Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Animated Film Catch-Up: Happy Feet

Time to finish up my weekend of animated films by watching and reviewing last year's winner for Best Animated Film at the Oscars!

Happy Feet

Animation Studio: Animal Logic

Directed by George Miller; co-directed by Warren Coleman and Judy Morris

Starring the voices of Elijah Wood, EG Daily, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Brittany Murphy, Robin Williams, Hugo Weaving, and Anthony LaPaglia.

Backstory: I almost went to see this when it was in theatres last year. It got so many good reviews, and then when it picked up the nomination for Best Animated Film, that I was very, very tempted to go see it. I can't remember why I chose not to. But when it did win the Oscar, I knew I had to make time for it someday. Had a good pedigree, too. This was George Miller's first animated film...he gave us the Mad Max films in the 80s, and his last big hit was the family film Babe, which are all good movies. And damn it, I just love Robin Williams as a voice actor. That dude made Aladdin! So, it was finally time to see if it was Oscar worthy.

Plot: So, here's the deal. Penguins find their true love through their song. So if you're a penguin, and you can't sing, you pretty much doomed to a life alone. And that seems to be the case of young Mumble. However, Mumble can do something else musical. He can dance up a storm! But dancing is frowned upon in penguin society. And eventually, Mumble and his unnatural ways are being blamed for the poor fishing that's about to doom penguin society. And so, Mumble decides to go on a perilous quest to find out the real reason why the oceans are devoid of fish.

What I Like: Now, THIS is how you use pop songs to fill a soundtrack. Each one fills a purpose, serving as one of the character's inner desires. It's almost like Moulin Rouge with penguins. There's some spectacular animation going on, and the plot takes a few unexpected twists that I won't go into here, in case you haven't seen it yet and this might convince you.

What I Didn't Like: Not much. The plot was a tad formulaic. And it was a little blunt with its message...dare I say, preachy.

Final Verdict: Surprisingly good. Definitely worth checking out.

3 Nibs.

And that's it! I'm done playing my animated film catch-up. Unless there's one you think I missed, then let me know!

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