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Overall Rating
3.28

Awesome33.33%
Worth A Look: 16.67%
Just Average: 17.31%
Pretty Crappy: 10.26%
Sucks: 22.44%

9 reviews, 102 user ratings


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Happy Feet
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"You’re Telling Me To DANCE?"
5 stars

George Miller is one of those directors that will probably never have the household recognition he deserves. Even to cinephiles, the first thing that pops into our memory is the genius of the Mad Max series; The Road Warrior especially. Look further into that resume though and you’ll find not just such a hundred-and-eighty turns like Lorenzo’s Oil but something that goes deeper than just titles and not visible to the naked brain. Starting with the completion of his trilogy (to date), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Miller is not afraid to explore territory alien to his audience’s expectations. Sure he delivered fast cars and one of the great mano-a-mano set pieces of the day, but mined a more global examination of religion, hope and “why are we here”. After serving as a producer on the greatest talking pig movie ever made, Babe, he took over helming duties on the decidedly darker sequel and created the new greatest talking pig movie ever, despite paying for it harshly at the box office. Happy Feet is not going to suffer the same fate and yet it is still filled with the oddity of Miller’s devices that helps elevate it to the front line where the Babe films rest as superior family entertainment that is also, arguably, one of the most beautifully rendered animated works I’ve ever seen.

Immediately, Happy Feet announces itself as something less-than-cutesy and hints more at the glorious and occasionally stark realities of penguins on the move. The mash-up of pop hits also prelude the courting of Norma Jean (voiced by Nicole Kidman), the greatest song voice in all the continent, by Memphis (Hugh Jackman), the rough-and-tumble Elvis songman. Their styles blend well enough to make an egg, entrusted to Memphis for their long winter trek, but a brief moment of carelessness causes the great no-no of the penguin world – never drop your egg. At the community birthing, there’s concern that the shell may not crack at all – but after a bit of struggle that gives little Mumble (E.G. Daily) an unprecedented footing he emerges to an even greater struggle that will make him a unique outcast amongst his kind.

Possessing the worst singing voice this side of the Beatles’ wives, Mumble nevertheless can tap dance around anyone and to anything. Mom shows support but Dad, worried about admitting his mistake transfers the guilt to his son who can’t get close to childhood friend, Gloria (Brittany Murphy) while a barrage of penguin suitors have the gift uniform to their existence. But, as the film makes a point of time and again, is that the problems of the many outweigh the needs of the one. A fish shortage has plagued the further journeys of the penguins and the older Mumble (Elijah Wood), ostracized from his family and friends for displeasing their God with his queer ways, takes to discovering the secret of the “aliens” preached by a mob of hungry flying fowls. With the help of a group of Latino penguins (just go with it) led by Ramón (Robin Williams, also voicing two other characters), Mumble is determined to save everyone even as he learns of some harsh truths about the world outside the neighborhood.

Normally, reviewing animated features don’t go beyond a few descriptions of the image quality, the laugh quotient and whether or not its as good as anything in the Pixar canon. And while I could easily devote paragraphs to just how unbelievably realistic some of the images are, the majesty of the heavenly landscape (particularly in the night scenes), the evading of sea lions and dance numbers meshing choruses with the beauty of tap. That’s the cake you’ve come to expect and it certainly goes down smooth, but it’s the extra frosting Miller and co-screenwriters, Warren Coleman, John Collee (Master & Commander) and Judy Morris (Babe: Pig in the City) apply to the overall adventure that makes it so eye-catching.

It will come as little surprise to viewers who the “aliens” are in the film or what is contributing to the decline in fish acquisition. Little clues are dropped here and then and there’s a unique irony for the humans in the audience to recognize the problem while the penguins, in some instances, wear the problem around their neck. Everything is leading past the easy messages about ecological responsibility and the acceptance of one’s individuality towards a far more cynical and brow-raising inference that the only way certain groups can make the upper echelon on the food chain pay attention is to dance and entertain them. On the surface for the kids this is a happy ending that will keep them bugging Santa for silver-plated shoes, but adults will leave hopefully thinking of those forced to literally sing (and dance) for their supper.

I have probably unwittingly turned Happy Feet into a big bummer and I don’t want you believing that the film is any less enchanting an experience than Monster House, Flushed Away or Over the Hedge this year cause it’s every bit. The song-and-dance numbers are good enough (even in their R&B-inspired cover versions) to actually anticipate the next one and wish for more afterwards. While not a fall-down laughing affair filled with pop culture references outdated the second you walk out the door, Williams and his band of merry penguins provide the comic relief in a story that is rife with peril and exile. It’s already become fashionable to call the film “odd”, and if that’s the easiest way to separate it from the standard talking animal films and cutesy quip-covered adventures, then “odd” is a mighty compliment indeed.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15277&reviewer=198
originally posted: 11/17/06 00:17:55
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User Comments

6/27/11 DR CGI's darkest hour. Boring, bad script, poor song placement. Worst animated film I've seen. 1 stars
10/22/09 stan wonderlost Mr. Mumble gets 3 taps on the egg before birth and is tapped and taps toward the end. super 5 stars
6/19/09 Dan Terrible. Dull. Disjointed. Hard to watch. 1 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner My daughter loves this movie! 5 stars
7/03/08 TreeTiger I could only stomach about 30 mins. of this artificially sweetened CGI-crap..! 1 stars
5/18/08 PAUL SHORTT TECHNICALLY IMPRESSIVE. OTHERWISE - STAY AWAY, BIG TIME! 1 stars
10/24/07 Natalie robinson its great great great great great 5 stars
10/17/07 anonymous I luv this movie! 5 stars! 5 stars
9/13/07 Tracy my kids loved this! They liked the dancing (Savions moves) 5 stars
7/29/07 maddy its great and its got a lot of emotions 5 stars
6/24/07 Clara Such a good film, but a little bit boring at the end ! 3 stars
6/21/07 cool3457 the film has penguin sex in this. 1 stars
6/07/07 aloysius could'nt agree more, movie is a piece of total s*%t! 1 stars
5/10/07 Marissa To all the people who didin't like it F#*# U its the best movie ever 5 stars
5/08/07 Molly Beich Clever and original and gorgeously animated. I loved the pop culture references. 5 stars
4/27/07 Michelle Penguins shaking their butts to attract a partner for sex? Who wants their kid to see that? 1 stars
4/22/07 S.M The beginning was great, but the movie was prolonged and annoying. Like Spielburg's "A-I". 2 stars
4/17/07 David Pollastrini very cute 4 stars
4/07/07 David Cohen Silly ass one joke movie for people who found "March..." too icky 1 stars
3/31/07 John A Habig Along with Over The Hedge and Hoot one of the best kids message films out 5 stars
3/19/07 Shanique This movie was like the best animated movie that I have ever seen in my life. 5 stars
3/13/07 the wizz Should be called CRAPPY FEET! Just about tap dancing and dumb singing. Very disappointed! 1 stars
3/07/07 chienne R U serious? This won an Oscar?? Nic kills everything she's in. HELLO? I HATED i!t 1 stars
2/26/07 N3GRiiTA TH3 B3ST MOVii3!!! ii LOV3D iiT 5 stars
2/05/07 William Goss Glorious animation, light story undermined halfway thru by heavyhanded envrnmntal message. 3 stars
1/30/07 Paul After the first 30 minutes -animation wore off and it became boring! 2 stars
1/19/07 Steve McKay Excellent review. The story was thin, unoriginal, heavy-handed and even offensive to many. 2 stars
1/17/07 Jan Hannah Absolutely loved it. So very clever. 5 stars
1/15/07 Lorna this is cool i saw it with my dad and i loved it 5 stars
1/15/07 Brian What is "weird" about this film? And what sexual content? Chill out you rednecks! 5 stars
1/12/07 John Howard Terrific animation, dodgy soundtrack and shallow storyline 2 stars
1/11/07 AJ very very good see the movie 5 stars
1/10/07 denise EXTREME Fright! loaded w/ sex inuendo! 3 yr old CRIED thru movie! so AWFUL- left after 1hr 1 stars
1/09/07 Daniel L sex. undertones: mild and harmless. Scary scenes: May frighten young children. 3 stars
1/08/07 Alyson I know the plot was jumpy, but it was held together well though may have needed more edits. 5 stars
1/08/07 dobbo felt like lord of the rings ?<and i luv that movie> but with penguins? 3 stars
1/08/07 pam 4 different writers wrote four different movies about penguins needing sex. Throw in some m 1 stars
1/06/07 paula zzzzz 1 stars
1/04/07 Alice I just loved it, breathtaking animation!Loaded with sexual content??You have issues!!! 5 stars
1/03/07 Jen My sons (4&8) did not like it. I agree with this review. 3 stars
1/03/07 Kate Re sexual innuendo - that's how little penguins are made, u no... 4 stars
1/02/07 David Great Animation + No Story = Eye Candy. No logical story was discernable. 1 stars
12/30/06 Jennifer I thought it was not appropriate for my son; he was terrified at times 1 stars
12/30/06 Nick Best Cinema I have seen in a long time! And I see a lot of Cinema! Jaw Dropping. 5 stars
12/30/06 S.Lawrence Ironic: Its about celebrating differences, and people hating it 'cause its different 5 stars
12/30/06 Jean Graphics - amazing, story line - very disapointed 1 stars
12/29/06 zach this film review is boring. and annoying. and too long. but mostly boring. Happy movie! 5 stars
12/29/06 Lamemovie Great graphics but lame, jumpy plot. Cute, then scary n dumb. Song lyrics not fo'kids 1 stars
12/28/06 Kimberly Pretty cute, hard to ffollow @ times, movie hops around & seals are scary for kids 4 stars
12/24/06 Deb Just plain fun with great music and brilliant Robin Williams! It's a must see. 5 stars
12/22/06 Rob Pff...silly phillistines. You'd probably be better off with Clifford the big red dog. 5 stars
12/19/06 Jon Boyce Banal. Bilious. Boring. 1 stars
12/19/06 DAWWWG degrading to penguins 5 stars
12/18/06 Luke How could anyone hate this movie? It'd be like hating ice cream. 5 stars
12/17/06 Jamie Are yall freaking kidding me? I saw maybe ONE sexual innuendo. Please get over yourselves. 5 stars
12/16/06 Alex Weird, Weird, Weird, are hallucinogenics coming back into vogue in H'wood? 2 stars
12/15/06 Monica NOT appropriate for children. Loaded with sexual content & scary at times. 1 stars
12/14/06 alistair just horrible - kids hated it 1 stars
12/13/06 D. Kickham This was a sweet & touching movie. Valid environmental issues. 5 stars
12/13/06 R Porter A complete mismatch of ideas, not worth your money. 1 stars
12/13/06 Allison Awesome!My 8 year old loved it & we talked about environmental issues for an hour afterward 5 stars
12/12/06 ian bishop absolutly awesom u yanks have not got a clue 5 stars
12/12/06 Louise Stupid film - HATED the soundtrack! 2 stars
12/11/06 rob intresting, good but weird 4 stars
12/11/06 birdy figgis Dreadful! Horrible, inappropriate for kids soundtrack 1 stars
12/11/06 Tiffany even better the second time 5 stars
12/10/06 kristi This movie was aimed at the wrong audience, and is not appropriate for kids. 1 stars
12/09/06 sharelunker Liberal, environmentalist wacko, religion-bashing, Hollyweird crap. Please don't go! 1 stars
12/09/06 Craig Confusing, overcute, retarded and irritating. 1 stars
12/09/06 cheyenne it was kool i wanna see it again 5 stars
12/09/06 carol way too weird for me, my daughter 6 loved it, i didnt think the lyrics were appropriate 2 stars
12/08/06 Djegovsky Great, you must see it! 5 stars
12/05/06 Awoman I though the movie was great. It had it's bumps,but what film doesn't. I loved it. 5 stars
12/05/06 meagan my daughter hated it, too dark and more for adults not worth the $ 1 stars
12/04/06 scotty the best animated movie of the year!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/04/06 Paris I'm 13 years old, and I agree with the people who say it has too much innuendo. 4 stars
12/04/06 zzzzz..... Horrible...instead of a cute "fitting in" movie, we got "save the penguins!" 1 stars
12/03/06 mart the begining starts out normal and cute, but by the time it gets to the middle, weird 3 stars
12/03/06 karen gay !!!!! DO NOT SEE !!! 1 stars
12/02/06 Helen Too dark/threatening for little kids. Too much sexual inuendo. 1 stars
12/02/06 Charlene Javier I loved Gloria the most!! 4 stars
11/30/06 Mumble from Happy Feet What is wrong with you people, this is an awesome movie, there wasn't any bad content! 5 stars
11/28/06 Abby It had so much sexual content i hated it. It was funny but you should have rated it R 1 stars
11/28/06 Mel One million penguins--many more cliches and sterotypes to count... 1 stars
11/26/06 bullit16 So bad .. on so many levels. Just awful. 1 stars
11/26/06 Jason Terrible. Heavy handed propaganda. Too many ethnc stereotypes. 1 stars
11/26/06 amani wow 2 stars
11/26/06 Al Gore Loved it. How wonderfully inconvenient!1 5 stars
11/25/06 Dawn This movie was horrid..there were more sexual inuendos in this than the cat in the hat. sic 1 stars
11/25/06 Amanda Amazing, it has something in it for kids and funny jokes in it for the older folks as well 5 stars
11/24/06 Caroline Some parts funny but mostly kids were bored and I left mad because I had paid to see it. 1 stars
11/24/06 Snooze Except for the stunning Computer Generated work, Sat. morn. cartoons might be better. 2 stars
11/22/06 Tiffany Losco My daughter and I loved this film. It was funny, and great. My dad even liked it. 5 stars
11/21/06 kelly omgosh so cute and funney i loved it! AMAZING movie! 5 stars
11/21/06 Theresa I agree 100%. Don't waste money to see this in theaters. Only 30 min of cuteness. 2 stars
11/21/06 jdean62 Should have watted for the DVD...better yet cable! Ok it was ok for kids !! 3 stars
11/21/06 Siren It was wonderful, amazing, I absolutely loved every moment. The DVD is on my wish list!! 5 stars
11/20/06 AnnetteB Orndorf's review is right on. Ran too long also Zzzzz Don't be duped by the "Cute" factor. 3 stars
11/19/06 michael classic flix 4 stars
11/18/06 Quigley Very, very weird, but in a good way. Visually awesome and very original; occasionally funny 4 stars
11/17/06 Raymond Scott It's okay, but a little Robin Williams goes a long, long...long way 3 stars
11/17/06 Spencer Cameron This movie is a very good family movie. I hope all of you on e FilmCritic like it. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Nov-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 27-Mar-2007

UK
  08-Dec-2006 (U)

Australia
  26-Dec-2006 (G)




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