What is it with this sudden surge of penguin movies appearing? Orpenguins appearing in movies? I've always found watching penguins onreal life TV programmes to be very entertaining because they just seem,well there's no other word for it, cute. But just recently Hollywoodhas seemed to start to overuse them a tiny bit. March of the Penguins Isuppose really kicked it all off. I can't see what all the fuss wasabout that documentary and quite why it was the success it was. But itwas an interesting movie. Then came along Madagascar, while admittedlynot completely about penguins the penguins that did feature wereundoubtedly the best things in the entire movie. Since then penguinitems, TV shows and penguins on our screens have been appearing likecrazy. It reached its pinnacle in my eyes last year when Happy Feetarrived on our big screens. Now I really wanted to love Happy Feet,when I first watched it I actually did adore it. But after multipleviewings I realised something, it was actually pretty boring, and waytoo depressing at times for my liking. Its animations was beautiful,but it just didn't live up to its potential. When the first trailersfor Surf's Up arrived I didn't know what to make of it. Dancingpenguins is one things, surfing penguins is just plain ludicrous. Ifelt like Sony were merely cashing in on this penguin phenomenon. Sowhat a pleasant surprise to find that Surf's Up is not only a moviethat'll appeal to both kids and adults, but also the best animatedmovie of the year so far! The fact that its a surfing penguin moviedidn't make it as good as it is, no the movie succeeds for daring totry something different. A mockumentary style movie somewhatreminiscent of Creature Comforts, trust me if you like CreatureComforts you will adore this movie. The script is well written, thevoice cast absolutely brilliant, hell even the animation surprised mefor being very well done. If it has one fault its that its obligatorysentimental streak felt a little bit too forced for my liking.Nevertheless this is a small fault in an otherwise enjoyable and verywell made animated movie.<br><br>The voice cast of the movie are particularly brilliant. Shia Labeoufleads the cast as surfer wannabe Cody. Labeouf was until recently oneof the few actors I could not stand to see on a screen. My pastexperiences with him on movies were usually films that cast him as theannoying kid. For this reason I couldn't stand him. However, then hestarred in Transformers and changed my mind completely. He is actuallya great actor, he can deliver a joke easily, he's easily likable and hejust does everything in such a great way. This shines through againwith his performance here, and because of his work in this movie Iwould be quite happy to see him lead another animated movie some timein the future. His character is always funny, he definitely gets someof the best lines and moments in the movie. Jeff Bridges is pretty goodin his role, he works best in the funny moments of the films, when itcomes to the sentimental stuff I just found his voice work to be not asgood. Jon Heder almost runs off with the movie as Chicken Joe, who gotthe biggest laugh from the audience. Zooey Deschanel was average Isuppose, her character deals more with the icky stuff towards the endthan the great comedy stuff. James Woods seems to be having a greattime as Reggie, he also gets some great comedy moments.<br><br>The actual comedy side of Surf's Up is perhaps the movie greatestsuccess. The mockumentary style allows us to see a different way ofmaking animated movies. The movie of course has to switch to a moremovie-ish feel at some points, its in these moments the movie isn't atits best. Whenever they're doing the documentary style the movie is asperfect as you could hope for. Meeting Cody's family at the beginningis pretty hilarious, and meeting all the other supporting characters,especially Tank who has the best scene of the movie with his trophies,is definitely the movies highlights. If you are planning to see this Ihighly suggest you watch the characters in the background more so thanthe characters in the foreground, they made me laugh all the time tosee them waving at the camera or pulling faces behind the othercharacters backs. Chicken Joe is definitely best comically, the bestscene with him involves a hot tub and the natives, its prettyhilarious, a shame most of the joke is ruined in the trailers.<br><br>So what are the negatives of the movie then? Well I suppose if I lookat this from a kids point of view then I realise that there are a lotof jokes that might leave the kids a bit cold. The kids will still beentertained for the majority of the movie, especially during the verycool looking surfing sequences, but some of the humour is more directlyaimed at adults than anyone else. Also the sentimentality factorobviously starts to kick in towards the end. While its never sicklylike a lot of other animated movies are, it still feels a tad forced. Iwish for once we could have a kids movie without all the obligatorykiss and make up feel at the end of it. Why can't everyone just stillhate each other or something like that? Anyway the sentimentality nevermakes the film bad at all, its still a great movie.
Animation / Comedy
Animation / Comedy
This story follows a teenage rock hopper penguin named Cody Maverick from his hometown of Shiverpool, Antarctica, where all of the other penguins think he's nothing but a surfing fool, to the "Big Z Memorial Surf Off" on Pen Gu Island. Young Cody is determined to win the most important competition in the world of penguin surfing in honor of "Big Z," a deceased surfing legend whom he has idolized since childhood. But the waves in Pen Gu are different than in Shiverpool, and the competition is steep. The current champ, egotistical Tank Evans, isn't just about to let this little penguin knock him from first place without a fight. When Cody wipes out and encounters Geek, a recluse aging former surfer, living in the jungle, he learns some important lessons about life and surfing, and even teaches Geek a thing or two.
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