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Friday, March 7, 2008

Shark Tale: An entertaining movie

Shark Tale is a great animation movie, a continuation of the animation movie series from Dreamworks SKG (earlier movies being Shrek, Antz, Chicken Run, etc). The movie is centered around the tale of a mellow young shark (who does not want to be the feared killer) and a loser fish Oscar. The movie's story of the shark family has a strong resemblance to the Godfather (with a Marlon Brando type father running the show), combined with the additional elements of a love triangle for Oscar and his debt problems / loan sharks. Given that the Godfather is an old movie and rated R, and the other elements of the story are also not exactly children related issues (unlike other animation movies such as Toy Story, Shrek (based on an interpretation of a fairy tale), Finding Nemo), there is a perception that Shark Tale is not exactly a movie for children.

Shark Tale (2004)

Putting these issues aside, Shark Tale is a delightful movie. The voices of the actors used in the movie seem to portray the characters much more realistically; the actors who lent their voices to the movie are: Will Smith, Jack Black, Renée Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. The movie was nominated for the Academy awards for Best Animated Picture. Shark Tales got a mixed review critically, and was a much bigger commercial success, picking up approx $357 million worldwide in the year of release.
The movie is about 2 water-dwellers, a fish named Oscar and a young shark called Lenny. Oscar is a perennial loser who works in a Whalewash, and owes money to his boss Mr. Sykes. When Oscar makes another mistake on the job, he is called by his boss and asked to pay up by the next day. His best friend Angie offers him the way to pay back his debt by pawning a pearl necklace, but he uses this money to play the races, loses, and is doomed.
In the meantimes, the shark family head Don Liro is bemoaning the fact that one of his sons Lenny is not exactly the picture of the fearsome killer shark, and decides that another son, far more the picture of a killer, Frankie, must teach him. The 2 separate stories merge when Frankie spots the 2 jellyfish (Ernie and Bernie, henchmen of Mr. Sykes) electrocuting Oscar and decides that this is a good place for Lenny to attack. However, Lenny does not do any of that, telling Oscar that he will not eat him; seeing this dawdling by his brother, Frankie gets impatient. However, in a stroke of the luck that changes fortunes, Frankie gets killed by an anchor, and since Oscar is the one closest to the incident, he gets all the credit and sees this as an opportunity to become a hero.
Things change for Oscar. For one, Lenny now tags along with him. He also gets very famous, and attracts the attention of a gold-digger Lola, and becomes more distant from Angie. And then the Don wants revenge, and plans an attack. Eventually Oscar manages to lure the sharks into a trap; he also turns a leaf and reveals the truth, marries Angie and makes peace with the sharks. Eventually the Don also makes his peace his son Lenny.

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