Sunday, 5 August 2007

Surf's Up

“Surfs up gnarly dude!”

So the new computer animated movie from Sony Pictures Animation, how is it?

Well I got to say I really, really enjoyed this movie! I’ll admit my opinion will be slightly biased because of the surfing aspect of the film, a fave past time of mine. But I think even a non-surfer would still have a good time with this.

Firstly the animation is incredible, top-notch all round, especially the water and wave effects. They are unbelievable, I can’t even imagine how much work and effort must have gone into getting the waves to peel perfectly and roll on like they do. The amount or polygons, textures and blending effects that must have gone into creating them is incredible.

The backgrounds also have a sense of life to them, even when characters are walking in the foreground, the jungle or the ocean is all moving behind them completely realistically. It is definitely some of the best cartoon styled animation I have ever seen in a film.

The whole mock-umentary set-up for the film was quite original, the story it’s self is quite straight forward, so by having this ‘gimmick’ seemed to keep it fresh. I think it was an interesting approach, especially for a film that’s likely to be aimed mainly at children (though adults will have just as much fun with it). If you’re a surfer there’s so many other little touches that’ll bring a smile to your face as well (like having Kelly Slater and Rob Machado as commentators).

The comedy here is for all ages but the majority is all quite mature and subtle without having to resort to fart jokes and silly things like that.

The only thing I didn’t really get was why they had to be penguins. It could have been any animal, and seeing penguins have already been used in ‘Happy Feet’ and ‘March of the Penguins,’ it seemed like maybe they were jumping on the penguin bandwagon. But apparently this was in production before penguins became the next big thing, so I’ll let them off.

Thoroughly enjoyable film and definitely the best non-pixar CGI animation I’ve seen.

And any film where a penguin is surfing at night under a full moon with incubus playing in the background is awesome in my books.


(8/10 for non-surfers)
(7/10 for non-penguins)

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