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Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Feet Two - Movie Review


The first Happy Feet movie was a huge hit and a surprise success for Fox Animation so naturally plans were set in motion to create a sequel. With an all star cast including Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Sofia Vergara along with the latest in animation and 3D technologies, Happy Feet Two looks to recapture the magic of the first installment.


Back on Antarctica, we find Mumble (Elijah Wood) learning that raising a child and maintaining a family are no easy tasks. His son Erik is having a problem with discovering who he is and has found his clumsy ways are leaving him as a bit of an outcast among his peers.

Erik and a couple friends decide it is a good idea to run away and seek adventure and eventually find another nation of penguins led by a strange penguin that somehow has the ability to fly. Erik is inspired by this miracle worker and decides that he has finally found a place where he fits in.



Meanwhile, some shifting icebergs are threatening the entire penguin population's way of life and it is left to Mumble, along with a host of new characters, to come up with a plan that will save the day. Even with all of this going on, we are also introduced to a pair of krill that have left their colony to seek a higher purpose than being at the bottom of the food chain.

With so much going on and so many characters to keep track of (they all look the same except for one that's wearing a sweater!), things could easily spiral out of control, but for the most part the story stays fairly simple and the steady stream of song and dance numbers keep things moving along quite nicely.


When I entered the theater to watch this movie, I noticed a very large percentage of the audience was made up of young children and I started to become concerned about their general behavior over the course of the hour and a half we would all be together. Fortunately, they're short attention spans were all locked in for the long haul and there was no excess of jumping, bouncing, screaming, or talking and I saw this as a very telling sign of how entertaining the movie was to its target audience.


Even if I wasn't entirely fond of the film and about halfway in was wondering when it might reach its obvious conclusion, I must still give it a fairly decent grade for the quality of animation along with an energetic pace that didn't leave you completely frozen over or lost at sea. I did not see the movie in 3D and didn't feel like I missed anything, but it did seem like there would have at least been a couple eye popping moments with the effect added in.



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