Preview by: Jack Foley
ANIMATION provided some of the biggest highlights of this years
Cannes Film Festival, what with massive celebrity turn-outs for
both Shrek 2 (which played
in competition) and upcoming Dreamworks flick, Shark Tale.
The latter , especially, looks to be a safe bet for a great family
movie, boasting the combined vocal talents of Will Smith, Jack
Black, Angelina Jolie, Renee Zellweger and Robert De Niro (to
name but a few!).
The film centres around Oscar (Smith), a big-time loser, whose
mounting gambling debts prompt him to be taken and dumped in a
dark hole in the middle of the ocean.
But when a shark is accidentally killed by a falling anchor,
Oscar takes credit for killing him and becomes an instant folk
hero, thereby triggering the wrath of the angry shark mafia, led
by Robert De Niro's Don Lino.
The stars of the film were in Cannes for a special celebrity
launch ahead of the films release in October and, if looks
can tell (and judging by its new trailer), the film could well
give Finding Nemo a run for
its money at the box office.
And speaking at the press event, both of its stars - Smith and
Jolie - extolled the virtues of working in animation - even though
it pays less.
Smith described the making of the film as liberating,
and claimed it had helped him to rediscover a freedom in his acting,
while Jolie confessed to being excited about the speed at which
the animation industry was advancing.
Even co-star, Jack Black, described working in the medium as
being much easier than appearing with a regular cast.
Ironically, Shark Tale is being produced by the same team as
Shrek - the sequel to which has already been tipped to surpass
the success of the original, and which opened to widespread critical
acclaim in the US on Wednesday (May 19, 2004).
But turning back to the Cannes event, Smith said that his work
on Shark Tale had actually helped his acting performances in real
films, due to the fact that the booth reserved for the characters
voices pretty much allowed the performer to do anything.
"The animated performances have helped me create and find
a freedom I used to have," he explained. "I'm finding
it a lot easier to find that space in live action now."
Smith also claimed that there was wider scope to create more
memorable characters in animation.
Jolie, meanwhile, confessed to being a huge fan of animated movies,
before revealing that she had watched Shrek 60 times with her
"They're just great to watch, they're great stories and
they're obviously advancing, so to be part of anything that's
changing and advancing is exciting," she said.
Black, meanwhile, said he enjoyed being part of something
As Shark Tales publicity steps up a fin or two, a new trailer
has been released, which Empire Online has been lauding.
Among the visual gags they praise are a clip showing characters
going to the cinema to see Jaws, and a humorous exchange between
De Niros Don Lino and Martin Scorseses Sykes, a puffer
fish who sports the directors unmistakable eyebrows.