Tag Archives: Happy Feet

Happy Feet Movie, Review

Baby penguin Mumble (Wood) prefers dancing to singing, much to the disgust of the musical colony where he lives. As he tries to find his place and win the heart of Gloria (Brittany Murphy), he discovers something rotten at the heart of Antarctica.

For the last few years, penguins have been poised on the brink of cinematic superstardom, from their documentary blockbuster to the commando types of Madagascar.

The first 15 minutes of the movie are basically a recap of March Of The Penguins. Emperor penguins court each other by singing heartsongs to find a mate, and Kidman’s Monroe-esque Norma Jean is swept off her feet by Jackman’s down-home rendition of Heartbreak Hotel. It is a slightly odd decision to imbue this least musical of birds with a penchant for bursting into song, but the results are undeniably foot-tapping. In due course arrives the  cute Mumble, a penguin who just can’t sing, but has feet faster than Michael Flatley.

Directed by Mad Max’s George Miller, Happy Feet gives even more of a romantic gloss to the penguins’ struggles but doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of Antarctic life. Once the chicks hatch, things settle briefly into the cozy musical extravaganza the trailers promised: the penguins singing out their hearts while Robin Williams pops up, Genie-like, and Mumble shuffles his feet to add some extra laughs. The movie takes a twist into much darker territory.

Overfishing, the evils of zoos and the sanctity of Antarctica are all addressed as Mumble’s quest for acceptance takes him to dangerous places. It’s such a strong message that the film was branded an “animated Inconvenient Truth”, which is hopefully a recommendation.

For sure, the hit that pork futures took after Babe is nothing in comparison to the fishfinger backlash that this invites. However, the huge shift in tone is disconcerting, and for every kid encouraged to campaign for a brighter future for penguins, there will be two who refuse ever to go back to the zoo.

Movies that teach kids about climate change (part 1)

Although climate change is a tough issue to discuss with kids, these kid-friendly movies are a great way to start the conversation.

Happy Feet

Happy Feet is an appealing animated movie with lots of catchy music. It has environmental themes about humans intruding on natural habitats but avoiding the questions of how to solve the problem. The movie features some chase sequences and elephant seal scenes that might be scary for younger children. However, the film’s messages of social acceptance, integrity, and embracing your own uniqueness shine through.

Police Patrol

Police Patrol is a computer-animated movie telling the story of a cute VW Bug police car that is fighting with two brothers who attempt to steal the water of a quaint village as well as wreak havoc with the environment. The overall shrillness in the characters’ voices and the simplicity of the story make it become a movie best enjoyed by young kids. Its strong pro-environment stance may be a bit much for some. However, overall, the movie’s message should resonate with those who concern about the use and abuse of water, land, and air, and should inspire discussion with younger children about the importance of protecting and saving these resources.

A Beautiful Planet

A Beautiful Planet is a stunning IMAX documentary that brings viewers to the International Space Station to view Earth from space. There’s no shortage of incredible views, including the drought-stricken California landscape, a massive typhoon in the South Pacific, and the melting Greenland ice sheet. Children will learn about life on the space station and see the huge impact of humanity on our planet, from deforestation to greenhouse gas emissions. The images (particularly in the IMAX scale) may be a little overwhelming for younger children, but anyone interested in space, science, or the environment will certainly be blown away, and the astronauts are role models who demonstrate the importance of cooperation and communication.