THIS is glorious old-fashioned animation of the cartoon kind, boasting Alan Rickman in fine form as the silky voiced but malicious Joe the fish, who was once a shark's cleaner....
Three kids, Fly, Stella and Chuck set off on a fishing trip which ends in disaster when they drink a magic potion concocted by a mad professor which turns them all into fish, or at least creatures of the sea: Fly becomes a proper fish but his cousin Chuck a wobbly jelly-fish and his sister Stella a little starfish.
It's all great kids fun and follows their adventures as they try to find the anti-dote which will turn them back into human form.
This is where Joe steps in - or rather swims into view - as he is the first of the 'real' fish to accidently swallow the anti-dote which transforms him and his shark companion into speaking and thinking fish. Heh,heh.
And doesn't Alan Rickman just trawl the very depths of his most intimidating voices; shades of his wonderful rich melodramatic Sheriff of Nottingham role when he acted Kevin Costner off the screen in Robin Hood.
The screenplay isn't anything to write home about but is competent enough in the hands of Stefan Fjeldmark and his pals Karsten Killerich and John Stefan Olsen.
There's a bunch of singalong ditties and its all jolly good fun as Joe attempts to marshall the undersea beings into his empire; a sort of fishfaced Hitler or Stalin with the shark his bullying henchman, although a less frightening mobster you couldn't hope to meet. He is brash but loveable despite the fangs.
It has been translated from the original Danish and carries well, although the animation is a trifle dated when one considers the full range of computerised digital software available. This all looks like Disney's hand-drawn frames, and is perhaps all the more endearing for its simplicity.