Slapped With A Wet Fish
Hollywood is all about recycling. Why come up with a new idea, or a fantastic original concept when you can just steal it from somewhere else! Add to this the pathetic need of studios to out-do each other, and it's no wonder we are getting so much twaddle on the silver screen. There really are too many examples of this to list, so I'll just get to the point.
Shark Tale is all about 'star power'. What is the worst thing about it? The 'star power'. If this was a live action film the cast would be an amazing mix and, depending on everything else, would likely make a killing. Instead the effect this calibre cast has on this animation is the absolute opposite of what we come to expect from an animated feature.
Shark Tale is 90 minutes of pure Will Smith. I like him, he's funny and has done some good work, but in this environment it is just too much. Rather than creating a character we can love because of it's unique characteristics we are forced to observe Will Smith... as a fish. And that is what every character is like. It's the actor, as a fish. Robert De Niro is laughable (the bad kind) as the Mob Boss father, and Jack Black's Lenny has such an irritating voice that I kept cringing.
Cringe is what I did throughout this film. I found the design of the fish rather ugly. It looked to be a symptom of trying to make the fish look more human. Oscar is so lithe that some of his poses looked very wrong, totally unnatural. The extreme close-ups of Angelina Jolie's 'Lola' were disturbing enough that I looked away each time.
I didn't enjoy the general production design at all. The fish city was simply a wet New York, that didn't succeed in any of the visual gags it was attempting to set up.
I'm not even going to waste more than one sentence on the horror that was the 'car wash' song at the end.
As a comedy play on the Mobster movie, I can't say how well it did as I'm not familiar enough with that genre, but as a kids feature animation it's all show and no heart. Littlies will still enjoy it, but take a book and a pen light to keep you occupied, otherwise you're likely to leave with the regret of losing 90 minutes of life you can't get back.
See how I managed to get all this way without mentioning Nemo?