Catch the Characters from Shark Tale in their Real Life Roles
At Steinhart Aquarium at the Academy of Sciences
Oscar, Sykes, Don Brizzi, and others swim in Academy tanks

SAN FRANCISCO (October 6, 2004) - In the new DreamWorks hit, Shark Tale, Oscar is a small fish with big dreams. A Cleaner Wrasse who works at the Whale Wash, his big dreams land him in hot water when a great white lie about slaying a shark turns him into an unlikely hero. At first, his fellow fish swallow his story hook, line and sinker, but when his fish tale about defending the Coral Reef begins to take on water, his lie threatens to turn him into the Catch of the Day. Aquarium-goers will be pleased to learn that the Cleaner Wrasse in the Academy's new Coral Reef display does not lead such a dangerous existence! The Academy's Oscar look-alike has one thing in common with the DreamWorks character: while this real-life Cleaner Wrasse doesn't work at a Whale Wash, it does spend its days cleaning other fish. In exchange for removing parasites and dead skin from the bodies of larger fishes, the Cleaner Wrasse stays off the menu of potential predators. It also gets a free meal - this species is often seen eating food particles out of the mouths of other fish.

Several other characters from the movie are also based on fish that can be found at Steinhart Aquarium. Sykes, the pufferfish that owns the Whale Wash, has a body double who resides in the Academy's Coral Reef display. Like Sykes, the Academy's pufferfish fills its body with water and takes on a balloon-like shape when it feels threatened. Seahorses that resemble the movie's Seabiscuit and Lucky Day characters reside in a nearby tank. Kids can touch hermit crabs that look like Crazy Joe at the Touch Tidepool, and just across from this interactive exhibit, visitors can view the Academy's version of Don Brizzi the leopard shark (ours is just a baby).

The Academy at 875 Howard Street is less than two blocks away from the Metreon theatre complex, so moviegoers can easily walk over after the show to meet the stars of Shark Tale at Steinhart Aquarium.


The California Academy of Sciences, the fourth largest natural history museum in the United States, is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Natural History Museum. The Academy is beginning an extensive rebuilding project in Golden Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing the new Academy, which is expected to open in 2008.

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