It's Shark Week! A week dedicated to the fearsome, bloodthirsty, and frightening dwellers of the great big ocean. Programming on the Discovery Channel seems to focus on how outright dangerous these creatures are, but let's not forget that these fearsome ocean-dwellers can also be downright adorable.
Despite the cultural belief that sharks are evil, human-terrorizing animals, some filmmakers and animators have taken it upon themselves to display the better side of these dastardly killers. I've put together a list of what I think are the five friendliest sharks in television and movie history!
5. Mosasaurus - Jurassic World
A prehistoric predecessor to the shark was a carnivorous, aquatic lizard dating back to the Maastrichtian age (I'm not a paleontologist, so I'm not really sure when that was, but it was a very long time ago). On the surface level, this huge guy, whom I've nicknamed "Mo," doesn't seem too friendly. He eats smaller sharks for breakfast, he ate one of the characters in the movie (but he also ate the monster planning on eating that character, so I guess that kinda cancels it out), but anyone who's seen the movie knows that he plays a big role in one of the final scenes that cements his place on this list as being a friendly and lovable swimmer.
4. Jabberjaw - Jabberjaw
I'm about 20 years too young to have seen this friendly shark in his prime, but anybody who helps solve underwater mysteries is a good guy in my book. Jabberjaw was a futuristic shark who played drums for the band The Neptunes in the year 2076 and his personality is very similar to that of Curly from The Three Stooges. Unfortunately for one of the friendliest sharks around, Jabberjaw faced harsh discrimination from robotic "shark ejectors" that wouldn't allow sharks to enter certain cities and buildings, prompting Jabberjaw to quote famed comedian Rodney Dangerfield, "No respect! I get no respect!" Poor fellow, we definitely respect you!
3. Lenny Lino - Shark Tale
The Will Smith/Jack Black-starring film might have flown under the radar, but the animated oceanic adventure gave us one of the nicest sharks you will ever meet. Voiced by Jack Black, Lenny is placed at odds with his Godfather-esque dad who just can't understand why his son is a vegetarian. Perhaps better known as "Sebastian the Whale Washin' Dolphin," his undercover disguise, this sweet guy has a heart of gold and really just wants to feel the love of his father and enjoy the taste of some kale. Is that too much to ask?
2. Kenny The Shark - Kenny The Shark
Despite being rather short lived, Kenny the Shark was one of my favorite shows growing up. Kenny is a tiger shark (setting him apart from the three great whites that also made this list) that always seems to get himself into sticky situations despite being the nicest shark on the block. However, Kenny also has one huge downside: He can't control himself anytime he sees a seal and goes rather crazy! But he always tries to make people feel included and just can't seem to grasp why he keeps scaring people away. It's alright Kenny, it's not your fault; society just has a skewed perception of sharks!
1. Bruce & Co. - Finding Nemo
No friendliest shark list would be complete without the inclusion of the greatest shark to ever appear on screens: Bruce (and his honorable mention friends Chum and Anchor). He's simply a jolly, charismatic, laid-back dude who happens to be a shark. Despite his tough and scary exterior, Bruce is a sweetheart deep down and knows the one true fact of life: "Fish are friends, not food." If it weren't for him an entire generation of children might not have learned the very important lesson of not judging a book by its cover, for you never know what might be inside.
There you have it! My list of the five nicest sharks in television and movies! Is there somebody I forgot? Who else would you like to see on this list? Let me know in the comments below! Happy Shark Week everybody!
Continue the celebration of Shark Week, check out 5 Times A Marvel Hero Fought A Shark And Lived, and Why Jaws Is So Important To Modern Cinema.