Who's in It:
The voices of Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder, James Woods
The Basics: Finally, at long last, Hollywood has come up with something new and fresh a penguin movie. Who were we as a people before this? We were in a dark, penguin-less tunnel, suffering, yearning for the adorable comic antics of cold-weather birds and being systematically denied their cuteness. I can breathe again now, my life renewed with joy. Oh, you want to know what this is about? Surfing. A surfing penguin has to find the hero within and compete to become the champion penguin surfer.
What's the Deal?I'm sure someone in an official capacity will say that this movie was well in production way before March of the Penguins and Happy Feet. But you know what? I don't care. It's too late. Even if it were good, it would be too late. And it's not good.
Why It's a Mess: Too silly and juvenile for adults; too adult in its approach for kids. It's structured like a mock documentary, complete with explanatory subtitles that identify characters and places. Know any preschool kids who watch documentaries and who are ready for an animated movie full of characters that speak in that offhand, casual, stammering, sentences-full-of-qualifying-clauses way that real doc subjects do? Little kids who can read well above their age level and get the subtlety of deadpan comedy? You do? OK, then I'm wrong. They're going to love it.
What Else About It Sucks: It just up and dumps the documentary idea whenever it feels like it. Do we need a wacky action sequence where penguins slide around in a cave, finding romance? Then let's have one and completely lose the these-characters-are-talking-directly-to-the-camera point of view while we do it.
Who's Cool: Stand-up comic Brian Posehn of the The Sarah Silverman Program is the voice of one of the penguins. He says funny stuff. It made it less unpleasant for a second.