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Direct to Video

Sony Announces ‘Surf’s Up’ Sequel Starring WWE Superstars

We are now living in Donald Trump’s America. In this America, anything you can imagine is possible, even if what you imagine – like a wrestling-themed sequel to Sony’s Surf’s Up – makes absolutely no sense.

Sony Pictures Animation and WWE Studios have announced that they will co-finance and produce Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania. The direct-to-video project will be released next spring through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, in time for the original film’s tenth anniversary.

Abdul Williams (writer of the urban-comedy Lottery Ticket) will script Surf’s Up 2, and story artist Henry Yu will make his directorial debut. Yu’s previous credits include Sym-Bionic Titan and both Hotel Transylvania movies. Here’s an interview with Yu in which he explains his artistic background and work history:

Animation will be provided by Rainmaker Entertainment, the studio behind the upcoming Ratchet & Clank feature, as well as Sony’s Open Season: Scared Silly, which will be out next week.

So, how will Surf’s Up 2 weave Wrestlemania into its surfing penguin premise? From the press release:

Cody Maverick, hungry for a new challenge, convinces an infamous big wave riding crew known as The Hang 5, voiced by WWE stars John Cena, The Undertaker, Triple H, WWE Diva Paige, and Mr. McMahon, to let him join them on their journey to a mysterious surf spot known as The Trenches, where legend has it, they’ll find the biggest waves in the world. Cody soon discovers that the life he left behind might be more heroic than what any death-defying wave has to offer.

“We are thrilled to be working with Sony Pictures Animation to bring Cody Maverick back to audiences for more adventures, paired with our WWE Superstars in what promises to be a fun animated film for the entire family,” said Michael Luisi, WWE Studios president.

WWE Studios has previously created Wrestlemania-themed animation projects with Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones.


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  • otterhead

    I like the Undertaker’s coffin surfboard and seaweed hair, but I would’ve never pictured Mr. McMahon as a beefy river otter (in the sea?). I guess that’s why I’m not an animation director.

    • Jessie

      technically he’d be a sea otter, just like james woods’ “reggie” in the original but he’s awfully ginormous.

      • Netko

        Sea otters have light yellow heads and black bellies. The otter in the original looked like a sea otter. This one is designed like a river otter. No thought put into it.

  • My mind is ablank


  • Marc Hendry

    This doesn’t look great, but there is (and should be) a place for outright commercial animation. It seems like that’s all they’re doing now, though, after losing Lauren Faust and Genndy Tartakovsky(?)’s stong creative influence

    • Fried

      Gennedy Tartakovsky
      Lauren Faust
      Chris Miller + Phil Lord package

      Now they have an Open Season 4 film being released straight to DVD and are making a sequel to Surf’s Up. Considering these two films were the first films Sony made, guess they’re literally back to square one.

      I have no idea who is going to crash faster: Dreamworks or Sony.

      • Jean Franco

        True that!

      • Marc Hendry

        More smurfs on the way, too. I don’t think they’ll crash commercially because these movies do make money, but it’s a shame that they seem to have given up on the high quality, artist-led side

      • MB

        That’s easy: Sony

        At the rate their going, with Sony Pictures this year releasing animated films (The Angry Birds Movie & Sausage Party) without the Sony Pictures Animation label, I wouldn’t be surprised if they make one more slip up and it’s all over for them

        So far, their last hope is Smurfs: The Lost Village. If that doesn’t become a commercial success in the levels of Hotel Transylvania 2 or the 1st Smurfs, Sony might as well shut their animation division down and just outsource from now on because no one would be crazy to find hope for them with their direct-to-DVD films or even The Emoji Movie (let’s face it, we all know everybody will hate it to the point it’ll flop. It’s already making a bad name out of Sony).

        By the way, before anyone say that they’ll continue to 2018 because they have movies planned there, just remember this, ImageMovers Digital planned to have movies after Mars Needs Moms. I’m not saying Sony WILL fail, just don’t be surprised when they do

        • cetrata

          Hey Animat. Loved your podcast about surfs up 2. SPA is really that desperate.

  • Mickey Mouse


    • Doconnor

      And the animal versions don’t look very good either.

  • ddrazen

    OK, I remember when pro wrestling formed a symbiotic relationship with cartoons in the 1980s (“Hulk Hogan’s Rock and Wrestling”). I thought they would have gotten that out of their system. Guess I was wrong. The only solace I can find is the name of the department under which this story is being reported.

  • Grant Beaudette

    W.. wer… WHY? Are you telling me someone thought “Remember that movie from 2007 about the surfing penguins? We should make another one, but with professional wrestlers in it,” then that person told that someone else, and they said yes?!

  • Grady Williams

    I laughed when I saw the penguins who have their pelt double as shorts! I Laughed assuming that was probably a gag design that no one thought would fly ( pun intended). I hope it’s as chessy as I think it will be and I’m going to watch it! Hahahaha.

  • Elsi Pote

    Get ready to raaaaaaamble!

  • Pingu

    Is it just me or the wrestler penguin designs reminds me of the beefed up villain from “Pebble and the Penguin”

  • The_Strawbear

    Men who fight and women who apparently (from the image above) dress like cheap hookers and probably also fight.

    Fun for all the family?

    I’d rather see real penguins wrestle.

    • Netko

      I always got the impression that female wrestling is more for showing off the sexiness for the male audience, rather than being a legit thing? Then again I know close to nothing about wrestling.

      Still it’s really annoying how the female penguin looks like it was based on a small child, rather than a fit adult. All the males are super buff and masculine, I’m pretty darn sure you don’t have to compensate for unclear sexual dimorphism by making her look like an anorexic baby, especially considering this is wrestling we’re talking about. She sticks out like a sore thumb. Heheh, sticks. Because her limbs look like sticks.

  • A Typical Cartoon Brew Comment

    “The world of animation is Bright & living up to it’s full potential.” … *Snort, Cough, Wheeze PAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!

  • Netko

    Dear Lord…
    I admit I have a big (huge) soft spot for Surf’s Up, but don’t you think it’s a little late for a sequel to a movie everyone forgot about? I can’t understand their reasoning. No-one remembers the original so it’s not like they have old fame to ride on. And it doesn’t look like even a bit of effort is going to be put into it so it’s not like they’re trying to revitalize an old property. I’m not even sure why they’re relying on wrestlers to attract attention to a cartoon about surfing.

    Oh and those character designs…man are they ugly. They all look the same, except for the bizarre anorexic baby penguin. Why do bad character designers think just pumping up the top half of the character with air makes for an interesting silhouette?

    • Oscar

      Who? Phil Lord?

  • Michel Van

    one moment, do we have already April fool day ?!

  • marti386

    Surfs Up 2?

    I wasn’t aware there was a Surfs Up 1.

  • mechasus

    I wouldn’t knock the idea this quickly. Surf’s Up was a very underrated film IMO and it’s common for a sequel to have a different theme than the original, but I will admit hiring wrestling talent to voice a bunch of surfers is a bafflingly strange idea, especially when real pro surfers voiced in the original.

    In the immortal words of Mr. McMahon:

  • @SpitAndSpite

    two words…

  • Dave

    I expected Surf’s Up to be dumb, but it turned out I really enjoyed it.
    WWE kicks ass, so I’m down to watch this!

  • Willie Okendo

    First Scooby Doo, then the Flintstones, now Surf’s Up?

  • Mashed Potato

    I’m calling it now. Hotel Wrestlevania.

    • Now THAT’S sounds like a better concept to adapt to than this project right here for Surf’s Up as a sequel.

      • Mashed Potato

        I can see it now, some whacky plot about hotel ownership on the line, due to some technical inheritance detail, with McMahon playing the antagonist. It’s settled with a wrestling championship.

        And I haveno given myself the horrible mental image of John Cena as a Cenabite.

  • Darissa Townes

    As a fan of WWE, I find it funny how Paige is the only wrestler in the Huang 5 who is still actively wrestling every show. Triple H and especially Undertaker only fight a few times a year and Cena has been gone since the fall. Wouldn’t they have wanted the newer wrestlers like the New Day?

  • partyrobotmachine

    do people even remember this movie

  • Gizzy Lerms

    Because people need to be entertained, because entertainment as an industry exists, and wrestling and penguins are both wildly entertaining?

    Average people just need average entertainment. Not everyone gets off on art house movies.

    There is a place for silly cartoon movies about wrestling that is just made to get people into movie theaters, because a lot of people want that.

    That’s not so bad. It could be worse, at least.

    • Sara Bersani

      One of my favourite films is “Kelly’s Heroes”:
      there are better forms of entertainment.

    • Sara Bersani

      I have nothing against wrestling too;
      one of my favourite videoclips ever is an old clip of the late Roddy Piper (RIP) in his prime wrestling days (circa 1977), when he was involved in a fight with Victor the bear: he thought it was another wrestler’s nickname, only to discover moments before the match that his opponent was an actual bear: a pure cartoon moment transposed in reality like few other.

      That world deserves more than being portrayed as anthropomorphic penguins in a direct-to-video sequel, trust me