Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Feet Two

Fluffy Song and Dance

Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Warren Coleman, Gary Eck, Paul Livingston
Cast: Elijah Wood, Pink, Ava Acres, Benjamin Flores Jr., Sofia Vergara, Robin Williams, Common, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Hugo Weaving, Hank Azaria, Richard Carter, Anthony LaPaglia

SYNOPSIS: Mumble and Gloria's offspring Erik finds that he can't find his voice or his happy feet. When Erik and his cousins Atticus and Carmen run off to follow Ramon back to his clan, Mumble searches after them.

REVIEW: Who would have predicted that Mad Max and The Road Warrior writer and director George Miller would find himself gathering recent success with dancing and singing animated penguins! Was the 1998 animated pig adventure Babe: Pig in the City a turning point for a career birthed from the motorcycle patrolled sandy wastelands of a 
post-apocalyptic Australia? Maybe Miller is getting soft (and fluffy) in his old age. Whatever the reason, the winner is the audience. Re-teaming with Happy Feet writer Warren Coleman, and joined by  new writers Gary Eck (The 50 Foot Show) and Paul Livingston (Good News World), Happy Feet Two shuffles, scats and sings its way back into our hearts.

In Happy Feet Two, two-stepping Mumble (Elijah Wood, LOTR trilogy) and Gloria (now voiced by Pink) are raising their new hatchling Erik (Ava Acres, Weeds) who is struggling to find either his singer's voice or his happy feet. Unsure of how he should find the song that is in his heart or how to express it, a depressed Erik chases after a fed-up Ramon (Robin Williams) who journeys to return to his own colony, Followed by Seymour's (now voiced by Common) son Atticus (Benjamin Flores Jr.) and Miss Viola's (Magda Szubanski, The Golden Compass) daughter Bo (Meobh Campbell), the trio and Ramon leave their own colony behind. When Mumble realizes that Erik and the other fluffy hatchlings are gone, he waddles off to corral and return them home. But the task is not as simple as one thinks.

Socially relevant, Miller uses the the vanishing ice caps to make Mumble's and Erik's journey much more difficult. Ice quakes, warming temperatures and a mammoth break away glacier make the journey arduous, as well as returning to the colony impossible. All the while, Mumble finds himself insecure as a father figure as Erik is taken by a strange penguin, Sven (Hank Azaria, The Smurfs), who has the unique ability to fly and to bolster the spirits of those around him. Adding more struggles, always boisterous Ramon struggles to find a mate in standoffish Carmen (Sofia Vergara, Modern Family), butting heads with the beloved large beaked Sven.

Almost as a aside, we also get to follow the story of rebellious Will the Krill (Brad Pitt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and his friend Bill the Krill (Matt Damon, Contagion). Tired to being a nameless part of the Krill swarm, Will swims to the edge of his universe to find that there is more to life. Bill follows in an attempt to bring Will back into the fold. As Will decides to become an evolved predatory species, we are treated to beautifully detailed, expertly choreographed and hilarious sequences. When Will the Krill tries to take on a seal, every detail of ice crystal and strand of fur are beautifully rendered.

My only complaint is Robin Williams. His Latino-tinged Ramon and tent preaching colony leader Lovelace sound more distracting than endearing, but his characters are colorful enough to get the job done.

Touching, funny and heart-felt, Happy Feet Two is a fine follow-up to the Oscar winning Happy Feet. Choreographed by tap maestro Savion Glover, you will be tapping your feet in the dark. The songs sung by Pink's Gloria are uplifting and heart wrenching. And when Erik finally finds a way to express himself, you should come away with goosebumps, I mean, penguin bumps.

WORTH: Matinee and DVD

No comments:

Post a Comment