Shark Tale

Shark Tale

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Shark Tale is a 2004 computer animated comedy film directed by Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman and Bibo Bergeson. It was released by DreamWorks Animation on October 1st, 2004.[1]


Set in an underwater society inhabited by human-like fish and inspired by gangster films such as The Godfather, the plot follows Oscar (Will Smith), a fish who is left for dead after failing to pay off a large debt to his boss Sykes the pufferfish (Martin Scorsese), who is involved with a mafia-esque organization headed by shark Don Lino (Robert De Niro). Oscar is about to be eaten by Lino's son Frankie, only for the latter to be crushed to death by an anchor dropped by humans above. This allows Oscar to not only survive, but become a celebrity by claiming to have killed Frankie himself, which leads Lino's other son, the peaceful Lenny (Jack Black) who wants nothing to do with his father's business, to seek Oscar's help in faking his death so he can start a new life posing as a dolphin. This plan succeeds, but earns Oscar the utter wrath of Lino as his deception begins catching up with him in other ways as well, forcing him to find a way to resolve the mess he has created.


The film, although a commercial success, was met with negative critical reception upon release, with criticisms focusing on Oscar's unsympathetic character, the uncanny valley quality of the fish's appearances, and the perceived similarities with the much better-received Finding Nemo from the previous year. The character of Lenny was also seen as an allegory for a gay man coming out to an unaccepting family, which was considered controversial at the time. Despite all this, the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, a nod that has since been widely mocked as an example of poor judgment by the Oscars and the Academy not taking its animation category seriously.

Historically, Shark Tale is considered one of the worst DreamWorks movies overall and an early example of the negative stereotypes that have since become associated with many of the studio's other films. However, it is appreciated by many as an example of a "so bad, it's good" movie.


Shark Tale has been extensively discussed and mocked by YouTuber Schaffrillas Productions, who created a YouTube Poop version of the film entitled "Sharp Talk" where Oscar becomes an outright villain who commits genocide against all sharks on the planet (shown below, left). Another video by Schaffrillas, entitled "Why Shark Tale is a Cinematic Disaster", sincerely analyzes the film's many faults at great length (shown below, right).

A particular shot from the movie where Sykes turns toward the camera, which then zooms in on his face, has been repeatedly used as a reaction image.

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External References

[1] Wikipedia – Shark Tale

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