Happy Feet is an animated film using CGI, it was released in November 2006 and contains the voice-over talents of many famous actors and actresses, including Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Brittany Murphy and Hugo Weaving. It is an Australian produced film and is directed by George Miller, who is famous for directing the “Mad Max” trilogy. The film received many positive reviews from critics and has been given a great reception from people all over the world; it went straight to number 1 in the USA box-office, beating Casino Royale.
The only other film that has matched Happy Feet’s USA box-office takings in 2006 on a “per screen” average was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. In the USA alone it has grossed $192 million, and has grossed approximately $355 million worldwide.
Set in an Antarctic emperor penguin colony, it is soon established that every penguin must sing a unique song called a “heart song” in order to find its soul mate. A particular couple called Norma Jean (Nicole Kidman) and Memphis (Hugh Jackman) pair up and produce an egg. Unfortunately Memphis did the unspeakable thing and dropped the egg during the hatching stage, this has been known amongst penguins to cause problems to the chick, and sure enough when little Mumble (Elijah Wood) came out there was something unusual about him.
Unlike every other penguin, Mumble could not sing, all he could do was dance, it came naturally, and for this he was ridiculed throughout his childhood and into his young adult life. Without a song Mumble is unable to find a soul mate, that is until he establishes a bond with Gloria (Brittany Murphy), Mumble just has to dig deep down and see if he has what it takes to “sweep her off her feet”. When Mumble goes in search of different things, and alien “beings” he meets new people including the amigos and Lovelace (Robin Williams), who appreciate his talent, and he soon discovers that it may be the only thing that can put food in his fellow penguins’ mouths.
This great heart-warming comedy and drama film is one I can definitely recommend, as it really can appeal to all ages and subtlety contains very broad statements regarding environmental issues. The CGI used for Happy Feet is brilliant, and despite real people used for the political montage, the animation itself is some of the most true to life I’ve seen.
As far as plot goes Happy Feet will get you up and down, laughing and in some cases crying, the story itself is a little familiar to that of “Antz” and “A Bugs Life” but subtle differences catapult this film into a superior category. Robin Williams provides hilarious voices, something he has proved to be very good at, and in this film he takes on two characters and performs to hilarious perfection. Elijah Wood did very well, and gave the character the essential vulnerability similar to that he gave Frodo in Lord of the Rings.