Since penguins are the en vogue animals right now it makes complete sense that the directors of this film would use them in this mockumentary of the types of shows you would see on ESPN, TSN or the like. It is a penguin surfing competition in which Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf – Transformers, Disturbia), a young penguin from Antarctica, has big dreams of winning. The competition has been named after the revered missing penguin surfer, Big Z (Jeff Bridges – The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Big Lebowski). Once Cody starts the competition he realizes he is up against it with the reigning champion Tank Evans (Diedrich Bader – from television's The Drew Carey Show), an evil little bird who tries to win at any cost. Cody is desperate to win the competition as he believes that winning it will gain him the respect and love from others he so desperately wants. When Cody meets up with an over-the-hill surfer named The Geek he soon learns that winning is always what is most important in life.
As opposed to most (if not all) cartoons you have previously seen this one seems a little different due to the fact that it is shot in documentary style. Which means that it kinda jumps around a lot and while that won't confuse us adults so much, it is truly the kids I worry about. The documentary style does lend to the feeling like you are not watching a film but real life events that are unfolding. Technically speaking the animation is top notch as every emotion felt by the birds registers on their faces and you can read their body language.
Unlike the other penguin cartoon that was out recently, this one does not focus on penguins but rather on surfing. It truly is one of those sappy sports films only the stars are those lovable flightless birds. It does have plenty of messages for the young viewers to soak in such as friendship, fun, not thinking only of yourself, and depression. An all-ages type of film.
– "Surf Cam Documentary"
– "Meet the Penguins – with Mario Cantone
-Music Video – "Lose Myself" – Lauryn Hill
-Short Film – "The ChubbChubbs Save Xmas"
-Essay – "Arnold's Zurfinary"