Release Date: November 17th, 2006 by Warner Brothers Pictures.
The Voices: Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Brittany Murphy, Hugo Weaving, Robin Williams, Johnny A. Sanchez, Carlos Alazraqui, Lombardo Boyar, Jeff Garcia, Steve Irwin, Anthony LaPaglia, Miriam Margolyes.
Directed by George Miller.
BASIC PREMISE: After Mumble (voice of Wood), an emperor penguin, gets kicked out of Emperor Land because he can’t sing and only dance unlike the rest of the emperor penguins, he sets out on a journey to prove himself and to save the penguins from “aliens”, a.k.a humans
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The CGI-animated Happy Feet has a thoroughly engaging plot which follows Mumble as he tries to impress his love interest, Gloria (voice of Murphy) and his parents (voice of Kidman and Jackman). Every emperor penguin needs a heartsong, but Mumble can dance but can’t sing well. The leader of Emperor Land (voice of Weaving) blames his poor singing for the recent fish shortage. Throughout the rest of the film, Mumble tries to find his singing voice and, after learning that “aliens” (or humans, rather) might be responsible for the shortage of fish, he goes on an exhilarating adventure to save the rest of the penguins. He befriends a group of three Latino penguins led by Ramon (voice of Williams) who provides some of comic relief. Every scene has plenty of energy, but the most memorable one, out of so many other memorable scenes, is when Mumble, Gloria and other emperor penguins dive into the ocean and twirl around inside to the music of the Beach Boys. Director George Miller has magically combines state-of-the-art computer animation, lively pop songs and flashy, well-choreographed dance numbers which feel just as entertaining as a Broadway musical. The animation looks so real with so many details and personality for each penguin, you’ll think you’re watching a live action film. Ultimately, it works surprising well as an action adventure, romance and as a drama with plenty of heart and soul. Happy Feet is, by far, one of the most exhilarating, refreshing, exciting and re-watchable animated films since The Lion King.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Happy Feet warns that human beings are responsible for their food shortage by destroying their environment—the melting icecaps, for example. The basic message is that you shouldn’t be ashamed of being yourself no matter how different you seem. Everyone has his or her own unique, idiosyncratic qualities and, at the end of the day, it’s what’s inside you that really counts. This message sounds clichéd and corny, but does have truth to it.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Exhilarating, refreshing and exciting. A new animated classic.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
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