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  • Surf’s Up
    • Surf’s Up
    • Runtime:85 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-18 19:12:01
    • Director: Ash Brannon
    • Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family, Sport
    • Studio:


This is not the best animated movie I have ever seen(Beauty and the
Beast) or the best penguin movie(March of the Penguins), but I really
enjoyed Surf's Up. It could have been longer perhaps, but Surf's Up is
beautifully animated with the bright colours particularly impressive.
The music is hip and cool. The writing is both funny and smart, and the
story is briskly paced and interesting. Surf's Up also has some likable
characters that are further advantaged by some top notch voice acting
with special mention going to Jeff Bridges who is simply marvellous.
All in all it is a fun and beautifully animated film, that manages to
be smart and likable as well. 8/10 Bethany Cox


There are some computer animated films from the past few years which
I've known about for a while but still haven't seen, and that was the
case with "Surf's Up" until this month, three years and a few months
after it came into theatres. I knew it was a movie about surfing
penguins, and I had never seen anything like that before, though that
obviously didn't mean I was guaranteed to like it. I knew this Sony
Pictures Animation effort did not have the amazing reputation which
many Pixar movies have, but it did seem to be fairly popular, so I
figured it would be another charming piece of CGI animation for the
family, like most of the other ones I've seen through the years.
Fortunately, I wasn't proved wrong when I watched it.

Cody Maverick is a teenage rockhopper penguin who has lived in
Shiverpool, Antarctica his entire life and is currently being followed
by a documentary film crew. He loves surfing, and his idol is Zeke "Big
Z" Topanga, a penguin who was once a surfing champion but is now
believed to be dead. Cody doesn't get encouragement from other
residents of Shiverpool, and that includes his brother, Glen, who is
much bigger than him. However, the ambitious penguin still remembers
when he got to meet Big Z once in his childhood, and the words of
encouragement he got from the champion surfer, so the young penguin is
still determined to be like his idol. When surf talent scout Mikey
Abromowitz comes to Shiverpool searching for participants for the Big Z
Memorial Surf-Off on the tropical Pen Gu Island, it takes some
struggle, but Cody manages to convince him that he is worthy. He
travels on a whale with Mikey and a dimwitted but friendly rooster
named Chicken Joe, and the documentary crew follows. After arriving on
the island, Cody soon meets Tank "The Shredder" Evans, a large,
arrogant penguin who is the current surfing champion and will be hard
to compete with!

Viewers can expect these CGI films to be very pleasing to the eye, and
this one is no exception, with the characters and backgrounds, showing
a CGI version of Antarctica and then a tropical island with beaches and
a jungle interior. I'll admit some of the backgrounds look primitive
for 2007, looking more like painted backgrounds than computer-generated
ones, but this is only a very minor flaw. I laughed at lot while
watching the film, during scenes such as the sibling rivalry between
Cody and Glen around the beginning, Chicken Joe getting captured by a
tribe of penguins and not realizing what they really want him for, and
so many others, so the humour in "Surf's Up" also works. The characters
are generally well crafted, and while Shia LaBeouf may not do the
greatest job providing the voice of Cody, his performance is
acceptable, and there are better voice-overs provided here, including
Jeff Bridges as Big Z and Jon Heder as Chicken Joe. The story is a well
written and overall entertaining one with some touching moments, and
it's better than it may look near the beginning.

This particular film from Sony Pictures Animation has not impressed as
many viewers as many other CGI films have in the past fifteen years
(such as many of Pixar's features, and perhaps certain efforts from
DreamWorks Animation and Blue Sky Studios as well), but it seems to
have received more praise than criticism, which I can understand after
watching it myself. While it's not absolutely stunning from start to
finish, it's mostly very entertaining for several reasons and is bound
to leave viewers in a good mood, as animated family films like this
should. "Surf's Up" is rated PG, so it isn't exactly squeaky clean, but
even as a film that is marketed as family fare, it certainly could be
dirtier, and I think many kids could still really enjoy it. There are
lots of computer animated family features out there and this kind of
film has lots of fans, so if you like this very popular kind of
animation, I wouldn't suggest skipping this film.


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Almost a year after the release of Happy Feet, this film also starring
penguins came out, and I was quite keen to see it after seeing a
trailer, so I did when I got my chance. Basically it is played out as a
documentary, with slightly wobbly cameras and "stock footage", focusing
on rock-hopper penguin Cody Maverick (Shia ) from Shiverpool in
Antarctica. He is determined to become the new champion at the "Big Z
Memorial Surf Off" competition on Pen Gu Island, both for his personal
pride, and to honour his hero from childhood, the now supposedly
deceased Zeke 'Big Z' Topanga (Jeff Bridges). He gets the support from
his new friends, lifeguard Lani Aliikai (Zooey Deschanel) and fellow
surfing enthusiast Chicken Joe (Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder), and he
has a rival in egotistical champion Tank 'The Shredder' Evans (Diedrich
Bader). When Cody gets himself washed up by a big wipe out where he
ends up near a jungle where Lani takes him to her friend 'Geek', who
seems to know a lot about surfing and the boards to use. As time goes
by Cody realises that 'Geek' is in fact Big Z still living and a little
chubbier, hiding from the surfing world and feeling like he can't come
back. After creating the perfect surf board and learning some new
tricks with the help of Big Z, Cody seems ready to take part in the
competition and go against Tank, originally Big Z's rival. Cody starts
having a strong bond with Lani, but he wasn't able to convince Big Z to
come back and face the people he seems to have abandoned, but he sneaks
his way back to watch Cody. In the end, Cody sacrifices becoming the
new champion of the waves to help Chicken Joe to win against Tank, and
Big Z does come back to reveal he is alive, and Cody and Lani are happy
together. Also starring James Woods as Reggie Belafonte, Mario Cantone
as Mikey Abromowitz, Kelly Slater as Kelly, Rob Machado as Rob, Sal
Masekela as SPEN Announcer, Ash Brannon as Filmmaker, Chris Buck as
Filmmaker, Brian Posehn as Glen Maverick and Dana Belben as Edna
Maverick. The casting is really good, with LaBeouf as a great lead
character, Bridges, Deschanel and Heder as great support, and it boasts
some really cool animation effects, but it is the documentary feel that
is quite original, so a fun family computer animated comedy. It was
nominated the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. Good!


I have NO doubt that Shakespere, Beethoven, Da Vinci and many other
great artists of the past would be amazed seeing the huge amount of
wonderful artwork packed in this gracious, lovely movie.

No amount of praise would suffice to pay due honor to all those
involved in the creation of Surf's Up. I can only thank you all for the
superb inspiration, work, sensibility and craftsmanship.

Everything is in place. C.G., score, storyline, humor, mood. Lighting,
colors – amazing colors, amazing score.

Surf's Up is truly a masterpiece, second to none.

That's the kind movie that really makes you feel joyous, that makes you
realize that life is worth living, if not for anything else but for
experiencing moments like those I experience whenever I watch this
beautiful animation.

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