Three children accidentally get turned into fish after drinking a potion made by an eccentric scientist. The kids end up in the sea, with one problem. They must find and drink the antidote within 48 hours, or forever remain as fish.
Directed by: Stefan Fjeldmark
, Greg Manwaring
, Michael Donovan
, Michael Hegner
. Starring: Nis Bank-Mikkelsen
, Søren Sætter-Lassen
, Morten Kerrn Nielsen
, Sebastian Jessen
, Pil Neja
, Louise Fribo
, Ulf Pilgaard
, Dick Kaysø
, Paprika Steen
, Ghita Nørby
, Zlatko Buric
, Martin Brygmann
, Peter Gantzler
. Music by: Søren Hyldgaard
Help! I'm a Fish pretty much came out of and exited to nowhere. OK, to be precise, it was produced and first released in Denmark as Hjælp, jeg er en fisk. Virtually no one knows the film as it possibly had very little marketing, I probably saw only 1 television advert of it. While it is an underrated gem if not, it's not spectacular in some terms. I cannot locate the full film which only some or most scenes are available.
The plot is quite straightforward. It is about 3 children who turn into fish. One is a boy named Fly who turns into a Californian flying fish, along with his younger sister Stella who she turns into a starfish and his cousin Chuck turns into a jellyfish. They go to a houseboat of a marine biologist called Professor MacKrill. He develops a potion that turns humans and possibly other species to various sea creatures as he predicts the Earth's sea level will rise by the Polar cap melting i.e. people would drown. MacKrill also made a potion to turn things to a human. The children drink the fish potion though they do not know its effects. They then realize their fish and must find the human potion by sunset tomorrow or they will stay fish for good.
It certainly isn't a generic story but of course, this is only the beginning of the film. The characters including the children as well as a seahorse that tags along called Sasha aren't quite colourful if not unmemorable. The villains are quite irregular. The main antagonist which is a pilot fish named Joe along with an unnamed great white shark. The two develop human characteristics by sniffing the human potion. Joe uses the antidote to have a new civiliastion of intelligent fish. While he has potential of a good villain, he doesn't do evil things often. Rather selfish ones. There's hardly anything monumental in the narrative.
The animation is decent and good for Denmark. It compares itself to major studios like Disney. The CGI is noticeable but blends fine with the traditional animation. The songs are forgettable which they are song by characters. The Danish haven't realized here that characters no longer sing in hand drawn films although the film's release was early for this concept to follow(which gives a possible thing that singing characters in films before the 2000's decade was compulsory).
It is unknown of the reception or box office of the film. It's likely it had mixed reviews with a low box office. Not to be offensive but I have never heard of the film since I saw it once on TV. The English language version of the film was released 2001 unlike its original Danish speaking one about a year ago. The 00's has seen a decline in popularity for traditional animation even if they had CGI. Instead, CGI films had reigned supreme in box office mostly than critical reception. Help! I'm a Fish is one of them and other films such as Osmosis Jones, Treasure Planet etc. In other words, the film could have had a low box office for poor awareness, audiences losing interest in TrA films as well as box office hits in 2001. From CGI successes like Shrek to Live action fare Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone, H!IaF may have unfortunately been DOA.
No instalments have been made from the film to date. That is, no sequels, prequels etc. However, a pop song was produced called I'm a Little Yellow Fish based on the film and a fansite. It is quite a shame as there is more that could be done from the narrative such as fish turning into humans. It could have been direct to video most likely. The film isn't for everyone. It has scenes that would appeal to children but some scenes that may be unsuitable for them such as a crab injuring Fly as a fish by one slash (which probably had him with a injured leg when turned back to a human).
Help! I'm a Fish is a neat film that could have been better. If not then it needed more marketing. The 'Little Yellow Fish' song is more memorable than the other songs in the film combined though it isn't all that great though enjoyable (for some). It also shows Denmark could pull out a good film that could stand among major countries in the motion picture industry like the USA. Anyway, this is all I could say, happy watching.
Review by ohsta62 from the Internet Movie Database.