Villain Overview

The Mechanical Shark

The Mechanical Shark, also better known as the Shark, is a supporting antagonist from Disney's 1996 live action/stop-motion animated film James and the Giant Peach, which is based on the 1961 children's novel of the same name by the late Roald Dahl.

While having no voice, the sound effects for it were provided by Ken Fischer.


The mechanical shark appears from the ocean and attacks the peach. It fires multiple harpoons which penetrate the peach and cut the threads that connected the stem to the seagulls that were carrying the peach.

The Centipede loses his balance due to the shaking of the peach and falls. He grabs one of the wires of the harpoons and slips down into the machine's mouth. After the Centipede is rescued, one of the harpoons gets stuck inside the spinning turbines of teeth the machine has. With the turbine clogged, the machine's inner mechanisms then clash with each other and it explodes to death.


  • In the book, the group was attacked by a massive group of normal sharks that ate at the peach. It is unknown why it was changed to a giant robot in the film, but it may have been to make a more compelling and intense scene than a group of normal sharks. It might also have been to make animation easier, as it would probably be very difficult to animate a bunch of sharks with stop-motion.
  • The shark's existence is unusual, as it is unknown how and why it was created or even if it was a product of James' imagination. It has been theorized that perhaps Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker built it in case James attempted to leave the house by swimming away, though this is unlikely, as Sponge and Spiker are seen to have economic problems in the film and that their house does not look good.


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