Happy Feet Two
Starring the voices of Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, Pink, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon
Directed by George Miller (Mad Max)
Rated PG for some rude humor and mild peril
Taking place a generation after the events of the first film, Happy Feet Two follows the lives Mumble, Gloria and their new son Erik. Under pressure from his parents to either dance or sing, Erik is confused as to what his talent really is and searches throughout the film to find it. When global warming causes the colony of penguins to become trapped by mountains of ice, Mumble must find a way to rescue them before they starve to death.
When Happy Feet hit theaters in 2006 I was shocked at how much I loved it. I expected a mediocre to bad experience and was treated to one of my favorite films of that year. The music was fantastic, the animation was gorgeous and the direction was inspired. So armed with a bigger budget and five years worth of animation advancement, I figured the sequel could have real potential. With expectations high, its sometimes hard to live up to them, and in this case they definitely weren’t lived up to.
I’ll start off by admitting that they didn’t screw it all up. This one, just like the first, has a unique look to it that is simply beautiful. What could have been just a black and white film is full of vibrant colors that leap off the screen. And George Miller has an eye for animation direction that I believe is unrivaled in the industry. How to Train Your Dragon came close in regard to direction, but you could tell that there was a lot of inspiration from Miller. That being said, his story telling here isn’t nearly as good thanks to an unimaginative script that steals heavily from Disney’s Dinosaur.
To make matters worse, the music here is just plain flat. There is an occasional laugh from a clever lyric such as “I’m Bringing Slushy Back,” but overall the music sounds like the B-sides from the first film.
The big saving grace for the pic lies in the introduction of Will and Bill the Krill voiced by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. Leaving their swarm, they attempt to fight their way up the food chain at any cost. Their dialogue is incredibly witty and their antics are extremely fun to watch. They are most definitely the high point of the film.
Five years ago I had an image in my mind of what the first Happy Feet would be like before I saw it, and that image was the sequel. B-