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Look out for more coverage of
Surf’s Up in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Surf’s Up

THE STARS:
(voices) Jeff Bridges • Shia LaBeouf • Jon Heder • Zooey Deschanel
DIRECTOR: Buck/Brennan

Cody Maverick, voiced by Shia LaBeouf THE CONCEPT:
It was summer in Culver City, California, last night, when Sony Pictures launched a preview party for their new animated movie Surf’s Up.
ABOVE: Chicken Joe voiced by Jon Heder and Cody Maverick voiced by Shia LaBeouf.
BELOW: Big Z voiced by Jeff Bridges and Cody MaverickThe film’s unique premise follows a documentary crew as they profile Cody Maverick (LaBeouf), a penguin who has entered his first professional surfing competition, the Big Z Memorial Surf Off, where he comes face-to-face with a washed-up old surfer (Bridges) who teaches him a true winner isn’t always the one who comes in first.

U.S. RELEASE: June 8 2007, Nationwide • Rated: tba

THE COMMENTS:

CHRIS JENKINS (Producer):
“We always wanted to do it as a documentary, we knew that would give it very natural performances, we knew that putting a microphone in front of a character would result in (a sense of spontaneity).”

 Jeff Bridges and Shia LaBeoufJEFF BRIDGES:
“I just thought I’d play it as real [as possible]. One of the things that was appealing about the whole project to me was this documentary quality, the Spinal Tap kind of take on it, playing it pretty serious and finding the humor in that.”

SHIA LaBEOUF:
“I’ve always wanted to work with Jeff, so that was a huge appeal to me, and then you meet Chris and Ash and they start letting you loose and you realize how much free-flow thought you can put into it, plus it was a new concept, it was this hybrid version of animation that had never been done before.”

JON HEDER (Chicken Joe):
“I honestly loved the character design of my guy, I liked the chicken, he looked reminiscent of a lot of old school animation and I just thought he looked so cool, I was like, ‘I’ve got to do him.’”

ASH BRENNEN (Director):
“Having the actors work together was hard for the editors more than anything, because there were times when they would want a clean line that the other actor had jumped on top of, but we said, “Go for it, because it sounds real. It sounds like it just happened in the moment and the guy stepped on his line, and that’s what this movie is all about.”

JENKINS:
Happy Feet was always very different from our film. This is a documentary, Surf’s Up really works on the level of seeing the penguins as ourselves. As it turns out all the penguin stuff that’s out there is really great for us, because people have been prepped with what penguins do and we can have a little fun with it.”

CHRIS BUCK (Director):
“Jeff Bridges was our one and only choice for the character of Zeke, we’d been developing the character of Big Z before we even approached Jeff. We started to look at this character come together and thought, ‘This is just like Jeff,’ we’d seen all of his movies, including The Big Lebowski, which is very Jeff right there.”

BRIDGES on whether he sees Big Z as the ‘Dude’ of penguins:
“Yeah, you could say that. They both surf, they’re kind of laid back guys, the penguin’s into clams, the Dude does weed.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Surf’s Up site
Images above © Sony Pictures Animation
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #681, April 2007 cover

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