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Happy Feet Movie Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

By

Happy Feet Movie Review

The Amigos, Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) and Lovelace (voiced by Robin Williams) look out at the alien ships in the distant waters in "Happy Feet."

© Warner Bros Pictures

The Bottom Line

Forget penguins 'march'ing around. The tuxedoed dancing and singing fellows in Happy Feet have them beat by a mile. Co-written and directed by George Miller (of Babe fame), Happy Feet is a joyous, toe-tapping animated film that teaches a few important lessons without hammering its audience over the head.

Pros

  • The best animated film of 2006
  • Who can resist dancing and singing penguins?
  • The voice cast is terrific - and they even sing for themselves

Cons

  • A tad scary for the younger audience members

Description

  • Voice cast includes Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Robin Williams
  • Savion Glover provides Mumble's dance moves
  • This is director George Miller's first CGI animated film
  • Rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor
  • Theatrical Release Date: November 17, 2006

Guide Review - Happy Feet Movie Review

The Story

Elijah Wood provides the voice of Mumble, an adorable little guy who was born without the ability to sing. Whenever Mumble opens his mouth to give it a try, anyone within earshot is immediately in pain. While every other penguin in his community uses his or her beautiful singing voice to attract a member of the opposite sex, Mumble finds tap-dancing away to a tune in his head is much more his style.

This dancing thing doesn't go over well with members of his own species, and even leads to poor Mumble's exile from his friends and family. But don't despair, a short but sassy penguin named Ramon (Robin Williams) and his group of Adelie penguin buddies befriends the outcast. Accepted by Ramon and his goofy gang, Mumble soon learns it's okay to be different. He also learns important lessons about conservation and how people are ruining the habitats of creatures across the planet.

To Sum It Up

Director Miller did a fantastic job of matching penguin personalities with his voice cast. The Happy Feet ensemble is a talented group unafraid to show off their singing skills. Brittany Murphy's a real surprise as Mumble's love interest, the sought-after Gloria. Murphy's not known for her singing ability, however she belts out show-stopping numbers in Happy Feet. Hugh Jackman warbles out his best Elvis impersonation while Nicole Kidman sounds Marilyn Monroe-ish in the part of Mumble's mom.

The animation's truly spectacular, the penguins and their icy environment spring to life on the screen. When a leopard seal attacks Mumble, it's so realistic that I actually clutched my armrest.

Some may find the film a little too preachy however when you've got a captive audience and you can mix entertainment with a lesson, then why not go for it? Happy Feet is simply an irresistible blend of story and music, with a little something for everyone.

GRADE: A-

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