Monday, November 21, 2011

REVIEW: Happy Feet Two 3D

Happy Feet Two

Elijah Wood, Robin Williams


November 18, 2011

George Miller

Warner Bros. Pictures

1 hour 39 minutes



Those dancing penguins are back after their triumphant Best Animated Feature win at the 2007 Oscars.  While the original 'Happy Feet' certainly wasn't the best animated film of 2006, it was still a very well done film with humor, music, and heart.  Five years later, a sequel has been made almost out of the blue, and Warner Bros. expects a huge profit from this film, despite opening up against 'Twilight.'  So how is this sequel you may ask?  Suprisingly enough, it's very good.  From early reviews I was expecting a trainwreck of a kid's film.  However, just like 'Cars 2' from June of this year, this film really surprised me of how much they really did to stay true to the original film.  Kids will love this movie as much as they loved any other kids movie that came out this year, but some parents may not tolerate it.  However some parents may get a kick out of the shere kiddiness and corniness of this film.  If you are one of those parents, then 'Happy Feet Two' is one of November's most delightful treats.

Mumble, the penguin from the first film, now has a little kid named Erik.  Erik is trying to find his place in Emporer Land because he has trouble dancing with his father and the rest of the nation.  After running away with two of his buddies and Mumble's friend Ramon, he meets Sven, a penguin who can fly.  Mumble comes after them and takes them home with Erik now wanting to be a "flying penguin."  However when the penguins get back to Emporer Land, they soon discover that the entire population has been trapped by several ice mountains due to global warming. (Isn't it always?) Now Erik comes up with the idea that Sven and his crew of penguins can help give the Emporer Penguins fish and attempt to free them from starvation.  At the same time in a sub plot, Will and Bill the Krill escape from their group of thousands because Bill (or Will, I can't remember) wants to climb the foodchain and become something that's more than just a vulnerable little krill.

The voice cast was good, but some of the characters either made no sense for the film and/or could have been voiced by anybody.  Elijah Wood has a strong voice with Mumble, despite no singing talents at all. (in the movie, I'm not referring to reality) I like him in these films, and I liked the father figure that he showed when talking to the adorable Erik, who's voiced by a young girl named Ava Acres. Speaking of Acres, her singing voice is so damn beautiful in this film, especially in one particular duet with the replacement for the late Brittany Murphy, pop idol P!nk.  She is adorable as Erik, and her singing voice, while not masculine at all, really sends chills down your spine.  P!nk surprisingly enough was a smart replacement for Murphy, because her voice and her singing really improve on the film's quality and puts a whole new layer onto the music that you'd never see coming.  Robin Williams as always is brilliantly funny in the two roles he plays in the film, Ramon and Lovelace.  I especailly love Ramon because of his latino accent and his hilarious one liners.  Enough with the original characters, why don't we get onto the new characters?

Brad Pitt and Matt Damon wanted to make a movie for their kids, so they chose this film.  My question in fact is WHY they are even in this movie to begin with.  Sure the characters are funny, but their sub plot didn't really make sense in the storyline at all.  The only time they interact with the penguins is when they are just caught up in the chaos of the penguins lives.  They don't even talk to Mumble or Erik at all!  They weren't bad characters, because I'd like to see their own spin off film like 'Puss in Boots.'  I just wonder why the screenwriters put so much time inot this "elaborate" storyline.  The other newbies that people would known are Sofia Vergara and Common as other penguins in the film.  They are talented actors, but again WHY were they in this movie?  They didn't add anything to this film at all for crying out loud!  They were just there so they could get a nice paycheck.  Why did they add new cast members to this movie?  Honestly, I have no idea at all. (Except for P!nk, she made some sense.)

Almost every animated movie to come out, whether it's good or not, has come out in 3D ever since early 2009.  The 3D in this film in short is quite spectacular.  I loved that the colors vibrated off the screen and danced on your glasses while you just stared in amazement.  Some of the exterior shots of Earth and the shots with the thousands of tiny krill looked breathtaking in the third dimension.  People may not like the movie a whole lot, but they will not deny that the 3D alone is something to talk about, as is the soundtrack of the film.  Sure the soundtrack is kind of like an animated penguin version of 'Glee,' but the voices in this film really send chills down your spine.  I can say that from experience when the final number, "Under Pressure," was sung by the entire cast.  If this movie can be complimented for anything, it can be for it's amazing 3D and catchy soundtrack, which also includes "Dragnosta De Ti," also known as "Numa Numa."

This is not the best animated film of the year by any means.  The real question is if it's a fun time, which I happily answer "YES!"  This film isn't for all ages, like a lot of other animated films were this year.  Kids will definitely enjoy it, and parents may just enjoy seeing their kids falling in love with it, and why wouldn't they?  There's catchy music, spectacular 3D, and some witty dialogue.  Can we ask for much more?  I doubt many will check this film out because of the whole Thanksgiving craze coming up this week, so I'd say that this would be a good rental.  However if you get the chance to, check this movie out in 3D.  Even if you don't enjoy it, why take away from your kids' fun time?  'Happy Feet Two' is a cute and charming film, and that's all it really wants to be.


Joyful Noise

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The Adventures of Tintin

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

The Lorax

 The Pirates: Band of Misfits

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- Zach Marsh