TMG Scale 6.5 P Factor 1.0 MPAA Rating: PG
Starring Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon
Joy Lynn and I saw this one, sans little ones. So, it was a real test to see if this film was the level of animated greats that appeal to kids and adults alike. It fails on that score. This is really aimed at the ten year old and younger crowd. Mom and Dad won’t mind sitting through it though. It was cute and funny at times. The music and the dancing was a real plus. We saw this in IMAX 3D which is a good application for the technology. Animated films do so much better in 3D than real life films. Pitt and Damon as Will and Bill (the Krill…essentially little shrimp like guys) are half the fun and should make their own movie. They are clearly “one in a krillion“
The down side is that the story line was really scattered and rambling. For the first hour I was not sure if their really was a cohesive story. There were lots of cute penguins, and Michael Jackson inspired rythmn and dance. The penguins all dance with much better grace and style than Nancy Grace on DWTS. I just thought maybe this was a pilot for a new TV series DWTP (Dancing with the Penguins). This film even garnered a P1 rating—-not really offensive, but a penguin whizzing is not exactly cute or funny either. I did like the scene where the penguins all do “the wave.”
Little kids will laugh and giggle for the duration. Most parents will be amused. This is not an adult, date film though. This is no great surprise to most but there are many great , cross-generational films like Toy Story (1995) or Finding Nemo (2003), Monster’s Inc. (2001) and Megamind (2010).
TMG’s real problem is that the little tikes will not realize the indoctrination of controversial political dogma they are being subjected to. You think so what? They are too young to understand the anti-oil drilling messages? (Cleaning a puffin stuck in a oil slick) They don’t get the pro vegan propaganda? (Rough sailors eating roasting birds like cannibals) Not to mention the clearly pro gay marriage theme less than subtly thrown in my Will and Krill (“There are plenty of Krill that would be lucky to have me as a partner.”) Am I making too much? No. It is there. While the kids may not understand it all, the mental imprints are being planted in their brains. Maybe you are a vegan, gay and against oil drilling. That is fine. I just don’t like these not so subliminal messages injected in kids films.
What I found very funny and a bit of an irony was that the warm up for this film was an old Tweety Bird and Sylvester cartoon entitled “I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat.” This cartoon short has more violence with iron skillets flattening heads, electrocutions and mutilations than you can find in most horror films today. Like most cartoons the baby boomers grew up with, it is as politically incorrect as it gets. I loved it. It was a stark contrast to the fluff and flutter and political correctness that followed in Happy Feet Two.
There were also some mixed moral messages. “If you really want something and will it, you will get it” the diminutive Mumble (Wood) is promised to encourage him. No you won’t. This fallacy is demonstrated daily vividly by the American Idol, entitlement generation. Wanting and willing has never been enough. You have to have some base talent and work at things too. Mumble’s Dad had some more sage advice to little Mumble that running away was not the answer to any problems and that everyone in this world needs to find and develop their own niche. I liked that. Mumbles Mom was more full of cliches “There are no dangers, just challenges” and “There are no problems, just opportunities.” Best to save those for an adult motivational seminar by guys like Tony Robbins.
Take the little ones and you will be okay with Happy Feet Two. I just don’t see the future for a Happy Feet 3.
Joy Lynn: Since TMG took up so much space with his commentary, my only comment is to say TWO is not as good as the original Happy Feet. I was looking forward to a fun, cute, spirited film with dancing penguins. Instead, the movie was filled with chaos. Surprisingly, my favorite characters were Will & Bill, the tiny pink shrimp -like creatures (technical name is krill) who added their own subplot to the story. The best line in the movie is when Will says, I want to be free, Bill, And, Bill says, there is no free, Will.