Shark Tale


Release Date
January 6, 2021
Running Time
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(The Channel Awesome logo is shown, followed by the NC title sequence. We open in a doctor's office, where a doctor (played by Jim Jarosz) is addressing a group of people)

Doctor: Hi, everyone. Welcome. Uh, this is our first meeting of cartoons that traumatized us. I would like to begin by everyone introducing themselves.

Amy: Amy.

Phil: (sighing) Phil...

Charles: Charles.

NC: (quick sigh) Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.

Doctor: That's an incredibly strange way to introduce yourself.

NC: I've been doing it for years, I'm kinda stuck.

Doctor: And I'm a doctor. You can tell because I'm wearing a whitecoat that says... (points to) "doctor".

Charles: That's true.

Amy: It does say doctor.

Doctor: All of us have been scarred in one way or another by animated (makes "finger quotes") "children's" program.

Phil: Puh!

Amy: Double puh!

Doctor: We're all here to show that we're not alone. Phil, why don't we start with you?

Phil: Well, I'm a big lover of cats.

Doctor: That's brave of you to say, thank you.

Phil: That's not my confession.

Doctor: Oh.

Phil: On a so-called (makes "finger quotes") "kids show" called Flapjack, they have the most...

(Cut to a shot of the show, featuring a scary-looking cat there)

Phil (vo): ...terrifying feline I've ever seen in my life.

Amy: Oh, dear...

Phil: It scared me so much that I threw any cat I came across into my closet, and I still haven't opened it up.

(We then cut to a closed closet)

Cat (presumably Chaplin, as voiced by Doug): I'm dying.

Doctor: Thank you, Phil, for your honesty. Amy, would you like to go next?

Amy: Oh, well, I guess mine is that one Powerpuff Girls where they raced each other.

Doctor: Well, that sounds nice.

Amy: It resulted in the apocalypse.

Doctor: That's nice.

(We are shown a shot of the episode in question: "Speed Demon")

Amy (vo): For years, I was terrified to race...

Amy: ...because I thought it would lead to zombie people!

Doctor: That's all right, Amy. That's what we're here for.

NC: (concerned) I'm sorry, is he starving my cat?

Doctor: (ignoring NC) Charles, why don't you go next?

Charles: Ummm... I'm not sure if mine scarred me or not, it's hard to explain. I grew up watching a show called...

(Cut to a shot of...)

Charles (vo): ...Totally Spies.

NC, Amy, Phil and Doctor: Oh! Yeah... Okay...

NC: Hmm...

Charles: Suddenly, I-I really want to be a catgirl!

Doctor: Well, we hear you, Charles.

Charles: While being inflated and, drowned in quicksand...

Doctor: We get the idea.

Charles: ...until vines wrap around me, tickle my feet, and something about being a giant covered in custard...

Doctor: CHARLES!

Charles: Sorry, it did things to me.

Doctor: There's actually a whole other group meeting coping with that show.

Charles: Oh, really?!

Doctor: Yes. Until then, you should probably read some more wholesome material. Try some Golden Age "Wonder Woman" comics.

Charles: That's a great idea! (pulls up his phone) Nothing sexual there!

Doctor: Very good. Critic, how about you?

NC: I... Mine's kinda silly...

Doctor: Please, Critic, nothing is silly here.

Amy: Well that's...I...

Phil: Literally everything is silly here.

Doctor: You're in a good place, though.

NC: I've... (scratches the back of his neck) always kinda been terrified of the Will Smith fish from Shark Tale.

(The other four proceed to laugh at Critic)

Doctor: Seriously?

(They continue to laugh at Critic, who is upset. He then points his finger at the screen, which brings up scenes of Oscar from Shark Tale, scaring the four)

Phil (vo): My God, I forgot!

Amy (vo): I repressed it...

Amy: (recoiling) ...all these years!

Charles: (unfazed) Is there a version of that with boobs?

NC: (smiling) Let's revisit this terror, shall we?

(The movie's title is seen, then scenes of the movie play)

NC (vo): Released in 2004, this was during the awkward time when Disney and Dreamworks were kinda ripping each other off. (The posters for A Bug's Life and Antz are superimposed) One has a bug movie, so does the other. (Next, the posters for Madagascar and The Wild are shown) There's a flick about zoo animals entering the jungle, now there's two. (The poster for Finding Nemo is superimposed now) You got Finding Nemo, we...have regrets. Thankfully, over the years both became more comfortable in their styles and (The posters for Monsters University, Penguins of Madagascar, and Toy Story 4 are now superimposed) eventually learned how to rip themselves off. Shark Tale was arguably the most awkward of those transitional films. It has likeable people, a lot of directors that (The posters for Shrek, The Road to El Dorado, and Monsters VS Aliens are superimposed) worked on decent material. But this was just a melting pot of mistakes looking for an identity. With both critics and audiences panning it pretty hard, it only makes sense to analyze what drowned this bizarre creation.

NC: So, if everybody is ready to relive some old memories...

Doctor: (cowering behind his chair) No more Will Smith as a fish?

(Grinning, NC shows another scene of Oscar, scaring the others. The doctor hides behind his chair while Charles and Amy react in disgust)

NC: Let's take a look at Shark Tale.

NC (vo): A worm is thrusted, much like the audience into a world of misery, screaming, and terror. He's approached by a shark named Lenny, voiced by Jack Black...'s puppet version of himself.

(Said character is Lenny, who holds up some flowers to his brother Frankie, who angrily slaps the flowers out of his grasp)

Lenny: Hey! Mom says it's not okay to hit! (Frankie slaps him again, causing him to cry out in pain)

NC: One-third of the movie is that voice. (grins and nods) Yes, you are blessed!

NC (vo): He – tell me if you've heard this – doesn't like being a shark-eating creature, but doesn't want to tell the other sharks that.

(The two sharks the leave as the camera moves down and the opening credits roll, to the theme from Jaws)

NC (vo): (quickly) Maybe you can tell them to stop the Jaws music after the punchline is revealed. Look, they're building up like you're gonna see something scary; instead, it's a colorful city, but the music keeps going. We got it, the bid is over, don't make me (an image of Casper is superimposed) bring this little shit out!

Katie Current (voiced by Katie Couric): The sharks are gone!

(The city is then brought to life as fish emerge, while a cover of Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" by Sean Paul and Ziggy Marley plays)

NC: (smiling) Bet you can't guess what kind of puns they focus on in this...!

(We then see a montage of fish puns in the opening scene)

Katie Current: I'm Katie Current!

Starfish: (lying on a Walk of Fame-type star for...) Mussel Crowe!

Katie Current: There's an overturned mackerel. / According to the latest Scallop Poll...

Fish: Get out those shell phones...

Starfish: (lying on a Walk of Fame-type star for...) Jessica Shrimpson!

NC (vo): Remember all your dad's jokes he made you laugh at when you went scuba diving? They wrote a screenplay around that!

Starfish: (lying on a Walk of Fame-type star for...) Cod Stewart!

Katie Current: Mother of 800 tells us how she does it all!

NC: I just want to see a scientist who's spent analyzing jokes from Pixar for years...

(As the scene continues, a shot of a female scientist with her mouth wide open, as if screaming, is superimposed)

NC (vo): ...saying, "You don't know how this works, you don't know how any of this works! (The poster for Cars 2 is superimposed) Even Pixar half the time doesn't know how it works!" But okay, give credit, this one's pretty good.

(We then see a scene where a chef is standing alone in a sushi restaurant, looking angry. He eventually slams the knife on a counter and grunts loudly. We then cut back to NC, who licks his finger, then points to a "Jokes That Work" board with one tally, versus a "The Worst, just... just the WORST" board that has 200 tallies. We then cut back to the movie as we meet our protagonist, Oscar, wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a golden chain)

Oscar (voiced by Will Smith): Hi. I'm Oscar.

NC (vo): And there he is: the goddamn Will Smith fish. I know that's not what he's called, but every time I mention this movie, people say "Oh, the goddamn Will Smith fish!" So that's what I'm calling him: the goddamn Will Smith fish! It's not like he has an unique personality or anything warranting a different name; it's just Will Smith if he accidentally agreed to an animated asylum knockoff.

Oscar: But those days where ya feeling just a little... (beatboxing) OLD SCHOOL! (laughs)

NC: You remember that Dreamcast game Seaman? (a shot of Seaman is shown in the corner) Where you raise a new kind of life form? This is its game over screen! This is if you did everything wrong!

Oscar: (singing) Don't worry... (beatboxing) about a thang!

(Cut to a scene in Deck the Halls)

Tia (Kristen Chenoweth): Let's-Let's just... I can't. (she and Kelly leave)

(Cut back to Shark Tale)

NC (vo): Goddamn Will Smith fish works at a whale wash, one of the few clever ideas that almost makes it feel like a functioning world. But he's of course surrounded by cliched supporting characters, like his friend Angie who has a crush on him, played by Renée Zellweger.

Angie: (on the phone) Good morning. Can I help you?

NC: Strangely, where Will Smith...

NC (vo): ...disturbingly doesn't work as a fish, Renée Zellweger...

NC: (pointing to screen) ...disturbingly works too well as a fish.

NC (vo): He's got a rough and gruff angry boss named Mr. Sykes played by...Martin Scorsese?

Mr. Sykes: (to Oscar) Look, I have to start paying Don Lino protection. So everything you owe me, you owe him.

NC (vo): Scorsese is not a big threatening boss, he's (shows an image of Martin Scorsese's face photoshopped onto Luigi's body) Luigi in an old folk's home (shows a poster for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie) saying how Sonic the Hedgehog isn't cinema.

(Cut to a scene with Don Lino and Mr. Sykes)

Don Lino (Robert DeNiro): You and me, we work together a long, long, long time.

NC (vo): He has connections to a mob boss, a shark named Don Lino, played by Robert DeNiro. I think he took this role just so Scorsese would have to take orders from him for once.

Don Lino: Luca!

(Luca then plays Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" on the record player, freaking out himself and the other two. He then stops the record)

Luca: Hey, boss, big butts!

NC: Does Sir Mix-A-Lot get royalties for every desperate kids' films he's in? He might've worked his way up to (shows image of Mix-A-Lot holding a sword) actual knight now!

Don Lino: It takes more than muscle to run things. Now, Lenny, he's got the brains. That's something special!

NC (vo): Did I mention, by the way, there's a lot of talking in this movie? Like, for a film that takes place underwater and plays "Big Butts" in the first ten minutes, there's surprisingly a lot of sitting around and doing nothing.

(Cut to a montage of characters talking)

Oscar: It was-It was nothing, really, you know...

Don Lino: You're really giving me agita, you know that? I don't know how else to say this to you, Lenny, you see something...

Oscar: But it was a little lie! Come on, those aren't gonna hurt anyway. I'm not gonna explain it myself to you.

NC (vo): In fact, every Blu-Ray comes complete with (kids are seen running across the movie) sugar-high kids running up and down the aisles due to boredom.

(We cut to a scene where Oscar is wiping off soap from a whale's eye)

Oscar: Look, I'm-a get you some coupons, we gonna get you a free hot wax and all that, you like that?

Phil: My God, it's disgusting!

NC: What? It's from the same animators that did...

(Cut to a clip of...)

NC (vo): ...those Lamisil commercials.

Doctor: (cowering behind his chair) Oh, God!

Amy: That...That is something that scarred me for life!

Oscar: Ah, Sykes! My brother from another mother! What the deezy, baby?

(He does a hand slap with Mr. Sykes, who looks uninterested)

NC (vo): It's like Will Smith is playing racquetball with his charm and the movie is giving him no wall to bounce off of. At some point, he's gonna be like "Hey! You gotta give me something to work with!"

Oscar: Please! Please, just give me some time, that's all I'm asking! I'm just... I'm-I'm begging you, Sykes!

NC (vo): What they do give him to work with is a huge amount of debt he owes his boss, which he says he wants at the racetrack tomorrow.

Oscar: (to Angie, pointing toward a high-rise building) I want some of that: the top of the reef, where the somebodies live. I wanna be rich and famous like them, but I'm stuck down here.

NC: You know, it's hard to feel bad for goddamn Will Smith fish, because it is goddamn Will Smith fish.

NC (vo): It's not like a character he's playing like (shows poster for...) in The Pursuit of Happyness, it's the personality of wild, rich, and famous Will Smith. So when he talks about wanting to be wild, rich, and famous, I don't feel that bad for him. The only difference is, he's bad with money, which... (The poster for Suicide Squad is superimposed) Why did he do Suicide Squad?

Oscar: What's this?

NC (vo): To help him pay off his debts, Angie gives him an expensive pearl that her grandma passed down to her. We cut to Lenny letting a shrimp go that literally exists just for a comeback joke, which is a weak payoff that you can cut and miss nothing, so let's go back to goddamn Will Smith fish. He gets money for the pearl, which he's about to give to Mr. Sykes when...

(Oscar sees two fishes whispering to each other)

Fish 1: What's the horse's name?

Fish 2: Lucky Day.

(We immediately cut to Oscar betting his money on Lucky Day)

Oscar: 5,000 on Lucky Day to win!

NC (vo): Dumb, hideous, and a dick waffle. Brave writing a lead with no redeemable features, guys!

(Then we are introduced to Lola, a sexy lionfish voiced by Angelina Jolie)

NC (vo): Angelina Jolie plays a Bratz doll named Lola, because if you're a cartoon and you have that name...

(Shots of Lola Bunny from Space Jam and Lola Skumpy from Big Mouth are superimposed along with Lola from this movie)

NC (vo):'re just destined to look like this, and she tries winning him over.

(Flashy music plays as Lola shows off her body to Oscar. This gains the interest of Charles)

Charles: Am I into fish now?

Doctor: No, you're not. Go back to reading your Wonder Woman comics.

Charles: Oh, sorry. (He goes back on his phone, then looks confused and shows everyone a page of Wonder Woman getting spanked) Does she always get spanked this much?

Doctor: Only when she deserved it.

(Cut back to the movie)

NC (vo): Mr. Sykes interrupts her handful of appearances and discovers he [Oscar] bet all his money on a horse. A seahorse, get it? It's funnier than Katie Current!

(We see Lucky Day racing and on the lead)

Announcer: Lucky Day go!

Oscar: (ecstatic and cheering with Mr. Sykes) We're moving on up!

NC (vo): The horse actually starts to win, but slips up at the end, pissing off Sykes even more.

(Oscar is tied up and thrown in a large fish's mouth by Ernie and Bernie, a pair of Jamaican jellyfish who are Mr. Sykes' enforcers)

Mr. Sykes: (in a high-pitched, echo-like voice because he's puffed up) It's just business!

(One of the jellyfish closes the big fish's mouth over Oscar)

NC: He's already in a fish's mouth. Why are you taking him anywhere?

(Oscar, bound and gagged, is being tortured by Ernie and Bernie with their painful stingers)

NC (vo): I guess they decided to just shock him... Best show him the Rotten Tomatoes score for that.

(The Rotten Tomatoes score for this movie is shown, showing that received 36% on the Tomatometer and 43% on the Audience Score, along with the critical consensus: "Derivative and full of pop culture in-jokes.")

NC (vo): ...but Lenny's brother takes this opportunity to show him how to attack prey.


NC: And that was Shark Tale, or as DreamWorks likes to call it, uh... (shows poster of the movie) Illumination made that.

(Clips of the movie play as Critic gives his final thoughts)

NC (vo): This whole film felt like it was on autopilot. You know those desk toys where the marbles (shows image of...) knock back and forth and you watch it blankly for an undetermined amount of time? This is the less fun version of that! Everything is stock, recycled, or not very imaginative. And on top of that, the fish are scary-looking! It's honestly hard for me to look at them, they're that unappealing to the eyes! I get it if people grew up with this, and therefore have a soft spot for it, but when you compare it to other animated films, especially Dreamworks animated films, this is a dumb boat that sinks straight to the bottom.

Doctor: So, feel better?

NC: You know, I do. Thanks for letting me talk about this, man, it helped a great deal.

Amy: Yeah, you know, it felt good confronting repressed marine life.

Phil: I might not actually purchase a fish just so I can kill it now.

Doctor: Wonderful. Charles, how are you doing with those Wonder Woman comics?

Charles: I think I'm into everything now.

Doctor: Man, three out of four ain't bad.

NC: Yeah, I think our time is up anyway. I'm curious, what's your next group meeting on?

Doctor: Oh, it's people traumatized by Courage the Cowardly Dog.

NC: Oh come on, there's nothing traumatizing about- (dramatic music plays) Except...

Amy: And...

Phil: As well as...

(Charles is looking uninterested)

Doctor: I'll just pencil you in then, shall I?

Amy: Yeah, that'd be good.

(NC's lips are shivering)

Charles: What if Freaky Fred had boobs?

Channel Awesome taglineLuca: Hey, boss, big butts!

(the credits roll)

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