Happy Feet - quick review

Patrick Sun

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Happy Feet is overall pretty cute, and yes, there is an eco-friendly element to it, but I had fun with most of it, though it did drag a bit in the middle, and about 10 minutes could have been chopped off of it. I did like the animation for the most part, and the dancing bits were pretty entertaining. Some people might find the 3rd act too preachy (probably due to George Miller's worldview) and it concludes rather quickly, but overall, I liked the characters and humor interspersed throughout the film (though I didn't much care for Robin Williams' character of Lovelace, but the main penguin Mumble, voiced by Elijah Wood, is pretty easy to root for in the film.

If you've seen March of the Penguins already, just think of this as an extension to some of the material from that documentary, only imagine that we could really understand penguin communications and be okay with the anthropomorphic personification of the penguins for this tale.

I give it 2.75 stars or a grade of B-.
 

Linda K

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Cool, thanks for the review. i'm going to take my four yr old niece to see it tomorrow.
 

Kirk Tsai

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This really is a one idea movie: penguins singing and dancing. In that, it is kind of entertaining, but less so than I expected. I think it's because the penguins here are just not very expressive, and very few characters have distinguishing features. The old leader, our main guy, Williams and Williams are the only ones who could be identified from their look.

In comparison, the singing in Flushed Away is priceless. Happy Feet also had a pretty thin plot. If the Academy only allows for 3 slots in the animation feature category, I would put this behind Monster House, Flushed Away and Cars pretty distantly.
 

BrianShort

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I saw this tonight and enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to watch, with plenty of very funny moments. The attempts to get across one of the messages in the film was very heavy handed near the end, and I sort of thought the thing fell apart a bit for the last 1/3. A lot of it actually felt kind of rushed. The animation was first rate, especially the environments. At first I thought that the humans at the end, at least the ones in the zoo
were also animated, but I figured out that they must have been real because otherwise it would have been some of the most amazing CGI I've ever seen.

I think I will give it
out of


Brian
 

Linda K

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Ended up taking 3 of my nephews instead of my niece to this movie today. It was pretty good. The animation was incredible! I think I liked the group of little Hispanic penguins the best.
 

Brett_M

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Saw this yesterday with my wife and kids. It was entertaining and I laughed a few times out loud. It is clever and fun -- a nice little family film.
 

BrianB

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I was at a QA with some of the production staff this afternoon & someone asked about that issue (real vs cgi) - it was done that way as a matter of style & budget. The results they would have gotten with their small budget/time wouldn't have been upto scratch, and they wanted the realistic "motion" that cgi may not have delivered. Obviously, they were touched up to be stylised.
 

DaveF

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Happy Feet starts off strange. Then it gets weird. And only gets weirder. It's the oddest movie I've seen since Donnie Darko. And it was just as exciting, intriguing, frustrating and annoying. I plan to buy it on DVD.

Mumble is an Emperor Penguin, born in Emporer Land in Antarctica. His parents, Memphis and Nora Jean, are perhaps the greatest singers of their generation -- penguins sing their heart song, usually an upbeat, contemporary R&B ditty, to woo prospective mates. All penguins waddle. All Penguins sing. Mumble does neither. He compulsively tap dances and sings like a strangled gull. He is an embarrassment to his parents, his peers, his society.

An outcast, he sets out to find the source of the declining fish population. He refuses to accept the fundamentalist orthodoxy that the difficult times the will of the great Guin (creator of Penguins, giver of their Songs).

To say anymore about his journey would be to give too much away. Suffice to say I never anticipated this movie's twists and turns.

Happy Feet is not a simple little animated kids movie, like Flushed Away or Over the Hedge. Similar to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Toy Story 2, Happy Feet strives for the profound, the deep truths that are sometimes best told via a children's language. But it is more like Final Fantasy as it stumbles on its way to its message, than Toy Story 2 which is sublimely simple.

It is visually gorgeous at times. The animation is spectacular in various scenes. The music, though I didn't generally care for the styles and songs used, was fun and unexpected. The dancing, wonderful.

The story reached. It moved in crazy, unexpected, provocative ways, but was always coherent to itself.

But it was annoying. The anti-religous message was tedious, pummeling me with the tired, simpleton depiction of faith too often used by Hollywood. The environmentalist message, likewise.

Happy Feet was surprisingly sexual -- I thought it verged on the vulgar in places. Likewise, it was quite violent and not in silly cartoon ways. No bloodshed, but visceral threats. I don't have young kids, but if I did, I wouldn't consider this movie appropriate for them.

But it had joy! Music, dancing, penguins. Excitement. The misfit, finding his place in life through character and determination.

It frustrates me -- it could have been sublime. It could have been the best animated film of the past ten years. But it didn't achieve. It is merely good, with some annoyances balanced by spectacular moments and a wholly unanticipated story.
 

Neil Joseph

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The first 2 minutes was weird, yes, and it had me a little worried. Then after that I got it (understood) and the movie swept me away from that point on. I loved the music (most of it) as I appreciate old-school and grew up on it. The animation was superb. I believe that it should almost be mandatory to watch March Of The Penguins before viewing this film. It adds a level of appreciation for Happy Feet and puts you inside the mind of the characters in this film.

Loved it and would watch it again and buy the disk when it comes out.
 

Abby_B

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I completely loved this movie. I didn't really expect to, but I thought it was great, and ended up being so glad I saw it. Not the best movie I've seen this year but definitely completely enjoyable and fun. I want a tiny dancing penguin to hug. (And Robin Williams does some excellent voice work here.)
 

Jassen M. West

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I have to admit I was glad that Lovelace was choked up during most of the movie. I like Robin Williams but sometimes he's too over the top.
 

DaveF

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Agreed. He's been stuck on "Aladdin" for over 10 years now. He was particularly annoying in Robots, and I was glad his role in Happy Feet was relatively modest.
 

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