Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Feet: The Movie Review

The Monkey and I were pretty excited to see Happy Feet. Or, rather, I should say, I was pretty excited to see Happy Feet until I read the reviews (the Monkey stayed excited). I owe a couple of people a recap of the film, so I thought I'd try my hand at movie reviewing.

I think Happy Feet was maybe two movies sort of loosely whipstitched together. The first "movie" -- the one you expect from the trailers -- is the story of the "ugly duckling" looking for acceptance from his peers and just hoping to get the girl (the only one who's ever understood him, etc.). Don't get too excited: that "movie" is over about 45 minutes in to the show...and it plays out roughly like you'd expect (only with Baz Luhrmann-style musical numbers). It's rather charming and feel-good.

The second "movie" is meant to make a point about environmental awareness...about how human activity messes with the animal world. And there's probably a point in there about "one person (penguin) can make a difference" (another entirely not-new theme). This "movie," despite the rather dramatic action scenes, kind of plodded its way through...was depressing, really...and ended rather deus ex machina-esquely....which is to say, I was wishing it was over 30 minutes earlier.

On the plus side, the animation was interesting, so it was beautiful to watch. Robin Williams is funny (or, at least, one of his characters was really funny). And there's something humorous about the idea of Elvis and Marilyn having weirdo offspring. Also, I'm a sucker for music and a good beat...and there were some drumline-type numbers that had me dancing in my seat.

On the minus side, it was sad at points (so sad, in fact, that at one point the Monkey looked at me and said "that's so sad I just want to cry!")...and scary at points (a couple of fast-paced scenes with some penguin-predators)...and outright depressing at points. It wasn't quite as clever as I've come to expect animated movies to be. These days, most kid-friendly animation has enough subtle humor for the adults to keep it interesting...Happy Feet? Not so much. Also, the movie requires a tremendous amount of suspension of disbelief when the magical, unexplained resolution arrives.

Did I like it? Yeah...for the most part I guess I did (though I admit some of that was great relief that the Monkey made it through it without pitching a huge fit). It appealed to my better nature (a recurring theme in the movie)...and I was willing to allow myself to be charmed by the characters...and to celebrate with the unlikely and highly idealistic ending.

But mostly I was glad that we made it through it without the Monkey pitching a fit.


BASSO said...

I thought about "...suspension of disbelief...." for quite awhile and it hurt really bad. If I have to endure that to watch the movie, I'm not going! heehee:)

towwas said...

So, what you're saying is, I should skip it and go for the 007 movie? ;)

J.Bro said...

Did an Al Gore-penguin save the arctic tundra?

I Blog, You Blog said...

Save? No. Invent the Arctic Intrarweb? Yes.

Yeah, HBro...go see 007...then write a review and lemme know how it is. :)

BASSO said...

I'll try to get SMOR to go with me -- otherwise I'd be old guy all by himself in the back row with a bag of popcorn and a 5 gallon Diet Coke -- not good for my image ... rather be seen with a 32 year-old redhead! But I'll let you know.

Oh, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to ALL you bloggers!