Shark Tale (2004) Poster



When Don Lino is clearly seen for the first time (when he looks up from the aquarium), a mole can be seen near his right eye, a distinct facial feature of Lino's voice actor, Robert De Niro.
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The original title for the movie was "Sharkslayer," but it was changed to "Shark Tale" about a year before release, because Jeffrey Katzenberg thought the title might scare families away (the title still appears in some early promotional material). The change is clear in the movie, as in the song before the credits, the singers interlock between calling the movie "Sharkslayer" and "Shark Tale."
According to Hans Zimmer, he told Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg that he could not deal with any more epic films, but wanted to do a fun animated movie instead, and so he got the chance to compose for this film.
A sequel had been discussed, but it was never produced.
During the end credits, Crazy Joe, the hermit crab, taps on Head of Artistic Development Frank Gladstone's name and yells out, "What! You see this guy? He hardly worked on the movie at all! Always on the phone yakking yakking yakking."
Ernie the Jellyfish (Ziggy Marley) sings the song "Three Little Birds", a song written by Ziggy's father, Bob, with the small difference of Ziggy changing "birds" to "fishes" in keeping with the film's aquatic theme.
When Oscar (Will Smith) goes to the time clock, there is a note on the wall saying, "If you don't come in Saturday, don't bother..." This is a reference to a famous memo Jeffrey Katzenberg sent to executives while he was with Disney.
Some of the cast members, most notably Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese, Will Smith and Jack Black, and Will Smith and Renée Zellweger, recorded their lines together.
Some of the "fishified" products are: "Coral Cola" (Coca-Cola), "Gup" (GAP), "Fish King" (Burger King), "Old Wavy" (Old Navy), and "Newsreef" (Newsweek).
LOGO GIMMICK: The fisher boy in the moon throws his line (worm attached) into the ocean, where the worm encounters Lenny (Jack Black).
In the racetrack sequence, there are more than sixteen thousand computer animated 3-D characters in the stands.
The plot has some resemblance to "The Reluctant Dragon," a short story from 1897 written by Kenneth Grahame.
Classifying the characters in terms of species, Oscar (Will Smith) is a bluestreak cleaner wrasse (which explains his whale-cleaning status), Angie (Renée Zellweger) is a marine angelfish, Sykes (Martin Scorsese) is a porcupinefish, Lola (Angelina Jolie) is a lionfish, Don Feinberg (Peter Falk) is a leopard shark, and Crazy Joe (David P. Smith) is a hermit crab.
The Castilian Spanish dubbing of this movie is considered by the Spanish audience to be one of the worst dubbing ever made in Spain. At that time, the Spanish television show Aquí no hay quien viva (2003), was a big hit. So, the distributors decided to used some of the actors and actresses from that show (some of them with no dubbing experience) to do the voices of some of the characters. Fernando Tejero dubbed Oscar, María Adánez dubbed Angie, and Santiago Ramos dubbed Sykes. Also, actor and actress (not from the original show) José Sancho and Natalia Verbeke, were in the cast as Don Lino and Lola, and also television journalist and host Mercedes Milá as Katie Current. The audience criticized Tejero's performance as Oscar the most. This happened again a couple of years later with Over the Hedge (2006).
In the scene where Sykes is fired, he is thrown against the drawing of Rose that Jack drew in Titanic (1997).
Anthony Anderson was cast as a sperm whale, but the role's suggestive dialogue got his character cut down. Anderson had only a few non-risqué lines, when the whale meets Angie, and when Oscar cleans the whale's eye.
There are nods throughout the movie that sharks' den is the wreck of the R.M.S. Titanic. However, the outside and interiors of the shipwreck are based on the S.S. Normandie, a French ocean liner of the 1930s. Particular examples are, the scenes at the bar, when Don Lino (Robert De Niro) and Sykes (Martin Scorsese) meet for the first time, and the dining room, where the sitting is set.
The American Family Association, a Christian conservative organization, raised concerns about this movie, suggesting that it was designed to promote the acceptance of gay rights by children. Primarily, by having Lenny, who is a vegetarian shark, and his struggles, as an allegory for the struggles gay men go through with their homosexuality.
Don Lino (Robert De Niro) tells Sykes (Martin Scorsese) that they have worked together for a long time. In real-life, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro have worked together multiple times since the 1970s, most notably in Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), and The Irishman (2018).
The second DreamWorks Animation film that does not feature humans, after Antz (1998).
This was Will Smith's first animated theatrical film.
This was the ninth highest-grossing film of 2004.
In the film's early stages of production, James Gandolfini was considered for the voice of Don Lino, Christopher Walken was considered for the voice of Luca the Octopus, and Sacha Baron Cohen was considered for one of the Jellyfish. Cohen voiced King Julian in the Madagascar film franchise, also from DreamWorks Animation.
Don Feinberg (Peter Falk) was originally called Don Brizzi. Bowing to pressure from the Italic Institute of America, an organization protesting Hollywood's stereotyping of Italians as mobsters and gangsters, DreamWorks agreed to change the name of the character to Don Feinberg just before release.
Jack Black's second animated film. The first being Ice Age (2002).
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The Anti-Italian Defamation League protested the film's release, and even after the changes to appeal to them, disowned the film.
For Australian audiences, Katie Current is voiced by renowned Australian channel 9 news anchor Tracy Grimshaw.
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Only DreamWorks Animation film where the cast names of major characters in the film are listed at the start and the end outside of the credit crawl (though the end features six other cast members than at the start). Other DreamWorks Animation films either have it being shown the latter way or the former way.
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After Oscar (Will Smith) "defeats" Lenny (Jack Black) in their staged fight, the crowd starts chanting, "Oscar, boma ye!" Smith was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Muhammad Ali in Ali (2001). The climax of the film depicts the legendary "Rumble in the Jungle" match against George Foreman, including the crowd's famous chant of "Ali, boma ye."
Oscar is voiced by Will Smith. His wife Jada Pinkett Smith voiced Gloria in DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar film franchise.
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During the staged fight scene between Oscar and Lenny, Lenny accidentally catches Oscar in his mouth. Oscar slowly opens Lenny's mouth to demonstrate his strength. After doing so, he spouts off a few famous movie lines, one being, "You had me at hello." This line is a reference to Jerry Maguire (1996), and it was spoken by Renèe Zellweger, who was the voice of Angie in this movie. In the film, Angie has a very subtle reaction to this line in particular, a small nod to her former role.
Doug E. Doug and Katie Couric share the same birthday, January 7th.
The reporting newsfish is named Katie Current, whose name is a nod to U.S. newscaster Katie Couric, who voiced the character. (You don't say!)
This film received negative reception for the reasons that the characters in the movie looked a lot like their voice actors and actresses, there were jokes that made no sense, and there was a mean spirited environment, Oscar was being a complete jerk towards most of the characters in the film, and acted like a bad person in general, there were a lot of stupid attempts at comedy, and DreamWorks made this film dark, due to some characters dying on-screen, and using that as dark comedy that frightens younger audiences.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

This was the first DreamWorks Animation movie with a new logo to have a logo gimmick.
The behind-the-scenes revealed Don Lino's first name as Edward.
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With Lola forming an alliance with the sharks during the climax to get revenge for being dumped, as part of her tougher side, this makes her the first character in a DreamWorks Animation film to be a hidden secondary antagonist.
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The second DreamWorks Animation film to have the main antagonist redeem himself towards the end, the first film like that being Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003).
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While Lenny is a self-confessed vegetarian, he eats his best friends, Oscar and Angie (although temporarily).

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