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Shark Tale - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

ANIMATION provided some of the biggest highlights of this year’s 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 film’s 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 son.

"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 special’.

As Shark Tale’s 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 Niro’s Don Lino and Martin Scorsese’s Sykes, a puffer fish who sports the director’s unmistakable eyebrows.

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