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Movie Review: Happy Feet

Alternate Title: The Emperor Has No Fish

Story: This animated penguin film is a delight. There's lots of great action, visuals, charming characters, adorable penguin chicks and requisite villains, the leopard seal, skua and killer whale.

My problem with the film is that it goes along at a respectable pace and storyline when suddenly the last third of the film changes course and a message is jammed down our throats. Our little Emperor penguin is different. What does he do when he discovers he moves to a different beat? His specialness involves dancing, not singing. He is ostracized by the elders and driven from the troop. He is suddenly blamed for the shortage of fish. Huh? The writer's message about over fishing is introduced out of the blue. Not that there is anything wrong with this important message, but I think it should have been woven through the text from frame one. There is also nary a mention of global warming. Oh well ...despite that it was lots of fun and I am sure director George Miller (who brought us Babe) and crew had a blast making this charming film.

Acting: The voices of Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, Brittany Murphy and Hugo Weaving are all more than fine.

Predilection: I like penguins. You can go to the photo door of web site and see some of my pictures from our trip last year to Antarctica.



Critters: Penguins, skuas, leopard seals and killer whales.

Soundtrack: A charming blend of happy tunes.

Visual Art: I am not a bug fan of animation but this film worked well.

Theater Audience: Three other people and me.

Weather: It is cold in Antarctica.

Sappy Factor: 3

Squirm Scale: It is squirmy to watch the killer whales toy with the penguins in their food chase.

Drift Factor: I did look at my watch after 45 minutes.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Is there a special category for animation now?

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: 90 minutes