Movie Review: Happy Feet

Genre: Animation

Release Date: November 17, 2006

Director: George Miller

Cast: Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving

Producer: George Miller, Doug Mitchell

Penguins fever strikes once more, again delivering box office success beyond expectations. These mischievous little tuxedo-clad performers covered business-as-usual in Madagascar. Then we were privy to the real thing trekking across the Great White Way as we listened to Morgan Freeman voice the drumbeat of “March of the Penguins.” This week the marchers are tapping their tiny toes in style only dancer Fred Astaire could match.

“Happy Feet” cuties also sing croon in this new bird show, an animated feature. Here the penguin named Mumble born with several birth defects skips penguin waddle in lieu of developing a major asset, performing foot feats superior enough to put Disney’s “Dancing with the Stars” contestants to shame.

Alas, Mumble might mingle on the dance floor but not in voice, the bird cannot sing, hence is shunned by his fellow fowl, thus forced to join an even funnier flock. Mumble’s new buds name him “Happy Feet.” Together they go in search of “aliens,” hoping to determine what is going on inside their habitat that threatening penguin lifestyle.

This is the kiddy show so naturally, these aliens are not common aliens of the scary variety. Well, not common aliens. Scary depends on who you ask. These aliens are a metaphor for people, the evil human race on earth. This time stealing all the fish, destroying once lovely Antarctic. Mumble of course, with Raul, Rinaldo and pals stop evil humans and save the world.

Do we smell fowl foul political activism here, fellow moviegoers? It gets worse, to big splotches of black, on penguins, results of the ever awful oil slick. Happy Feet is so filled with left-wing agenda, propaganda, I expected the next pop-up face to be Al Gore. Left-wing commercial tie ins, reign supreme, selling, selling, selling, lots of selling of politically-correct theories.

No, for the record, I do not hate nature; want to see the Ross Ice shelf floating off the coast of Santa Barbara in liquid form. I have no interest in nor do I support the doings of Exxon. Big oil is not something I would invest in to retire someday. I would just like to relax in the movies and be entertained, especially when sitting in on what should be the kiddie show.

In spite of harping on political correctness enough to nauseate, “Happy Feet” is probably one of the best animated movies around given its fantastic visual effects.

For you of like thinking, on your own without being overwhelmed by the brain-wash, it’s still worth a look. Perhaps even a second viewing for those able to ignore being inundated by political opinions on your day off.

If you can get past being force-fed what you ‘should’ think, you who can just sit back and enjoy the excellent show should.

Claudia Strasbaugh
Claudia Strasbaugh was a freelance writer who founded Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa Writer's Guild, was head writer for the weekly TV show "Kill 'EM With Comedy," plus California Bureau Chief for National Lotto World Magazine. Claudia also ran a nonprofit called Dinner On A Dollar. Sadly, Claudia passed away in 2015, but we are pleased to display her writing works.