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Surf's Up (2007)


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 144
Fresh: 112
Rotten: 32

Critics Consensus: Surf's Up is a laid back, visually stunning animated movie that brings a fresh twist to some familiar conventions. Its witty mockumentary format is fun and inventive, and the CGI is breathtakingly realistic.

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 31
Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: Surf's Up is a laid back, visually stunning animated movie that brings a fresh twist to some familiar conventions. Its witty mockumentary format is fun and inventive, and the CGI is breathtakingly realistic.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 630,264


Movie Info

A "mockumentary" on how penguins were actually the inventors of surfing, including behind-the-scenes footage from the Penguin World Surfing Championship.

PG (for mild language and some rude humor)
Action & Adventure , Animation , Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By:
Don Rhymer , Joe Syracuse , Lisa Addario , Christian Darren
In Theaters:
Oct 9, 2007
Box Office:
Sony Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Surf's Up

All Critics (151) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (112) | Rotten (32) | DVD (20)

Not a comedy tsunami, just consistent ripples of laughs and good vibes.

Full Review… | September 9, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

It's probably not the kind of animated adventure that's going to garner Oscar talk, but it's a good-hearted, old-fashioned, family-friendly tale.

June 18, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Deeply uncool! At least the too-cute penguins don't dance.

Full Review… | June 9, 2007
Time Out New York
Top Critic

If you have to see one penguin movie, this is it.

Full Review… | June 9, 2007
Top Critic

Not exactly awash in cleverness, but it is good clean fun for the family.

Full Review… | June 8, 2007
USA Today
Top Critic

Surf's Up is quite surprisingly good, going for the subtle chuckle where Happy Feet opted for show-stopping spectacle.

Full Review… | June 8, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

O estilo mockumentary confere charme a esta animação, que também se beneficia da dublagem perfeita de Bridges e de uma técnica impressionante (a animação de fluidos é fabulosa).

September 17, 2008
Cinema em Cena

The [filmmakers were] hard-pressed to come up with enough story for even an old-time six-minute cartoon short.

Full Review… | August 7, 2008
Sacramento News & Review

This is not just another penguin movie.

Full Review… | July 13, 2008

I'm still waiting for animation to go beyond talking animals and simplistic premises with almost take away value. I guess I'll have to sit on the fence with this one...

Full Review… | May 31, 2008
Cinema Crazed

I was prepared to bash another penguin movie for hopping on the bandwagon, but this one adds enough for me to put those worries to rest.

Full Review… | March 3, 2008
The Scorecard Review

Surf's Up belongs to that refreshing group of animated films that suffuse enough adult humor to bypass the children's radar but hit mom and dad right in the funny bone.

Full Review… | February 28, 2008
Colorado Springs Gazette

Kids will dive into penguin adventure, dude.

Full Review… | October 31, 2007
Common Sense Media

ena periorismenon dynatotiton kinoymeno, poy kanei ayto akribos poy yposhetai, horis polla-polla

Full Review… | October 25, 2007
Movies for the Masses

It's fun for a while, but the script doesn't have the structure to sustain 85 minutes.

Full Review… | September 21, 2007
Sydney Morning Herald

The American CGI-animated Surf's Up is a treat.

Full Review… | August 18, 2007
Observer [UK]

Wipeout! Surf's Up is terrific entertainment for all the family.

Full Review… | August 10, 2007
Sunday Mirror [UK]

I commend Ash Brannon and Chris Buck's animated film, especially to those who have not yet reached the age of 10.

Full Review… | August 10, 2007
This is London

ntertainingly presented as a mockumentary a la Best in Show, this CG caper is ideal if you have time to krill.

Full Review… | August 10, 2007

The real reason Surf's Up is so aggravating is that it's more concerned with sucking up to adults than it is to enchanting their children.

Full Review… | August 10, 2007
Daily Telegraph

A happy 85 minutes, although it might have been a teensy bit happier, banishing all hint of repetition, at 75.

Full Review… | August 10, 2007
Financial Times

Cranked out to an hour and a half, it had me flapping my arms in irritation.

Full Review… | August 10, 2007

The animated super-fluffiness and soppy storyline make Surf's Up a film all the family can enjoy.

Full Review… | August 10, 2007
Sun Online

Yet another preposterous penguin animation.

Full Review… | August 10, 2007
Times [UK]

After Potter, Spidey, Pirates and The Simpsons, a small contender surfs in from out of nowhere to steal the title of THE family film of 2007.

Full Review… | August 10, 2007
Daily Mirror [UK]

Audience Reviews for Surf's Up

I like the ending
The one with passion win the competition
The main character doesn't need to win but he defeat the enemy and got the answer.


Cute mockumentary following a young penguin and his hero.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

What you may disregard as another computer animated film about penguins is quite a pleasant surprise and blows Happy Feet out of the water, literally. What makes it so original and fun is that it doesn't even pretend to be about animals but takes the shape of documentary about the biggest surf tournament of the year and its players, with all that includes: interviews, old footage, background stories and so on. It also helps that the animation is beautiful and impressive, water never looked better. The characters are lovable and fun, there are plenty of jokes, both slapstick and more subtle humor, it's just an all around fun film for all ages and actually one of the animated highlights of recent years for its different approach.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Cody Maverick: I don't understand why everybody has to be so judgmental. I understand why mom's judgmental. I think it's 'cause she cares, partially. Think it's also partially 'cause, everyone else is lookin' at her like, "Hey, Cody's just a bum." "Cody's this," "Cody's that," "Cody's this." Cody's me, bro. Let me be me. When is that going to start? 

"The ocean just got cooler."

Surf's Up is one of the more underrated animated films in my opinion. It also happens to be one of my most loved. I love the idea to present it in documentary format. That's just a great idea that adds a new layer to the genre. This is a clever, funny, touching, and beautiful little film with a great voice cast. I'd also label it as cool, which is not an attribution I give to many kid oriented movies. This one is however. It's got a good little soundtrack and really uses the awesomeness of surfing to its advantage. 

Cody Maverick is a penguin living in Antarctica with his mother and brother. Both of them think he needs to get a life. All he wants to do though is surf. A documentary filmmaker decides to make a movie on Cody and his rise. When a talent scout comes and takes him away, we follow him to the biggest surf competition, which is named after Cody's fallen hero, Big Z. Cody is the underdog at the competition, but a stranger helps him hone his skills and become the person(penguin) he needs to be. The story has a nice family oriented message that goes along with it, just like every other kid movie. This one, however, is a lot more fun than the average kid movie.

Cody is a character we can cheer for. The dialogue is cool, especially when you're talking about an animated, made for kids movie. The visuals are awesome. The surfing scenes are amazing. It's just an all around cool, fun, and humorous little movie that will surely keep the children in your family entertained, while doing more than enough for the adults as well. This one will always be one of my favorites. 

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Surf's Up Quotes

Chicken Joe:
Dude, she's totally into you! She called you crap!
– Submitted by Cameron D (2 years ago)
Lani Aliikai:
Alright, well this is the third time you've been unconscious this week. I just don't think it's very good for your brain.
– Submitted by Maria S (2 years ago)
Chicken Joe:
I know he's out here. I can feel it in my nuggets!
– Submitted by Maria S (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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