Surf's Up

Release Date: June 8, 2007

I don't think you're so fancy, what with your yellow feathers and all.

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Position Staff In Brief
69/214 Max Braden Sometimes too on the nose, but funny if you can slow your pace to match the movie. Great visuals effects.

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It almost surely started with the villainous turn of Feathers McGraw in the Wallace and Gromit short The Wrong Trousers. From there, DreamWorks inserted evil penguins into their CGI-animated Madagascar, and Warner Bros. planned a CGI story that centered on Emperor Penguins in Happy Feet. There is even a documentary called The March of the Penguins that shows the real-life, dressed-up birds in action. Sony Pictures Entertainment will jump feet first into the CGI penguin craze with their film Surf's Up.

The film is a bit of a clever take on the cult surfing film Endless Summer, but with penguins instead of humans. Told documentary style, the movie takes as its centerpiece the stunning revelation that surfing was actually invented by penguins. The crew that is handling the filming will take audiences behind the scenes to the hyper-competitive and extremely dangerous surfing contest known as the Penguin World Surfing Championship.

There are some good signs for the film, with the primary one being that Ash Brannon, who co-developed and co-directed Toy Story 2, shares helming duties with Chris Buck. Buck saw his feature film directing debut on the Disney animated film Tarzan and was also a supervising animator on Pocahontas. This duo certainly knows its stuff with regards to animation, and with a heady combination of extreme sports and adorable penguins, they seem on the right track to finding great success. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Surf's Up
Main Cast Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel
Supporting Cast James Woods, Jane Krakowski, Jon Heder, Mario Cantone, Brian Benben, Michael McKean
Director Ash Brannon, Chris Buck
Screenwriter Lisa Addario, Joey Syracuse
Distributor Sony/Columbia
Screen Count 3,528
Also see Shane Jenkins reviews Surf's Up
Awards Awards page for Surf's Up
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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