I just saw this movie today and I have to say I think it is one of the better animated movies I've seen in a while. It's my favorite animated movie since "The Incredibles."
I didn't think I was going to like this movie. Some things looked funny from the trailers, but I'm a surfer from Hawaii so I tend to be protective of those two things. I didn't much care for "Lilo and Stitch" for example. Seeing the trailers, It looked like they ripped off a bunch of things from recent surf documentaries like "Step Into Liquid," and "Riding Giants."
"Surf's Up" surprised me though. Yes, there were a few things they ripped off from those surf documentaries, but they did it in an entertaining way. The story was fairly predictable, but once again they did it in an entertaining way.
The animation was very impressive. Sony has come the closest to PIXAR quality animation of all the studios. This, with only their second movie. The character acting was right on and believable. There were times where I actually forgot that they were penguins. The animation and acting were that good. One thing Sony really nailed on this movie was the facial acting in the eyes and face. This is a one thing that all the other studios fall waaaaay short of PIXAR, not so with Sony.
The character designs were also really great. They were cartoony, yet believable as the animals that they were. Very cohesive designs as well, unlike their first movie, "Open Season." In that movie the main characters looked great, but all the secondary characters looked horrible. They didn't even look like they lived in the same world. All the designs in "Surf's Up" looked cute and appealing.
Too bad this movie is coming out this year. It is the best animated movie this year, and any other year it would have walked away with the Oscar. This year, however, it'll have to compete against "Shrek 3" and "Ratatouille."
This is a movie people should check out. It has something for all ages. I actually found myself laughing more often and louder than most kids in the theater. I hope this does well for Sony and they keep their feature animation studio.
...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."