Alright, I’ll admit: I’ve been on the movie kick lately. Actually, The Wife’s been on a movie kick lately, and of course, I’m forced to watch. Because that’s what husbands do, they do date-like stuff with their wives. (No, singles, dating does NOT end when you tie the knot. In fact, it’s just the beginning.)
As the title says, I just finished watching Happy Feet, a movie which some believe to be part of the whole global warming propaganda machine. While I didn’t exactly see where any of that really came to play in the movie, watching the film made me feel all warm and fuzzy about using Linux. Of course, the point of this review isn’t to tell you how much I love penguins or penguin-related software. The point is to tell you whether this movie gave me (and I can only presume, will give you) happy feet.
Happy Feet chronicles the story of Mumble (Elijah “Frodo” Wood), a developmentally retarded, deformed, mutant emperor penguin who, unlike other penguins, can’t sing, but instead prefers to tap dance. (Wait… penguins sing?) These penguins are apparently up to date with all the latest in pop music: the first 30 minutes of the movie consists of mostly regurgitated radio station top 40’s, strung together in a fantasia which makes them very enjoyable. Or very annoying.
Mumble, who apparently never quite makes it to puberty, eventually leaves the emperor penguin colony (not entirely by choice) and finds his way over to other penguins. Mexican penguins. Who are all smart-mouthed. And short. (Get it, because Mexicans are short! Err… what?) Of course, those penguins love his dancing, so he hangs around them instead, collecting pebbles, and once in a while torturing them with his singing.
Anyway, his new posse takes him to go see Lovelace (Robin Williams), a penguin guru with a plastic 6-pack holder around his throat. (Hurray for environmental lessons!) After that, there’s something about aliens and battling killer whales and getting to heaven… or the zoo… or something… Whatever, I don’t want to give any of it away. If I start telling you what happens then I’ll just ruin it for you, and I don’t like doing that. I’m sure you’re not too keen on it either.
Eventually Mumble, through his dancing, is able to convince the leaders of the world to stop fishing in Antarctica because they “don’t want to live in a world without [tap dancing] penguins.” (You have to listen closely to catch this line.) Also, all the other penguins learn how to tap dance.
Am I making any sense here? Probably not, but that’s the point. The movie, while incredibly entertaining and super fun to watch, completely falls apart towards the end. While I highly recommend this film for kids of all ages, I don’t recommend anyone watch past the part near the end where the humans fly with helicopters over the penguin colony. Please, for the love of Lovelace’s mystic beings, turn the movie OFF at that point! The ending takes an otherwise phenomenally entertaining movie and turns it into a total nonsensical mess which tries to cram all sorts of lessons into about three minutes. Three non-CGI minutes. With live acting. Which was best forgotten.
Anyway, that’s about it. The movie was great fun, super enjoyable, extremely entertaining, and probably something your kids (or the kid in you) would love, but it had a horrible, horrible ending. There’s a lot more to the story than what I’ve mentioned here — like the mandatory love interest and the father/mother/son reconciliation moment (Mumble’s parents are Wolverine and Poison Ivy! Err, I mean, they’re played by Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman) — but this isn’t a synopsis, it’s a quick and dirty review. Go ahead and add the movie to your Netflix queue or pick it up at Blockbuster and have an environmentally friendly popcorn night with the kids (or as in my case, with the spouse). You probably won’t regret it. Unless you watch the ending.