Like "Cars", it's a story about a young buck "coming of age", and learning a few life lessons along the way....but unlike so many of these kinds of films nowadays, it was refreshing in that it didn't rely on the passion of "boy meets girl" as the vehicle of transformation.
Instead, Cody's passion, and the changes that are the result of it, is simply pulled from who and where he is -the documentary woven into the storyline reinforces this: presenting both an engaging suggestion about the nature of stereotypes, and illustrating with humor the difference between "perception" and "reality".
I was surprised that nowhere is mention made of what seems to me to be the "point" of the story...at the end, after the tournament, when Cody is talking again to the documentary film crew....and they are asking him about Cody this and Cody that. Cody gives them their time, and then says something about being tired of talking about himself.
"Did you get what you need?" he asks them sincerely, heading for the surf (his passion). "OK, then, be good".....in that one little bite, the animation and voice over combine to fully nuance Cody's character.
To paraphrase the one great line from "Howard the Duck".... "The transformation is complete...Cody is now someone else"
A beautiful flick...it helps, I suppose, to have surfed....