Movie Review: Happy Feet Two

Movie Review: Happy Feet Two

Happy Feet Two

 

PG for some rude humor and mild peril.
Genre: Animation, musical, performing arts, kids, family, sequel
Running Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

The eagerly anticipated sequel to the Oscar-winning movie Happy Feet – Happy Feet Two finds the tap-dancing penguin Mumble and his friends using their smooth moves to save the penguin nation. Mumble and Gloria have started a family of their own and their young son Erik is just finding his footing among his fellow emperor penguins when a dire new threat thrusts their future into jeopardy.

Just when it’s looking as if all hope is lost,
the penguin nation bands together to dance the darkness away.

A Disappointing Sequel

While they called it the “anticipated” sequel – it’s sad to say – but like so-often happens – the sequel doesn’t really stack up against the first one. While Happy Feet Two is full of peppy toe-tapping music, it falls short of what made the original Happy Feet great. That’s not to say the movie is a total loss but unlike the first movie in this series, Happy Feet Two entertains the young, but leaves most adults suffering through the hour and 45 minute running time.

The first Happy Feet movie actually had a story line that held together throughout and didn’t waver from it’s intent. But such is not the case for this sequel. This time around it seems those involved were more concerned about making a dance splash and a political statement than anything else. There are some good lessons about not picking on people because they’re different or small, but that is over-shadowed by the blatant “lets all get along” message. With a phrase like the “penguin nation” it becomes obvious the political agenda is a “One World Order” one instead of entertainment.

Too Many Characters Leads To Disjointed Story Line

While Elijah Wood is back as the voice of the tap-dancing penguin Mumble, he seems somewhat bored with the role. The energy found in the first Happy Feet is non-existent and at times is seems as though Wood simply mailed in his performance. The newest penguin on the scene Erik – voiced by the young Ava Acres – is cute. But in an effort to go for an obvious “cuteness factor” the producers miss the mark as at times the shyness and acting inexperience of this young newcomer makes for a weak character performance for Erik. As for Mumble’s main squeeze Gloria, with the passing of Brittany Murphy in 2009 who voiced Gloria in the original movie, this time around the character just does not have the same level of passion. The artist Pink is pretty much “filling in” for the incredible performance Murphy put in back in 2006.

Robin Williams is back reprising his role as Ramon and Lovelace and while he is always a joy to watch, once again at times it seems as though Williams is merely going through the motions. Last, but certainly not least, two new characters are added – Will the Krill voiced by Brad Pitt and Bill the Krill voiced by Matt Damon. While these two characters are cute and do have some funny lines, the edition of the Krill’s leads to the disjointedness of Happy Feet Two. At times it seems as though the creators of this sequel are intentionally setting us up for a spin-off movie with these two characters. All I can say is I hope that never happens. There is no way they could carry an entire movie.

Beware of the Agenda

We are calling Happy Feet Two family-friendly but parents beware – there is a political agenda under-current at work here. Buried underneath the bouncing music and cute dancing and singing penguins there’s a political statement about world peace. The strong message for kids is one of getting along and not picking on people because they’re different. However, there’s also the underlying message of pulling all the nations together to just get along. When it comes to a Hollywood agenda such as this force-fed to a younger audience, I just have to say “shame on Hollywood”. Lets remember movies are supposed to be entertaining.

Overall Happy Feet Two is entertaining and with a PG rating it is family-friendly. But, as already mentioned, this sequel simply does not stack up in quality with the first Happy Feet movie. The kids love the movie, but adults will find it disjointed and hard to follow. A couple times I almost fell asleep. Is it worth taking the kids to the movie theater to see Happy Feet Two? If you want the big screen experience, 3D effects and great sound system – Yes. However, if all the bells and whistles don’t interest you then you can probably wait for it to come out on DVD.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.