's Lenny and proceeds to chase Oscar through the reef, but Oscar heads for the whale wash and ends up trapping both sharks. Given an ovation by the other fish, Oscar finally has enough and confesses that he is not a "Sharkslayer" and that it was the anchor that had killed Frankie. He then stated to Don Lino that everyone likes Lenny for the way he is, strongly urging him not to prejudge people before he knows them properly and to not make the mistake he made in prejudging his wealth. Realizing that Oscar is right, Don Lino apologizes to Lenny and reconciles with him while making peace with Oscar, stating that he and his gang bear him no ill will. Oscar forsakes all the wealth he has acquired, makes peace with the sharks, becomes manager of the Whale Wash (now frequented by sharks), and starts dating Angie and starts to have a happy, honest life.

In the post-credits scene, Lola comes to see Oscar in the top of the reef, wanting to make amends with him for what she did, but all she finds is a hermit named Crazy Joe waiting for her.

Cast

  • Will Smith as Oscar, an underachieving worker in the Whalewash of Reef City. He wants to be rich, but his schemes always fail and he owes 5,000 clams to Mr. Sykes.
  • Jack Black as Lenny, a great white shark who is a closeted vegetarian.
  • Robert De Niro as Don Lino, Lenny and Frankie's father, the leader of a mob of criminally-inclined sharks and the film's main antagonist. He wants Lenny and Frankie to take over the business and run it together, and is infuriated when Oscar gets in the way.
  • Renée Zellweger as Angie, an angelfish, Oscar's best friend and coworker. Angie harbors a secret unrequited love for Oscar.
  • Angelina Jolie as Lola, a seductive female gold-digger lionfish whom Oscar develops a romantic interest in.
  • Martin Scorsese as Mr. Sykes, a porcupinefish and a loan shark whom Oscar owes five thousand clams to. He once worked for Don Lino but was thrown out and called in his debts to pay off the gangster.
  • Ziggy Marley and Doug E. Doug as Ernie and Bernie, two Jamaican jellyfish and Mr. Sykes' henchmen. They enjoy jabbing Oscar with their vicious stingers when he is in trouble with Sykes.
  • Michael Imperioli as Frankie, Lenny's brother, the more savage son of Lino. Like Lino, he is embarrassed by Lenny's vegetarian tendencies.
  • Vincent Pastore as Luca, Don Lino's "left-hand, right-hand man". Luca is an octopus with a tendency to state the obvious.
  • Peter Falk as Don Ira Feinberg, an elderly leopard shark who is friends with Don Lino. He performs karaoke (badly) at the sharks' headquarters.
  • David P. Smith as Crazy Joe, a deranged hermit crab who is Oscar's other friend. He normally lives in a dumpster near the Whalewash.
  • Katie Couric as Katie Current, the local reporter. At the time, Katie Couric hosted Today in America. In the Australian release, then local Today co-host Tracy Grimshaw dubbed the lines. Fiona Phillips of the UK's GMTV performed the voice for the UK release of the film. Cristina Parodi of Italy's Verissimo provided the Italian version of the character.

Release

Box office

Shark Tale opened at #1 with $47.6 million, which was, at the time, the second highest opening for a Dreamworks Animation film behind Shrek 2 ($108 million).[2] It remained as the #1 film in the U.S. and Canada for its second and third weekends.[3]

Overall, the movie grossed $160,861,908 in North America and $206,413,111 internationally, bringing its worldwide total to $367,275,019.[1]

Critical reception

The film has received mixed to negative reviews; it has a rating of 36% at the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes,[4] and a 48 rating on Metacritic.[5]

John Mancini, the founder of the Italic Institute of America, protested Shark Tale for perpetuating negative stereotypes of Italian-Americans.[6]

The American Family Association, a Christian conservative organization, raised concerns about Shark Tale, suggesting that it was designed to promote the acceptance of gay rights by children.[7]

Roger Ebert gave Shark Tale two out of four stars, observing, "Since the target audience for Shark Tale is presumably kids and younger teenagers, how many of them have seen the R-rated "Godfather" and will get all the inside jokes? Not a few, I suppose, and some of its characters and dialogue have passed into common knowledge. But it's strange that a kid-oriented film would be based on parody of a 1972 gangster movie for adults." He also opined that younger viewers would have trouble enjoying a film about adult characters with adult problems, such as an elaborate love triangle and a main character wanting to clear his debt with loan sharks, and compared it to more successful fish-focused animated features like Pixar's Finding Nemo, which Ebert felt featured a simpler plot that audiences could more easily identify with.[8]

Home media

Shark Tale was released on DVD on February 8, 2005, accompanied with a DVD exclusive animated short film Club Oscar. The three and a half minute short film continues where the main film ends, showing the characters of Shark Tale dancing at the whale wash to a spoof of Saturday Night Fever.[9]

Accolades

Awards
Award Category Name Outcome
Academy Awards Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Bill Damaschke Nominated
Annie Awards Annie Award for Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production Scott Cegielski Nominated
Annie Award for Best Character Animation in a Feature Production Ken Duncan Nominated
Annie Award for Best Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Carlos Grangel Nominated
Annie Award for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Armand Baltazar Nominated
Samuel Michlap Nominated
Pierre-Olivier Vincent Nominated
Annie Award for Best Writing in an Animated Feature Production Michael J. Wilson
Rob Letterman
Nominated
BAFTA Children's Awards Best Feature Film Nominated
BET Comedy Awards Best Performance in an Animated Theatrical Film Will Smith Nominated
Casting Society of America Best Animated Voice-Over Feature Casting Leslee Feldman Won
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing in an Animated Feature Film Richard L. Anderson
Thomas Jones
Wade Wilson
Mark Binder
Mike Chock
Ralph Osborn
David Williams
Mark A. Mangini
Slamm Andrews
Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie Will Smith Won
Saturn Awards Saturn Award for Best Animated Film Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Animated/Computer Generated Nominated
Visual Effects Society Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture Renee Zellweger
Ken Duncan
Nominated

Soundtrack

Shark Tale: Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released September 21, 2004
Genre Soundtrack
Length 50:33
Label DreamWorks

Shark Tale: Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on September 21, 2004.

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Three Little Birds" (Sean Paul featuring Ziggy Marley) Bob Marley Stephen Marley 3:37
2. "Car Wash (Shark Tale Mix)" (Christina Aguilera featuring Missy Elliott) Norman Whitfield (additional lyrics by Missy Elliot) Missy Elliot, Ron Fair 3:50
3. "Good Foot" (Justin Timberlake featuring Timbaland) Timberlake, Timothy Mosley Timbaland 3:57
4. "Secret Love" (Joanna "JoJo" Levesque) Phillip White, Jared Gosselin, Samantha Gibbs White, Jared 4:00
5. "Lies & Rumours" (D12) DeShaun Holton, J. Rotem, Denaun Porter, O. Moore, V. Carlisle, Rufus Johnson, M. Chavarria Denaun Porter 4:20
6. "Got to Be Real" (Mary J. Blige featuring Will Smith) David Foster, David Paich & Cheryl Lynn Andre Harris, Vidal Davis 3:33
7. "Can't Wait" (Avant) Damon E. Thomas, Antonio Dixon, Harvey W. Mason, Eric Dawkins, Steven Russell The Underdogs 3:44
8. "Gold Digger" (Ludacris featuring Bobby V & Lil' Fate) Alonzo Lee, Shamar Daugherty, Christopher Bridges, Bobby Wilson, Arbie Wilson The Trak Starz 3:47
9. "Get It Together" (India.Arie) Drew Ramsey, Shannon Sanders, India.Arie, Dana Johnson, Mel Johnson India.Arie, Sanders, Ramsey 4:54
10. "We Went as Far as We Felt Like Going" (The Pussycat Dolls) Bob Crewe, Kenny Nolan Ron Fair 3:51
11. "Digits" (fan 3) Allison Lurie, Paul Robb, David Clayton-Thomas, Fred Lipsius BitCrusher 3:41
12. "Sweet Kind of Life" (Cheryl Lynn) James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Cheryl Lynn, Bobby Ross Avila, Issiah J. Avila, Tony Tolbert, James Q. Wright Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis 3:59
13. "Some of My Best Friends Are Sharks" (Hans Zimmer) Hans Zimmer Hans Zimmer 3:25
Total length:
50:33

Video game

A video game based on the film was released in 2004 on many platforms.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Shark Tale (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  2. ^ Gray, Brandon (October 4, 2004). "'Shark Tale' Slays Box Office Blahs". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  3. ^ "Shark Tale (2004) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  4. ^ Shark Tale (2004) Rotten Tomatoes. accessed September 2, 2011.
  5. ^ "Shark Tale Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. 2010-06-16. http://www.metacritic.com/movie/shark-tale. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  6. ^ "‘Shark Tale’ offensive to Italian Americans?". MSNBC.com. April 6, 2004
  7. ^ Berkowitz, Bill. "Still Cranky After All These Years". Media Transparency. April 19, 2007, accessed May 7, 2011.
  8. ^ Roger Ebert (October 1, 2004). "Shark Tale". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041001/REVIEWS/40920002/1023. 
  9. ^ Simon, Ben (April 10, 2005). "Shark Tale". Animated Views. http://animatedviews.com/2005/shark-tale/. Retrieved March 7, 2012. 

External links

   
               

 

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