Mumble's son, Erik, is struggling to realize his talents in the Emperor Penguin world. Meanwhile, Mumble and his family and friends discover a new threat their home -- one that will take everyone working together to save them.
A scheming raccoon fools a mismatched family of forest creatures into helping him repay a debt of food, by invading the new suburban sprawl that popped up while they were hibernating...and learns a lesson about family himself.
An outlaw cat, his childhood egg-friend and a seductive thief kitty set out in search for the eggs of the fabled Golden Goose to clear his name, restore his lost honor and regain the trust of his mother and town.
This is the story of a little penguin named Mumble who has a terrible singing voice and later discovers he has no Heartsong. However, Mumble has an astute talent for something that none of the penguins had ever seen before: tap dancing. Though Mumble's mom, Norma Jean, thinks this little habit is cute, his dad, Memphis, says it "just ain't penguin." Besides, they both know that, without a Heartsong, Mumble may never find true love. As fate would have it, his one friend, Gloria, happens to be the best singer around. Mumble and Gloria have a connection from the moment they hatch, but she struggles with his strange "hippity- hoppity" ways. Mumble is just too different--especially for Noah the Elder, the stern leader of Emperor Land, who ultimately casts him out of the community. Away from home for the first time, Mumble meets a posse of decidedly un-Emperor-like penguins--the Adelie Amigos. Led by Ramon, the Adelies instantly embrace Mumble's cool dance moves and invite him to party with... Written by
Anthony Pereyra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Mumble is dancing, you can see three black spots over his ankle area, this is in reference to the spats that used to be worn over shoes in early Fred Astaire dancing movies. See more »
While Baby Mumble is with the Skuas, a small black bow can be seen on Mumble's chest. However, when Mumble falls into the crack in the ice, the bow disappears. When the birds fly away, Mumble rolls to the side and begins to cry, with his bow visible again. See more »
Once there was a way to get back homeward.
Are the stars out tonight?
Once there was a way to get back home.
I only have eyes for you.
Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry.
And I will sing a lullaby.
With a song in my heart.
So tell me / Tell me something good / Yeah, yeah, yeah / Tell me that you love me. / Tell me, baby. / Tell me something good.
[...] See more »
Mumble, Gloria, Memphis, Norma Jean, Noah, Ramón, Lovelace, Mrs. Astrakhan and a baby penguin can be seen tap dancing under the credits while Song of the Heart by Prince is playing. See more »
Animated comedies have become what Mike Tyson was to the boxing scene in the 1980's: a safe bet. This begs an upsurge in quality for the market and the otherwise forgettable family fluff films have begun to interweave deeper, more salient issues in their stories. Political messages about environmental problems was perhaps the last thing I expected to find rotating around in a happy, tappy romp like 'Happy Feet' but the fact is they are there, and they are superbly handled, as is much of the film.
Advertising the film as a propaganda vehicle would have been grossly unwise, which is why the simple template story rings true to most people. All that has been put forward in trailers and synopses is the lonely journey of the Emperor Penguin Mumble (Elijah Wood), who is an outcast owing to his poor singing voice and tapalicious feet. The rest of the tight-knit, conformist community all rely on special heartsongs to appeal to mates, and not being able to carry a tune is a fatal misstep for Mumble. When he finally finds friends in Ramon's (Robin Williams) foreign group of Adelie penguins, it becomes clear that there are more things threatening the penguin society on Antarctica the most prominent of which being human overfishing.
One third into 'Happy Feet', I found myself drifting ever so slightly into indifference as the sprawling surge of R'n'B on the ice wore off. The emperor penguins all sing tunes you have heard before and it is not until Mumble encounters the eccentric party group of Adelies that Happy Feet receives a well-deserved kickstart and starts tapping into good fun. Thankfully, and admirably, it manages to avoid pratfalls, slapstick, pee- and fart jokes and instead the finely-tuned humour rests on the wealth of meticulous animation, juxtaposition, absurdist situations and snaptastic one-liners from Ramon's crew as they take Mumble in and introduce him to their kooky, fun-loving society and social guru, "Lovelace". This is seen in stark contrast from the emperor penguins' community on the humour side of the tapestry, and the funniest gag in the latter is Kidman returning from the long fishing journey and telling her baby Mumble lovingly that she "has got something for him", and proceeds to vomit into his mouth. Priceless.
Happy Feet is an ambitious animated comedy. It's ambitious in its scope; there are epic aerial shots of the vast icy glacier, even from outer spaces, it treats salient issues like the effects of overfishing, it takes well-deserved jabs at organized religion, in which the elder emperor penguins represent the archaic values and traditions that they mindlessly adhere to. It features a star-studded cast, it sees seamless intercutting of live action footage and stars (I spotted an uncredited Ewan McGregor cameo, look out), and it is dedicated to Steve Irwin. Certainly 'Happy Feet' carries all of its ambitions quite well, some becoming accolades like the effective punch at conformity in which all the penguins literally look identical except for the fuzzy, fluffy Mumble, while others fall flat thanks to its shortcoming cast.
It should only be so hard to provide voicework for an animated character, and Elijah Wood does it effortlessly as the fumbling, bumbling toddler-like misfit Mumble, who even looks like him with bright baby blue eyes. Nicole Kidman stars as Mumble's mother, with a ridiculously over-the-top voice, and she tips over into overacting at a few points. In the beginning we are given the well-condensed introductory story of how she met Mumble's father Memphis (Hugh Jackman) with a heartfelt heartsong, and she gets to reprise her romantic duet singing of Moulin Rouge opposite fellow Aussie. All of the aforementioned actors, as well as Robin Williams and Hugo Weaving, perform well in their respective supporting roles all except the unforgivably redundant Brittany Murhpy as Mumble's perpetual love-interest (who is a bad singer to boot), a plain annoying and unlikeable character backed by an equally unlikable actress.
Owing to its mindblowing animation (which has been absolutely honed in the past few years) and treatment of salient issues, 'Happy Feet' could not have been made five or even four years ago. The former is translated into unspeakably beautiful sequences of underwater chases and ice slides while the latter manifests itself in apt environmental warnings. Although I was mostly entertained, there were a few too many purposely "aww" moments crammed in and certainly it does not quite dethrone the majestic 'Ice Age' (2002) as the best sub-zero comedy ever made. There, I've now said so little in so many words.
7 out of 10
52 of 84 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?