Boog, a domesticated 900lb. Grizzly bear, finds himself stranded in the woods 3 days before Open Season. Forced to rely on Elliot, a fast-talking mule deer, the two form an unlikely friendship and must quickly rally other forest animals if they are to form a rag-tag army against the hunters.
A scheming raccoon fools a mismatched family of forest creatures into helping him repay a debt of food, by invading the new suburban sprawl that popped up while they were hibernating...and learns a lesson about family himself.
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.Written by
Anthony Pereyra (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is it with this sudden surge of penguin movies appearing? Or penguins appearing in movies? I've always found watching penguins on real life TV programmes to be very entertaining because they just seem, well there's no other word for it, cute. But just recently Hollywood has seemed to start to overuse them a tiny bit. March of the Penguins I suppose really kicked it all off. I can't see what all the fuss was about that documentary and quite why it was the success it was. But it was an interesting movie. Then came along Madagascar, while admittedly not completely about penguins the penguins that did feature were undoubtedly the best things in the entire movie. Since then penguin items, TV shows and penguins on our screens have been appearing like crazy. It reached its pinnacle in my eyes last year when Happy Feet arrived on our big screens. Now I really wanted to love Happy Feet, when I first watched it I actually did adore it. But after multiple viewings I realised something, it was actually pretty boring, and way too depressing at times for my liking. Its animations was beautiful, but it just didn't live up to its potential. When the first trailers for Surf's Up arrived I didn't know what to make of it. Dancing penguins is one things, surfing penguins is just plain ludicrous. I felt like Sony were merely cashing in on this penguin phenomenon. So what a pleasant surprise to find that Surf's Up is not only a movie that'll appeal to both kids and adults, but also the best animated movie of the year so far! The fact that its a surfing penguin movie didn't make it as good as it is, no the movie succeeds for daring to try something different. A mockumentary style movie somewhat reminiscent of Creature Comforts, trust me if you like Creature Comforts you will adore this movie. The script is well written, the voice cast absolutely brilliant, hell even the animation surprised me for being very well done. If it has one fault its that its obligatory sentimental streak felt a little bit too forced for my liking. Nevertheless this is a small fault in an otherwise enjoyable and very well made animated movie.
The voice cast of the movie are particularly brilliant. Shia Labeouf leads the cast as surfer wannabe Cody. Labeouf was until recently one of the few actors I could not stand to see on a screen. My past experiences with him on movies were usually films that cast him as the annoying kid. For this reason I couldn't stand him. However, then he starred in Transformers and changed my mind completely. He is actually a great actor, he can deliver a joke easily, he's easily likable and he just does everything in such a great way. This shines through again with his performance here, and because of his work in this movie I would be quite happy to see him lead another animated movie some time in the future. His character is always funny, he definitely gets some of the best lines and moments in the movie. Jeff Bridges is pretty good in his role, he works best in the funny moments of the films, when it comes to the sentimental stuff I just found his voice work to be not as good. Jon Heder almost runs off with the movie as Chicken Joe, who got the biggest laugh from the audience. Zooey Deschanel was average I suppose, her character deals more with the icky stuff towards the end than the great comedy stuff. James Woods seems to be having a great time as Reggie, he also gets some great comedy moments.
The actual comedy side of Surf's Up is perhaps the movie greatest success. The mockumentary style allows us to see a different way of making animated movies. The movie of course has to switch to a more movie-ish feel at some points, its in these moments the movie isn't at its best. Whenever they're doing the documentary style the movie is as perfect as you could hope for. Meeting Cody's family at the beginning is 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 I highly suggest you watch the characters in the background more so than the characters in the foreground, they made me laugh all the time to see them waving at the camera or pulling faces behind the other characters backs. Chicken Joe is definitely best comically, the best scene with him involves a hot tub and the natives, its pretty hilarious, a shame most of the joke is ruined in the trailers.
So what are the negatives of the movie then? Well I suppose if I look at this from a kids point of view then I realise that there are a lot of jokes that might leave the kids a bit cold. The kids will still be entertained for the majority of the movie, especially during the very cool looking surfing sequences, but some of the humour is more directly aimed at adults than anyone else. Also the sentimentality factor obviously starts to kick in towards the end. While its never sickly like a lot of other animated movies are, it still feels a tad forced. I wish for once we could have a kids movie without all the obligatory kiss and make up feel at the end of it. Why can't everyone just still hate each other or something like that? Anyway the sentimentality never makes the film bad at all, its still a great movie.
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