Happy Feet Two (2011)
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(Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!) First of all I'd say that the visuals were amazing as before, as well as the music and choreography. But the plot... it reminded me of how I used to put my iPod on shuffle and make up stories to go with it. A whole musical number just to calm upset Erik down? A bunch of elephant seals singing while stampeding? I was generally surprised and not sure I should be humored or facepalming at the inclusion of "Never Gonna Give You Up" and "Dragostei Din Tei." I mean did I really have to get rickrolled by krill?
Oh and the krill. I kinda sorta liked the idea, but their almost pointless side-story had me rolling my eyes. The audience we were with seemed to like them, though, and laughed every time they appeared. So I guess YMMV.
There were WAY too many accents and half the script was lost on me as I tried to process what each person was saying, having to quickly switch from American to Spanish to Swedish (Romanian?) to Indian, etc.
The environmental message was even more heavy-handed this time (tufted puffins apparently all killed off, oils spills, global warming, etc.) I agree we should be concerned with these, but the constant shoving of it in your face makes you numb to the idea. This is coming from an environmentalist.
That said, there were a bunch of things that bothered me that PROBABLY wouldn't bother most people. Like why there were African Black-footed Penguins (Africa) and Little Blue Penguins (Australia and New Zealand) living with the Adeles? Or why Mumble is still fuzzy after having almost lost all his down in the first movie. Or why Eric has all of the same markings as his father and is the ONLY blue-eyed penguin aside from his father. Is he retarded too? Did they just run out of character design ideas?
All of this, plus the plot not really picking up until about a third of the way through the movie, bothered me... but it was kinda okay. Again, the visuals were great and I very much enjoyed the music. The penguins and other animals were fun to watch and for the most part realistic. I was dancing along to the big dance numbers and thought the reveal of Erik's talent was awesome (even if it sounded like an opera singer inhaling helium).
So, sure, if you want something energetic and cute to sit your kids down in front of, be my guest. I might even watch it again, if I can get around the dead plot and nature issues. It's fun and pretty to look at. Just shows what a superficial, visual race we are.
The first Happy Feet movie sets with a powerful tone and an absurd but interesting premise. That was acceptable as a penguin movie. Happy Feet 2 has its similarity with the first one by the father-son relationship. The rest is all about the crisis of the climate change but unnecessary things are happening especially with the two Krills, Will and Bill. They appear like Scrat from the Ice Age series. They are funny though but again, unnecessary.
The film itself is also unnecessary. The problem of Mumble's tap dancing was already solved. They lived happily ever after in Antarctica since the "aliens" moderated their fishing. The climate change is a really good idea. But after the movie, it feels like it's just another sequel. Well, the movie never fails to its cast. Elijah Wood and Robin Williams did the same thing in the first movie but still good in this sequel. The newbies, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon are both fun even though they are playing the most extraneous characters of the film. Pink and Common are good replacements. What happened to Fat Joe? And the last but never the least is Hank Azaria who nearly steals the show.
The movie gives some nostalgia and powerful tone from the first movie but it doesn't help at all but the visuals are really stunningly beautiful. Keeps the film large and worth it to the cinema and 3D. Realistic textures to make it look like it's Animal Planet but the elephant seals looks cartoony in some part but it's still good to look at. The songs are decent.
There are only two reasons why this exists. Environmental Propaganda and money. It's the 21st Century of Hollywood and they are somewhat running out of ideas. With all of their technology and talented filmmakers, they can make as many unnecessary sequels as they want. The Environmental Message is stuck in the plot but there is nothing wrong with that. Happy Feet 2 is not a bad movie. It's just unnecessary.
I thought HAPPY FEET was pretty great. The film was foot-tapping fun and the dark turn it took in the third act, while unexpected, made it edgy and different for me. When a sequel was announced, I thought it seemed unnecessary. How far can you really stretch the premise of penguins who can dance and sing? Apparently, not that far. After viewing the sequel, it very much does seem unnecessary and wholly forgettable within ten minutes after you walk out of the theater, which is disappointing to say the least. Other than this, the main problem with HAPPY FEET 2 is that there aren't that many good musical numbers as compared to the first one. Most of them are pretty mediocre. However, there are probably around three that range from good to great, one of which uses the song "Under Pressure," which is easily the best number in the entire film.
Another problem I had was the dark tone of the film. It's a bit TOO dark, if you ask me. You see the younger penguin characters constantly be put in danger which made the film very uncomfortable to watch, and what these characters go through in the film would probably traumatize them for life. The film also suffers from messy storytelling. For example, the subplot with the shrimp characters (voiced by Matt Damon and Brad Pitt) seems to come from nowhere and is out of place from the rest of the film. It also doesn't help that the characters are so damn annoying. As for the 3D, it's put to good use in some places but, overall, it's really unnecessary. The one good thing I can say about the film is the look of it, which is very beautiful. I also liked Pink a lot, who gives a boost for all the musical numbers she sings in, along with Robin Williams, who has a few great jokes up his sleeves.
Overall, HAPPY FEET 2 is a disappointment considering that I am a fan of the first film. Director George Miller doesn't seem to have his heart in the right place for this sequel compared to the first film. However, the film is slightly better then CARS 2 if that says anything.
What I meant was, don't bother. The first movie as better in many ways. Just by looking at the trailer, I had my mind made up not to watch it..not even for free. But there are somebody in your family members who will go against your will and there will be nothing you can do. Thus, I went. Total waste of everything. This movie is not for adults. period. There is tiny story, very little. It felt like it was musical animation with worse dialogs ever. The theme was the same as the first one. No food, child with no talent...... and finally the very child helps other survive.
- Spoiler Alert -
I took my little brother to see this movie in the theater with high hopes, we were both gravely disappointed, he was very sad we didn't go see something else.
He fell asleep halfway through, but awoke with grunts of frustration each time the penguins would break into song. The movie really pushed our buttons, and was over all very annoying.
I left the theater at the anti climactic ending where they all start singing "Under Pressure," what a terrible movie, I remember the days when movies came with their own songs, like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
Over all, not worth the money.
The subject of the movie is far too deep for the young to understand, and too immature for the adults to enjoy; this movie sits on neither side of the fence, but sort of has a post up the middle! (Unpleasant) The voices and star's voices of Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Pink, etc. is what sold me. The cute pictures of penguins sold my kids, who lost interest after the third song... not at all the first Happy Feet. :( The producers need to do a serious sit-and-think before dragging the incredible first picture through another slaughter by creating a third.
The worst parts: Mumble's son Erik can't sing or dance, but suddenly he sings at the precise moment where a situation seems impossible, and it becomes suddenly possible again. Ramone and Lovelace's characters were made smaller so a new character with no depth could come in action. The specially made songs for the movie (Bridge of Light) made little sense with the movie, despite how beautiful they were. And finally, the whole plot about the unavailability of the fish had already been done before.
Overall, I was very disappointed after waiting so long to see the sequel, and finding out that this was all they came up with. Some songs were good, especially Under Pressure and Dragostea Din Tei, but nothing in the movie captured the magic of the first one.
The movie is very very funny. I rate it 10 stars. My favorite part is the dancing baby penguins. They were so cute when they came out with snow all over them and they shook it off. I also thought it was funny when a bird thought he was going to get cooked because he saw one men and two men cooking. He finally gets away and thinks he is a penguin that can fly, but he is really a bird. The penguin thinks he can fly because he believes the bird is a penguin and the bird is flying. I like that the mother penguin and baby penguin had a special signal to call each other.
My favorite characters are Mumble, Erik and two krill named Will and Bill (Brad Pitt & Matt Damon). I like Mumble because he is really funny and he sometimes gets mad at Erik. I like Erik because he tries to get his father to take more chances and he is almost always happy. I like the two krill because they show how friendships take work. They split up in the movie, get lost and then find each other again and make a stronger friendship.
My favorite part of this movie is when Will and Bill start tapping on the ice from underneath - kind of like how Mumble taps on the ice from above. Then, a whole bunch of other krill join in and they light up the ice with all of their tapping. I think this is really cool because it is neat to see all the lights and how they actually do that.
The animation and special effects in this movie are really cool. When the krill light up the sea, that is really cool. When some of the ice goes tumbling down the effects of that are really neat. The animation in this movie is awesome. The penguins look very real and they do a good job at making them talk.
I recommend this movie for ages two and up. This movie does have a few scary parts that might be frightening for kids younger than two. For example, when one of the elephant seals falls into a big hole his kids get really scared because they think he might get stuck down there forever. That part made me a little nervous. This is a great family movie that shows happiness and friendship. Go out and see this movie when it comes out in theaters on November 18th.
Reviewed by Anthony Aranda, age 9, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
And don't forget the dancing penguin routines, now a part of our cultural memory because who would have ever thought such a conceit would work? In the case of this film, the dancing is central to the survival of the colony, all of which is just metaphor for having imagination and invincible spirit to overcome the odds.
The chances for Happy Feet Two being sappy and repetitive were significant, but its ebullient spirit, gifted voices like Robin Williams,' and a creative plot make the penguins an unlikely symbol of intrepid imagination. Anyway, when I hid in a trench in New Zealand to see the little lovelies trundle home as they always do at the same time each day, I was hooked to see an animation renewing our cultural romance with penguins and the beast fable itself.
The pros: Fantastic animation. I did not see it in 3d, but it strikes me as something that would have looked pretty good in it.
The cons" Everything else. I was bored almost the entire time. The only enjoyment I got out of the experience was seeing the trailer for the Lorax, and laughing about how The Lorax sounded like Frank from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
To recap, do not see this movie. It's dumb, it's pointless, and it's devoid of fun. It's the single most boring movie I've ever sat through.
Let me start with the singing and dancing. The movie opens with a musical medley that includes a cover of Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" while thousands of Emperor penguins keep in step and sing in unison. Mixed into the medley is some gospel, some pop music and some hip hop. The basic questions are thus: Why are they singing? Who are they singing to? How much time do they take out of their furious search for food to work on their dance routine? These are the same questions that perplexed me about 2006's Happy Feet. That movie didn't answer my questions and neither does this one.
Having revisited Luc Jacquet's wonderful documentary March of the Penguins recently, I have come to fully understand what a difficult and perilous existence the Emperor penguin lives. Think of this: Mother penguin lays an egg that the father penguin has to keep warm while Mother takes a perilous journey across the ice, dodging hungry sea lions in order to get food to bring back home. Papa takes care of the egg and sometimes the temperature drops and the baby inside the egg freezes to death. Added to that is the fact that papa has no idea if mama will ever return home. Based on that set of problems, I would think that keeping their choreography straight might not be on their short list of priorities. If they have to sing, maybe a song like "Food, Glorious Food" might seem more appropriate. Even "Heat Wave" would do.
The story is pretty thin. It involves the penguin Mumbles (voiced by Elijah Wood), the subject of the previous picture, who is now grown up and has a son. His son is named Erik and, like his old man, doesn't have much rhythm which I guess is kind of a problem when you're one of thousands of penguins who need to keep in step, after all, you don't want to ruin the dance routines for whomever might be watching. Erik and a few outcasts travel away from his penguin brothers to find their identity. Out in the ice, they discover another colony of penguins led by a charismatic Swedish Puffin named Sven (voiced by Hank Azaria) whom they all assume is a flying penguin. Sven acts as kind of motivational speaker, especially when the penguins have trouble finding a mate. Actually, Sven is quite creepy. Azaria is a wonderful talent but the character has a kind of creepy clown look about him, and his presence is seen early and often. A little of him goes a long way.
While he's gone - you'll love this - his brother and sister penguins become trapped when the shifting glaciers wall them in, leaving them unable to get out to get food. That leads to scenes a mother, father and child penguins teeming and panicking, fearing that they are going to die. Nice, huh? That leads to Mumble, Erik and friends having the join forces with the a group of Elephant Seals (yes, Elephant Seals) to them get their brothers and sisters out of this predicament. Yeah, uh huh. Okay.
Added into this milieu is a side-plot involving two krill named Will (Brad Pitt) and Bill (Matt Damon) who are existentialists and also curious to know what lies outside their swarm. They want to venture outside and figure out what lies out in the world just for them. The realization that they are merely food for hungry whales doesn't fill them with joy. What is really perplexing about these two characters - beside the fact that they sing songs that range from Wang Chung to Rick Astley - is their agenda. There's some meager minor hint that they might be a couple, but you're left to wonder why the movie even makes that suggestion. Like Sven, they are creatures outside their element, and also like Sven, a little of them goes a long way.
The krill at least distinguish themselves. The penguins, not so much. It is hard to tell one from another, except one that is sporting a sweater. Penguins have tiny eyes and their mouths are beaks so they can't express much there. Their squat bodies aren't exactly able to move around much to accelerate an action scene. They waddle and trying to make them do anything more than that is awkward and weird.
The basic message is this: Happy Feet Two is a mess. It can't find a tone, nor a purpose. It meanders from one thing to the next, from one environmental message to the next without much structure or narrative. When the penguins sing, the musical numbers are grating. When they talk, they speak in a kind of PSA format about the environment and friendships and celebrating their differences. What perplexed me is that this is a movie mostly aimed at children, but what are they to take away from this? There are so many messages and so much cacophony thrown at them so thick and fast, why are they going to get from this? It sucks to be a penguin, that's what I got from it. Then again, I got that from March of the Penguins, and I didn't have to listen to Wang Chung to get there.
Another thing is that the story wasn't really that interesting and feels unconnected. There were funny and slightly interesting bits here and there but they were really not enough to save this one. I actually fell asleep for at least 5 mins in the middle of this movie.
We already know that this is a story about singing and dancing penguins but unlike the first one, here they just find every excuse to break into song. It's like every time the writers' would run out of things to write they decide to put in a song or two just to make the movie longer. We also get that Mumble's son would have struggled with his talents just like his father but seriously, OPERA??? OMG!!! When his son started singing, the creepiness level went through the roof for me. I covered my ears as tight as I can and "mumbled" till he finished singing.
I could go all day long about how bad this film is but I think I've said enough.
So, unless you have to take your 5 yr old kid to see this movie... DON'T BOTHER WASTING YOUR TIME... I PROMISE YOU YOU'LL REGRET IT!
It only seemed possible from the success of the first movie that a sequel would be released. I mean, after all, despite the fact that it left audiences divided, it became popular and made tons of bucks at the box office. And since Brittany Murphy died, things further went to hell for this sequel. Despite all that... It managed to get made and released... And not much else.
I'll admit I loved the first movie. I can understand why it would divide audiences- not everyone favours a global warming message, but I liked it, it had great music, it was super cute, and I absolutely loved it.I was in favour of the inevitable sequel that followed. Tonight I finally saw the sequel... And, it was a mess.
If anything, the best way to describe this movie would be rushed. I still find it hard to believe that this movie took 5 years to make... This kind of "plot" could have been scraped up in a week, not even, for me. I feel as if they probably felt rushed to find a Brittany Murphy replacement and go from there, to rush the film out.
However, there is a fair amount to love in this film. Obviously, I did give the movie a 5/10, so there's a lot to love, right? For one, the charming look is still here. The look has vastly improved from the first movie evidently. The animation looks far better, and the IMAX 3D complimented the graphics perfectly. Every single flake of snow, hair, drop of water can be seen, it's absolutely amazing. In addition, the voice work is admirable too- Matt Damon and Brad Pitt as the skrill, Robin Williams as Lovelace, Hank Azaria as Sven (probably the highlight of the film), Elijah Wood as Mumble, etc.
There are a lot of funny moments in the film too, I won't lie. I loved the brief shout outs to the first movie, as well as the "Loney Goatherd" yodel to scare the birds away. I will also admit, I LOVED Under Pressure, it was AMAZING. and how it was in tune to the snow falling, was even greater.
However, unfortunately it isn't enough to make up for... Um... The rest of this movie.
No memorable numbers except for Under Pressure. The first movie had Boogie Wonderland and Somebody to Love. Those were awesome! And all the worse is that it starts off so well with the medley. It makes you believe the film will be just as good as the first. Too bad the film scraps that promise right away.
What was the plot?! The movie can't even decide what it was about, which is even bad in the first 40 minutes. At first you think it's going to be a story along the same lines of the first movie, about a youngling in search of his inner dance. Then all of a sudden... It's about global warming... Oh, wait, we must introduce Sven, the flying penguin! Oh, now were trapped in their home land! And the skrill! Who were they and why were they in the movie?! They had no point at all!!!
...which marks the perfect point to segue into the film's biggest issue: the movie moves at such a glacial pace (no pun intended), since 3/4 of the film are set in the homeland. This made the movie feel longer than it was, for reasons I cannot put my finger on. I mean, global warming is an issue that is important to be touched upon. However, the film just stays there, and it doesn't work. It ruins what could been a great film.
In short, I wish I could love this movie. But... There's too much of too little. Whereas the first movie was a marvel in terms of everything, this film is cute and... cute. I love cute things. I need more than just cute, though. I need enjoyability to go with it. And while this film isn't bad at all, I can't recommend it, for reasons stated above.
THE GOOD: Gorgeously rendered and animated, Happy Feet Two stays cute and delivers on the dancing and cuteness.
THE BAD: Cuteness can't make up for its indecisive screenplay, lack of memorable numbers and characters void of emotional connectability.
This would be a pretty good film for kids though. Like a two year old or something. You know, if you're the kind of parent that just plops your kid down in front of a TV so they can be babysat by flickering colors and songs.
And one of the penguins falls face first in a hole and poops all over the place. Then I was all like "Did that just happen?" Trust me, I've seen a penguin poop at Sea World. They were strangely accurate.
I hope I didn't ruin the movie for you.
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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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.
The last Happy Feet started well and just lost all momentum from the point where Mumble was taken into captivity. It became slow and terribly boring.
This film on the other hand was a treat. The characters were lovable and IDENTIFIABLE. I cannot grasp how people have such trouble recognising the characters. They make them thin, fat, or with blue eyes so you can tell them apart.
The story with Will and Bill the Krill was easy to follow and extremely humorous! This storyline was full of adult humour.
Overall the musical numbers weren't as good as Happy Feet 1 but there were more of them, further interspersed throughout the film and more recognisable songs. In Happy Feet 1 the songs dry up towards the middle. I would have liked to see more than just the boogie wonderland piece and this is what this film delivered.
Of course there were moral lessons jammed in. Thats exactly how Happy Feet one was but I felt that at least in this film they were slightly less contrived.
A very good film, despite all the critics.