Yes, it's another penguin movie. No, it's not the same as "Happy Feet". Yes, it's got better CGI than "March of the Penguins," which was a National Geographic film and didn't need CGI, for those keeping track. Get it, got it, good. Now we have *that* out of the way, we're off and running...
Cody is the little penguin who could, living in Antarctica and dreaming of being a surf pro. (After all, as we 'learn' in the film, penguins invented surfing.) The father of it all, Big Z, died years before doing what he loves best.
A talent scout/event recruiter nabs Cody to participate in a surf championship. He arrives, is too big for his britches, crashes into the rocks and ends up being saved by a lifeguard and hauled into the jungle. Standard fare, meets the Geek, who has a tremendous likeness to Big Z, and the rest is cinematic history.
A far cry from the next... anything noteworthy, honestly, it's at the same time not bad. The kids all enjoyed it and there were nuggets of humor sprinkled in that were not designed for the average 10-year-old movie-goer.
From a film as the overall package, it was about the right length to capture the attention spans, but not beat them over the head with any prolonged message, event, or script (as an aside, the 85 minutes feels perfect in stark contrast to the upcoming "Ratatouille" at 110 minutes... I have high hopes I don't nap). The animation was crisp, and the film presented in a mockumentary style worked for it -- and me.
I'm still hearing lines of the film being spouted off days later, which means your younger movie-goers won't be disappointed. Once I got past the preconceived notions about the "another penguin film," I have to admit finding a few bits to serve up as witty dialogue in conversations since then as well.