Sharks: could there possibly be a more vilified animal? For decades these beautiful creatures of the deep have been made out to be the things of nightmares thanks to the work of horror film after horror film in which the shark is the ultimate bad guy, incapable of being reasoned with, and totally out for blood.
However, over the years we've had a small number of animated shark characters who have done their best to coax us back into the water, and remind us that sharks are not all bad. Here are the top 5 animated sharks who helped us take the steps we needed to get over our fear of what lies beneath:
5. Sharky - Sharky and George (1988 - 1992)
Sharky and George was a French and Canadian show and spanned two seasons and 52 episodes before it ended. It's two main characters, Sharky and George were private detectives running their own agency, and protecting the city of Seacago from various villain and gangs. Sharky demonstrated that sharks could protect us from bad guys, as well as proving that fish are friends not food, by hanging out with his pal George and never once nibbling on him.
4. Jabberjaw (1976 - 1978)
This is quite a trip back in time, but Jabberjaw, the show about an anthropomorphic great white shark of the same name, was an important series as it was released during a period of shark-mania in the 1970s following the release of Jaws in 1975. Jabberjaw was a drummer for a teenage rock group, who travelled around, often encountering villains who wanted to conquer the undersea world. Jabberjaw showed just how hard it was for a shark to get fairly treated, often being barred from entering buildings and cities in the TV series, prompting his catchphrase (borrowed from Rodney Dangerfield), "No respect! I get no respect!" Nawww.
3. Lenny - Shark Tale (2004)
Sweet, sweet Lenny the closeted vegetarian shark showed us just how hard life can be for a shark born differently to those around him in Shark Tale. He even went to great (white) lengths to disguise himself as a dolphin! Ultimately by the end of the film, Lenny is accepted by the community and his family for who he is, and is able to be honest about his life, preferring to help fish rather than eat them, go Lenny!
2. Ripster, Jab, Streex and Big Slammu - Street Sharks (1994 - 1997)
There's no denying that the awesome quartet of Street Sharks helped boost kids love of sharks in the '90s! The Bolton family proved that even though sharks looked mean, they were really just doing their best to keep the peace by fighting crime as these amazing half-man/half-shark hybrids.
1. Bruce - Finding Nemo (2003)
Bruce, named after the massive shark in Jaws, was the lovable rogue in Finding Nemo who was truly trying to change his ways and become friends with fish, rather than eat them ("fish are friends, not food!"). Despite Bruce being spun into a feeding frenzy at the faintest hint of blood, his perseverance at pursuing such an alternative lifestyle was so endearing that we forgave him anyway.