Another penguin movie. First there was March of the Penguins and Madagascar. Then came Happy Feet. I swear to Christ, I'm going to have a nervous breakdown. Who in hell told advertisers and Hollywood that penguins are cute, adorable birds? News flash — they're not. They're ugly and mean. Anyways, obviously someone is laughing at me because Surf's Up has just recently washed ashore.
If you couldn't deduce from my rant, Surf's Up is an animated feature starring — c'mon, you can guess it — penguins. This time around our star is Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf), a misunderstood, cocky surfing penguin from Shiverpool, Antarctica. After being introduced to surfing so many years before by the world’s ranking surf champion Big Z (Jeff Bridges), Cody has decided to compete to win the 10th Annual Big Z Memorial Surf Off (Big Z disappeared 10 years ago). Along the way he befriends a fellow surfer, Chicken Joe (John Heder) and sexy penguin lifeguard Lani Aliikai (Zooey Deschanel). Our hero comes of age under the tutelage of surf bum, Geek (Jeff Bridges), while avoiding those that would do him harm like reigning surf champ Tank Evans (Diedrich Bader) and Don King-like promoter Reggie Belafonte (James Woods).
Thankfully, I must say, Surf's Up managed to make me forget I was watching flightless birds on the screen. I was actually more intrigued with the story (imagine that!). It’s the typical loner mentality kid with a chip on his shoulder growing up to embrace and love people around him. Good heartwarming stuff. What’s especially good about it is it’s told in a funny, offbeat kind of way in which you don’t even realize a lesson is being taught. That’s very important because the moment I feel someone or something is becoming too preachy I immediately stop listening.