Thursday, January 04, 2007

Movie Review: Happy Feet

The family movie to see this summer is Happy Feet, a wonderful, exhilirating, inspiring animation from George Miller, the director who brought us the wonderful Babe and Mad Max.

Emperor Penguins find their partners through singing. But little Mumble is born without being able to hit a right note no matter how hard he tries. There is, however, something unique about his feet - they have rhythm and he can tap dance - although it takes a while for him to discover it. But Emperor penguins "don't dance" and so he grows up lonely on the fringe of the conformist penguin society.

But all is not right in their Antarctic home - fish are a diminishing supply and the penguins are in danger of dying from hunger. The elders believe that Mumble's "uniqueness" is the cause of the fish problem because the he has made the penguin gods unhappy. But Mumble, and a few oddball friends he finds, set out to find the real reason for the fish supply running out. And Mumble's feet become central to his journey.

Happy Feet is absolutely brilliant. The scenery is stunning and realistic, the music is toe-tapping (the movie comes with a tagline warning that it may cause toe-tapping!), the characters are engaging, the story is heartwarming and inspiring, and their is an environmental message that is appropriate for our times. Memphis Wood, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving, and others provide the voices and include the late Steve Irwin who plays an elephant seal.

Happy Feet is a must see on the big screen. And for the thinkers among the audience, there is a post ergo propter hoc fallacy committed by the elders of the penguin tribe (see if you can spot it). Don't miss this brilliant family movie!

My Rating: **** (out of 5)

Positive Review

'Happy Feet is not only the year's best animated movie, it's one of the year's best movies, period. Go.' - Lou Lumenick/New York Post

Negative Review

'Let's just say this is a perfect film for penguin lovers who also are devoted members of the Green party - and leave it at that.' - Chris Kaltenbach/Baltimore Sun

Content Advice

Some mild peril and rude humor


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