Shark Tale (2004)

Shark Tale
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Shark Tale Synopsis
Pixar gets a lot of credit for cranking out continuously good product and deservedly so. Funny thing is that when it comes to CGI they aren’t the only folks batting 1000. Dreamworks has been generating animated brilliance for nearly as long as Pixar and with nearly as much pizaz. Pixar got the jump with Toy Story, but a few years later, almost in step with Pixar’s release of A Bug’s Life, Dreamworks leaped onto the scene with Antz!… and no one seemed to notice. Antz received critical praise but it was Pixar’s more mediocre movie that won the box office bug battle.

Pixar went on to release Toy Story 2 and Monster’s Inc., but in 2001 Dreamworks finally fired back with Shrek. Audiences responded in heretofore unheard of numbers. Dreamworks continues at the top of the heap with the box office busting Shrek 2 which easily topped the biggest take of Pixar’s most profitable hit, Finding Nemo. Well now Dreamworks is back at it, this time inexplicably returning to the same formula they used with Antz! by releasing their own fish-related CGI family comedy to show up Nemo in Shark Tale.

Aside from the fact that they’ll have audiences wondering, “Didn’t Pixar already do this?” they’re repeating one huge mistake: Going head to head with Pixar. Maybe they think with the success of Shrek that they are now Pixar’s equal, or maybe some poor deluded soul actually believes that people aren’t interested in seeing a Pixar action film. Whatever the reasoning, they’re out of their mind to release anything anywhere near The Incredibles. Dreamworks has had huge successes, but Pixar is still king. Sure, they’re getting their product out a month earlier, but even then folks will already have the warm fuzzy feelings of Pixar on the brain.

Sure, Shark Tale has big name stars giving voice to their characters. But maybe that isn’t a good thing. There’s just something flat out wrong about having the over-sexed Angelina Jolie giving voice to a sultry, pouty-lipped tuna fish. I don’t wish to be sexually attracted to my tuna sandwich. In a battle of the CGI titans, bit stars or not, Pixar wins.

The setup of Shark Tale is itself pretty simple, even if the marketing strategy is a mess. It plays like a bubbly, soggy version of Dragonheart. An otherwise unremarkable fish befriends a vegetarian shark (fish are friends, not food) and convinces him to fake a massive battle, allowing the otherwise unremarkable fish to publicly defeat him, thus earning said nerd fish the accolades of a hero. The shark complies and it works… too well. Real sharks are soon threatening to attack and everyone in fishy-topia looks to our fake shark slayer for protection. Wacky computer animated hijinks no doubt ensue, along with some sort of lesson about being happy with who you are.

Face it, this isn’t quite up to the genius of Shrek, bad Scottish accent and fart jokes included. Shark Tales looks to be somewhere around the level of Pixar’s weakest effort, A Bug’s Life at best. Dreamworks is trying to buy you with big name voice talent, who knows if the movie will have anything more to offer than that.
Shark Tale Release Date
In Theaters October 1, 2004
Shark Tale Credits
Starring: Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie, Renee Zellweger, Jack Black, Martin Scorsese, Katie Couric, Doug E. Doug, Peter Faulk, Ziggy Marley, Tracey Grimshaw, Michael Imperioli, James Madio, Vincent Pastore, Joseph Sivaro
Directed by: Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman
Produced by: Bill Damaschke, Janet Healy, Allison Lyon Segan
MPAA Rating: [ NR ]
Distributor: Dream Works Distribution LLC,
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