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  • What's Up with Surf's Up? (besides Surf...

    Oct 01 2014 07:01 AM | Nozdordomu in Media Reviews

    It’s a strange feeling, being reminded that something exists. That’s the exact feeling I got when I logged onto YouChew one morning a week ago and found that several users had changed their avatars to pictures of Surf’s Up characters. Surf’s Up being the computer-animated, surfing-themed, penguin-starring, celebrity-voiced, Academy Award-nominated mockumentary that somehow managed to completely slip my mind until I saw Chicken Joe on cantfly’s head. (Hey, I remembered that much!)

    Well, okay, that’s not completely true. I made a short post about seeing the film in that “Box office flops you saw in the theater” thread. As I remember, Surf’s Up constituted part of the mid-2000s wave (no pun intended) of animated penguin films, inspired either by Pebble and the Penguin or March of the Penguins, and including such classics as Madagascar and the Happy Feet movies. The fad clearly hasn’t died down yet, seeing as The Penguins of Madagascar is set to come out later this year. I don’t know why audiences were so hungry for cartoons about penguins, or why it had to happen then, but I actually think that Surf’s Up played a big part in quelling that hunger. It underperformed at the box office, not making back twice its budget (the bar for a blockbuster success) and seemingly disappearing from everyone’s minds the minute they left the theater.

    As to why I saw this in the theater: when you’re 11, a “big kid,” any cartoon that looks a little more adult than the...

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