Baby Shark: Review and Analysis

by pjmcbride

The above video was being played by a child repeatedly at McDonald’s. Watch it now (praying that it will not then become an earworm forever, but your prayer will be in vain), and we will discuss.

The video opens with a pair of fish engaged in animated conversation. But THEN, the shadow of a shark looms over them. We are alarmed, until the little yellow shark smiles, and we are relieved to discover it’s just a baby after all. It sings:

“Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Baby Shark!” (subtitles are provided in case you’re having trouble following along)

Baby Shark then swims behind some sponges, but then a bigger pink shark emerges and sings:

“Mommy Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Mommy Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Mommy Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Mommy Shark!”

She is readily recognized as a female by her lipstick and long eyelashes. She swims behind the clump of sponges, and a bigger blue shark emerges. (Are you sensing a pattern here?) In a deeper, booming voice, he sings:

“Daddy Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Daddy Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Daddy Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Daddy Shark!”

I thought they would start with the narrative exposition at this point, but no, the entire cast is not on scene yet. Next to emerge from the convenient bank of sessile organisms is a shark with wrinkles (I kid you not) and spectacles, in what I guess is meant to be a faded shade of pink. She is, of course,

“Grandma Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Grandma Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Grandma Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Grandma Shark!”

Gee, who will emerge from the sponges next? By now, I was sort of hoping that Grandma Shark was a widow. But no–he’s green! With white eyebrows! And a white mustache! He is, he informs us,

“Grandpa Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Grandpa Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Grandpa Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Grandpa Shark!”

Luckily, my fears that they would introduce both sets of grandparents, and maybe some cousins, were unfounded, and they now advance the plot.

“Let’s go hunt, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Let’s go hunt, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Let’s go hunt, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Let’s go hunt!”

Oh no! (doo doo doo doo doo doo) we think–they’re going to show small children what sharks actually do! Especially when the little fish join the chorus:

“Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Run away!”

An unrealistic note of suspense was introduced in one frame, in which the little fish are chasing the shark family instead for some reason. I did not notice until about my sixth viewing (the things I do for you people…) that there are a couple sea anemones watching all the action. But the smaller fish find, I guess it’s a dead sponge–something with a bunch of holes, at any rate–and dive into it, and, you guessed it, burst into song:

“Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Safe at last!”

However, they are dangerously elated by their narrow escape, and by the demands of musical theater, because they pop back out of their refuge so they can sing AND DANCE:

“It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo

It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo

It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo

It’s the end!”

Which it indeed is, since the whole Shark family is lurking behind them, brandishing forks and wearing bibs. The little fish notice this and stop smiling, causing the sharks to start smiling, and we fade to black.

The moral of this story: If you’re playing hide and seek, don’t jump out and dance around. It all makes me want a fish sandwich. Doo doo doo doo doo doo.