"Find Your Purpose"
What You Need To Know:
MOVIEGUIDE® commends Sony for the quality of its animation and the uplifting conclusion. We are concerned, however, the box office may suffer because Cody is less likable than a hero should be and because the bathroom humor so unnecessary, including the use of urine as a cure. There is plenty in life that can be made humorous in a good script without resorting to that.
(B, L, V, M) Light moral worldview stresses becoming less selfish, finding purpose and learning that there is more to life than winning; one obscenity, and there is talk of bathroom behavior and a scene where urine is used as antidote to poison from spiked sea creature; some comic violence and surfing action; no sex; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking; and, a lot of snide remarks and taunts that put down others.
SURF’S UP is a well-made, entertaining, animated family movie featuring a small penguin named Cody (voiced Shia LaBeouf) who wants to be a star surfer like his hero Big Z. The animation is first-rate. The waves in some of the surfing scenes are impressive.
The movie is made in a semi-documentary format with a film crew supposedly following Cody throughout the story. In an early interview, Cody and his brother are highly disrespectful of their mother. When Cody was very young, Big Z gave him a souvenir surfing medal, and Cody became determined to become a great surfer like Big Z. He became a loner as the only penguin in Shiverpool, Antarctica interested in surfing.
Years later, Mikey, a surfing talent scout, comes looking for competitors for the Big Z memorial surfing competition. Cody finds a way to join the band of surfers headed for the tropical islands for the big contest. Quickly challenging the reigning champ Tank Evans (voiced by Diedrich Bader), Cody learns he has a lot to learn. The tropical waves are many times larger than his arctic ones.
Fortunately for Cody, he is befriended by Chicken Joe (Jon Heder), Lani the lifeguard (Zooey Deschanel) and her uncle (Jeff Bridges), though he does little to deserve their friendship. The question is, will Cody learn what he needs to in time for the big competition and will Cody learn that there is more to life than winning.
In Pixar’s CARS, Lightning McQueen was selfish and proud in the beginning, but became quite likable well before the movie ended. Cody improves some but remains rather abrasive until very near the end of the movie. Some of the other characters in the movie are much more likeable.
SURF’S UP is marred by some unnecessary bathroom humor and words associated with it, including the use of urine as a cure when Cody steps on a poison needled sea creature. The MPAA gave the movie a PG with the warning “for mild language and some rude humor.” Pixar does well with G ratings but other studios apparently believe a PG rating is more attractive.
MOVIEGUIDE® commends Sony for the quality of its animation and the uplifting conclusion. We are concerned the box office may suffer because Cody is less likable than a main character should be and because the bathroom humor was so unnecessary. There is plenty in life that can be made humorous in a good script without resorting to gas, liquids and solids being excreted from the body.