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Big Trouble for Little Fish in Shark Tale
By Rachel Laskow

Oscar (left, voiced by Will Smith) tries to explain to Angie (voiced by Renée Zellweger) why he is hiding a shark named Lenny (voiced by Jack Black).
Click here to see a slide show. (Photo: Courtesy DreamWorks Animation)

From the makers of Shrek comes a new computer-animated comedy. Shark Tale, which opens October 1, tells the story of Oscar, a little fish who tells a lie so he can become famous. But Oscar's big dreams also mean big trouble.

"But all he has to do is open his eyes and see that everything he wants was there all along. The good life is right in front of him; he just doesn't see it," said director Bibo Bergeron. "I think that's something anyone could relate to in some way."

Oscar (voiced by Will Smith) becomes friends with Lenny (voiced by Jack Black), a great white shark—and a vegetarian. But Oscar and Lenny aren't the only stars of the show. Lino (voiced by Robert DeNiro) is also a great white shark and the father of Lenny and Frankie (voiced by Michael Imperioli).

And what would Shark Tale be without a love story? Angie (voiced by Renee Zellweger) has a secret crush on Oscar. She always tries to make him do the right thing. But Angie could have some competition. When Lola (voiced by Angelina Jolie), a dragon fish, finds out that Oscar has become a hero, she wants him.

Skyes (voiced by Martin Scorsese) is a puffer fish who owns the Whale Wash where Oscar works. Ernie and Bernie (voiced by Ziggy Marley and Doug E. Doug) are two Rastafarian jellyfish who work for Skyes. Be sure to watch and see what they do to Oscar!

Oscar dreams of living in an upscale penthouse at the top of the Reef. Click here to see a slide show. (Photo: Courtesy DreamWorks Animation)

Lino also has a few sea creatures to help him out. Don Feinberg (voiced by Peter Falk), an elderly great white shark, is always there to give Lino advice. Luca (voiced by Vincent Pastore), an octopus, is also there to lend Lino one of his eight helping hands.

Making the Movie

The filmmakers watched documentaries about sharks and different types of fish. They even took trips to the Long Beach Aquarium for research. These techniques helped them decide what type of sea creatures to make each character. For example, Oscar is a type of fish called a cleaner wrasee. In the ocean, this fish's job is to clean other fish and its environment. So, in Shark Tale, Oscar works at the Whale Wash.

Some of the actor's characteristics even made their way into the film. A facial mole similar to one on Robert DeNiro is also on Lenny's face.

Another task that filmmakers had to complete was building the city under the sea. They wanted to make it look more like a fish-made city, instead of a sunken-city. They researched different plants and coral reefs in the ocean and tried to make buildings that looked like them. One example is Oscar's home. His couch is made out of coral and the cushions are plants.

To read more about the movie and play games, visit Shark Tale's Web site.

Click here to see a slide show.