Fiona Doran 15/12/2006
Now you won't usually find me in a practically empty cinema watching a kid's movie on a Tuesday evening, but last night I made an exception. I blame it on the lure of Elijah Wood voicing a penguin and my unexplainable soft spot for the aforementioned; therefore last night I found myself sat comfortably and watching Happy Feet.
The film has received mixed reviews, the usual spoilsports criticizing the visual accuracy down to the tiniest snowflake, but mostly it has been well received. The popularity of the documentary March of the Penguins no doubt encouraged the making of this film, and there are some storyline links, that bring a comical side to the penguin breeding tale.
It follows a young Emperor Penguin called Mumble (Elijah Wood), who cannot sing like the others do to find their true love, but instead has been given the talent of tap dancing. The Penguin leader, not happy with Mumbles untraditional dance moves blames the decreasing numbers of fish on his dancing and orders him to leave the group. However Mumble and his new friends decide to set off and find the true cause of the famine. Predictably, this is humans, and an environmental theme starts to creep in.
The target audience of children will love this movie, the baby penguins are adorable and the visuals of hundreds of penguins dancing in union are mesmerizing. The underwater sequence, with a Beach Boys soundtrack was very impressive. With this in mind, I do wonder why the makers forked out so much for big names like Nicole Kidman, Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, Hugh Jackman and Brittany Murphy, when kids really aren't that bothered.
There are some genuinely funny scenes, Robin Williams Ramon character is by far the most comical and gets all the best lines, and the visuals are spectacular especially the detail on the seals, but as most kids movies usually are, it's predictable and has a happy ending. You may or may not love that in a movie, but I prefer mine to be a little more challenging. Overall I enjoyed it, and it has made me want to go out and steal a baby penguin for my own, but this movie is probably one to rent. When all the decent adult movies are already out.