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A fresh catch

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI

I think Dan’s being a little crabby in his review. What’s cold-blooded about hooking kids on messages that fame and fortune are dangerous lures and that lying is no way to become a big fish?”Shark Tale” serves it up fresh with the latest animation fad: Transforming Hollywood personalities’ voice-overs into full-blown caricatures. In “Shark Tale,” we don’t just hear Will Smith as Oscar, Robert De Niro as Don Lino or Renée Zellweger as Angie; we see their physical features and mannerisms.The blend of adult and kiddy themes with a soundtrack ranging from disco to hip-hop makes it a whale of a film for all ages.

While kids can’t necessarily relate to the Mafia plot, they can relate to the temptation to tell a fib to fit in. Teens may relate to the romantic conflict (sexy golddigger versus sweet, stable caregiver), and adults – who aren’t crabby – can swim along with the parody on such movies as “The Godfather” and “Jaws.” If you simply skim the surface, “Shark Tale” entertains with its rich animation and colorful characters. Who cannot respect Ziggy Marley and Doug E. Doug, as Ernie and Bernie, the Rastafarian jelly fish? And how can you not laugh when the puffer fish (Martin Scorsese) blows up whenever he gets angry? Then there is Smith’s Hammer-time dance, sharks humming the theme song from “Jaws” as they stalk prey and one-liner’s like “Don’t sweat it; a lot of white fish can’t do it” after Smith’s funky-handshake-gone-wrong with puffer fish.

Call me simplistic, but I loved “The Flintstones” as a kid because of its creative details – using prehistoric animals as garbage disposals and human feet to stop cars – and I liked the parodies in “Shark Tale” that Dan calls product placement. I enjoyed seeing the Prawn Shop, hearing the results of the Scallop Poll, seeing Cod Stewart’s and Tuna Turner’s names embedded as stars on Hollywood sidewalks. I liked the yellow and black fish that acted as taxis and the blue and red fish that screeched as police lights.Maybe Dan didn’t dive deep enough, or maybe I remained hopelessly on the surface, but I swallowed “Shark Tale” hook, line and sinker.

Oh, and don’t jump out of the theater as soon as the credits roll. There are a few surprises; Mrs. Sanchez will tell you when it’s time to go home.Kimberly Nicoletti admits to having a fish fetish and can be found transforming her bathroom and basement into an oceanic paradise, complete with plastic, wooden and beaded tropical fish.


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