Sunday , May 26 2024
98 minutes of beautiful animation that is utterly and completely devoid of any design whatsoever.

Blu-ray Review: Happy Feet Two

Remember how fun, original, and heartfelt the first Happy Feet was? Well, George Miller — the man who started out making Mad Max movies before moving onto family friendly flicks like this series and the Babe franchise — has returned to the universe he helped to create in 2006 to revisit all of that. Unfortunately, though, he made the same mistake other filmmakers who once had a cult icon status did with some of their sequels — such as George Lucas and Sam Raimi — and tried to cram entirely too much crap into one screenplay.

Of course, whereas we all knew George Lucas would create Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith one way or the other, and nobody truly had any inkling of how bad Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 would wind up being, nobody actually asked for George Miller to make Happy Feet Two. As such, we can’t be very forgiving. Nor should we be. It’s interesting to note, however, that — although Miller has forced one item into his movie after another — he has ultimately, somehow managed to bring us 98 minutes of beautiful animation that is utterly and completely devoid of any design whatsoever.

The story here — which begins with rapping penguins, a sure sign we’re in for an excursion to Hell — deals with such topics as a father (Mumble, the penguin from the first film) attempting to connect with his young son, two krill (one of whom is gay) searching for a new and exciting existence, an evangelical-like motivational speaker Puffin bird named Sven, and an iceberg that has crashed into Antarctica and has threatened all of the characters we’re supposed to give a damn about. And why has the iceberg drifted into play? Why, global warming, of course! Now toss in a lot of music, dancing, and real-life human performers who play Queen on electric guitars, and you’ve got a recipe for a real snoozer.

Returning to contribute their voices here are Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, and Hugo Weaving (Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman are heard briefly in “cameos”), with newcomers Hank Azaria, Alecia “P!nk” Moore (replacing the late Brittney Murphy), Brad Pitt and Matt Damon (as the krill), and rappers Common and Lil P-Nut providing the aural personalities of their animated counterparts. Director Miller once again co-writes and co-produces, and there has been talk of a third installment (oy vey!).

Warner Home Video brings this dud to Blu-ray in a stellar presentation with several (mostly useless) special features included: a movie App for your iThingies, featurettes aimed at the kiddies, a couple of songs, and a dreadful CGI Looney Tunes short that uses an archival recording of Mel Blanc singing “I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat” (also the name of the short) — which was shown in theaters before Happy Feet Two and is just as bad.

About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the alter-ego of a feller who loves an eclectic variety of classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) film and television. He currently lives in Northern California with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.

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