YMMV / Shark Tale

  • Audience-Alienating Premise: It's a gangster movie...with fish. Yes, that's as far as the originality goes.
  • Award Snub: A rare inversion. Rather than an award or nomination not going to a better film, the movie's Best Animated Film Oscar nomination was one for what was seen as a wholly undeserving film over better titles like The Polar Express. There were only three nominations total for Best Animated Film that year.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Lola is probably the element of the movie most people remember and know about.
  • Captain Obvious Aesop: Liars never prosper as there are always consequences and fame isn't worth the hassle because the elites are selfish and callous. The movie doesn't understand subtlety and has an octopus who works for the sharks as a Captain Obvious for the audience and mainly as servant to Don Lino.
  • Cliché Storm: The protagonist dreams of fame, lies to everyone about being the hero, get involved in a romantic subplot borne of poor communication and because this is a kids movie, everyone just lets him off the hook.
  • Crazy Awesome: Crazy Joe gets some recognition for this.
  • Critical Dissonance: Despite receiving mixed to negative reviews from both critics and audiences alike as well as getting #1 at the box office, the film managed to get nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature over the much better-reviewed The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and The Polar Express.
  • Designated Hero: Some have this view towards Oscar, who is constantly lying and getting himself into trouble no matter what anybody does to help him out with his problems. Especially egregious is when he takes his friend's prized pearl from her grandmother that she gives him to help pay off his debt, only to gamble it away at the race track without a second thought. At no point in the film is his quest for fame motivated by altruism, and it's only in the climax where he uses his image as the Sharkslayer to the benefit of anyone other than himself.
  • Ear Worm: Most of the entire soundtrack can be considered this.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Both Lola and Crazy Joe are good. Both of them are romantically inclined by the end.
    • Sykes has been hailed by haters as a scene stealer.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending:
    • Oscar finally telling the truth after all of the brand deals he made with the thousands of product placements could land him in jail in fraud, as well as being sued for everything he, Angie, and their children and grandchildren for around 100 generations.
    • Not to mention, for a movie based around the premise that eating fish is bad, the sharks get to eat as many fish as they want ... just not at this particular reef. Did anybody even read that part of the script?
  • Ethnic Scrappies: Ernie and Bernie are so stereotypically Jamaican it hurts. Their bells and tentacles are designed to resemble Jamaican hats and dreadlocks respectively. However, Ziggy Marley who voiced Ernie is a real Jamaican.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The movie has a perfectly acceptable Ambition Is Evil message, but it comes across as being to avoid aiming higher and just accept having a dead-end job. In other words, don't dream of more, because love is all you need.
  • He Really Can Act: In a cast full of extremely gratuitous Ink Suit Actors who are basically just taking the easy road and being themselves, Jack Black proved a revelation, actually putting in the effort toward good voice acting and good characterization. It was good enough that Dreamworks wrote Kung Fu Panda as a vehicle for him, which paid off hugely.
    • Martin Scorsese as well. He's acted in plenty of films before, even in his own, but here is where he gets to shine comedically and is wildly called out as the best part of the film.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Lenny, the Ambiguously Gay shark that wants to be a dolphin halfway through the film. Brittany S. Pearce said it best: "Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?"
  • Jerkass Woobie: Oscar himself definitely counts. In his youth, he was harshly mocked by his class for admiring his father's work at the Whale Wash. This tragic disaster causes him to consider himself a loser and nobody. In present day, he doesn't seem to get much respect at the Whale Wash and seems to get himself into unwanted situations. Oscar doesn't believe he'll ever be noticed or respected if he stays at the bottom of the reef, believing that wealth and fame is his answer. He finds his chance when the shark chasing him is killed by a fallen anchor, and takes the credit becoming known as the "Sharkslayer." He soon lets his great white lie go into his head and make him rich, not noticing or appreciating what he already had, until Angie blurts out her crush and genuine respect for him, leading Oscar to his Character Development.
  • Memetic Mutation: WILL SMITH FISH!!!
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: There are some Jamaicans who actually liked the jellyfish.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Lola crosses it by arranging Don Lino to kidnap Angie and gleefully threaten her life if Oscar doesn't comply.
    Lola: You know, Sharkslayer, there's only one thing I like better than money: Revenge!
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The console video game based on Shark Tale is praised for its variety of gameplay and high-quality soundtrack.
  • Never Live It Down: The film is a giant amalgamation of all the things most negative aspects of Dreamworks animated films, and even though they still make plenty of films similar to Shark Tale, there have been improvements since, but it still remains well-poised on the tip of non-fans' tongues who are ever-ready to remind them of it.
  • Signature Song:
  • So Okay, It's Average: By the standards of most Dreamworks productions. Quite a few people who've seen it consider it a decent and/or forgettable film.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The Mysterious Mr. Enter notes in his review that the movie acts like Oscar is wrong for laughing at the idea that he would reveal the truth, when continuing the lie is the only way to avoid the resulting lawsuits and his reputation being permanently tarnished. Oscar could not have reasonably known that he would be Easily Forgiven by everyone for his selfish ways. Yet there would still be room for lawsuits. He went a bit far by claiming that this breaks the lesson, as lawsuits are a serious consequence of profiting from lies.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: DreamWorks got hit HARD for this considering this was one year after Finding Nemo, another fish-centric film. While they did play this trope at least twice past this point, the critical and popular backlash resulted in it being toned down considerably; Madagascar's rival, The Wild, was only merely distributed by Disney and didn't get the warmest reception either, and Megamind was a superhero movie released 6 years after The Incredibles and with a bit of a different MO (plus one of DWA's biggest Berserk Buttons, Disney boss Michael Eisner, was removed from the picture the next year).
  • Uncanny Valley: While the sharks and Crazy Joe don't appear to be that bad, the fish have this very awkward combination of a human's face and a fish's body.
    Nostalgia Critic: You don't see these characters as actual characters. You just see the celebrities representing them...
  • Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: It's hard to understand why Angie would be attracted to Oscar by the movie's end. He ignored all of her signs, bet her precious gift and she got swallowed by a shark thanks to his scheme.
  • The Woobie:
    • Lenny, who is afraid that his father won't accept him for his gentle behavior.
    • Angie. It's implied she's had a crush on Oscar for a while, but Cannot Spit It Out, and then is shoved into the background when Lola shows up, because Oscar couldn't see what he meant to Angie until she outright shouted it at him. Then she gets kidnapped by the sharks courtesy of Lola and is almost eaten by Lenny (admittedly that was Oscar's doing to try and save her, but then she didn't know that). Jeez. Thank God she ends up with Oscar at the end, as he admits to her that he's nobody without her.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Lord have mercy, what is the actual son of Bob Marley doing in this movie playing a badly stereotyped Reggae jellyfish?