Just forget the words and sing along

Friday, November 16, 2007

Animated Movie Catch-Up: Surf's Up

In case you're curious, I had a lovely dinner. Fried up some pyrogies with a little bit of sausage...I love it when I have light weeks with little events to cover. I can actually cook myself descent meals!

Anywho, after supper, it was back to my stack of animated films.

Surf's Up

Animation House: Sony Pictures Animation

Directed by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

Starring the voices of Shia LeBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder, James Woods, and Diedrich Bader.

The Backstory: So, a few years back, the special effects house known as Sony Imageworks made a cute little animated short film called The Chubbchubbs. It was a big enough hit that Sony decided to get into the animated film game. Their formed their own animation house, called Sony Pictures Animation. But, in actuality, it's the special effects house Sony Imageworks that does the actual animation. Anyway, they released their first animated film, Open Season, about a year ago, and it looked freakin' horrible. Their second film, Surf's Up, got better reviews, so I thought I would use it to check out the new kids on the block.

The Plot: We follow the adventures of Cody Maverick, a young penguin from Shiverpool, Antarctica. When he was a kid, Cody met the world's greatest surfing penguin Big Z, and ever since, has been aspiring to be a surfer. Finally, he gets his chance, and he's off to the Big Z Memorial tournament. His first day...doesn't go so well. And then, in the woods, he happens to find Big Z, who faked his death, and now Big Z mentors Cody in the ways of how winning isn't everything.

What I Liked: What gives this film its unique voice is the fact that they do it as a documentary, so the characters occasionally talk directly into the camera and converse with off-screen film crews. That was an interesting way to go. The animation is truly spectacular, some of the best non-Pixar stuff going. And there's a few clever gags that made me laugh out loud.

What I Didn't Like: Very, very, very formulaic plot.

Final Verdict: An enjoyable waste of time, but so far, the leader for this weekend is Meet the Robinsons.

2.5 Nibs

And now, we'll take a break and resume in the morning.

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