Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 2007. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Sony Pictures Animation. Story by Christopher Jenkins, Christian Darren, Screenplay by Don Rhymer, Ash Brannon, Chris Buck, Christopher Jenkins, Lisa Addario, Joe Syracuse. Produced by Christopher Jenkins. Music by Mychael Danna. Production Design by Paul Lasaine. Film Editing by Ivan Bilancio, Nancy Frazen. Academy Awards 2007.
Penguin Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf) dreams of getting out of his Antarctic town of Shiverpool where no expects him to do anything except take a job working at the fish packing plant with his brother. He loves to surf, dreaming of one day competing at Pin Gu island in the competition named after his now-dead hero Big Z. He finally makes it there, making new friends with a spaced-out chicken (Jon Heder), a lovely penguin lifeguard (Zooey Deschanel) and a wise old sage (Jeff Bridges) who gave up the game years ago but is now willing to teach Cody a thing or two. Hilariously enough, the film takes the form of a Bruce Brown-esque documentary, including some really very funny on-camera “interviews” and bits of random humour that emphasize the light, charming quality that is to be enjoyed here. Appealing voice work is another plus (particularly Deschanel and Mario Cantone), and the animation is lovely.