Surf's Up

  • PG
  • Ash Brannon, Chris Buck (2007)
  • US
  • 81 min
Surf's Up
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

There's nothing childish about the penguins in this delightful action animation from directors Ash Brannon (Toy Story 2) and Chris Buck (Tarzan). The script is smart, the vocal acting smarter and its presentation as a fake documentary cleverest of all. It's that slick mockumentary device that might distract the kids while proving endlessly entertaining for adults. The tale begins with a surfing penguin history lesson, illustrated with scratchy "archival" footage and related by cocky rockhopper interviewee Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf). The focus then switches to a TV crew covering his journey to a surf competition in Hawaii. There, he bonds with washed-up champ Big Z (voiced by a marvellous Jeff Bridges) and learns that winning isn't everything. Apart from some authentic-looking waves, the animation isn't anything special. It's the Spinal Tap-like jibes at televised sports and reality shows, the warmth of the supporting characters (Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder) and the memorable one-liners that make it almost as much fun as Happy Feet.

Plot Summary

Animated action comedy featuring the voices of Shia LaBeouf and Jeff Bridges. Rockhopper penguin Cody Maverick is determined to win the "Big Z Memorial Surf Off, an event named after the surfing legend he has idolised since childhood.

Cast and crew


Cody Maverick
Shia LaBeouf
Zeke "Big Z" Topanga / "Geek"
Jeff Bridges
Lani Aliikai
Zooey Deschanel
Chicken Joe
Jon Heder
Reggie Belafonte
James Woods
Tank "The Shredder" Evans
Diedrich Bader
Mikey Abromowitz
Mario Cantone
Kelly Slater
Rob Machado
SPEN announcer
Sal Masekela
Ash Brannon
Chris Buck
Glen Maverick
Brian Posehn


Ash Brannon
Chris Buck

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Sony Pictures Releasing
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 10 Aug 2007
Certificate PG