Ever since DreamWorks set out to challenge Disney/Pixar’s dominance in the animated family film market, the two studios have been producing projects with curious similarities. First there was DreamWorks’ Ants and Disney/Pixar’s A Bugs Life, then The Road to El Dorado and The Emperor’s New Groove, then Monsters, Inc. and Shrek. On the heels of Disney’s swashbuckler Treasure Planet, DreamWorks will next take to the high seas with Sinbad, before following Disney/Pixar’s fish tale “Finding Nemo” with an underwater adventure of its own.
DreamWorks used a recent issue of Variety to introduce both the voice cast and character designs for its upcoming CG animated feature, Sharkslayer. The gangster spoof will boast an A-list cast including Will Smith, Robert DeNiro, Renee Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, Martin Scorsese, Peter Falk and two Sopranos stars, Michael Imperioli and Vincent Pastore.
Smith stars as a young fish named Oscar, who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when the son of a shark kingpin gets killed. When he decides to play the hero, Oscar finds himself in way over his head.
Based on the images released, the character designers have obviously opted to create anthropomorphic caricatures of the actors involved. While closely resembling Smith, Oscar also bears an uncanny resemblance to Don Knots’ scaly animated alter-ego Mr. Limpet. Angelina Jolie is easy to spot as the sexy siren with big lips, even for a fish, and the puffer fish with bushy dark eyebrows can only be the director of Goodfellas and Gangs of New York. Then there’s the shark with the mole on his face you get the picture. Sharkslayer is scheduled to open in theaters Nov. 5, 2004.