Three children accidentally get turned into fish after drinking a potion made by an eccentric scientist. The kids end up in the sea, with one problem. They must find and drink the antidote within 48 hours, or forever remain as fish.
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Siblings; Fly & Stella together with their child genius cousin Chuck Charles, encounter reclusive biologist/chemist Proffesor MacKrill/Mac Krell while out on the docks fishing only to become cut off by the tide coming in separating them from the shoreline. Seeking refuge, they stumble across his secluded island hideaway laboratory, to discover MacKrill/Mac Krell has found away to change humans into sea-life and back again. Stella mistaking this fish potion for lemonade drinks some and is turned into a starfish, her older brother none the wiser chucks her out into the ocean, only to learn from the video cameras the awful truth. Out searching for her in a boat guilty Fry knowing how futile this action is drinks the potion and dives in after her (changing into Californian Linefish in the process) leaving the Professor and Chuck on-board as an storm brews overhead. Unable to stand the batter waves, their craft sinks along with the antidote and Chuck has to drink the liquid to prevent ... Written by
Surprisingly, this is still more credible than "Deep Blue Sea."
"Help! I'm A Fish" is a Danish-Norwegian-German-Irish co-production with additional animation done in Spain, England and Bangkok, plus voice work (in the English-language version) done in the UK, Canada and the US. So it's a good advertisement for international cooperation, but as a movie it's less effective.
The actual story isn't bad (three stereotyped kids - a sporty lad, his cute little sister and their fat brainy cousin - go fishing, stumble into the lair of an eccentric scientist and, thanks to his special potion, turn into fishes (a flyfish, a starfish and a jellyfish respectively); and unless they can get the antidote within 48 hours they'll stay fishes forever), but the handling doesn't have the extra touch that could lift it into something great. As is often the case in live-action films, Alan Rickman livens things up no end as the voice [again, in the English-language version] of the movie's villain, a fish who drinks some of the antidote and wants to use his intelligence to take over the undersea world, or something... it's never really clear thanks to the script.
The animation's often quite good (but the opening titles of fish swimming clash with the first scenes with the human characters - the quality is a bit jarring), some scenes are genuinely effective such as the final faceoff between heroes and villains, and it's inoffensive - unless you consider montages set to Europop songs and the presence of American voices offensive (incidentally, why are the children voiced by Americans and their parents voiced by Canadians?) - but it's not really too memorable, either. "Help! I'm A Fish" is preferable to some Disney films and is certainly closer to a proper movie than other European animated features (at least I managed to get through this, which is more than can be said for "Millionaire Dogs"), but while it's not fair to expect "The Little Mermaid," ultimately it's not nearly as cute and endearing as... well, that Little Trees song you hear over the credits.
"I'm a little yellow fish in the deep blue sea... won't somebody save me?"
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