(Carlos Alazraqui, Lombardo Boyar, Johnny A. Sanchez, Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, et al / DVD / PG / (2006) 2007 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: In the cold land of Antarctica, the Emperor Penguins each express their true love with a special heartsong of their own that expresses their very being. However, the misfit Mumble cannot sing, but instead has an extraordinary talent to tap dance with almost magical energy and expression. Nevertheless, the deeply conformist leadership of the colony fearfully blames the young penguin's unorthodox ways for the lean fishing that threatens them all.
DVD Verdict: While I have to disagree with the many negative comments this movie has received from my friends when discussing with them (adults only and not their children, of course!), I also just can't seem to find it in me to agree that this movie is a really awesome classic good for generations to come either! It's somewhere betweeen "above average" and "really good". I guess that would make it "good". (lol)
Before watching 'Happy Feet,' I knew there'd be a fair amount of musical bits with penguins singing and dancing all over the frozen landscape, but what I didn't know was that the storyline would be about penguins that HAVE to have a singing voice in order to fit in and be well-liked by the other penguins. It's kind of pathetic to me that the penguins who couldn't sing had to be treated like yesterdays garbage by the other penguins. Then again, it's just an animated film. No reason to 'think' about this too hard (I had to keep reminding myself!)
Anyway, even though musical bits in movies aren't really my thing, this one at least had a solid selection of tunes to elevate my interest. Mostly older songs were included, such as funky Stevie Wonder-like music from the 70's or Queen's "Somebody to Love". The one penguin singing Elvis's "Heartbreak Hotel" was REALLY funny. You will love this scene.
They did a nice job in the beginning of the film giving the viewer a realistic idea of how penguins are born. This was included and given a fair amount of attention, which was appreciated by me.
Still, it was strange to me that the main character (the one penguin with the talent to tap dance) went through an extremely lengthy amount of time without the other penguins noticing that he had a real talent. Just because he couldn't sing, he was ignored. Then suddenly, after roughly 60% of the film went by, they began to notice his tap-dancing ability and began singing along to it and treating it like it was the most important thing in the world. The penguins weren't made to look like intelligent creatures, that's for sure!
The action scenes were really good. The penguins being attacked by birds and sharks was very exciting to watch. It was fun watching them constantly find ways to escape.
If you have an interest in penguins and think they're adorable little birds, you will no doubt LOVE this movie. For me, it was just a pleasant and harmless story ... fit for both children and adults alike! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Two new fully animated sequences: Mumble Meets a Blue Whale, A Happy Feet Moment
Private dance lesson with Savion Glover
Two music videos: Gia's Hit Me Up, Prince's The Song of the Heart
Classic cartoon: I Love to Singa