Surf's Up Movie Poster

Trivia for Surf's Up

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  • In a pictorial montage early on, where Cody is explaining the history of surfing and surf culture, one of the pictures featured is the 18th-century Japanese woodblock printer Katsushika Hokusai's "Great Wave off Kanagawa" reworked so a penguin is seen surfing off the wave's lip.
  • The title's translation in Russian is "Catch the Wave!", in many other languages it's "Kings of the Waves".
  • The layout department set up a special motion-capture camera system on an old Sony video camera to give the illusion that the movie was actually being made with a real hand-held video camera, and thus enhance the documentary atmosphere in the film.
  • Real-life famous surfers are shown throughout the film as part of the Pen Gu contest. Those surfers are Renato Mendes (Brazil), Rory Nubbins (Australia), and Tatsuhi Kobayashi (Japan).
  • Was shipped to some theaters under the name "Competitive Spirits".
  • UFOs are placed all around the movie in various scenes like "Z is for Zurfing" and where viewers meet Chicken Joe's dead father. This is revealed in one of the Easter Eggs on the DVD.
  • All the actors got to record in the same room together, which is unusual for an animated movie. However, due to scheduling conflicts, Jeff Bridges and James Woods never got to record their voices together.
  • (at around 11 mins) Early in the movie, Cody remarks about the lack of waves in Shiverpool, "You should have been here yesterday...", a common surfing aphorism lamenting poor surfing conditions.
  • SPEN ("Sports Penguin Entertainment Network") is a parody of the sports channel ESPN.
  • Pre-production began in 2002.
  • Jeff Bridges's first animated film since The Last Unicorn (1982), released 25 years previously.
  • At the start of the movie, Cody is asked if he has any other skills besides surfing. He asks "Like what? Singing and dancing?" This is a dig at the concurrently produced Happy Feet (2006).
  • The character of The Geek is a homage to another of Jeff Bridges's creations, The Dude, in The Big Lebowski (1998).
  • The animators made a research trip to Malibu Beach to study surf and surfers.
  • Directors Ash Brannon and Chris Buck provide the voices for the film crew chronicling the adventures of Cody.
  • This went from theatrical release to DVD in only 18 weeks.
  • Editor Ivan Bilancio is also a highly accomplished surfer in his spare time.
  • Reggie Belafonte was inspired by Bill Sharp, the promoter of the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards. Sharp is known for his spiked-up hairstyles and frequent media appearances on TV and in surfing documentary films such as Billabong Odyssey (2003).
  • The night time footage was shot on a different, slightly grainier stock.
  • In one scene, Mikey Abromovitz says "I feel a little light headed." That line was heard in Sony Pictures Animation's first movie Open Season (2006).
  • Originally SPEN was to have on-screen announcers appear as a walrus named Chunk and a seal named Rock, but were replaced when Kelly Slater and Rob Machado signed on. However, the characters can still be found in the various Surf's Up video games, with Sal Masekela making an on-screen appearance in Chunk's guise.
  • "Surf's Up" is also the title of an episode of Even Stevens (2000), which Shia LaBeouf also starred in.
  • In the first appearance of SPEN Sports, there is a line "And now to dodgeball", in reference to Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) and its ESPN 8: the Ocho joke.
  • In the brazilian dub of the film, Cody's city is translated to Frio de Janeiro (Frio means "Cold" in English), as a reference to Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil.
  • The voice-actors were encouraged to improvise their dialogue where appropriate.
  • When Cody washes up on the beach while Z is training him, Z laughs and says "Wipeout." This is an homage to the beginning of the song "Wipeout" by The Surfaris, where a similar laugh and the word "wipeout" begins the song.
  • The last film to be released in 8-channel (7.1) Sony Dynamic Digital Sound (SDDS). All subsequent SDDS releases used the standard 6-channel (5.1) sound mix found in most films.
  • The opening scene was the last one to be created.
  • Writer Christopher Jenkins originally conceived the film as a darkly comedic take on "Romeo & Juliet" with penguins.
  • Some performers handled real props while recording their lines: Zooey Deschanel carried a sandbag to simulate Lani's squid, and James Woods really did throw things at the filmmakers when his character did the same.
  • Every single shot in the film features some film grain, consistent with the documentary visual style.
  • John Heder provided Geek's impressive burp, not Jeff Bridges.
  • The character Big Z is based on pioneer surfer Greg Noll. Noll is known for having surfed particularly imposing waves from the late 1950s to the late 1960s, but he chose to end his career shortly after trying to surf the largest wave ever attempted.
  • There are less than 900 shots in the movie - a relatively small amount for a big-budgeted animated film.
  • Diedrich Bader, who voices Tank Evans, also provides the voice of Tank's mother, uncredited.
  • Second film to star Jon Heder and Diedrich Bader, the other movie is Napoleon Dynamite (2004).
  • John Goodman, Kevin James, Kris Kristofferson, Bill Murray, Mike Myers and Ray Romano were considered for the role of Big Z.
  • Drew Barrymore were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Both Tank Evans and his Mom have heterochromia, a condition where one iris is a different colour from the other.
  • "The Big Z Memorial" surfing competition is based off of the Quiksilver "In memory of Eddie Aikau" competition. The competition is only held when waves are in upwards of forty feet.
  • Cody's last name is Maverick. Mavericks California is known around the world to big wave surfers, the waves most of the time average highs of 25 feet and at the highest, waves of 60 feet. The events are held annually during the winter months, usually November through March, depending on how favorable the weather conditions are for competition. Kelly Slater has competed in Mavericks, he has a small role in this film.
  • Sony Animation's first film to not have any humans.
  • Lost the Oscar for Best Animated Feature to Pixar's Ratatouille (2007). Director Chris Buck would later direct Frozen (2013), which did win the award.
  • James Woods' 4th Theatrically Released Animated Film, after Hercules (1997), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001).
  • Keira Knightley were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Steve Carell were considered for the role of Cody Maverick.
  • Mike Myers were considered for the role of Chicken Joe.
  • Michael Chiklis were considered for the role of Tank 'The Shredder' Evans.
  • Diedrich Bader's fourth animated film after Bartok the Magnificent (1999), Recess: School's Out (2001), and Ice Age (2002).
  • Cody Maverick also shares the same name to current Sony Animation worker Cody Cameron.
  • Jack Nicholson were considered for the role of Reggie Belafonte.
  • Sam Rockwell were considered for the role of Cody Maverick.
  • James Gandolfini were considered for the role of Tank 'The Shredder' Evans.
  • Jude Law were considered for the role of Big Z.
  • Kevin Spacey were considered for the role of Big Z.
  • Lisa Kudrow were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Patricia Arquette were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Michael J. Fox were considered for the role of Cody Maverick.
  • Renée Zellweger were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Jim Carrey were considered for the role of Chicken Joe.
  • Tommy Lee Jones were considered for the role of Big Z.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Tim Curry were considered for the role of Reggie Belafonte.
  • Tom Hanks were considered for the role of Cody Maverick.
  • Frankie Muniz were considered for the role of Mikey Abromowitz
  • Jeff Goldblum were considered for the role of Tank 'The Shredder' Evans.
  • Al Pacino were considered for the role of Tank 'The Shredder' Evans.
  • Emilio Estevez were considered for the role of Cody Maverick.
  • Katie Wagner were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Gene Hackman were considered for the role of Big Z.
  • Steve Martin were considered for the role of Cody Maverick.
  • Chris Cooper were considered for the role of Tank 'The Shredder' Evans.
  • Vincent D'Onofrio were considered for the role of Chicken Joe.
  • Lorraine Bracco were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Stephen Lang were considered for the role of Big Z.
  • Ben Affleck were considered for the role of Chicken Joe.
  • Justin Bartha were considered for the role of Tank 'The Shredder' Evans.
  • Kate Capshaw were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Will Patton were considered for the role of Mikey Abromowitz.
  • Jason Flemyng were considered for the role of Cody Maverick.
  • Leslie Nielsen were considered for the role of Chicken Joe.
  • Kirk Douglas were considered for the role of Big Z.
  • Anjelica Huston were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Robin Tunney were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Anthony Hopkins were considered for the role of Big Z.
  • Tim Roth were considered for the role of Tank 'The Shredder' Evans.
  • Henry Winkler were considered for the role of Big Z.
  • Bridget Fonda were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • Mike Judge were considered for the role of Cody Maverick.
  • Robert Carlyle were considered for the role of Chicken Joe.
  • Jennifer Gareis were considered for the role of Lani Aliikai.
  • The first theatrically released animated film to be composed by Mychael Danna, later he'd go onto compose The Good Dinosaur (2015), Storks (2016), The Addams Family (2019), and Onward (2020).
  • As of 2018 this is the only theatrically released animated film composed by Mychael Danna that's not co-composed by his brother Jeff Danna.
  • Classifying the characters in terms of species, Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf), Edna Maverick (Dana Belben), Glen Maverick (Brian Posehn), and Glen's Buddy (Maddie Taylor) are southern rockhopper penguins, Zeke "Big Z" Topanga (Jeff Bridges) is an emperor penguin, Lani Aliikai (Zooey Deschanel) is a gentoo penguin, Tank Evans (Diedrich Bader) is a king penguin, Mikey Abromowitz (Mario Cantone) is a wader, Reggie Balefonte (James Woods) is a marine otter ((which explains where this film is set in) despite fans and the internet mistaking him for a sea otter), Chicken Joe (Jon Heder) is a domestic chicken, and Ivan (Maddie Taylor) is a fire urchin.
  • Sony Animation's first fully animated film to be accompanied by a short film.
  • Cody and Lani are named after characters in the series Baywatch.

Spoilers

  • Originally, there were interviews with two of Z's old girlfriends, Doris and Sheila (voiced by Mindy Sterling and Jane Krakowski, respectively). They were cut to keep the focus of the film on Cody. Doris and Sheila do appear in the movie, when Z appears on the beach near the end. If this happened then Krakowski would have voiced a female character in every film made by Sony Animation.
  • Big Z faked his death and assumed a new identity as the Geek. This is a tribute to James Woods's previous film, the gangster classic Once Upon a Time in America (1984), where the same thing happened with Woods's character.
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