A Will Smith comedy is currently getting a lot of love on streaming. Though it’s fondly remembered by those who grew up with it, it’s fair to say the 2004 DreamWorks animated movie Shark Tale isn’t widely viewed as one of Smith’s best ever projects. But it’s proving popular with Hulu users this week. The underwater adventure has swam up the ranks to become the second most-watched film on the Disney-owned streaming platform today.
Smith leads as an all-star cast as Oscar, a small fish – specifically, he’s a bluestreak cleaner wrasse – with big aspirations to make something of himself. The perfect opportunity lands in his lap (do fish even have laps?) when he encounters Lenny (Jack Black), a vegetarian shark who’s looking to get out of his father Don Lino’s (Robert De Niro) mob business. The two concoct a plan to make it look like Oscar kills him, turning Oscar into a celebrity “Shark Slayer” and allowing Lenny to reinvent himself. But angering the shark mafia is maybe not the best idea…
Yup, Shark Tale‘s an unlikely kid-friendly riff on mafia movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas, complete with De Niro and Martin Scorsese in the cast. The star-studded roster of voice actors also includes Renee Zellweger as Oscar’s best friend Angie and Angelina Jolie as Lola, his gold-digging girlfriend. Critics weren’t kind to its odd mix of elements, with its Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus labelling Shark Tale as “derivative.” But if you’re looking for some harmless animated fun to keep the family happy, then its popularity on Hulu makes clear that it does the job.
Will Smith will next be seen in the biopic King Richard, about Richard Williams, father to the Williams sisters, which arrives in theaters and on HBO Max this November 19th. His following project after that is Antoine Fuqua’s action-thriller Emancipation, coming to Apple TV+.