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Look out for more coverage of
Shark Tale in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Shark Tale

voices of: Robert De Niro • Will Smith • Jack Black • Renee Zellweger • Martin Scorsese • Angelina Jolie
DIRECTOR: Vicky Jenson

Fishy friends THE CONCEPT:
Animated feature about a group of Godfather-like sharks, one of whom, Lenny (Jack Black), has a sensitive side and is a vegetarian. Problems begin when Oscar the fish (Will Smith) boasts that he has slain a shark…

U.S. RELEASE: October 1 2004, Nationwide • Rated: PG


Jack Black on this fishy tale…:

How do you get into a shark’s state of mind?:
“I did a lot of swimming in a sharky-way. I watched the movie Swimming with Sharks, which boned me out because there’s not one shark in it.”

Did you do any of the voice work with any of the other actors, or did you do it by yourself?:
“I did a couple of sessions with Will Smith, and it was good because we were able to [play] off of each other, but the rest of the time I just did it with an actor who was pretending to be Will or Robert De Niro, and all the other characters. I have to say there are advantages to that because you can do as many takes as you want, all day long, and not feel bad. If De Niro was there I would go, ‘Are you good? Because if you’re good, I’m good, I don’t want to keep you waiting here.’ And I’d be scared of him, so it was easier in many respects.”

Do you see any characteristics of yourself in Lenny?:
“I couldn’t really tell what was my facial contortions an what the artists did on their own, but I know whey had microscopic camera that were pointing at me.”

I didn’t recognize your voice at all, how long did it take you to create it?:
“It didn’t take that long. It was an instinctual thing. When I came in to interview for the part I was told the story and what the character was about, and I was shown some paintings of the character, and it just seemed obvious that he had to have a Brooklyn accent. But I didn’t want him to be a tough guy, so it just naturally went to sort of a nebbishy-thing. It’s just weird because all the characters I do are always just my voice, and this was the only time that I ever tried to do something else, and you can’t see my face, so it doesn’t seem like it’s me.”

What is the difference between this movie and Finding Nemo?:
“The main difference is Nemo is really just underwater and it’s just the ocean, and this is more like the streets of New York City underwater. And this one has a few more plot elements to it, and I’d say there are more emotional situations going on.”

Do you delight in being part of something that will be around for years and a part of children’s lives?:
“I think secretly that’s the desire of all actors, to be on a film that is going to be around after you die, it’s a little immortality, and if you can get into an enduring classic, that’s the coolest thing you can do.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Shark Tale site
Images above © DreamWorks Animation
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #649, October 2004 cover

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Film Review, Sex 2004 cover

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