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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2004), PG [PG]
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
(2004), PG [PG] -- What a terrible theme for a kid's film!
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): DreamWorks Animation , DreamWorks SKG, Pacific Data Images
Distribution (US): DreamWorks Distribution LLC
Director(s): Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman
Producer(s): Bill Damaschke, Janet Healy, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Allison Lyon Segan
Written by: Rob Letterman, Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, Michael J. Wilson
Music: Christina Aguilera, Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott, Trevor Morris, Geoff Zanelli, Hans Zimmer
Film Editing: Peter Lonsdale, John Venzon
Production Design: Dan St. Pierre
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Disney/Pixar's Toy Story and Toy Story 2 were certainly not like DreamWorks's eclectic Shark Tale. Shark Tale is disturbingly dark and sinister to a point with a "Godfather" intimidation theme of fear of death and of being killed by criminal agents of a criminal mob boss who terrorize the good citizens. What a terrible theme for a kid's film!
In spite of my personal misgivings with Shark Tale, by the objectivity of the CAP analysis model it earned a CAP score in the scoring range earned by PG movies (86 to 68 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. However, due to the amount of violence and violent matters, Shark Tale earned a Wanton Violence/Crime score earned by some R-rated movies, thus the red CAPCon Alert light. Remember that the CAP analysis model, though verified and validated on live action films, treats animated features as though any demonstrated behaviors which can reasonably be imitated by or subjected to children are regraded as just as influential as onscreen behaviors demonstrated by live actors/actresses.
In an underwater New York ruled by "godfather" shark Don Lino (Robert De Niro) and his sons Frankie (Michael Imperioli) and Lenny (Jack Black), aided by musclemen jellyfish Bennie (Doug E. Doug) and Ernie (Ziggy Marley), Whale Wash operator Oscar (Will Smith) tried his best to get out of a life-threatening gambling debt and live up to a lie that he was the shark-killing protector of the reef.
Nice-guy Lenny is not like most sharks. He is different. And I am going to risk being called paranoid and other names by they who do such things but it is my job to let you know about the content of films to the best of my ability. Yes, there are repeated uses of well-camouflaged expressions used by proponents of alternate preferences just like the X-Men films which also took great advantage of the ambiguity of the expressions when confronted about them. Lenny is a closeted vegetarian, unwilling to eat live things. Lenny is called a "good person" by one of the shrimp Lenny would not eat but is shunned by the closed minded, intolerant sharks in the rest of the shark population.
Discovering his son's alternative choice which goes against the natural order of sharks, his father, Don Lino ordered his other son, Frankie, to administer reparative therapy to Lenny: to show Lenny the ropes about being a shark.
Lenny and Oscar had become friends. In one of the "reparative therapy" sessions, Lenny faked eating a live critter (Oscar) and Frankie was killed by a falling anchor. Oscar jumped on this opportunity to become known as the shark killer. Lenny agreed to help Oscar with his lie if it helped Lenny get away on his own, covering up his escape by being "killed" by Oscar. So, Oscar demonstrated his new kill skill by Lenny playing the victim shark and get "killed" by being beaten and thrown into the dark depths of a chasm.
Oscar was a slick operator in more ways than one. Because of his habit, Oscar also rang up a hefty gambling debt which was to soon cost him his life. Oscar's "girlfriend" angelfish Angie (Renée Zellweger) came to the rescue by offering Oscar her grandmother's $5000 pearl to pay off Oscar's gambling debts. Angie, a fellow employee of the Whale Wash, loved Oscar for who he was. Lenny didn't had a "girlfriend" and showed no interest in the opposite gender.
Once Oscar is recognized as the great shark killer, he is moved socially to the top, to the penthouse. There, Angie had competition, Sensuous Lola (Angelina Jolie) arrived to vamp Oscar, clearly only because Oscar was a big fish with riches and fame. Oscar was so famous now that newscaster Katie Current (Katie Couric) reported on Oscar and interviewed him.
There is more to the story but just in case you decide this film is fit for your family, I will spoil no more of it. Most of what I wanted to say has been said anyway. My subjective opinion? It is as empty of entertainment as the sushi bar in it and stands to introduce the young to intimidation for personal gain.
And the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) says "Rated PG for some mild language and crude humor." Maybe so for adults, but let us get real for the target audience. [Matt. 25:40, Luke 17:2]
Regarding "mild language, it escaped my attention. The only suggestion of the use of the three/four letter word vocabulary I found was the use of "Halibut", relying on the phonics of it. Though "Halibut" is not a member of the three/four letter word vocabulary, the use of it as an expletive is the same a speaking the word which is disguised by it. [Prov. 22:11]
About the "crude humor" there were a few instances of "grossness" in flatulence and body exudates/function humor. [Eph. 5:4] The strongest presence in Shark Tale was violence and impudence. Repeatedly, death and killing and threat of killing to intimidate oozed from the seafloor. Gambling with one's life at stake, an organized crime theme and "I'm dead" repeatedly swirled heavily in the waters. [Prov. 13:2]
Please inspect the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide for what age of your kids this film would be acceptable. Just because the MPAA says it is PG does not mean it is acceptable to your "PG-aged" kids. YOU decide that, not the MPAA. Not the CAP Ministry. We just provide you tools to help you be in a better position to make an informed moral decision whether a film is fit for your family or yourself.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
(The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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