Surf's Up

Surf's Up

Chris Buck (2007)

PG Certificate


Our Score
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.


A penguin longs to follow in the footsteps of his hero, legendary surfer Big Z, and leaves his Antarctic home to compete in a prestigious tournament on a tropical island. Unfortunately the waves in this warmer climate are much bigger than anything he has experienced - and the egotistical reigning champion does not take kindly to competition. Animated comedy, with the voices of Jeff Bridges and Shia LaBeouf.

Cast & Crew

Zeke `Big Z' Topanga/Geek Jeff Bridges
Cody Maverick Shia LaBeouf
Lani Aliikai Zooey Deschanel
Chicken Joe Jon Heder
Reggie Belafonte James Woods
Tank `The Shredder' Evans Diedrich Bader
Mikey Abromowitz Mario Cantone
Kelly Kelly Slater
Director Chris Buck
Director Ash Brannon
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Sony Pictures ReleasingAvailable on: DVD and Blu-ray
Comedy Drama Children's