Happy Feet 2
Release Date: December 26
Happy Feet 2 is every bit as enjoyable as the first film in the franchise, and that’s largely because its creators have returned every element that made the first so attractive.
In the previous film Mumble, the penguin that couldn’t hold a tune, showed his chorally gifted species that dancing could solve a food crisis. In Happy Feet 2 the shoe is on the other … er… flipper. Mumble’s son Erik has been born with two left feet and is struggling to fulfill his father’s hopes. Meantime polar melts have trapped the Emperor Penguins in a valley of cascading ice. Now if only some heroic figure would rise up to save them – sound familiar?
Elijah Wood and Robin Williams are back, bolstered by more A-level talent including Matt Damon and Brad Pitt as krill with ambition. There’s also a new bevy of songs for our Antarctic friends to sing and groove along too that’s bound to make a good post-Christmas present – possibly a few too many as the plot struggled to come up with reasons for their placement. This time the colony is frowning on a penguin who wants to fly instead of dance, but the environmental disaster is back with global warming replacing over-fishing.
The message is much the same too: don’t let others’ expectations prevent you reaching your potential. This time it’s a little ironic though given that Erik is determined to learn to fly, something even the audience knows is impossible. But I guess if we all pull together we can make even the impossible, possible right? No, but a lot more singing and dancing and an improbable happy ending should paper over the flaws in that philosophy.
Happy Feet 2 is foot-tapping fun but still amounts to a hymn to individualism. It also gets away with giving fluffy penguins some dance ‘attitude’ that’s a little adult for our species. In most respects Happy Feet 2 is a carbon copy of the first film. While that’s good for the franchise, it doesn’t make for a great movie.