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Happy Feet [2006] - 5.97

For anyone who thought the Oscar-winning documentary March of the Penguins was the most marvelous cinematic moment for these nomads of the south, you haven't seen nothing yet. Here's an animated wonder about a penguin named Mumble who can't sing, but can dance up a storm. George Miller, the driving force behind the Babe (and Mad Max) movies, takes another creative step in family entertainment with this big, beautiful, music-fueled film that will have kids and their parents dancing in the streets. From his first moment alive, Mumble (voiced by Elijah Woods) feels the beat and can't stop dancing. Unfortunatly, emperor penguins are all about finding their own heart song, and dancing youngster--as cute as he is--is a misfit. Luckily, he bumps into little blue penguins, a Spanish-infused group (led by Robin Williams) and begins a series of adventures. Miller has an exceptional variety of entertainment, Busby Berkley musical numbers, amusement park thrills, exciting chase sequences (seals and orca lovers might like think otherwise), and even an environmental message that doesn't weigh you down. Best of all, you don't know where the movie is going in the last act, a rare occurrence these days in family entertainment. A fusion of rock songs, mashed up and otherwise are featured; this movie is as much a musical as a comedy. Mumble's solo dance to a new version of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" by Fantasia, Patti and Yolanda may be the most joyful moment on camera in 2006. --Doug Thomas

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.0):

Rating: 5:
"Happy Feet" set a new level of quality for children movies - a very high one : Me and my 6y old daughter we saw this movie seven times at the cinema (including three times in its Polish version) and we were both terribly impressed. Even as an adult I must say that I felt in love with "Happy Feet" - the stunning image quality, the great story, the impressive music, the very intelligent dialogues, the humour and the message of course. In fact this movie has a double message - the "green" one (have some pity for our planet) and also the one about accepting handicapped members of community. Well, very early you will see that the main hero is handicapped (according to penguin standards in this movie) and his problem can not be solved. Ever. So he has to live with it as has the whole colony. There is more - there are elements about the difficulty of communication between civilisations and the hard choices that face the established religion (yes, there is a penguin religion in this movie) in the time of a cataclysm. A great thing in this movie is that it avoids creating villains in the penguin society - even the most antipatic and usufferable characters have their story and their point. In fact the only villains are predators who eat penguins - skuas, orcas and especially the sea leopard, one of the most impressive (and scariest) creatures I ever saw in a kids movie. The scene with the sea leopard is actually the only one which can really scare the youngest kids.
This is a terrific movie, in which every scene is perfect - nothing can be cut or added without spoiling it. I absolutely do not agree that the second part is worse, in fact, it is one of the most emotional and impressive moments of the cinema and not only children cinema. The travel of the main hero outside the borders of the world, his imprisonment in an alien world and his desperate attempts to communicate with aliens are incredibly described. And the solution of all the problem is actually just a little girls smile in one of the most moving scenes I ever saw.... See this movie and you will fall in love with it. And your children will greatly profit from seeing it too - even if they do not get all the message, they will probably at least start to practice tap dancing, as my kid did....

Rating: 2:
Disappointing : I recommend watching this film up to the climax, and by that I do mean the big song that comes just before the middle of the film. I'm all for saving the planet, being environmentally friendly etc. I recycle paper and use public transport over a car, but please don't ram it down my throat when all I'm looking for is a couple of hours of musical penguin whimsy.

The first half of this film is good and really enjoyable - it is as good as any of the Disney greats, but soon after it drops off. I found myself getting bored towards the end, and yes I am an adult I know but surely a good film should be able to sustain an audience of any age.

If you're going to watch it I recommend renting it first, but don't be surprised if you find yourself screaming at the telly to forget the forced message and bring back the entertainment!

Rating: 5:
Amazingly cute, kind and charming!!! : I really can't believe that smb can not like this film at all. I watched it after my mom that found it very "cute but a bit boring".

We watched it with my husband (who mostly likes films like "Training day"
or "Saw") and we both were charmed by almost little thing in this movie:
kindness, charm, bravery, love and power to be different.

Really nice film with nice animation, good music and voices of favorites

It's amazing movie for all people of all ages. I'm sure that children would be trilling from it. Think it's amazing example for kinds of how one person (penguin or human) can make a difference in the world.

I recommend it to everybody - if you not sure that you wanna buy it - at least rent it. You will take no regrets.

Rating: 5:
Simply stunning! : Loads of reviews on offer for this movie, so here's my two pence worth...

Visually stunning - the BEST animation of this kind I've ever seen. The landscapes, angles, colours and emotion in simple background is awesome. You could watch this movie with the sound off just to experience the wonder of what people have the imagination and skill to create.

Excellent casting - all the voices work well. As you'd expect, Robin Williams steals any scene he's in, but does so on absolute merit.

Great songs - with humour, style and panache.

Fair storyline - starts as a 'straightforward' love song and ends on a uncomfortable environmental point, before returning to your Hollywood style climax. However, there is more to the movie than this - what if you're the penguin that doesn't fit in the colony? Some excellent life lessons lurk here.

Ignore the miserable reviewers - this film is a superb 'feel good' movie - if you're not smiling within the first ten minutes then you're either (i) watching the wrong movie or (ii) not watching with your heart!

Watch and ENJOY - let your feet tap away!

Rating: 1:
Too many problems : Problems:
Main characters all pretty much look the same.
Scenery throughout the film is dull grey/ blue.
Music is completely out of character with the Antartic theme.
Dancing is hypnotic and can send you to sleep.
Film is too long.
Story is too simple.
A rushed ending with a bizarre environmental twist which doesn't fit in well with the rest of the film.

Compared with greats like Finding Nemo and the Lion King, this fails on so many fronts and is such a disappointment on what should have been a much better film.

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