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Surf’s Up

Stop trying to monetize your hobbies


Release date: June 8, 2007
Director: Ash Brannon, Chris Buck
Language: English

Who should watch this movie: Fans of 7 Days in Hell. Fans of Waterlogged (1962).

When should you watch this movie: When summer feels really far away. When you desperately need a boost of serotonin.

The sell: Animated kids movies in the 2000’s were on some other shit, and sometimes it resulted in horror like Bee Movie and other times it resulted in masterpiece like Surf’s Up. This animated sports mockumentary with anthropomorphized surfing penguins resides precisely at the intersection of genius and absurd. The premise, thankfully, is never explained and the audience is left with no choice but to accept the bizarre setting, able then to focus on the story being told within it. An implied camera crew follows a dedicated young surfer, Cody, from Antarctica on his journey to a major surfing competition on “Paradise Island.” Reality footage is intercut with interview segments with a range of characters, including everyone from Cody’s family to pre-teen spectators at the competition. The story is set up like a classic “hero’s journey,” but expertly subverts expectation with a one-two punch of smart plot devices and strange (but not unwelcome) tangents. Amidst the humor and extraneous (hilarious) subplots, the film’s central messaging shines through. This film insists on the precedence of friendship over competition, going beyond simple sportsmanship to the very core of sport. Surf’s Up was directed by two actual pro-surfers (who cameo as penguin versions of themselves in the movie) and they absolutely nail the surfer attitude and lingo. This movie is just pure fun, and also there is a chicken and the chicken is the best character.

Note: Cody is voiced by Shia LaBeouf so you should feel guiltless in torrenting this movie


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