All his life, plucky parrotfish Alex has dreamed of being a superhero. He gets his chance when a mysterious flood of black goop erupts near his coral reef. As Alex and his pals—a seahorse, an eel, and a blowfish—swim off to confront the menace and save their home, they face a sunken ship with hidden treasure, an abandoned airplane, angry sharks, and an undersea volcano. This thrilling, funny family tale stars Mark Hamill (Star Wars), iJustine (“The Annoying Orange”) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy).
There are a number of lessons Sean O’Reilly’s Go Fish! embeds in its environmentally friendly message about how a lowly parrotfish saves the day. Two of the most prominent morals of this story include how (what many might consider) the most menial work should be esteemed, and that anyone can curse the darkness, but those armed with solutions are true leaders.
That both of these points are illustrated in Alex, a parrotfish who serves as a janitor in the underwater kingdom of New Coralton, is one of the charms of this movie. When a fish blinded by a sticky black goo slams into the reef, Alex comes to the rescue. Nobody knows what the black goo is, but Alex has a “dispersant” and takes great joy in solving the problem while sounding intelligent by using such a big word.
The problem is urgent enough in Alex’s eyes that they need to take it to King Charles, but the monarch, fearing “reef-wide hysteria,” wants to cover up the problem and do nothing. Paul, the king’s sycophantic assistant who sounds a lot like the Emerald City doorman in The Wizard of Oz, is only too willing to go along.
Thus begins the adventure of Alex, an eel named Eelanor, a coming-of-age seahorse named Christine and a crusty old blowfish named Ed. They go in search of the source of the black goo. Ed is convinced “the Black Beast of Bargathel” is the source, but the most real adversaries are a pair of hungry sharks. As the movie progresses, fish start getting sick and there’s talk of a revolt against the king. Only when some of the goo gets on the king do they have “a full-blown crisis on our fins!”
Alex and his friends find the source of the goo—an oil rig where Dennis, the human who’s supposed to be monitoring it, cares more about profit than protecting the environment. And Alex figures out that a nearby underwater volcano produces ash, which is a real-life absorbent for oil spills. When the king tries to take credit for solving the problem, Paul has a crisis of conscience and confesses that the king ordered nothing to be done. The king abdicates his throne and Alex is crowned.
Though there’s no specific emphasis on faith in this movie, there are undertones of Esther, the Old Testament orphan girl who ascends to become queen when her predecessor refuses to heed the king and perform her royal duties. Like Esther, who takes some big risks because she believes she became queen “for such a time as this,” Alex takes risks and is rewarded. Go Fish! is a movie with a lot of positives and as such merits the Dove-Approved Seal for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water … it really is! In this delightfully clever tale, Alexander the parrotfish teaches kids how humble wisdom can make you an Alexander the Great.