Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Feet (George Miller, Warren Coleman and Judy Morris, 2006) Review

Remember when Penguins seemed to be the big thing in Hollywood for a time? Happy Feet, Surf's Up, March of the Penguins and the Madagascar films seemed to shove the adorable little blighters in our faces and we could do nothing about it. I'll be honest, I'm going nowhere with this thought and am just admitting that I'm only reviewing Happy Feet because I just saw the sequel and desperately want to talk about it so it's only fair to give my thoughts on the first one. Makes sense right?.....right?

In a colony where penguins sing into order to attract mates, Mumble (Elijah Wood) finds that his singing voice is terrible. He instead has a unique talent of his own: tap dancing. His mother (Nicole Kidman) likes it but his father (Hugh Jackman) is strongly against it as it isn't what penguins should be doing. Ironically, Mumble's best friend Gloria (Brittany Murphy) is the best singer around however the two can't connect due to Mumble's difference. He is promptly exiled where he finds refuge with a posse of different a type of penguin named the Adelie Amigos led by Ramon (Robin Williams). Ramon and the Amigos decide to help Mumble be accepted back home by his penguin brethren. 

You'd think that a film based on the idea of a tap dancing penguin would be incredibly stupid especially considering the competition (Morgan Freeman narration and badass surfing penguins) and, while Happy Feet isn't amazing, it does manage to get away from the silly concept by using it effectively. As this is primarily a music based film that makes use of covers of real songs. At first I was sceptical but because of the use of timeless songs from the likes of Queen and Elvis Presley, it doesn't date the film because these songs are still great even after all these years. Safe bet, in other words. 

My biggest gripe really is that there isn't that much to it. The only thing I'm left with afterwards is "Wow, those songs were catchy" but not more after that. I guess, outside of the music, it just isn't very memorable. Brittany Murphy and Robin Williams are the most memorable performances (the latter was obvious to begin with). What I found interesting is the strange turn the film takes over half way through and manages to shoe-horn in an environmental message but, hey, as long as it's not as bad



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