Original Release: October 1, 2004 (US)
Directed by: Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman
Written by: Michael J. Wilson, Rob Letterman
Produced by: Bill Damaschke, Janet Healy, Allison Lyon Segan
Running Time: 90 minutes
Box Office: $367,275,019 (Worldwide)
The sea underworld is shaken up when the son of the shark mob boss is found dead and a young fish named Oscar is found at the scene. Being a bottom feeder, Oscar takes advantage of the situation and makes himself look like he killed the finned mobster. Oscar soon comes to realize that his claim may have serious consequences.
Will Smith (Oscar), Robert De Niro (Don Lino), Renée Zellweger (Angie), Jack Black (Lenny), Martin Scorsese (Sykes), Ziggy Marley (Ernie), Doug E. Doug (Bernie), Michael Imperioli (Frankie), Vincent Pastore (Luca), Peter Falk (Don Feinberg), Katie Couric (Katie Current)
- Los Angeles, CA, USA
- The original title for the movie was "Sharkslayer," but it was changed to "Shark Tale" about a year before release, because Jeffrey Katzenberg thought the title might scare families away (the title still appears in some early promotional material). The change is clear in the movie, as in the song before the credits, the singers interlock between calling the movie "Sharkslayer" and "Shark Tale.
- When Don Lino is clearly seen for the first time (when he looks up from the aquarium), a mole can be seen near his right eye, a distinct facial feature of Lino's voice actor, Robert De Niro.
- According to Hans Zimmer, he told producer Jeffrey Katzenberg that he could not deal with any more epic films, but wanted to do a fun animated movie instead, and so he got the chance to compose for this film.
- A sequel had been discussed, but it was never produced.
- Some of the actors, most notably Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese, Will Smith and Jack Black, and Smith and Renée Zellweger, recorded their lines together.
- Some of the "fishified" products are: "Coral Cola" (Coca-Cola), "Gup" (GAP), "Fish King" (Burger King), "Old Wavy" (Old Navy), and "Newsreef" (Newsweek).
- In the racetrack sequence, there are more than 16,000 computer animated 3-D characters in the stands.
- The plot has some resemblance to "The Reluctant Dragon," a short story from 1897 written by Kenneth Grahame.
- Classifying the characters in terms of species, Oscar is a bluestreak cleaner wrasse (which explains his whale-cleaning status), Angie is a marine angelfish, Sykes is a porcupinefish, Lola is a lionfish, Don Feiberg is a leopard shark, and Crazy Joe is a hermit crab.
- Anthony Anderson was cast as a sperm whale, but the role's suggestive dialogue got his character cut down. Anderson had only a few non-risqué lines--when the whale meets Angie and when Oscar cleans the whale's eye.
- There are nods throughout the movie that sharks' den is the wreck of the Titanic. However, the outside and interiors of the shipwreck are based on the S.S. Normandie, a French ocean liner of the 1930s. Particular examples are, the scenes at the bar, when Lino and Sykes meet for the first time, and the dining room, where the sitting is set.
- The American Family Association, a Christian conservative organization, raised concerns about Shark Tale (2004), suggesting that it was designed to promote the acceptance of gay rights by children. Primarily, by having Lenny the Shark who is a vegetarian shark, and his struggles as an allegory for the struggles gay men go through with their homosexuality.
- This was the ninth highest-grossing film of 2004.
- In the film's early stages of production, James Gandolfini was considered for the voice of Don Lino, Christopher Walken was considered for the voice of Luca the Octopus, and Sacha Baron Cohen was considered for one of the Jellyfish. Cohen would later go on to voice King Julian the Lemur in the Madagascar films, also by Dreamworks Animation.
- The shark gangster voiced by Peter Falk was originally called Don Brizzi. Bowing to pressure from the Italic Institute of America, an organization protesting Hollywood's stereotyping of Italians as mobsters and gangsters, DreamWorks agreed to change the name of the character to Don Feinberg just before release.
- The Anti-Italian Defamation League protested the film's release, and even after the changes to appeal to them, disowned the film.
- This film received negative reception for the reasons that the characters in the movie looked so much like their voice actors, there were jokes that made no sense and there was a mean spirited environment, Oscar was being a complete jerk towards most characters in the film and had acted like a bad person in general, there were a lot of ignorant attempts at comedy, and Dreamworks made this film dark, due to some characters dying on-screen, and using that as dark comedy that frightens younger audiences.
Lola: Hello? Hello? Oscar? Listen, Baby, I know I was a bad girl, but you'd have to be crazy not to take me back!
Crazy Joe: Did someone say crazy?
Lola: The only thing I like more than money is... revenge.
Lola: Deep down, I'm really superficial.
Academy Awards - Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
BAFTA Awards - Best Feature Film
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films - Best Animated Film
Annie Awards - Animated Effects - Scott Cegielski
Annie Awards - Character Animation - Ken Duncan
Annie Awards - Character Design in an Animated Feature Production - Carlos Grangel
Annie Awards - Production Design in an Animated Feature Production - Armand Baltazar
Annie Awards - Production Design in an Animated Feature Production - Pierre-Olivier Vincent
Annie Awards - Writing in an Animated Feature Production - Michael Wilson, Rob Letterman
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards - Top Box Office Films
BET Comedy Awards - Best Performance in an Animated Theatrical Film - Will Smith
Golden Schmoes Awards - Best Animated Movie of the Year
Kids' Choice Awards - Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie - Will Smith
Teen Choice Awards - Choice Movie: Animated/Computer Generated