Saturday 24 March 2012

Today's Review: Happy Feet Two

I can't say I was a fan of the first Happy Feet. I did watch it once, but I don't remember much about it. But hey, that doesn't stop me passing judgement on the second one.

Happy Feet Two continues the story of Mumble (Elijah Wood), the penguin who just can't sing well and opts to tap dance instead. Why does it matter that a penguin can't sing well? Because all the damn penguins are always singing like some Arctic themed High School Musical. Anyway, after Mumble's son Erik gets embarrassed at not doing his dance moves too well, he runs away for a little bit and discovers another penguin colony headed by Sven (Hank Azaria), a penguin who can fly! (Spoiler, he's not a penguin.) After that pointless sidequest, Mumble catches up and returns with his son to their own colony, only to find that a giant glacier has moved in and trapped all the penguins. So now it's up to Mumble and Erik to enlist help to try and free their brethren. For the entire rest of the movie.

Yes, the plot is a little weak. After the initial introduction of the characters it's kind of like an episode of House but with penguins instead of doctors and a giant chunk of ice instead of disease. Does this work? Nope. How about this? Even worse. It all seems to drag along when the entire movie is focused on one plot point that I didn't really care about anyway. They try and punctuate the plot with some side story about a couple of existential Krill played by Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, but it's about as annoying as the whole Scrat thing in Ice Age.

Performances are as you'd expect nowadays in an animated kids movie. Among the (somewhat) respectable actors we find a random P!nk or Common, just thrown in to do some nice singing and attempt to launch their ill fated acting careers. I guess some of the songs are nicely arranged, but most of the time it's just annoying.

The only thing I can't really fault is the visuals. Individual snow flakes look awesome, and the fur on the penguins swirls around nicely as they pull off ridiculous dance moves. It's a very nice looking movie, and some of the action scenes are pretty nicely done, but all in all it just fails to deliver any kind of interesting plot. It'll keep the kids entertained, but it certainly ain't no Pixar.

My rating: 2/5

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