Surf's Up 2: WaveMania
Surf's Up 2: WaveMania is a 2017 American animated direct-to-DVD film produced by Sony Pictures Animation and WWE Films, and is the sequel to Surf's Up.
The adventurous Cody convinces The Hang 5, a famous big wave-riding crew, to accompany him to a surfing location known as "The Trenches", where the biggest waves in the world can be found.
Why It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken
- The main problem with this film is that it's pretty much a rehash of the original film: Cody travels to another island because of his enthusiasm for his idol(s), fights with Tank, and becomes a great surfer at the end. Even if it does have some changes, more specifically having Cody's idols to be The Hang Five, instead of Zeke "Big Z/Geek" Topanga and him directly meeting his idols instead of meeting his idol as a coincidence after being rescued by him.
- Compared to the original's stunning animation with natural lighting and good use of weather for realism, the animation here is a minor downgrade from the first film, as this film looks more like a DreamWorks TV series like All Hail King Julien with cheaper lighting and softer movements. The camera is also stiffer and moves less, worsening this film's attempt at being like a reality TV show compared to the first film.
- Weak storyline, as it is simply the gang going to another place with a lack of major twists aside from "RTL" being an acronym for "Riding The Lightning".
- The designs of the Hang 5 look very unappealing and unfitting with the characters from the first film, looking more cartoon-ish while the original characters had a more realistic edge.
- This so-called "sequel" doesn't have the same charm as the original film, especially with the simple animation and shallower stories.
- The film, after mentioning Big Z in a brief summary and in Mr. McMahon's line "Maybe not. Big Z always said Pen Gu breeds great surfers.", ditches him by, out of nowhere making Cody a fan of The Hang 5 and saying too little about his opinion on Big Z, almost as if the former is taking the latter's role. It's like the directors did watch the first film, but decided to toss something brand new into the story by justifying its place there.
- The film was in development for 10 years, and we got this poor result. And it was too late to make another Surf's Up movie, as people stopped waiting for a sequel, so this sequel should have been released earlier after the first movie!
- Cody Maverick and Lani Aliikai's new voice actors Jeremy Shada and Melissa Sturm don't even sound like their original voice actors Shia LaBeouf and Zooey Deschanel.
- A lot of characters from the original film aren't even seen or mentioned, particularly Zeke "Big Z/Geek" Topanga, Reggie Belafonte, Glen Maverick, the other Penguins, and Mikey.
- False advertising: One of the commercials for the movie said that the penguins were returning from the first movie, but as mentioned before, some actually aren't in this film.
- While Cody, Tank, and Lani do have most of their personality, like Cody being a cocky, bumbling but well-meaning lad and Tank being a rude coward, Cody's desire for fame and to be remembered gets worse over time, as he once accidentally made Chicken Joe lose his surfing board in the lava by tackling Tank into him. We get it, Tank kept being a jerk to Cody, but if the rest of The Hang 5 were concerned more about Tank's rude behavior instead of not believing J.C., maybe it could have gone better.
- Combining surfing penguins with WWE wrestlers is utterly ridiculous, as not only does WWE have absolutely nothing to do with surfing, but it's also a careless way of praising unrelated celebrities for whatever reason.
- Chicken Joe's humor may still be decent, but some jokes are very poor, unfunny, and obnoxious, such as Mr. McMahon's running gag about wanting to milk fishes, which is disgusting and inappropriate for a kids movie. Also fish don't lactate because they aren't mammals!!
- The ending makes no sense and is tiresome to sit through, as Cody is advertising his school again, but at least he and Tank became friends.
- The soundtrack just sounds crappy, especially compared to the exhilarating soundtrack from the original.
- Because of the changes made in this film, it no longer feels like Surf's Up anymore. Instead, it feels like another generic surfing movie.
- The Hang 5 characters' designs stay true to their original wrestler counterparts.
- The voice acting is still decent with Jon Heder and Diedrich Bader reprising their roles as Chicken Joe and Tank Evans, respectively despite Jeremy Shada replacing Shia LaBeouf as Cody Maverick and Melissa Sturm replacing Zooey Deschanel as Lani Aliikai.
- Some characters are still likable such as Lani, Chicken Joe (who is still a funny, laid-back guy; his interactions with Undertaker make him a bit funnier), and J.C. for noticing Tank's behavior and relating to Cody.
- The CGI animation does look nice in some scenes thanks to Rainmaker Entertainment.
- Surf's Up 2 was originally planned to be theatrical, but because the first movie grossed very little, it went straight to DVD.
- Paige talking about wanting her own reality show, Power Diva, is a homage to WWE's reality show, Total Divas, in which Paige was a cast member.
- Shia LaBeouf and Zooey Deschanel didn't return for the sequel because they were very busy with other roles, so Jeremy Shada and Melissa Sturm had to replace them to play Cody Maverick and Lani Aliikai.