Happy Feet came out on DVD yesterday, and I had heard some things about it that made me wish to wait until it came out on DVD to see it. Regardless, I watched it with an open mind and had just wanted to see it.
First the good about it. This movie is beautiful, the animation is near realistic and it is stunning to see how far they have come in computer animation. The first two thirds of the movie is also actually enjoyable too, its fun with a cute story.
And now what I felt would have improved it.
1. Original Songs. Because this movie is so realistic, first thing I noticed was these penguins were all singing pop ballads. There is a penguin named Memphis singing an Elvis song, Heartbreak Hotel, and I'm thinking "How does a freakin' penguin know about hotels anyway?" The very least they could have done is found a composer to make some original music that sounds like something a penguin would sing. Penguins wouldn't know the slightest thing about pop music, and though singing seventies music in 'Ella Enchanted' worked there, becuase it was consistent and kept with the feature, it didn't work here. Disney is able to make original music for their songs, why can't Warner Bros?
2. The main dancing penguin, Mumble, is the only penguin that looks like him. When he grows up, he is a mix between a baby penguin and an adult penguin, and every other penguin that is the same age as him is looks like a regular penguin. I bought it at first, thinking "he's a late bloomer and they want to convey that" but later in the movie it is obvious that months have passed and Mumble has changed slightly, suggesting he has grown older, but he STILL LOOKS THE SAME! Maybe the baby penguins are cuter, but it wouldn't have bugged me as much if some of the other teenage penguins were also in that transition phase, not just the lead character. It's like a scream of 'Look at me! I'm different!'
3. Liberal Love fest at the end. I knew exactly what Glen Beck was talking about when he mentioned this movie on his TV show. The last third was unbearably obvious. I didn't mind the plotline to be accepted for who you were, or even a small environmental message to kids to protect your environment because people aren't the only ones living in this world. But the environmental message just became obnoxious. Mumble is in a human zoo where he dances for people, so they release him with a tracking device on his back and he goes back and tells the rest of the penguins to dance. When the humans see a bunch of penguins dancing, they start saying "wow, maybe they are trying to tell us something!" "Maybe they're telling us that we're affecting their food supply!" "We need to do something about that." Then we get a flash montage (of what appears to be real footage of people, not animation) about how a bunch of dancing penguins makes the world stop fishing the antartic.
This reminds me of "Hey Lassie, what is that? Timmy fell down a well?" Seriously, how would people get the idea of a bunch of dancing penguins would mean that they have a food shortage? By the sheer numbers of them in the movie, if I saw a bunch of dancing penguins, I would just say "cool, dancing penguins!" It wouldn't come to my attention that they might be hungry.
The last third of the movie just became rediculous. Yeah, sure, it is a kids show and kids seem to love it, but the overbearing ending just makes me want to vomit. I will not be adding to my film collection. Movies like this annoy the crap out of me. Especially since I'm an adult who still enjoys kids movies.
Cars was better, but because this is a liberal love fest, it won best Animated Feature in the Academy Awards. Cars at least had more originality in it.
And just FYI, I HAVE seen Inconveniant Truth, and it didn't make me want to vomit. Though Gore doesn't offer any real solutions, and according to him, we're all going to die in twenty years.