01 December 2006

Happy Feet

Well, I took my eight-year-old cousin to see Happy Feet at the local IMAX theater. It wasn't a bad film, but I don't think it was a great film either. I guess I was expecting a movie more about the dancing penguins. Not a movie about singing penguins that cast the dancing penguin out. I was also not expecting the environmental political ending. It ended a few too many times for me, making the end of the movie drag out.

Happy Feet opens with penguins singing and falling in love. Then, the female penguins went off for the hunt, while the male penguins sat on the eggs. Poor little Mumbles (Elijah Wood), the unborn main star, rolls out away from papa penguin, Memphis (Hugh Jackman). When he hatches, he starts tap dancing. Memphis tells Mumbles to stop it, that it isn’t penguin, and to walk normal. When the females come back to the group, mothers get to meet their new babies. Norma Jean (Nicole Kidman) is the mom of Mumbles. She notices the funny dancing, but Memphis doesn’t mention the slip-up. So, to quicken this up, the rest of the penguins blame Mumbles for the fish leaving, and he is sent into exile. Along the way to solve the mystery of the fish leaving, he makes new friends, battles the weather, killer whales, and a fishing boat. Finally, he saves the day with his dancing. Ironic. Only not. It wasn’t that bad. I enjoyed the voices, the singing, the animation, and the start of the story.

So what worked against it? All the sexual innuendos started to bug me. This was a children’s movie. They exiled him for being different. Again, this was a children’s film and they are saying that being different is bad. Memphis, Mumbles own father, agrees to exile him. These are not good messages to send our youth.

In closing, I enjoyed myself. My cousin enjoyed herself. It was better than Cars, but not as good as Over the Hedge. It boasted a huge voice cast, but I barely recognized most of them. Apparently, the late Steve Irwin was a voice in it. I don’t remember his character or hearing his voice. I am just disappointed that Casino Royale was defeated two weeks in a row by Happy Feet.

Verdict: See it if you have the IMAX available to you. Otherwise, a DVD viewing would not hurt.

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