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|Index||81 reviews in total|
I gave this a 9 because, for once, 3D worked extremely well in a movie. Beautiful content once you put those glasses on! Now for the movie. A nice new twist on the Happy Feet story (I personally didn't enjoy the 1st one as much as this one). Pink did a wonderful job as Gloria but somehow I still missed Brittany Murphy's voice. Great casting done on film and it was nice to meet new characters. My favorites were Will & Bill Krill (played by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon) who in my opinion quite stole the show! My daughters (both teenagers) really liked it so it works for all ages and we all left the theater quite happy after seeing it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was not first in the queue at the multiplex when Happy Feet came out.
Despite being a fan of CGI movies, I'm not a dancing enthusiast and,
frankly, I got the joke - dancing penguins, ha ha - without actually
seeing the film. Also, much as I like Robin Williams live and in
straight roles, I can have enough of him quite quickly when he is
voicing animated characters. Anyway, I finally saw it, and it was
exactly what I expected - OK, albeit the underlying gag was not
sufficient to underpin a feature-length movie.
Clearly, I was out of step, because in due course along comes Happy Feet 2. Oh well, I reasoned, hopefully the 3D will be enough to keep me interested.
Now it seems that not only was I out of step on Happy Feet 1, I'm also out of step on Happy Feet 2, because I loved it. The dancing is kept to a minimum and such dancing as there is takes place in strict service to the demands of the plot. After what looked as if it was going to be, worryingly, a retread of the first movie (Mumbles' young son Eric is also rhythmically challenged and wanders unhappily away from the Emperor penguins' colony), Eric's terpsichorean shortcomings are overlooked as a) we meet some new characters - specifically an Australian elephant seal and a pair of Krill (voiced wonderfully by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon), and b) a huge iceberg traps the Emperor colony, putting them at risk of starvation. Only Mumbles, Eric, and Eric's two chick friends can (with help) save the day.
There is a lot more story here than in the first film, and much of it is very suspenseful. There are some wonderful visuals, some hysterically funny dialogue from the two Krill (Will and Bill Krill - Will is determined to reverse roles and become a carnivorous predator, to the horror of his meek friend Bill), and some inspired moments which choke you up with emotion at the same time as making you laugh. I never thought I would use the adjective "idotically" with the noun "beautiful", but when a pack of Krill start geometric pulsations of their fluorescence in time to their tap dancing to Under Pressure on the underside of an iceberg, idiotically beautiful is the only way to describe what you are seeing.
Oh, and the 3D, while not essential, has some spectacular moments.
I loved it.
YYIIHAAA.. great movie. Just as nice as the first version. Children and adults who like animation movies : this is the movie for the X-mas days. Don't miss it. I like my Happy Feet friends on the big screen. But not all the penguins are happy because the ice rock they live on, is melting. There is a funny, virtual, non-profit penguin event to stop the climate crisis so the penguins keep living like they prefer. If you like these animals (on the screen and also alive) and are also worried about the non-natural climate changes ... please enjoy this event : "Defart" your penguin with Beans Airways, enjoy the flight,find a good place for your igloo and reserve some space for your friends on the virtual streets in Durban, and enjoy the party at the beach. Enjoy on pissedoffpenguins.com
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Like its predecessor, "Happy Feet Two" succeeds by reaching beyond the
expectations of an animated family comedy. It's not that there's music;
it's that the music is expertly orchestrated and perfectly in sync with
the visuals. It's not that there's singing and dancing; it's that both
are handled with the care and precision of a professional stage
production, and that they're done on a scale large enough that it
surpasses amusement and achieves an unexplainable satisfaction. Not bad
when you consider that all the dancers are penguins. The animation is
spectacular, the Antarctic renderings are superb, the characters are
engaging, the plot is both fun and timely, and the voice work is on par
with the best cartoon movies. The biggest surprise is the 3D, which is
bright enough to see and immersive enough to seem uncanny.
If you recall the original film, an emperor penguin named Mumble was ostracized because he could dance but not sing. Since that time, Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) has not only been accepted by his fellow penguins but has also made dancing itself acceptable. Indeed, the film opens with brilliant display of choreography, with penguins tapping their feet, shaking their tails, and waving their flippers as far as the eye can see. In an ironic twist of fate, Mumble's young son, Erik (voiced by E.G. Daily), lacks the ability to dance and feels out of place. When he and a group of friends ventures to neighboring penguin nation where we're reintroduced to the sassy Ramon (voiced by Robin Williams) he witnesses a congregation presided over by the zealous Lovelace (also voiced by Williams) and a new character, a Swedish puffin named The Mighty Sven (voiced by Hank Azaria), who passes himself off as a penguin with the ability to fly.
Erik is inspired by Sven and thinks he has finally found his purpose in life. How can Mumble break it to him that penguins cannot actually fly? At the moment, that doesn't much matter; the melting of ice sheets and rapid movement of glaciers has changed the land to such a degree that Mumble's people are trapped. This would include his love, Gloria (voiced by Pink, replacing the late Brittany Murphy). Freeing them depends on the destruction of a massive ice shelf. This will require far more than the assistance of Lovelace and his penguin nation. It will also require elephant seals, including a bully who calls himself The Beach Master (voiced by Richard Carter). How he comes to be in Mumble's service, I leave for you to discover.
In an odd and disconnected but no less enjoyable subplot, two krill, known alliteratively as Will and Bill (voiced by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon), have strayed away from their swarm. One of them learns some hard facts about his place on the food chain and is determined to become a fearsome carnivore. Working his way up the ladder, you might say. The other is a neurotic who clings to his friend like a frightened puppy dog. I honestly don't remember which one is which, but to be perfectly honest, I don't think it matters. They're both given some of the film's wittiest lines as well as a slew of obvious puns that only add to their charm. Their scenes show the best utilization of the 3D process, I suspect they mostly take place underwater. I don't know what it is about underwater shots and their positive effect on 3D. Perhaps it has something to do with the illusion of density, or the fact that air bubbles can come directly into your field of vision.
Part of what makes these movies so worthwhile is the effort to make audiences conscious of pressing social issues such as tolerance, persecution, and individuality and documented environmental concerns such as human interference with nature, pollution, and of course, global warming. Director George Miller and his writers are not content to simply pander to children and their families. Yes, they want them to laugh and have a good time, but they also want them to be aware of themselves and of what's going on in the world. In the wrong hands, this would be mistaken as propaganda. If I've given you pause, let me assure you that this movie contains nothing of the sort.
"Happy Feet Two" is above all exuberant entertainment, a song and dance extravaganza with an infectious soundtrack. In this regard, Pink was a wise casting choice. There's more to it than her ability to sing; there's empathy in her voice, an emotional resonance that lets me know her character is not only a mother but also a deeply caring person. Her solo number midway through the film (also included on the first film's soundtrack) signals the appearance of the aurora australis, which is, needless to say, a beautiful sight to behold, especially in 3D. Some have been critical of these movies, but I for one am glad that we have them. They don't follow the rules of the traditional animated movie no soppy love stories, no mindless comedy bits, no "playing down" to the level of the audience. They are, in a word, unique.
-- Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My companion, Stephanie, and I fought our way through the psychotic Breaking Dawn crowd to see Happy Feet Two. After getting into theater number six with tremendous effort, we surveyed our fellow film-goers (all who seemed to be over the age of fifty or under the age of five). Anyway, as we slipped on our obscenely geeky 3D glasses (they have to do something about those, by the way ) and the film began, we quickly regretted our decision not to go see Breaking Dawn.
Happy Feet Two opened with a large musical number with penguins singing and dancing reminiscent of the first Happy Feet movie. I don't trust movies that start with large musical numbers. They usually are trying to distract you from the lack of plot. But hey.
So the movie was basically about Mumble's son, Erik, or something like that The penguins get stuck in a pit because of global warming and they all have to work together to save their lives. If only we had penguins in Washington Also. There was a random puffin bird. But even more random were Bill and Will the Krill, voiced by Matt Damon and Brad Pitt. I can assure you; they had nothing to do with the plot of the movie and were purely comic relief because this ended up being a dark film with heavy environmentalist agenda. Bill and Will were the saving grace of Happy Feet Two. If you rent this movie (because sure as heck don't pay ten bucks to see it), I suggest you fast forward to all the parts with the krill. Forget the doomed, dancing penguins. The main thing bugging me about this movie, besides the crappy musical numbers (although kudos to P!NK), dying polar bears, and Hugo Weaving as a penguin, is Mumble. He hasn't aged since the first movie. He is fluffy and yet has a chick. This is disturbing.
Even though is movie sucked and was extremely random, little kids will probably like it. And I have to admit, the baby penguins (especially the one with the accent) are pretty darn cute. The 3D was good...But basically, if you want my advice, don't go see this movie. Don't take your kids. Don't take your dogs. Don't take your mother-in-law. They will have nightmares of drowning polar bears and oily puffins.
George miller gives us a pretty sleek family entertainer with awesome
3D and new characters Will the Krill,Bill the Krill,Atticus and much
more.The plot is simple and revolves around Mumble & his kid Erik then
there's just nothing all that special or urgent about any of it. The
krills reminds the Ice Age's saber-toothed squirrel Scrat hunting for
that pesky acorn,yet they did bring some of the funnier moments to the
film.And for the music there are several pop remixes, of course, and
songstress Pink (as Erik's mom)shows off her vocal chops, even as she
reveals a limited acting range.The score, in a lack of imagination,
also pilfers the classical music canon (somewhere, Puccini is rolling
over in his grave).When it's not singing, the movie just yawns.
In a nutshell average movie and easily forgotten.
I want to start off saying that I liked the first Happy Feet. While it
was not perfect, with a final twenty minutes(or so) that felt like a
completely different movie, it was gorgeously animated and I loved the
songs and choreography. I wasn't expecting the sequel to be as good,
but I was not expecting it to be so disappointing either. Is it a
terrible movie? I don't think so. The animation like with the first
Happy Feet is simply spectacular, especially in the very detailed
backgrounds. The characters are really cute looking too, then again I
have always had a soft spot for penguins. The songs are also
toe-tapping, with the best being Under Pressure, and the choreography
dazzles, though I will be honest in saying that the first one in both
areas was more memorable.
The voice cast do an admirable job, Elijah Wood is suitably humble and Robin Williams is quite good if not as funny but it was Hank Azaria who stole the show. I wasn't so sure though about Pink as Gloria, she didn't do too bad a job but while I can understand why it was a different voice actress as Brittany Murphy had died I found Murphy brought more likability and charm to the character.
On the other hand, the script feels thin here, nothing of note stands out, not helped by and the humour with the Krill felt out of place and unfunny to me. The Loney Goatherd yodel scene was the only one that made me smile at least. The characters I didn't like as much, there were too many to emphasize with and few of them charmed me in any way, Mumble is not as cute as he was in the first movie and his son Erik felt like one of those stereotypical "kid of hero/heroine" that you'll find in the Disney sequels for example, Lovelace is underused, Gloria is not as likable or as charming and the Krill despite enthusiastic vocal work from Matt Damon and Brad Pitt didn't amuse me in the slightest. In fact the sole bright spot was Sven.
The biggest fault though was the story. Granted the story was not the first movie's strong point either, but despite the thin structure and preachy final act it was still cute and grasped my attention. This sequel doesn't do that. It is glacially paced, has next to none of the charm of the first one, is too anti-climatic and worst of all it doesn't seem to know what type of story it wants to be. It relies too much at times on the musical numbers, has a pointless side-story with the Krill and for me the whole story here actually manages to be more heavy-handed than the final act of the first movie.
All in all, as much as I did want to like Happy Feet Two(and I am one of those who can understand why some will like it and some won't, likewise with the first), it was a disappointing and unnecessary sequel that has some things to like but has too many glaring flaws that sadly can't be overlooked. 4/10 Bethany Cox
There's little rhyme or reason to anything in the "Happy Feet"
universe. If it sings, dances, looks cute and enhances ethnic
diversity, it flies. Except penguins of course penguins can't fly,
everyone knows that. But that doesn't mean they can't creatively
problem solve through self-determination, tap-dancing and passionate
arias. Okay, so nothing makes sense about "Happy Feet Two," but only a
cold soul needs rationalization for adorable singing penguins.
Five years after the original, "Happy Feet Two" requires no previous knowledge of the original, though it couldn't hurt to be aware that it features penguins apt to break out into any song popular in 2008 or earlier. Mumble (Elijah Wood) has grown up and now has his own social outcast son with no sense of rhythm, Erik (Ava Acres). After the opening dance number ends in embarrassment, Erik and friends Bo and Atticus leave their emperor penguin tribe and head to the tribe of Latino penguins with the silly Ramon (Robin Williams). There they discover Sven (Hank Azaria), the famous flying penguin. When Mumble finds the runaways, they head back home to discover a giant iceberg has trapped their friends and family, effectively cutting off their food supply.
The movie's main subplot, the story of two krill who leave their swarm voiced by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, far and away steals the spotlight. The two are hilarious and the writing insanely witty as Will (Pitt) suffers an existential crisis when he realizes he's one of a "krillion" bottom- feeders in a huge ocean. He then drags his reluctant friend Bill (Damon) on a quest to defy the food chain. If only the rest of the script could be as clever and snappy rather than leaning on Williams for laughs.
As those who've seen the original might remember, real live-action humans are once again involved in this film. These "aliens," as the penguins call them, had "captured" Sven and head honcho penguin Lovelace on an oil rig and Lovelace sings some boisterous recitative as to how they escaped. Later on, Lovelace gets the attention of a fishing boat and some human dude comes out to play an electric guitar solo to "We Are the Champions." Lovelace's "plan" works, as the humans try and rescue the penguins, but they abandon them when a blizzard roles through. Once again, "humans suck and continuously destroy the natural order of things" remains part of director/creator George Miller's message.
It would be safe to say after two "Happy Feet" movies that Miller has a hippie liberal quasi- socialist agenda. After Sven proves he's not what he seems and the flight-determined penguins back off their dream of the impossible, especially poor little Erik, it turns out that the only way they can save these trapped penguins is to generate some karma and solicit the help of other penguin tribes, then all the other species of Antarctica, namely elephant seals, must give of themselves a bit to benefit the whole continent. Meanwhile, it's clear that global warming is the real cause of the problems, but the film never comes out and says it. Brainwashing? Quite possibly.
The musical numbers in the film range from fun and catchy to random chaos and so does their positioning within the film. During the final act, the penguins and others manage to sing techno hit "Dragostea Din Tei," as well as "Rawhide" and finally "Under Pressure." It's like a non-cohesive "Glee" episode with penguins. Mix the humans into some of the numbers and you might regret not bringing your hallucinogens to the theater.
Visually, the film retains the original's distinctive style of realism with cartoonish features, but it's not nearly as breathtaking as it was back in 2006 as most studios have caught up. Some of the ocean sequences might have been interesting to see in 3D just to see if its that layered depth-of-field kind of 3D and not just the playing to the audience 3D (which there's plenty of).
Miller, the writers and the animation team created knew full well that regardless of whether they had an even remotely interesting story, they could cover up just about anything with cute baby animals and singing/dancing. Sadly, naturally or however you feel about it, they're right. The cuteness can't completely disguise the lack of good storytelling, but it does act as a great equalizer. If you find yourself unable to articulate this feathery exercise in musical chairs to others, Warner Bros. will happily give you license to say "cute" free or charge.
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Happy Feet took home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the
Year 2007, but that film had everything - song, dance, comedy, drama,
romance and of course the feel good factor. One would have thought that
success meant a fast-track into getting a sequel out, but it actually
took some 5 years before it actually did. George Miller assume the
entire directorial responsibility this time round, with the story
co-written by Warren Coleman, Paul Livingston and George Miller
somewhat making this a little bit darker in tone, with much less
comedy, with more of a dark, brooding overtone that hammers home its
Gone are the colours and the more light hearted moments thanks to the Robin Williams voiced hippy penguin Ramon, who now takes a backseat to just trying his best to romance fellow penguin Carmen (Sofia Vergara), and in comes a terribly overt evangelistic feel with the presence of a new character The Mighty Sven (Hank Azaria), whom the penguins all worship for its flight ability, charisma and glib tongue. It cannot be more pronounced of the intent to show how these characters turn out to be nothing but false prophets, what with his miraculous ability of flight for a penguin, the rote religious preaches and sermons he gives, and not to forget the promise to deliver the emperor penguins from their current environmental plight, starting with the vast plans to provide fish for his new flock.
New characters also got introduced to expand the scale of the story now to involve the smallest of life forms with two Krills, Will (Brad Pitt) and Bill (Matt Damon), the former adamant in striking out on his own and to evolve from a non-conformist environment where they swim around and be sitting ducks to larger prey, while the latter is the voice of rational thought, and comfort, joining Will only because he has but one friend. And on the other end of the size spectrum, we have the Leopard Seals with nasty, combative attitudes, whom you'd identify as key to the plot in the third act once Mumble (Elijah Wood) starts to tap his happy feet.
Mumble is now all grown up and has a family of his own, with wife Gloria (voiced by the late Brittany Murphy in the earlier film, with singer Pink now taking over) and kid Erik (Ava Acres), a shy little one who neither can sing like his mom or dance like his dad, and becomes the prodigal son taking after his dad, well OK, the co-protagonist of this sequel. Why there's a need to have baby penguins boil down to the simple reason that they're cute, and will draw in the crowds. Much of the plot centres around how Mumble tries to connect with his young son, and finds it terribly tough to do so, but adversity no thanks to the threat faced by the entire Emperor Penguin community left stranded due to shifting ice, provides the opportunity especially when Erik can witness just how innovative and heroic his dad can actually be, compared to his idol Sven. Every boy needs a hero, and it works when one is close by.
Like the Ice Age franchise which is still going on strong, the message about saving our environment, and with that the species which are dependent on the preservation of their natural habitat, can't get any more pronounced in this installment, especially with carefully crafted sound design and visuals to warn just how fragile this balance is, through the multiple shots of icy landscapes breaking up at every opportunity. With kids and their parents expected to make a beeline for this film, the target audience's all set in taking home these none too subtle reminders. There's a stoic seriousness in the story, though balanced by both Brad Pitt and Matt Damon's Krill characters being nothing other than comedic fodder with their rapid fire dialogue exchange, and Pitt's Will being one of the most delusional animated characters for some time to come.
Some may frown at the religious overtones the narrative tended to dwell onto in the mid- section, and the many song and dance sequences and medleys that really padded up the film to a 100 minutes that felt longer than its runtime, but Happy Feet Two still had enough reserves in its tank to make it a wholesome family entertainer, though a lot more serious in treatment than its predecessor.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Happy Feet' was about the little penguin who didn't have the singing
talent all others of his species had, instead he was a natural dancer,
a wonderful dancer.
Elijah Wood is back as the voice of Mumble but the story is much different. There is one about a Puffin bird who claims he is a penguin, and flies, and tells the others they can too if they 'believe.' The bigger overall story is about a large ice cave-in that traps most of the colony so that they can't get food. Mumble has to enlist the help of some elephant seals to free them.
But my favorite characters were the tiny krill, Brad Pitt as Will the Krill and Matt Damon as Bill the Krill. After they narrowly escape a feeding whale Will the Krill decides that he wants a better life, he will 'evolve' into a meat-eater. His attempts don't exactly work out the way he wants them to. But they too eventually help save the stranded penguins. The dialog between Will and Bill is very witty and funny.
Sadly Brittany Murphy died after the first 'Happy Feet' where she was the voice of Gloria. The singer known as 'Pink' takes over that role and does a superb job, and her singing of several songs added greatly.
Overall a cute and mostly entertaining movie, but not up to the entertainment level of the first one.
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