A young penguin with dreams of becoming a professional surfer attempts to win the most famous surfing contest in the area. Cody Maverick, a penguin, has wanted to be a surfer for as long as he can remember. A legendary surfing bird, Big Z, visited his town during Cody's childhood, and he's been obsessed ever since. When local birds are encouraged to enter the "Big Z Memorial" surf competition, Cody is excited to give his dream a try. Along his journey to arrive at the island of the competition, he makes two new friends: Lana, a beautiful female penguin lifeguard, and Chicken Joe, a goofy surfer interested in competing as well. He also makes a quick enemy: Tank, the penguin who's won the surfing contest every year since Big Z disappeared, who Cody catches in the act of desecrating a shrine to his hero. Cody foolishly challenges Tank, thinking it'd be easier than a fight on land, to a duel surfing the waves. Tank is amused by this, and he easily beats Cody, who Lani needs to rescue from drowning. Lani takes Cody to her uncle, The Geek, who helps him make a surfboard from a log. Cody is reluctant about this old bird's wisdom, until he realizes the Geek is actually Big Z. Cody begs Big Z to teach him how to surf as well as he did, and Z eventually agrees. However, Z's advice and training rarely seems to connect to the actual act of surfing-- Cody is impatient, overly excited, and too eager to be a great surfer to take the necessary time to develop the discipline needed. Eventually, Cody figures it out with Z's help, and he, Tank, and Joe compete in the semi-finals. Tank wipes out, sending Cody to face Joe in the finals, but when Cody sees Tank trying to sabotage Joe's surf, he sacrifices his own title to save Joe, who ends up winning the whole competition.
Best part of story, including ending:
It's a cute little movie, with a clever stylistic trick-- it's an animated movie, but it's "filmed" in the style of a documentary, making it feel more real than most talking animal cartoons.
Best scene in story:
When we first meet Big Z, or "The Geek" as he's known at the time, he has very similar mannerisms and speech patterns to another famous Jeff Bridges character, The Dude in The Big Lebowski.
Opinion about the main character:
Cody is the usual young cartoon hero: he has the heart and the moral compass, but he needs to learn discipline and patience. We can all sympathize with this from our younger days.