1 hour, 25 minutes
PG Parental Guidance Suggested.
All-new "The Chubbchubbs Save Xmas" animated short; Games: make your own surfboard, whale hopping, lava surf; Lost scenes with optional filmmaker intros; "Lose Myself" music video by Ms. Lauryn Hill; Meet the penguins with Mario Cantone; All together now: The Surf's Up voice sessions; Arnold's Zurfinary; Not a drop of real water: 1. surf cam; 2. making waves 3. storyboard to surfboard multi-angle sequence; Progression reels; Filmmaker commentary; The Chubbchubbs (2002 Academy Award winnter, best short animated film); Photo galleries; DVD-ROM links.
Ever since “Madagascar,” and especially the real-life documentary “March of the Penguins,” those delightful black and white charmers have been proliferating in movies, especially the animated kind. "Surf's Up" is the story of a young penguin named Cody Maverick (voiced by Shia LaBeouf "Disturbia"), who wants to be a surfer. His initial love of riding the waves came a few years back when the legendary Big Z (Jeff Bridges "The Big Lebowski"), known as one of the grand old birds of surfing, paid a visit to Cody's arctic town, Shiverpool. Big Z encouraged Cody to take up surfing. Before long Cody is “discovered” riding the waves by a surfing promoter Reggie Belafonte (James Woods "John Q"), a fast-talking dude. He's sent to a tropical Pacific island riding on a whale, where they're holding the Penguin World Surfing Championships.
Cody doesn’t make much of an impression at first, but he does make some friends including lovely lifeguard Aliikai (Zooey Deschanel "Elf") and zonked-out surfing chicken named Chicken Joe (Jon Heder "Napoleon Dynamite"). The real turning-point comes, though, when Aliikai takes Cody to the retreat of her reclusive uncle Geek (Jeff Bridges again), who teaches Cody that he should be surfing not to win prizes but because of the sheer joy of the sport.
The film’s minor attempts at humor come strictly from the animals in it acting like people. They don’t say very funny things, they just say the kinds of things that people say, which is supposed to be hilarious because, you know, it’s penguins. "Happy Feet" managed to tell a more complicated, and important story about intelligent penguins who were basically just penguins. "Surf’s Up" goes in the opposite direction; putting penguins on surf boards for no other reason than, it might be fun to watch penguins on surf boards. It's an amusing idea, but not much more.
What’s most baffling is that for a film so desperate to seem cool and hip, "Surf’s Up" seems to be out of touch with pop culture. It's not funny just because they’ve got penguins doing it. Penguins stopped being awesome last year, when everyone loved "Happy Feet." By now they might almost be fed up with them. Well maybe they'll be entertained by penguins this one last time. But this might also be one too many.
Featuring the voices of:
Shia LaBeouf ... Cody Maverick
Jeff Bridges ... Big Z
Zooey Deschanel ... Lani Aliikai
Jon Heder ... Chicken Joe
James Woods ... Reggie Belafonte
Diedrich Bader ... Tank Evans
Mario Cantone ... Mikey Abromowitz