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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2004), PG [PG]
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
October 1, 2004
79 out of 100

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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(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.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Prov. 13:2 From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    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)

    Shark Tale (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • slapping, repeatedly
  • organized crime theme
  • "I'm dead" and threats to kill to force behavior/performance, repeatedly
  • gambling with life at stake
  • constant theme of eating live characters and killing
  • game violence, including eating of live characters
  • abduction
  • chase violence
  • violent death of one of the characters

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • one use of a euphemism of a three/four letter word
  • cheating company time
  • adolescent torment
  • name-calling
  • lie, maintained
  • flatulence
  • It's a little lie. What's the harm"
  • coaching to lie
  • planning deceit

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • crude humor of sexual/genital nature, three times
  • body exudate/function humor, twice
  • implications of diverse lifestyle

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)
  • none noted

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted



    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.

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