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Genre: CG Animation
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, James Woods, Jane Krakowski, Jon Heder, Mario Cantone, Brian Benben, Michael McKean
Director: Ashley Brannon and Chris Buck
Rating: G
Year Made: 2007




- All-New "Chubb Chubbs Save Christmas" Animated Short!
- Chubb Chubbs (2002 Academy Award winner Best Short Animated Film)
- Surf's Up Games
- Finding Cody Game
- Filmmaker's Commentary
- Surf's Up Reinvents Animation - Not A Drop of Real Water:
1. Camera in the box/surf cam
2. Making Waves
3. Storyboard to Surfboard
- Lost Scenes
- Behind the scenes of Doris & Sheila
- Music Video "Lose Myself" by Lauryn Hill
- Arnold's Zurfinary
- Meet the Penguins
- Surf Like A Pro

- Trailer



Languages: English/Korean/Chinese
Subtitles: English/Korean/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 25 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment
Official Website:




Come join Cody, a Rockhopper penguin, as he journeys from his home in Shiverpool, Antartica to take part in the Big Z Memorial Surf Off on the beach of Pen Gu Island. During his adventure he meets some new friends including surf nut Chicken Joe and the spirited lifeguard Lani. Cody believes that winning is everything until he meets The Geek, an old, washed-up pro-surfer who may just show Cody that a true winner isn't always the one who comes in first.


For a start, I have to declare that I have absolutely no issues with penguins.

The penguins in “Madagascar” were sneaky but cute while the singing/dancing birds (not my type though) in “Happy Feet” are bearable at least to me.

For a consecutive 3 years, we have animated penguins on the big screen and so when “Surf’s Up” arrived, I suffered a bit of “Penguins” fatigue.

To a certain extent, “Surf’s Up” is pretty innovating. Using a mockumentary-angle to capture the story of Cody (voiced by current Hollywood IT boy, Shia LaBeouf), a young penguin whose life-long desire is to pursue his interest in surfing in the Big Z Memorial Surf Off taking after his idol, the infamous “Big Z” (Jeff Bridges). Upon arriving on Pen Gu Island, he meets new friends. The beautiful lifeguard, Lani (Zooey Deschanel) and a chicken named Chicken Joseph (Jon “Dynamite” Heder) or better known as Chicken Joe and a sports promoter with spunky hair (the gruffy James Wood).

Towards the halfway mark, I began to get distracted. Beside that cute little penguin named Arnold who occasionally popped up to melt your heart, the overall dialogue isn’t that witty to generate hearty laughs and well, the plot is typical of a feel-good movie, lessons are learnt and everyone lives happily ever after. I can’t imagine how the young folks will be entertained. Still, it's hard to fault it though since it's meant to be good-natured family fun.

But by being distracted, I was totally mesmerized by the rich CG rendering touches. The life-like water waves, the jungle floral, the cold shivering Antarctica and the welcoming feel of Pen Gu Island. I could name more but I don’t want to get too carried away. Thumbs up to Sony Imageworks, finally there’s someone who could give the guys at Pixar a run for their money.

At the end of the day, ”Surf’s Up” consists of innovating camera shots and top-notch CG technology that will “wow” you. But veteran animation directors Ashley Brannon and Chris Buck (“Toy Story 2”, “Tarzan”) who helmed this project together forgot to add in an engaging story to go along. Perhaps it's in tune with the laidback attitude of surfers.


“Surf’s Up” comes in a single disc edition but the extras are a generous lot. Let’s move on with it!

If you can remember the chicks-like with killer teeth creatures in the animated award-winning short, “Chubb Chubbs”, they are back in an all-new short, “Chubb Chubbs Save Christmas”. Both the original and the new are included, all thanks to the generous folks at Sony.

There are at least 4 interactive games included. The Secret Spot: Make Your Own Surfboard with Big Z and Cody, Whale Hopping with Chicken Joe, Lava Surf Game and Let’s Find Cody. Sounds fun but honestly if you ask me, kids below the age of 10 might be more entertained.

There’s a full-length Filmmaker’s Commentary track by co-directors Ash Brannon and Chris Buck and producer Chris Jenkins here. Informative but not entirely engaging.

Surf’s Up Reinvents Animation - Not a Drop of Real Water is a great, useful featurette for wanna-be digital artists and for the curious audience. Spanning almost 20 minutes, it takes you behind-the-scenes on how a special motion-capturing camera system is used to create the documentary-feel of the movie in “Surf Cam” and also in “Making Waves”, we are shown how the digital waves are created and the group of goofy digital crew has to undergo Surf Camp in order to understand surfing better. From “Storyboard to Surfboard” takes you to the various stages from storyboards, rough layout, animation, feathers and fur, effects, composite to the final film. You can use the “Angle” button on the remote to access.

If you prefer a less hassle way, try “Progression Reel”. The separation of these components is viewable in this 5 minutes featurette. Anything from FX breakdown to creating Archival Footage to Particle FX Integration is mentioned here. Utter the terms a couple of times and you already sound like an expert.

“Lost Scenes” are in fact deleted scenes. Most of them are cut while still in the storyboarding stage so they are just plain sketches, comes equipped with filmmakers’ commentary. Behind the Scenes of Doris-and-Sheila is a 2 minutes segment of the sound-recording session with actresses Jane Krakowski and Mindy Sterling which was done years back accordingly. Sadly, it was deleted as well.

Easter Egg! I found one literally under “Lost Scenes” just right beside the image of sandpiper. Well, it seems the digital artistes concealed images of flying saucers in the movie. Try spotting them if you can.

“Arnold’s Zurfinary” is an intro to the world of surfing terminology. Learn what’s “Pearling”, “Wipeout”, “Tube” and adjectives such as “Radical”, “Awesome” and “Sweet”. Overall, Radical!

Through the eyes of 2 real-life penguins, we get to see how the cast and crew react with them in “Meet the Penguins” featurette. Kiddy fun.

How can an animation movie about surfing function without consultation from Surfing experts? Get tips and tricks from professional surfers in “Surf like a Pro”.

A music video “Lose Myself” by Lauryn Hill, photo galleries and a trailer for “Daddy Day Camp” rounds up this DVD.


Presented in anamorphic widescreen 1.85, the visual transfer is excellent all round, colours are sharp and bright. The beautifully-rendered azure oceans at Pen Gu Island and the surfing sequences are vivid to the eyes, makes you want to jump straight into it.

This Code 3 DVD comes with English, Korean and Chinese languages with similar subtitles option. The sound quality is flawless with plenty of excitement on the rear, left and right speakers.

Parting Thoughts:
Like I mentioned in my review, the CG technology in “Surf’s Up” is top-notch, so much better than the generic storyline. And the extras in this DVD make this a much tempting purchase. Get this to show it off on your HD-TV.



Review by Linus Tee


. Surf's Up (Movie Review)

. Surf's Up (Soundtrack Review)

Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

. Paprika

. Walking Tall: Lone Justice

. Dead Mary

. Spider-Man 3

. Priceless

. Trust the Man

. The Contractor

. Blood And Chocolate

. The Wicker Man

. Wind Chill

. Are We Done Yet?

. Android Apocalypse

. Elizabeth I

. The Proposition

. 3 Needles

. Ghost Rider

. The Pursuit of Happyness

. The Illusionist

. Catch & Release


This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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