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I don’t care what haters say, I think HAPPY FEET TWO is better than its predecessor. It’s more fun, more entertaining, with a solid storyline and a group of interesting new characters. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big supporter of saving planet earth, but what felt forced about the first film was its heavy environmental agenda, halfway thought its story it became some kind of Public Service Announcement.
HAPPY FEET TWO has a bit of that, but not as much. The message of solidarity and even the little guys could make a difference, speak truer. With the fantastic animation and excellent voice cast, HAPPY FEET TWO will get your feet tapping…
In the film, Mumble, The Master of Tap, has a problem because his tiny son Erik is choreo-phobic. Reluctant to dance, Erik runs away and encounters The Mighty Sven – a penguin who can fly!! Mumble has no hope of competing with this charismatic new role model. But things get worse when the world is shaken by powerful forces. Erik learns of his father’s ‘guts and grit’ as Mumble brings together the penguin nations and all manner of fabulous creatures – from tiny Krill to giant Elephant Seals – to put things right.
The ice shelves breaking and polar caps shifting, the dilemma in this story is built around the penguins being trapped with no way out. The penguins on the other side want to help but they could only do so much.
At the heart of that is the relationship between Mumble, who is now a dad, and his little, and may I add adorable, son.
And what I like about their father-son relationship is that just like any other kid, the son would try to find a hero he could look up to and you know how it is, there’s a point in time when we just don’t see our fathers as cool anymore, either that or they do something that makes us not want to adore them anymore. And so comes along this weird looking penguin that could fly named Sven and suddenly he becomes the son’s superman or superhero, all the while Mumble struggling and trying his best to teach his son about patience, accepting the reality that they’re penguins and that there is always a reason to dance, everybody has their reason to dance. Mumble has to compete with this Sven figure and you’d see how the conflict plays out.
Part of the attraction of watching Happy Feet films is listening to a bunch of new renditions of popular songs that we’ve come to love.
HAPPY FEET TWO offers even more plus an original heartfelt song by Pink. The song is about the mother calling out to her son, reminding him about love and assuring him that everything will be ok, much like that sad song by Dumbo’s mom.
Some of the most interesting new characters introduced in this film are giant elephant seals that represent those who don’t keep their promises and those who are too proud to dance.
That’s what I appreciate about this film, it brings you back to dancing which is the spirit of Happy Feet films.
It still carries the save the planet message but without being too Al-Gory about it, because it tells it in a way that invites people of all ages to care for the planet in their own way, nobody is too weird to be involved, and if you put together all of our efforts, a seemingly impossible problem could be solved. George Miller even takes away the humans as savior element which may or may not be the film’s self dependency theme but if you go into the whole whether or not we need God or that we could help ourselves on our own terms, then we’re probably analyzing this film way too seriously.
The animation is ten times more impressive this time around, I especially like how pristine the krills look. By the way, the combo of Matt Damon and Brad Pitt as Will and Bill the Krill is perfect, they play off each other well, I think most of that has to do with the fact that they’re good buds in real life.
Will and Bill The Krill are like the odd couple, Will is the scared, conservative, stay with the group kind and Bill is the adventurous, the curious, thrill seeking kind.
Their bromance and their speedy dialogue are the film’s comic relief but they too connect with the Penguins’ survival story, they too have a reason to dance and if there’s no other reason, then to bring out the happy in you is more than good enough.
I love how everything comes together nicely in the end. You’ve got the elephant seals, two penguin tribes and a Krill clan and everybody directly or indirectly helps solve the problem.
Aside from Cars 2, which was a big fail in my book, I think this year has been a good year for animated sequels, KUNG FU PANDA 2 and HAPPY FEET TWO are evidence that a balanced and attentive care for animation, story and characters pay off.
GRADE: 5 out of 5
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