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"SURF'S UP"
(2007) (voices of Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*Mild Mild Moderate Mild Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Mild None *Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Minor Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Animated Comedy: A young penguin surfer sets out to prove his worth in the sport and ends up meeting his lifelong idol in the process.
PLOT:
Ever since he was a young penguin, Cody Maverick (voice of SHIA LaBEOUF) has dreamed of becoming a professional surfer like his lifelong idol, Big Z (voice of JEFF BRIDGES). Tired of being a fish packer as well as constantly hearing doubts expressed by his older brother Glen (voice of BRIAN POSEHN) and their mother Edna (voice of DANA L. BELBEN), the 17-year-old is excited when pro surfing scout Mikey Abromowitz (voice of MARIO CANTONE) shows up in Shiverpool, Antarctica.

With flat seas, however, Cody isn't able to show his stuff, prompting Mikey to dismiss him, but Cody won't give up so easily and thus hitches a ride with other pro surfer wannabees, such as Chicken Joe (voice of JON HEDER) to Pen Gu Island for the 10th annual Big Z Memorial Surf-Off.

There, he meets sleazy and opportunistic surfing promoter Reggie Belafonte (voice of JAMES WOODS) as well as egotistical 9-time winner Tank "The Shredder" Evans (voice of DIEDRICH BADER) who took over the role of champion a decade earlier by besting Big Z who seemingly perished in a monstrous wave and was never seen again. When Cody doesn't like Tank using Big Z's memorial statue for target practice, the two decide to settle things by surfing. Cody, however, wipes out badly and must be saved by lifeguard Lani Aliikai (voice of ZOOEY DESCHANEL) who takes him to recuperate with her reclusive uncle known as The Geek.

It's not long before Cody realizes he's really Big Z who doesn't want anything to do with the sport for fear of being viewed as a has-been. Yet, due to Cody's determination and desire, Big Z can't help but get involved and soon opts to help teach the headstrong and often stubborn young penguin everything about the sport, its mindset, and lifestyle. With the big surf-off quickly approaching and a documentary film crew capturing his every move and thought, Cody hopes he'll learn enough to take on Tank and prove his worth out in the big waves.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Any who enjoy computer-animated comedies, penguins, and/or surfing probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For mild language and some rude humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
It's debatable whether kids view non-human, animated characters as role models, but here's a quick look at their major characteristics.
  • CODY MAVERICK is the 17-year-old penguin who dreams of one day being as good at surfing as his idol, Big Z. Having to put up with a doubting brother and mother, as well as other naysayers, he sets out to prove his worth. While a bit stubborn and headstrong at first, he learns valuable lessons from Big Z.
  • BIG Z is the laidback and now reclusive former surfing champion who wants nothing to do with the sport, but finds himself enticed by Cody's dreams and desires. He eventually decides to help the young penguin learn all about the sport and its lifestyle and mindset.
  • LANI is the lifeguard who saves Cody from a bad wipeout and then introduces him to her uncle, Big Z.
  • TANK is the conceited and arrogant 9-time champion who will do anything to win and is most in love with his trophies.
  • REGGIE BELAFONTE is a pushy, sleazy, and opportunistic surfing promoter who seizes on Cody as the possible next big thing in the sport.
  • CHICKEN JOE is a goofy, surfing chicken who sounds and acts like a stoner (sans any sort of drugs) who befriends Cody.
  • GLEN is Cody's older brother who's constantly putting him down.
  • MIKEY ABROMOWITZ is the surfing scout who initially isn't impressed by Cody and his abilities.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated comedy. Profanity consists of a few expletives, while various colorful phrases are also uttered. What sounds like some sexually related dialogue about women turns out to be about trophies, the camera briefly focuses on the rear ends of some female animal characters, and a male animal character's crotch is digitized when he gets up out of some water (nothing is seen, but the digitization suggests what's there).

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, there's some contact between characters, some smaller animals capture a chicken at spear-point (but he misinterprets their culinary motives), and some surfers are bashed around (and even knocked out) by big waves. Those scenes and a few others may be a little suspenseful or unsettling for some kids.

    Some behavior may be enticing to imitate, a character consumes what look like tropical drinks (but are never identified), another acts and sounds like a "stoner" but no drug use is suggested, and various bits of crude humor are present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some flicker from old film footage.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, and despite being an animated film, the film is "shot" like a documentary, meaning there's shaky handheld camera footage, etc.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Reggie has a drink from a coconut half (we never know if it or the ones listed below are alcoholic or not).
  • In a sped-up montage, we see Reggie drinking one tropical style drink after another.
  • Chicken Joe tells the animal warriors who've captured him that they look hungry and tells them they must have "the munchies" (traditionally a drug-related comment, but that context is not present here, although Chicken Joe acts and sounds like a stereotypical "stoner," but no drug use is noted).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a flashback to Cody's mom regurgitating what looks like fish for her kids, but Cody's brother eats all of it before he gets the chance to partake.
  • To deal with the poison from a sea urchin spine in Cody's foot, Big Z drinks a lot of water, and then urinates on the wound (we hear, but don't see the urine contacting Cody's foot). Cody is grossed out by this and tries to get away, prompting Lani to knock him unconscious to keep him from struggling with them.
  • A kid character refers to someone as a "trashcan full of poop."
  • Tank refers to the time when his mom "pooped him out" (gave birth to him).
  • Cody ends up in a pool of thick, glowing goo, and he thinks it's fun, but Lani points out that he's below a bunch of glowworms and that he's in a pool of their droppings. Cody then playfully pulls Lani into that with him.
  • Two child penguins react to the smell of a silent fart from a third, with one saying that third one really has to go to the bathroom.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Cody's older brother has a condescending attitude toward him.
  • We see archival footage of Tank running over his competition while surfing on the waves, resulting in other contestants being knocked around and their boards broken.
  • After catching Tank throwing rocks at Big Z's memorial statue, Cody throws one at Tank.
  • Tank has a bad and conceited attitude toward most everyone, and knocks Chicken Joe aside to take on Cody in a surfing competition.
  • Reggie is a sleazy and opportunistic surfing promoter.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Some scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling or suspenseful to the youngest of viewers, but few others.
  • We see archival footage of Big Z supposedly dying in a huge wave wipeout, but don't see the impact (only him disappearing in the wave and his board breaking apart, all from a distance).
  • Cody wipes out in a huge wave, and repeatedly is thrashed by more waves every time he comes up for air. He eventually hits his head underwater, knocking himself out, with Lani having to save him. She starts to perform CPR on him, but he's later okay after Big Z pulls a sea urchin spine from the bottom of his foot.
  • Little spears or arrows are fired at Chicken Joe and one hits the camera lens, breaking it. This is from some smaller animals that have hunted him down and now have him in a large cauldron, adding cooking vegetables and such, but he believes they view him as a god and that he's in a hot tub of sorts (all played for comedy).
  • Cody ends up falling into a hole, with Lani jumping after him, but she knew all along that's what she wanted them to do (they end up "surfing" through underground tunnels that occasionally get near lava flows and sharp rocks, but this is all played for adventure rather than suspense).
  • Cody and Tank end up surfing through the "bone yard" where they must maneuver through all sorts of sharp and craggy rocks that jut up out of the water. During that, Tank backhands Cody off his board, but then runs into some of those rocks. We don't see the impact, but he's knocked out, and Lani must save him. Cody's trying to hold onto some of those rocks, but is washed around by the huge waves. Big Z then tells him to let a wave push Cody to him, so he does, and Big Z rescues him as another huge wave hits.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Little spears or arrows are fired at Chicken Joe and one hits the camera lens, breaking it. Another such spear later lands in the camera operator out of view of the camera, but we see the POV of the camera as it tips and falls over.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Place sucks, bro," "Shut up," "This whale dude is giving me a brain freeze," "It was insane," "Does blubber-ball go any faster?' "Radical," "Later, dudes," "Oh crap," "She called you crap," "He's a big zero," "Stink," "Keep your girlfriend out of this," "Bring it on, p*ckerface," "For crying out loud," "Loser," "Get off your lazy butt," "Help me up so I can kick your butt," "Are you nuts?" "Get yourself a big bowl of shut up," "He's a dirty trashcan full of poop," "I can feel it in my nuggets" (said by Chicken Joe, non-sexually), "Sheesh," "You're the one who's got to ride the damn thing," "Piece of junk," "Jerk," "We're acting like a bunch of nut jobs," "Oh jeez," "Give it a rest," "You're going down, snowflake," "You're a nobody," "Let's go, loser," "Skank" (instead of "Tank") and "You got a little sand in your egg-sack."
  • Some kids may try to imitate the surfing action.
  • Cody repeatedly makes raspberry sounds with his mouth toward his brother.
  • As a whale's blowhole blasts Chicken Joe upward, he enthusiastically comments on that causing him "butt freeze" (compared to "brain freeze").
  • Chicken Joe wears two coconut halves like a bra top.
  • To deal with the poison from a sea urchin spine in Cody's foot, Big Z drinks a lot of water, and then urinates on the wound (we hear, but don't see the urine contacting Cody's foot).
  • Big Z belches.
  • Tank refers to the time when his mom "pooped him out" (gave birth to him).
  • Reggie belches.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 slang terms using what may be interpreted as male genitals, but could just be referring to a penguin's bill ("p*cker-face"), 2 craps and 1 damn.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • As Reggie stands up out of some water, the area over his crotch his digitized, but he's completely fur-covered, so between the two, nothing is seen.
  • Chicken Joe wears two coconut halves like a bra top.
  • The camera briefly focuses on the butts of some female penguins.
  • Talking like a smooth player, Tank says he likes holding the ladies, adding, "You know what I'm talking about." We then see that he's talking about his surfing trophies and has given them women's names, including Teresa who he says is a "dirty girl." We then hear his mother ask (off-camera) if he's polishing his trophies again. Embarrassed, he yells out that he isn't, but then quietly says he'll polish them later.
  • After "surfing" through underground tunnels and ending up in a pool of glowworm droppings, Cody and Lani wash off under a waterfall. She starts to ask if she can tell him something personal, but he quickly replies that they're already in the shower together.
  • We see Tank kissing one of his surfing trophies (related to an above entry).
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Cody says he didn't know his father, and we then see a still photo of the dad, just as a killer whale is bearing down on him for the kill (played for laughs as the title with the photo says "deceased").
  • Chicken Joe says he also never knew his father, and we then see a photo of the dad on a bucket of chicken.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Following one's dreams.
  • Fear of being viewed as a failure and/or has-been.
  • Egotistical champions.
  • Surfing.
  • Promoters and managers.
  • Why humans are drawn to penguins.
  • The comment that surfing isn't about winning, but rather the experience.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A snowball hits Cody on the head when he's doing an interview on camera.
  • A surfer crashes into a rock in some old footage.
  • Cody's face smashes into the camera.
  • We see archival footage of Tank running over his competition while surfing on the waves, resulting in other contestants being knocked around and their boards broken.
  • After catching Tank throwing rocks at Big Z's memorial statue, Cody throws one at Tank.
  • Tank knocks Chicken Joe aside to take on Cody in a surfing competition.
  • Cody wipes out in a huge wave, and repeatedly is thrashed by more waves every time he comes up for air. He eventually hits his head underwater, knocking himself out, with Lani having to save him. She starts to perform CPR on him, but he's later okay after Big Z pulls a sea urchin spine from the bottom of his foot.
  • Lani knocks Big Z from his hammock while he sleeps (to get him up to help her with Cody).
  • Big Z throws something at the camera that's photographing him (seen from its point of view).
  • To deal with the poison from a sea urchin spine in Cody's foot, Big Z drinks a lot of water, and then urinates on the wound (we hear, but don't see the urine contacting Cody's foot). Cody is grossed out by this and tries to get away, prompting Lani to knock him unconscious to keep him from struggling with them.
  • A rock falls on Chicken Joe's head when he lifts it up to look under it (for Cody).
  • Big Z throws some fruit that hits Cody on the head.
  • As Big Z pulls along a large log, Cody falls face-first to the ground. Moments later, Cody causes the log to role over Big Z's foot and then his own.
  • After Cody steps on his hand, Big Z ends up falling down a steep hill (played for laughs).
  • Cody is smacked around by a bunch of waves.
  • Little spears or arrows are fired at Chicken Joe and one hits the camera lens, breaking it. Another such spear later lands in the camera operator out of view of the camera, but we see the POV of the camera as it tips and falls over.
  • Lani and Cody accidentally run into each other, with both falling down.
  • A foot snare catches Cody and yanks him up into the air. Chicken Joe then requests the animal warriors to release him, and they do, resulting in Cody landing hard on the ground.
  • Reggie pushes Mikey down to the sand as he attempts to get to Cody to talk to him.



  • Reviewed May 23, 2007 / Posted June 8, 2007

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