(Blu-ray + DVD-Video)
B+/B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: C Film: C
latest of a remarkable number of computer animated feature productions (they
are not cheap to make) is the Ash Brannon/Chris Buck comedy Surf’s Up (2007) which is about
penguins (all the rage lately) who love to go surfing. Instead of just another animated world to
colorfully bounce around in, the twist here is that we are watching a
“documentary” about the exploits of these friends in a style that goes back to
the surf films of the 1950s and 1960s.
advantage of this is that they can still use penguins and not look like the
other –penguin productions, as well as skirt the obvious point that they do not
have Pixar’s animation technology.
Unfortunately, the images of “scratched film” and fading film (including
odd sepia-tones that are never explained) are so overdone that it wears thin
very quickly. That is despite voice
acting from Shia Labeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder, James
Woods, Mario Cantone and Diedrich Bader, all well cast as the penguins travel
from Antarctica to the beach to hit the waves and even enter a contest!
an amusing idea, but even if they had better animation, it can only go so far
and that is why it only runs 85 minutes.
Still, children may be amused and animation fans will want to give it a
look just the same.
1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is good, but not up to the best CG
animated features we have seen. Part of
this is from said stylization, but there are also other detail limits more
common here than in TMNT. It also cannot compete with a Chicken Little, but looks better than
the anamorphically enhanced DVD version that looks good for its format, but is
no match for the Blu-ray.
TrueHD and PCM 16/48 5.1 mixes are about even, best presented in theaters in a
7.1 SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound) theatrical presentation at the time. Though the sound is definitely here and the
richness and fidelity have their moments, we have heard better TrueHD and PCM
5.1 tracks, but any complaints are only minor.
Both play better than the Dolby Digital options in either format and are
higher grade than many recent releases just the same.
include still galleries, two Chubbchubbs
CG shorts CG and animation fans may want as much as the feature, a pinball
game, Lauryn Hill Music Video for Lose
Myself tied to the film, progression reels on how the feature was made,
four featurettes, two audio commentary tracks (visual effects and directors)
and making of featurette. That should
keep the kids busy.
- Nicholas Sheffo