09/13/2004 AT 9:00 AM ET
The Venice Film Festival ended with a splash this weekend, as the world premiere of the computer-animated Shark Tale converted the city’s fabled St. Mark’s Square into a giant outdoor movie theater.
The voices behind the fishy film – Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro and Michael Imperioli – showed up, as did 6,000 fans to watch the movie on the world’s largest inflatable screen (six stories tall, painted Orca black, with 50 tons of water at its base to keep it stabilized).
De Niro, 61, received “bravos” at the premiere, despite recent accusations that his Mafia roles have smeared the image of Italian-Americans. On Friday, the U.S. Order Sons of Italy, a fraternal organization of Americans of Italian heritage, urged the Italian government to cancel its plan to award the actor honorary citizenship. The government rejected that request and is expected to confer the honor next month.
Jolie, 29, brought her 3-year-old son, Maddox, onstage to say “Ciao” to the crowd, and told PEOPLE: “After the film we’re going to take a long boat ride. I promised him five boats on this trip, apparently. I don’t know why five, but I am going to be swapping boats a lot. He wants the full deal.”
Said Smith, 35, of the festive premiere: “It doesn’t get any bigger than this. This is Big Willy style.”