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"Happy Feet Two" - {Blu-ray}
Edward MCNulty
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date:
March 13, 2012
Special Features:

See Below


It’s back to the frozen Antarctica again in this sequel in which the dancing hero Mumble has a son named Eric. The little one, not gifted with the dancing skills of his family and the Emperor Penguin nation, sets out to find his gift, Ramon, deciding to accompany him. Their journey leads to some interspecies adventures with elephant-nosed seals and a different kind of penguin—all of whom come together to rescue his own nation that is in danger of starving because of a natural catastrophe. Although not as fresh as the original, the sequel boasts wonderful animation, some good music, and the voice talent of Robin Williams in various roles. ***

A subplot that seems to have nothing to do with the penguins until the very end involves two krills, Will and Bill, voiced by Brad Pitt Matt Damon. This could have been a delightful short film or morality tale in itself. Immersed in the midst of millions of his fellow krill, Will wonders if there is anything beyond. As he swims through the swarm of fellow krill in what he hopes is an outward direction his more cautious friend urges him to stop. Will (aptly named) persists, until at long last the pair emerge from the swarm. Far out in the open sea he looks back, and the swarm reminds us of what a globular galaxy might look like to space travelers emerging from it. The two soon discover that the open water is far more dangerous than being inside the swarm, this throwing Bill even more into a panic. Now Will sets out to find how they can rise from the bottom of the food chain.***

The story of Erik’s quest to find his gift is diluted, indeed almost lost, amidst so many other story lines. It is ironic that his father Mumble, who once was scorned because his happy feet set him apart from the others, tries to get his son to conform to everyone else, thus failing to support the little one’s desire for self-discovery. The great peril that the various creatures find themselves in might be unsettling to preschoolers. This is a much darker film than the original, with the hint that global warming is causing such great shifts in the icy surface of Antarctica that the humans are forced to leave the area.***

Special Features:

Check out Antarctica with Lil' P-Nut featurette/ Drawing the Happy Feet penguins featurette/ Sing-a-longs/ Interviews with the cast and crew

Final Words:

Director George Miller’s film might be flawed, but it is still well worth watching, filled with great 3-D animation, spectacular landscapes and underwater scenery, and some neat dance moves. Parents will appreciate also the underlying film’s morals—of friendship, the need to find oneself, and the value of working together and persevering—though I hope that they will not get in the way of children discovering these for themselves. Why spoil good entertainment, as well as a child's aha moment, with a heavy-handed adult pointing them out?


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