Happy Feet Two: Uneven Animated Musical
Brad PittElijah Wood...
In 1 Cinema
In a colony of singing, dancing penguins, Mumble (Wood) the talented tap
dancer from the first film and Gloria (Pink), his gifted singer wife, now have
a son called Erik (Acres), the only penguin who can neither dance nor sing.
Devoid of any other talents, Erik becomes something of an outcast.
Inspired by Ramon (Williams), a highly eccentric penguin, Erik decides
to leave home with two of his friends for a place where untalented penguins would
be more welcome. Upon discovering their absence, Mumble takes off to look for the
kids. He finds them in thrall of a flying penguin named The Mighty Sven
(Azaria) who has them believing that anything is possible if they just will it
to be so (The Secret, anyone?). On their way home, Mumble saves a
trapped elephant seal yet is disheartened when Erik, who he has a rocky
relationship with, chalks the success up to Sven’s influence as opposed to Mumble’s personal endeavours.
When they finally get back home, they find their entire colony trapped without
food between two glaciers that had suddenly shifted. As the colony’s only free
penguins, it’s up to Mumble and the kids to save the rest.
Intertwined with the previous storyline is another arc focusing on two
krill named Bill the Krill (Pitt) and Will the Krill (Damon). Bill longs to
experience life outside of the swarm, and being the highly curious and brave
character that he is, he decides to swim opposite to his swarm and taste the
independent life. His friend Will tries to dissuade him yet ends up tagging
along with Bill on his adventure, freaking out every five seconds and sorely
testing his patience.
The film seems rather undecided about the story it wants to tell.
Repeated allusions are made to the horrors of global warming, yet they were
never fleshed out. The two story arcs; the krills’ separation from the swarm
and the trapped penguins, don’t come together satisfactorily. The film is at its
best when Bill and Will interact on screen, yet when they split up and Bill’s
storyline tangentially intersects with that of the trapped penguins, the film
grinds to a halt. Frankly, it seems like the story took a backseat in favour of
the visuals, coming across as a loosely related series of song and dance
numbers that work better separately than in the context of the film.
The film’s visuals are pretty schizophrenic. Some aspects are just
absolutely stunning, for example, the ice crystals look like diamonds and close-ups
on the snow are breathtaking. The animals also look amazing; especially in the
attention to detail from the way they look to the way they move. On the other
hand, some scenes look rather unfinished or rushed. For example, one of the
singing scenes takes place during an aurora, which was supposed to add to the
song’s majestic vibe. In actuality, though; it looked like a laptop