Out & About

November 24, 2011

'Happy Feet Two' a decent sequel

The original "Happy Feet" picked up a well-deserved Academy Award in 2006. The sequel, "Happy Feet Two," probably won't be in the Oscar mix this time around, but as follow-ups go, it's not bad.

We pick up the story with Mumble (Elijah Wood), the dancing misfit penguin of the first movie, as the proud father of an adorable fluffy boy penguin.

Erik, the son, however, doesn't seem to have inherited the dancing ability of his dad or the singing ability of his mom (pop singer Pink, taking over for the late Brittany Murphy). Upset, he strides out into the cold, cruel world, looking for answers.

From there, the story gets a little weird, and I won't attempt to describe the entire plot. Basically, it comes down to global warming messing with the glaciers, the emperor penguins getting trapped and all the arctic creatures learning how to work in unison for the greater good.

"Happy Feet Two" suffers a little from too many characters and plot lines. Some are fun and clever, others are unnecessary.

Robin Williams is back in a dual role, voicing a pair of free-spirited penguins. Hank Azaria has some funny moments as the Mighty Sven, the world's first flying penguin (what?).

Particularly amusing — though almost completely unrelated to the rest of the movie — are Brad Pitt and Matt Damon as the voices of Will and Bill the Krill, tiny pun-filled crustaceans who follow a dream to leave the swarm and move up the food chain.

Like the first movie, "Happy Feet Two" is full of music and animated dancing. The songs, unfortunately, aren't as good this time. There are a few odd choices, and other than a nice cover of Queen's "Under Pressure," the music quickly fades away.

Even if all the pieces don't quite fit, "Happy Feet Two" is unique in its own right. It delivers a good message, and it's worth a trip to the theater for anyone with kids.

Rental Recommendation: When was the last time you watched "Finding Nemo"? Grade: A

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