gaming since 1997

Shark Tale

Oscar (Smith) is a fish that wants to be somebody. However, currently he’s a nobody that works at the local Whale Wash from Mr. Sykes (Scorsese) in a big city deep in the Ocean. Always trying to get a deal that could make him lots of money or famous, he’s big in debt with Mr. Sykes and eventhough his friend Angie (Zellweger) tries to cover for him when he comes in late, Sykes is getting fed up with him. Sykes gives Oscar one day to repay him. Things seem to be over very soon for Oscar but when Angie hears about this, she gives him a pink pearl that he can exchange for money that he can use to pay Sykes. However, while bringing the money to Sykes, Oscar overhears two other fish talking about a fixed race. Again thinking he can get rich quickly, he bets all the money and looses it. Sykes sends his goons Ernie and Bernie after Oscar and tells them to kill him outside of town. However, when they’re about to end his life, they encounter Lenny (Black), the son of the godfather of the shark maffia, Don Lino (DeNiro), who doesn’t like the fact that Lenny is vegetarian and has sent him out together with his other son Frankie to learn him what it is to be a shark.

Ernie and Bernie run away, leaving Oscar at the grace of Lenny but of course Lenny doesn’t want to eat Oscar. Frankie wants to set the example but gets killed by the anchor of a passing ship. Lenny runs away and when Ernie and Bernie return, they find Oscar next to Frankie’s lifeless body and think he killed the shark. This puts Oscar in the center of attention and within no time the whole city sees him as the shark slayer. Oscar kinda likes being famous so he doesn’t tell people they’ve got the wrong idea and instead starts enjoying his new luxury life. Until a shark is seen near the town and everyone expects him to go out and kill it. Luckily for him, the shark is Lenny who doesn’t want to return to his father and instead requests to be able to live in the city with the rest of the fish. The both come to an understanding: they will set up an act where Oscar will beat the crap out of Lenny as a way to scare away sharks and make sure everyone believes Oscar is indeed a shark slayer. In return, Oscar will help Lenny pose as a dolphin and get him a job at the whale wash. Things seem to turn out alright, but Don Lino doesn’t appreciate the fact that not only Frankie but now also Lenny has been killed by this “shark slayer” and he wants to get revenge…

Sound and Vision:
The image quality is perfect. There’s nothing analogue about this movie so a transfer to DVD was easy and therefore results in a quality that’s hard to find with a normal movie. I’ve said enough, it’s perfect :)

For an animated movie, a special soundtrack can be called obligatory. However, although the dialogues are perfect, the surround channels and subwoofer could use a lot more punch. The end credits even seem to have more effects than the rest of the movie. On the other hand, the music score does make good use of the different channels and create a very atmospheric overall sound. We’ve heard better but it isn’t bad.

– When starting the disc you get a short feature on the upcoming Wallace & Gromit movie aswell as a trailer from Madagascar. These can also be played through the menu by following the “New from Dreamworks Animation” item
– Club Oscar: the main characters give a little dance.
– Get to Groove On: learn Oscar’s dancing moves step by step
– Printables: dvd-rom feature
– Rough Waters: What can go wrong when rendering characters on a computer
– Star Fish: 11 minutes where we get to check out the different voice actors
– The Music of Shark Tale: Short feature that gives some insight on what Missy Elliott, Chrinstine Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Ziggy Marley have done on the soundtrack
– A Fishified World: A short feature that shows how the art direction department tried to bring recognisable aspects from our own world to that of the underwater world.
– Gigi The Whale: short intro where Gigi says he’s bigger than De Niro and should have gotten a better role.
– A Tour you can’t Reef-Use: the different locations in the movie checked out again with additional concept art
– Audio commentary track by the 3 directors
– Trailer Shrek 2
– Fin-Filled Scenes: review certain scenes from the movie
– Rock The Reef: pretty similar to Fin-Filled Scenes but with music plus a video clip of “Car Wash” from Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliot.
– Must Sea Games

A lot of people tend to compare Shark Tale with Finding Nemo. Not in the least because both movies got released not long after each other of course. Personally, I don’t find you can compare them. Finding Nemo has a more “realistic” touch while Shark Tale more takes the road of completely absurd comedy and therefore, I won’t be saying whether Shark Tale is better or worse than Finding Nemo, it’s just different. Shark Tale starrs a bunch of famous actors and that always is a positive thing for an animated movie as you know you’ll have some experienced people doing the voice-acting. However, some rather unexpected people are doing some great work aswell. Martin Scorsese is fantastic as Mr.Sykes, DeNiro is great making a persiflage of his mobster roles and Will Smith – although overacting as usual – does fit in perfectly as Oscar.

The extras can be seen in two categories: those for adults and those for kids. The first category has mostly features that are too short to be really good, while the second is too many times just a rehash of the available movie footage so I can’t really say they’re great. Does that mean you shouldn’t get Shark Tale into your collection ? Hell no ! Shark Tale is packed with fun and although the sound isn’t the best available yet, it’s quite good enough and combined with perfect image quality you can be sure that the technical part will not irritate you while watching. And I’m sure your kids will hate you if you don’t buy Shark Tale :)

Our Score:

posted in: DVD, Reviews, Universal
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