237th Movie Review: Happy Feet (2006) [MMM Day 2]

Cute characters and catchy musical numbers save this flawed movie

I became a big fan of animated movies ever since Pixar began working their magic. They set the bar high and forced other studios to step up just to catch up to them. In 2006, The guys over at Warner Brothers teamed up with George Miller (Creator of Babe) to conjure an animated spectacle that could appeal to everybody. They made Happy Feet. And not only was it a box office success, it was an Oscar winner too!

After I saw it, I thought it was an above-average movie filled with great characters, catchy tunes and has a lot of heart. But at the same time it had a lot of things that I didn’t enjoy or appreciate at all.

The movie is set in the world of the emperor penguins, where a penguin named Mumble is born without the ability to sing a romantic song called a “Heartsong” that will eventually attract his future mate, after his father Memphis accidentally dropped him while inside his egg during incubation period. Instead, Mumble possessed a unique ability to tap dance. Although his skill is fantastic, his flock regards him as an outcast and ignores him. However, when he accidentally discovers the source of the scarcity of his flocks’ food, Mumble takes it to himself to save his home from this problem. Along the way, he meets new friends from different places, accepting him for what he is, and allows them to tag along the journey and aid him through tough times.
From start to finish, it is unequivocal that this film is an animated musical. It’s suitable for all ages and it could even subtly cause people in the theatre or at their homes to tag along with Mumble’s tap dance. This makes the film highly enjoyable and makes it extra unique compared to other animated movies. The story was okay but I believe that they could’ve made it better by extending the movie a bit longer with a few extra dialogues here and there.

(SPOILER ALERT!)

The biggest flaw of the movie is the fact that it felt crammed at the latter half. We were given plenty of time to get to know more about Mumble’s beginnings and his encounter with the five Amigos, but the other parts felt too short and a little rushed. In my opinion the film should’ve showed exaclty how he returned to his homeland. I also felt that the ending was a bit lacking. In fact, I didn’t even realize it was over until the credits rolled.

I was expecting more from an Oscar Winner for Best Animation, but it left me unamazed. The characters were cute and all, and they did have a cool concepts, and regardless if you liked the story, you’ll end up loving them penguins anyway. But the tendency of the film to skip some core elements made me think that what I saw was only half of a movie. But who wouldn’t want to love penguins, right? And besides, Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and the rest of the voice actors did a very good job.

So in the end, the good parts of the movie still outweighed the negative ones. But did it deserve to win an Oscar? Not really. But hey, what’s done is done. If you still haven’t seen this movie, then I guess it time for you to do so. It’s an awesome film which can get a bigger reaction from groups.

GRADE: B-

I Agreed With the MAJORITY

Rotten Tomatoes: 74% Fresh

Internet Movie Database: 6.6/10 User Rating

Metacritic: 77/100

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