Surf's Up [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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A behind-the-scenes look at the annual Penguin World Surfing Championship and its newest participant, up-and-comer Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf). A stylistically daring CGI feature, Surf's Up is based on the groundbreaking revelation that surfing was actually invented by penguins. In the film, a documentary crew takes audiences behind the scenes and onto the waves during the most competitive, heartbreaking and dangerous display of surfing known to man, the Penguin World Surfing Championship.
Surf's Up is a computer-animated sports mockumentary about penguin surfing contests, which makes it stand out from the crowd of penguin movies. The story unfolds as it would on any sports-channel on TV, with interviews (with penguins) overlapping footage of (penguin) surfing action, gradually unveiling the tale of Cody Maverick (voiced by Shia LaBeouf, Transformers), a young penguin from Antarctica with dreams of winning a surfing competition--a competition named after his idol, the missing Big Z (Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski).
But when he joins the competition, Cody finds his zeal for winning may not be enough to defeat the cruel reigning champ, Tank Evans (Diedrich Bader, Grim & Evil). The story of Surf's Up is typical stuff: Youngster learns to value friendship over material success. But the documentary style gives the film a different rhythm from the usual feature-length cartoon; it stutters and skips around, dithers on side topics, and backtracks to catch up with supporting characters. Some viewers may be annoyed, but others--perhaps the more media-savvy--will find it a refreshing change of pace. (Kids who don't watch much sports, however, may just find it confusing.) Surf's Up also features the voices of James Woods (Hercules), Zooey Deschanel (Elf), and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite). --Bret Fetzer
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Top Customer Reviews
I haven't seen Happy Feet so am unable to draw any comparison between the two. I'll just take Surf's Up for what it is. Which is actually a very good movie.
The plot of this movie - which is filmed as a documentary - follows Cody Maverick, an ambitious surfing penguin. Born in Shiverpool, Antartica, Cody is desperate to get out and make something of himself, and he feels surfing is his ticket out of town. Cody's day job as a fish-sorter is increasingly getting him down, so when the talent scout for the Big Z Memorial Surf Off on Pen Gu Island arrives in Shiverpool, he jumps at the chance to go and compete.
Big Z has been Cody's idol since he was a baby. Big Z was killed in a surf off many years ago, but it hasn't stopped Cody aspiring to surf like him. So the Memorial Surf Off is his biggest dream, and with his cocky attitude, he is certain he can win. But he hasn't reckoned on the bigger, scarier waves on Pen Gu Island, or Tank Evans - the champion of the Surf Off for nine years running.
Evans, the most vain, egotistical penguin you're ever likely to meet isn't really worried about Cody. He doesn't see some small town penguin as a threat, and an impromptu challenge between the two verifies this fact. Cody is wiped out, along with his confidence.
This is where the story really begins.Read more ›
The film follows the adventures of an ambitious young penguin who is talent spotted to compete in a prestigious competition on an exotic island. Shot in a 'mockumentary' style it may be tough going for younger children. Certainly my 4 year-old's attention quickly wandered although my 8 year-old has since revisited the film and appeared to enjoy it.
The hero penguin Cody is following the footsteps of his childhood hero Big Z and the competition is a memorial to Z who apparently died competing on this shore. He is up against established champ and all round bad guy 'Tank' Evans, a penguin who likes to surf dirty and is obsessed by the trophy. He befriends a stoner chicken and a cute penguin lifeguard and proceeds to humiliate himself in the first stage of the competition. Cody takes himself off into the jungle to reflect on his woes and befriends a mysterious hermit-like penguin who eventually teaches him how to surf. This penguin turns out to be Big Z who realised he was losing his edge and faked his death so that he could go out on a high. Of course he brings Cody up to a standard where he can compete against Tank and Cody returns to the competition although the outcome isn't quite what you'd expect.
The surfing scenes are lovingly shot and look pretty impressive. The film takes a pop at agents and commercialism and many of the jokes fly way above a child's head. The film is well voiced and animated and there is an engaging storyline. For a teenager or an adult, the documentary style adds to the humour. For a child it slows down the action and makes the film more difficult to understand. I liked it but if you're looking to entertain very young children then look elsewhere.
I never judge before I see usually and this time I really should have watched it sooner cos it wasn't lame, it was great! I like Tank best because of all the neat markings he had. The character designs were very good. I also guessed who Geek was because of his flowery markings.
So for all you who think this movie might be lame, give it a try, it's actually very good!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Surf's Up is the most horrifying found footage film I've seen! It's chock-a-block full of juicy guts an' gore. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Liam Thompson
Very underrated animated film, one of the funniest movies I've ever seen & whilst the idea of a Penguin surfing may seem a bit ridiculous & childish, well this movie doesn't half... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer