What can I say about “Happy Feet” that hasn’t already been said? “Happy Feet” is probably one of the best films of the year! Being a fan of musicals, dance, and animation, “Happy Feet” not only fires on all cylinders, but it is probably a movie that has genuine heart and laughs. The story revolves around the idea that an Emperor Penguin must “never drop their eggs.” When the penguin outcast Memphis, who’s a parody of Elvis voiced by Hugh Jackman, accidentally drops his unborn child he tries his hardest to cover it up, until Baby Mumble is born. See every penguin has a “heart song” that allows them to discover true love, well Mumble is born with a horrible singing voice but the amazing ability to tap dance. Well this angers the village elders and leads to Mumble growing up, trying to find his way in a village that truly doesn’t respect him, and trying to find out why the fish is dwindling.
First off, the animation in “Happy Feet” should by far get it an Oscar nomination. During this film it doesn’t seem that penguins are doing any of these things, it seems like real human characters are. The line between what’s animation and what’s real becomes even more blurred towards the end during the big twist finale. Everything is beautifully animated as well, showing off the splendor of Antarctica, to showing a small village.
The characters are fun in their own way. Mumble as a baby is adorable and lovable, while the adult Mumble just wants to be excepted. Brittany Murphy turns in a good performance as Gloria and has a truly beautiful singing voice. Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman also turn in awesome surprise performances as Mumble’s parents, Memphis and Norma Jean. But the true standout characters are the Latin penguins voiced by Robin Williams and some unnamed Latin comics. They are the true standouts in the film and anytime they’re not onscreen, the movie is a bit bleaker.
“Happy Feet” is a movie that kids and adults can truly enjoy. The songs that the characters sing in the film are classics that have been changed to be kid friendly. Songs like Prince’s “Kiss” and Queen’s “Somebody to Love” will have parents singing along and kids dancing in the aisles. The dance scenes are nothing short of amazing as well, it doesn’t feel like penguins are dancing but real people.
The story does lead into some dark territory, especially scenes like when a leopard seal tries to eat Mumble. Other scenes are somewhat sexually suggestive, like the lyrics to the song “Kiss” or a couple suggestive poses between Mumble and his female friend. The ending could also upset little kids because it’s not the PC child friendly ending. Characters such as the penguin Lovelace, a Barry White persona, have some suggestive comments throughout the film.
The film does also try to go into some uncharted territory with the story. The village elders can be seen by some as religious fanatics. The message of the environment is also a huge part of the ending and some parents might thinks it’s overly preachy. In the end “Happy Feet” is a great film for older children and parents, a film that doesn’t come along very often. Go see “Happy Feet” as soon as you can.