Great Whites Attack Silver Screen

DreamWorks hopes to crate a feeding frenzy at the box office with today’s release of Shark Tale, the latest CG comedy from the studio behind Shrek, Shrek 2 and Antz. The new pic is poised to take a sizeable bite out of the weekend’s receipts as it opens in a whopping 4,000 theaters in a time frame devoid of family fare competition.

Directed by Shrek helmer Vicky Jensen, animator Bibo Bergeron (The Adventures of Pinocchio, A Goofy Movie) and writer Rob Letterman, Shark Tale evokes classic mob movies to tell the story of a fish named Oscar (Will Smith), who finds himself in deep water when he takes credit for killing the son of shark mafia boss Don Lino (Robert De Niro). The cast also includes Oscar winners Renée Zellweger and Angelina Joile, hot property Jack Black, director Martin Scorsese, TV icon Peter Falk and Sopranos stars Michael Imperioli and Vincent Pastore.

Shark Tale is the first completely 3D feature produced at DreamWorks’ Glendale, Calif. facility. The crew was largely made of 2D animators who have learned to use Maya through the studio’s CG training program. For a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Shark Tale, see the November cover story in Animation Magazine, now available.

Also opening in wide release today is Buena Vista’s firefighter effects flick, Ladder 49. Illusion Arts, Pacific Title Digital and Pixel Magic contributed effects to the action/drama starring John Travolta, Joaquin Phoenix, Jacinda Barrett, Morris Chestnut, Jay Hernandez and Robert Patrick.