Directed by George Miller. Starring Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Pink, Hank Azaria, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Sofia Vergara.
American critics haven’t loved it but I think you will. Visually a treat and with lots of great voices and songs, this film may not have much of a story but it’s immensely fun to watch.
Even if you don’t remember the first one (2006) you’ll be fine. Little nonconformist penguin Mumble (Elijah Wood) with the penchant for tap dancing is all grown up and with a family of his own comprising his wife Gloria (singer Pink) and son Erik (Ava Acres). Parenthood isn’t easy and even more so when you’re dealing with global warming and moving glaciers that threaten to cut off the Empire Penguins from their food source.
At first it’s kind of strange watching these black and white penguins singing pop songs and dancing like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. But the music is magical and uplifting and the choreography brisk, so you just get caught up in it.
Mumble must work to save his kind from starvation with a little help from their sister community of Penguins and a new ‘saviour’ called Sven (Hank Azaria), the flying Penguin.
Brad Pitt and Matt Damon play Will and Bill respectively. They are tiny shrimp-like marine crustaceans that leave their group to find meaning in their life and move themselves a bit higher up on the food chain. Theirs is an independent journey from the main story sort of like Scrat, the sabre-toothed squirrel from Ice Age, and similarly funny.
Sure there’s a bit of a comment on how our planet is verging on the brink of natural disaster. But Happy Feet Two is more about persistence, about tapping those feet, kicking those fins and not giving up. It’s about surmounting obstacles far bigger than yourself and forging onwards. All done in a fun, sing-song way, of course.
Pink, Robin Williams and Hank Azaria are absolutely wonderful. Robin himself plays two characters: Lovelace and the insatiable Mexican ‘lover’ Ramon. Brad and Matt are just fab as the two krill with a bit of bromance going on there.
And oh my God, the 3D and vibrancy of the imagery is simply gorgeous. Psychedelic at points but not to the point of nausea, it beats last week’s The Adventures of Tintin’s motion capture gimmick, hands down.