Happy Feet

2006 / in flight

fantasy elements

talking (singing/dancing) penguins


[movie poster]

Caveat: I missed the first several minutes of this, as I hadn't spotted that the in flight movies had started (too spoiled by Virgin Atlantic's individual entertainment centres on previous flights to pay enough attention!) But unless something totally out of character happened then, I think I probably know what's going on.

Mumble Happy Feet [Elijah Wood] is an Emperor Penguin with a difference: he looks odd still with his baby feathers, but worse still, he can't sing. All the other penguins find mates by singing, but all he can do is tap dance. The colony is undergoing a lean spell with few fish, and the leaders blame his dancing for this, and expel him from the colony. So he teams up with the amigos , a bunch of Adelie penguins, led by the exuberant Ramon [Robin Williams], and the rockhopper penguin seer Lovelace [also Robin Williams], to find the real cause of the shortage at the Forbidden Shore. This leads him into terrifying adventures, but in the end, he returns triumphant, his tap dancing having saved the day.


The animation is superb, and there are some wonderful moments: the discovery of enough plastic six-pack rings "for one each", the orcas playing with their penguin food, the masses of tap-dancing penguins. But Mumble is a bit overpoweringly treacly. However, given some of the neo-conservative hogwash spouted about the values demonstrated in March of the Penguins , it's great to see the leaders of this colony portrayed as bigoted old fundamentalists proved wrong in the end.

Rating: 4.5

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 20 March 2007