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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Summer, 2007

Surf's Up (2007) movie review

Somebody Help the Chicken


Cody Maverick is a penguin with a hero and a dream. From the time the legendary Big Z bestows an iconic necklace upon him. Cody is driven to ride the ultimate wave.

Surf's Up is a classic tale of disciple and mentor -- the quest for a goal that demonstrates that it is the experiences on the way that are important.

Told in 3D animation in the manner of a surfing documentary, Surf's Up is delightful to watch. The on-the-nose capturing of the comments from friends and family combine with the reproduction of the most daring of sport photography to create a visually interesting movie filled with endearing characters.

Movie poster, Surf's Up; Festivale film review; 220x323

Movie poster, Surf's Up

Especially enjoyable is Lani, the female penguin lifeguard who unapologetically gets to come to the rescue of the male characters without any embarassment or coyness from anyone. Thumbs up for the character, thumbs down to Sony for not featuring her on the posters. Big thumbs up for the always interesting Zooey Deschanel who voices the character.

The result is a film that appeals to adults and children; one that has a story, a point and charm. And if you're wondering what a chicken is doing in a penguin movie -- just ask Wallace.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release January 2010
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

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Just the facts:

Title: Surf's Up (2007)
Written by: Ash Brannon, Don Rhymer,
Directed by: Ash Brannon; Chris Buck
Running time: 85 mins
Rating: G

The Players: Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, James Woods

Official website:
IMDb entry

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