I took my family to see the new movie "Happy Feet" this past Sunday.
Let me start out by saying the CG animation was excellent. There were only a few portions in the movie where I noticed some bad artifacting in regards to the animation.
There are a few scenes with "real" people in them and they are either real people or the world of CG animation, in regards to people, has reached perfection. I'm betting on the idea they just used a mixture of real people mixed in with the CG penguins.
If you have seen the trailers you are probably thinking the movie is about standing out in a crowd and being yourself.
We see a large colony of penguins that sing and here comes "Happy Feet" the penguin who can't sing but dances instead.
He's part ugly duckling and the animators even go so far as have him in a perpetual state of molting during the production to stress his difference with the other penguins.
Happy Feet's parents are known as the best singers in the colony so there is much trepidation over why poor little Mumbles can't sing.
With the shear amount of music in this movie it's a wonder that it was not declared a musical. At the same time I have to wonder is some recording executive somewhere thought up this movie. Look at the soundtrack, it's practically a greatest hits album for the past decade!
One would think from the trailers that this movie is all about being different and following your own beat in the world, you would be wrong.
Happy Feet breaks down into an environmentalists movie. It's secretly about human encroachment into the Antarctic.
Within the first ten minutes of the movie we meet a seabird who has been "tagged" with a yellow bracelet by the "aliens".
The great penguin guru wears a plastic soda six-pack wrapper around his neck that was "given" to him by the aliens.
The penguins, seabirds and other native wildlife are all concerned over the lack of fish in the sea. Fish that are being harvested by humans to feed the hungry.
Mumbles is exiled from his colony for being different and the elders blame the lack of fish on him. He makes it a point to find out the source of the problem and leaves on a quest to find the answers.
Mumbles ends up following the human fishing fleet until he winds up in a zoo. After spending several days (or was it weeks) in the zoo his toe-tapping sets him free.
Tagged and equipped with a radio harness he arrives back at his colony to tell what happened. The elders do not believe him but the common penguins do.
Now, it a very bizarre turn of events, all of the penguins have to dance as a chopper flies over head. Yep, the one thing that made Mumbles special is found to be a skill that every penguin can easily master after watching Mumbles dance for a few seconds.
Astonished by these strange "dancing penguins" world policy is changed and the fishing in the Antarctic stops.
So, what lesson was learned by this movie? Not "it's ok to be different" instead the message is, "don't be different, follow the leader, or at least the current fad."
To make matters worse, when Mumbles first leaves the colony he ends up with a group of short penguins with obvious Mexican accents. Is this some sort of "South of the Border" or "pro-immigration message" thrown in?
I'm not entirely sure about a lot of the stuff that was thrown at the audience during this movie. I'm reminded of the old "Captain Planet" cartoon. Either way, from Mumbles "He can't help it, he was born different" message to the "humans are destroying the world" message I just felt like I walked into a liberal propaganda film.
I was very disappointed with this movie and I'd like my money back