Shark Tale

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Josh Morrall

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Shark Tale
Shark Tale

DVDs from DreamWorks will always be intent on satisfying both adult and younger viewers. Shark Tale is an attempted consolidation of both groups' interests, with a special section for the very young, hopefully media savvy, member of the family, lovingingly entitled DreamWorks Kids.

The first extra that you will come across on the menu screen is entitled Club Oscar. This is one of the disc's high points, featuring new footage of characters from the film doing brief, but highly amusing, dance moves. Most stirring is Lenny's (Jack Black) air guitar solo and The Don's (Robert De Niro) new and improved version of the hustle. This is a great extra, which is then supported by an original and well put together follow up, showing the home viewer how to do the dance steps themselves. I liked this idea enough to get up and make a move myself during the screening. A very nice idea and a much appreciated surprise.

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From this point on the special features remain blandly obsolete, Star Fish doing little but introduce you to the stars behind the animation, although this one is worth watching for Black's tongue-in-cheek retelling of De Niro's casting process.

The Music of Star Fish, although not what I would call "the most exciting soundtrack of all time", features an impressive line-up of faces. Christina Aguilera seems slightly underdressed and out of place on a "family" DVD, but dad will be happy whilst the kiddies are distracted by the song extracts from this shamelessly profiteering soundtrack.

A Fishified World underlines the careful and clever pastiche of the background animation, but loses sight of its purpose half way through and returns to a focus on the cast members.

Gigi The Whale could well be the most pointless extra of any DVD ever pressed. It is nowhere near as funny as someone clearly thought it was and even though the idea should have worked in principle, this extra sinks like a lead weight.

The Tour You Can't Refuse is an immense interactive map, taking you to different parts of Shark Tale's underwater world and allowing you to look through concept art. A very enjoyable and, in many ways, awe inspiring extra.

The three directors (Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron and Rob Letterman) provide an in-depth commentary that covers everything from casting to concept, underlining the great scale of animated films like this, when Jenson casually remarks, "For the first two and a half years that we were making the movie..."

The DreamWorks Kid section is very, very simple and should not be viewed by adults. The Must Sea Games need to be played with beer goggles only and the Fun Filled Scenes mislead you into thinking that you are about to see original material. Think again. They offer nothing in the way of entertainment and act as an extended scene index, taking you to the funniest moments (categorised under gross-out, laugh-out-loud, etc.) and music cues.

Shark Tale is an average disc, with a few moments of quality. The dance steps extra caught my imagination and this sort of thing will hopefully be making an appearance on a few other discs in the future.

Fairly shallow in quality, but adds depth in quantity.

Reviewed on: 05 Feb 2005
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Shark Tale packshot
A gay shark and a fast talkin' tongue scrubber at the whale wash make waves in animated Undertown.
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Product Code: 8301874

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Club Oscar; Rough Waters; Star Fish featurette; The Music of Shark Tale; A Fishified World featurette; Gigi The Whale; A Tour You Can

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