Mixed Reviews for Shark Tale Venice Debut

More than 5,000 people showed up for Friday night’s world premiere of DreamWorks Animation’s new computer-animated comedy, Shark Tale, at the Venice Film Festival. While attendees reportedly gave the pic a long standing ovation, the trades are at odds with their verdicts.

The premiere was held outdoors in Venice’s historic Piazza San Marco, marking the first time ever that the Piazza was closed for the premiere of a major feature film. Voice cast members Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie and Michael Imperioli walked the red carpet, along with directors Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron and Rob Letterman; producer Bill Damaschke; and exec producer Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The star-studded debut garnered varied reviews from top industry trades. The Hollywood reporter calls it "jokey but entertaining," while Daily Variety, which tends to be harsh on genre fare, ripped it for "basing almost all of its ideas on old movies." The trades were also at odds in their reviews of DreamWork’s new 3D-animated NBC primetime series, Father of the Pride. Moviegoers will have the final word when the underwater crime comedy hits theaters on Oct. 1.