So this movie revue is rather tardy, considering the release date of the movie, but I only saw it fairly recently. Besides, you should consider yourself lucky since I am generally about a century behind our insane modern world.
My wife and I really enjoy animated movies, especially the Pixar stuff, as they’re usually much better and more original than the “Remake of a 1970’s TV Show”, “Based on the Graphic Novel” and “Based on a Video Game” fare that the so-called adult movies consist of these days. For instance, I find Flushed Away absolutely hilarious and fabulous and have watched it numerous times. It never gets old. I mean, hey, singing slugs and frogs surrendering. What’s not to like?
Anyhooo…my wife really loves penguins. I don’t know why, since I am shaped more like Baloo the Bear. Whatever, we have very much enjoyed other penguin movies such as March of the Penguins and The Blues Brothers.
Finally getting around to the point, as any movie goes, penguin or otherwise, I would not pay a dime to see Happy Feet again. In fact, putting a gun to my head would probably not be enough to make me watch it again. Besides, I have more and bigger guns.
This movie tells the story of Mumbles, a penguin who can’t sing. Terrible thing, I know. Poor cute fuzzy little guy, he can’t make beautiful music like all the other penguins, so he is ridiculed and ostracized and eventually leaves the group, not unlike a Conservative or Libertarian on the campus of the University of Iowa. While Mumbles can’t sing bad renditions of Prince songs like all the rest of the penguins, the music does make him dance. Kind of. In the flick he only shuffles and flaps his feet semi-rhythmically, rather like Steve Martin trying to clap along with his family in The Jerk. Mumbles sets out to prove himself worthy by investigating why all the fish the penguins need so badly are disappearing.
The penguins are all traumatized by the strange disappearance of all the fish. Robin Williams, along with voicing half the other characters in the movie and apparently amusing himself very much with his new mastery of the fake Scottish accent, gets in on some good old fashioned Christian bashing as the Emperor Penguin King, or President, or spiritual leader, or whatever the hell he’s supposed to be. Honcho Penguin wants all the other penguins to do nothing but pray to their god for help while they all starve to death because of their blind faith in a non-existent deity and refusal to change with the times.
I remember that only because it pissed me off; the character was not otherwise all that memorable. But then neither were any of the other characters, even the main ones. As I saw it, penguin society revolved mainly around singing suggestive songs to each other and being as horny and rutty as two-peckered billy goats. There’s even a penguin Elvis impersonator in there somewhere who couldn’t get a job in the cheapest joint on the Vegas Strip.
Anyway, Mumbles ventures all over Antarctica and makes friends with some apparently Mexican penguins who are fun-loving and lazy with no visible means of support. He eventually finds out that the evil, dark metallic aliens stealing all the penguins’ vitally needed food are some of us bad, nasty humans fishing. Poor ol’ Mumbles tries unsuccessfully to communicate with the dark metal monsters to stop taking the fish and winds up in a zoo somewhere. There he dances, again in that disjointed Jerk manner, which entertains the slack-jawed mouth-breathing human zoo visitors who are too stupid to realize he’s trying to communicate with them. Somehow (I had started doing something on the laptop part way through the movie and wasn’t following it all that closely by then) he gets back to Antarctica. Somewhere in there he and his girlfriend get chased by nasty Orcas and a seal. It’s hard to remember what with the disjointed, wandering, clichéd plot being so predictable in its ending that you "get it" by about 09:40 into the movie and stop paying attention.
Finally some good humans (environmental politically correct “scientist” types) come to study the penguins and Mumbles gets the whole penguin colony to dance in time in a rather anti-climactic finale of sorts, which finally gets through to us stupid humans that the intelligent flightless birds are trying to communicate with us. Yeah!
Jump instantly from cute cartoon penguins to official-looking photo realistic animation of the omnipotent United Nations HQ, where the humans are all serious, intelligent, and gravely concerned. So they come up with some more rules and regulations. The penguins are saved thanks to the UN! Yeah again!
The heavy-handed “PC, love Mother Earth, eco-wacko, animal-good human-bad” propaganda message of the movie is delivered about as subtly as if Joseph Goebbels had put out an animated version of The Eternal Jew. My wife usually doesn’t read all the political crap into movies that I do, but even she was aghast by the less-than-subliminal proselytizing of this Stink-O-Rama. Who knows. Maybe Al Gore was involved in the writing of this awful Inconvenient Script. It would certainly appear so.
So, Happy Feet is just another movie to put on your long list of “Don’t Flippin’ Bother” Hollyweird PC offerings. If you want to see a really good penguin cartoon, check out the Penguins of Madagascar series. Here, the loveable militaristic Skipper wants to use a time machine just so he can go slap some hippies and delivers the enduring message, “There’s no such thing as too much paranoia, Private.” I also rather like the somewhat unhinged Rico who thinks all problems can be solved with explosives or chainsaws, which he can regurgitate at will. Now that’s penguin entertainment.