Happy Feet


Action / Animation / Comedy / Family / Music / Romance


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Downloaded 114,645 times
September 10, 2011 at 02:29 AM



Nicole Kidman as Norma Jean
Brittany Murphy as Gloria
Hugh Jackman as Memphis
Robin Williams as Ramon / Lovelace
550.18 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 0 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Dan Franzen (dfranzen70) 8 / 10

Feets don't fail me now!

Happy Feet, directed by the man who gave us both Babe: Pig in the City and Mad Max, is just the kind of feel-good animated film that works on a few different levels; it'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, and it'll inevitably, unquestionably, make you tap your toes or bounce your leg, right there in the theater. It's charming and exquisitely detailed, and it succeeds where it really counts: It makes you really feel for the lovable lead penguin, Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood).

Mumble is an unfortunate penguin, you see, because was born with no singing ability, and in his penguin tribe one attracts a mate through the use of song. The poor flightless bird can only look on helplessly as his fellow hatchlings croon their little hearts out. Amazingly, though, Mumble can tap dance, a big no-no in the penguin community. Soon, with no heart song to guide him, Mumble isn't permitted to graduate from school, to the chagrin of his Elvis-like dad (Hugh Jackman) and his songbird-like mom (Nicole Kidman).

Mumble heart belongs to the best singer in his age group, Gloria (Brittany Murphy), but without the gift of song he can't hope to woo her. Worse, with the penguins' food supply running out, some of the other birds begin to blame Mumble's foot-tapping, that somehow he is angering the great god Guin. The sad-sack penguin is then drummed out of the penguin corps, shunned for his lack of song and strength of feet, and he runs into another penguin colony, one that uses pebbles to woo their females instead of song, and makes new friends - a Latino-sounding quartet that's high on life, full of zest and pizazz and charisma, everything that Mumble's old group isn't.

Then Mumble hears from some predator birds of mysterious "aliens" who probe and attach tags to their victims. Mumble thinks these aliens might have something to do with the lack of fishies for everyone to munch on, so he and his new pals head off on a Quest to find these aliens and ask them to stop stealing all the fish.

Some of the scenes are beautifully imagined, including attacks by sea lions (quite harrowing, actually, until its denouement), vultures, and killer whales, not to mention every time Mumble and/or his posse leap off a cliff and slide down the side like avian sleds. Or through ice tunnels. Or through the water itself, shooting like streaming jetliners with mile-long contrails. Gorgeous animation.

At its heart, the movie is about how it's okay to Be Different. It's about how older folks sometimes hold prejudices that are as illogical as they are insulting, and how they'll often pass along those prejudices to their children, sometimes through direct actions and sometimes by dint of their inaction when wrongs are being perpetuated.

Robin Williams takes on four roles in this movie: the Narrator (where he's excellent and not at all hammy), Ramon and Cletus (two of the feisty new penguins), and Lovelace, a self-professed penguin guru to whom penguins go to have their problems solved. On the one hand, Williams is delightful doing what he does best, improvising rapid-fire comic patter to get laughs; on the other hand, he's Robin Williams, and although there are differences between his voice characterizations, they all bear a strong resemblance to one another. As with most animated films, the movie is well-cast; Jackman is particular has an appealing Southern drawl (ironically, he and Kidman are Aussies playing penguins with southern accents).

In the wake of the phenomenal, surprise success of March of the Penguins, Happy Feet makes your heart soar from start to finish. It'll be very difficult not to shed a tear at the mistreatment of Mumble by his peers and his elders, and it'll be near impossible to thoroughly enjoy this dazzling animated offering.

Reviewed by BigMez 7 / 10

A Mythic Penguin Tale

I saw this last weekend at a special screening and was suitably impressed. Although I'm a big fan of George Miller's films, I was very hesitant to see this one. I'm not a big fan of animated films, much less musicals. The trailers looked awful and indicated nothing about the story. Until the screening came up, I had no intention of seeing this on the big screen. After the opening musical number, the movie quickly won me over. The way it's made is incredibly cinematic, and, at its heart, tells a great mythic story: an outcast leaves his community and journeys to the edge of the world to find a way to end the famine that's plaguing his species. Along this quest, our hero, Mumble, learns to live with his outsider status (he can't sing) and makes use of his own particular gift (tap dancing). It's a simple story that's told in a very creative way with a lot of heart.

The musical numbers, instead of having a disrupting effect and stopping the flow of the story, actually advance the plot because they're integral to the story and this particular type of penguin. Emperor Penguins apparently find their mates by singing. While it all sounds the same to us, they are highly attuned to each others songs. The film cleverly translates that idea to the screen by having these animated penguins sing iconic pop/rock songs.

I thought the animation was top notch and the style perfectly suited for the story. This isn't the goofy cartoonish animation seen in this past year's other animal-oriented films. It's very rich and leaning heavily towards realism. The vast icy landscapes seem to be copied straight from documentary footage. Just jaw-droppingly beautiful.

There's one shot in the film which really epitomizes how well made it is and made me love it that much more. Mumble, his four friends, and the old wise mentor (Lovelace) are heading to the edge of the world as they know it. They're caught in a snow blizzard. The six penguins are shown in almost a dark silhouette as they struggle to move forward. The fading red light of the sun provides faint illumination. As the penguins are pushed back by the blizzard, they lean into the wind and keep going. It's almost like something out of a Kurosawa movie. And that's all it is. Just one shot of the blizzard. But it's beautifully done. Never seen anything like it in an animated film.

By the end of the film, my initial reservations about the film were completely washed away. Disregard the lame trailers and see it for yourself.

Reviewed by John DeSando ([email protected]) 5 / 10

Happy Film

Tap-dancing penguins could never have been pitched if the mega-hit doc Marching Penguins (2005) had not caught the imagination of every breathing human. Only this time around Happy Feet is not a doc but a high-class animation (from the director of the very humane Babe) and much more anthropomorphic than Marching Penguins because these are tap-dancing penguins.

Besides the themes of individualism and environmental destruction, Happy Feet's special effects take animation as close to 3-D as could be possible in a 2-D medium. One scene with frolicking penguins careening down a mountain has the sight and sound of rapid descent so authentic as to make me cringe at each turn for fear of flying off the snow into the sky. The colors are luminous and the long and helicopter-like shots stunning enough to make you feel you're watching IMAX.

Mumble (voice of Elijah Wood) has no singing voice, so he can't sing a "heart-song," the signature croon of a male to attract a female for life. But as Nature frequently compensates, that boy can dance. A hard-to-accept-it dad (Hugh Jackman) laments, "It just ain't penguin." The adventures of this hippity-hop outcast bring him to a band of diminutive Latinos headed by a savvy Ramon (Robin Williams), who helps him to find his inner heart-song in his feet and eventually the source of fish depletion (the "aliens" are a familiar race of buccaneers—us).

Along the way Mumble finds soulful love with Gloria (Brittney Murphy), a young lady strong in song and belief in Mumble. Speaking of song, much of the score, while replete with pop standards from the likes of the Beach Boys and Sinatra, adapts several gospel tunes to accentuate the theme of a savior being rejected by his own kind.

Happy Feet is a happy film that features cutting-edge CG while it teaches young and old about tolerance and talent. This is the season for the tuxedo crowd—shaken and stirred.

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