Friday, May 27, 2011

"Happy Feet" Returns

Yeah, I'll say it: I wanna see this.




George Miller's original "Happy Feet" is easily one of the most bizzare family movies ever to be embraced as a mainstream hit (and Oscar winner!): Sold primarily in the guise of a cash-vacuum kiddie-flick about singing penguins, the actual film was something closer to a meta-commentary on the whole "singing animal" subgenre: The penguins are born capable of belting out pop-standards as a means of extra-sensory communication, and a "deformed" young bird (he can't sing, but tapdances instead) ends up in conflict with the Penguin Elders over his contention that the collapse of their food supply and ecosystem has been caused by Alien Invaders (read: humans) rather than being the will of the Penguin God. And yes, all this weirdness is acted out by - for the most part - photo-realistic CGI animals.

So... yeah, REALLY odd, unique movie; even if most people only remember it for the cute baby penguins - who, of course, star in this trailer.

Supposedly most of the original cast is back in some form, save - sadly - for Brittany Murphy, who passed away last year and has been replaced by Pink. On the worrisome side - the one penguin at the end looks like Mumble as a baby again; so I hope this isn't an "in-between-quel."

14 comments:

Jacob Beck said...

Of all the movies in the world to make a sequel to... this is indeed a strange universe.

ZAENGO said...

i liked happy feet alot. mainly because they followed the pixar formula - do something different - and made it a big mainstream success. i respect that. so to make a sequal to it... alright. im in. maybe theyll follow the other pixar formula,which is - make your sequal totally awesome and possibly even better than the first movie - also known as the toy story formula.

Chris Cesarano said...

I couldn't get into it for a couple reasons. One of the obvious reasons being that I've had enough of "Big angry patriarchal representation of Puritan Standards getting in the way of enlightenment and progress" from Stargate and other Sci-Fi universes. It's about on par with "Man wasn't meant to screw with God's domain!" in trite and shallow representations of stuff, and since I'm a right-leaning moderate I happen to be sensitive to it.

But what made it most annoying was the music they used. I don't mind the vocal style (really dig it, in fact) but dammit, I need electric guitars and lyrics about Dungeons and Dragons. And maybe a double bass pedal.

Nonetheless, considering how heavy the anti-Puritan sentiment was, I'm really, REALLY surprised at just how popular it became (and that my super Conservative family still allow my niece to watch it).

Now that I think about it, I'm surprised Fox News didn't go all ape shit over the first one.

Sofie Liv Pedersen said...

I was so weirded out by that movie when I saw it.. I just sat looking blankly on the screen not knowing what to think.

I still don't... strangely enough, I just have no opinion right now, because I am still so weirded out by that thing.

Chris Evans said...

The first half of the first movie was quite good. The second half seemed like it was from a completely different movie. Wall-e was just as message heavy but had far more charm and better execution.

My desire to see this will depend on which part of the first movie it's most like. I have a feeling it'll be cutesy Disney though the first half then descend into the evil humans clubbing to death poor, cute, baby seals in the second.

Sssonic said...

As a whole, I'd consider the original "Happy Feet" a solid overall movie, if not exactly a great one; the third act winds up feeling more than a bit contrived, and it's hard not to feel a real sense of disconnect between it and the rest of the movie, at least for me. I also felt that the overload of recognizable pop tunes was a rather cloying distraction rather than an endearing "wink wink" for adults. Nonetheless, the cast was great, the script held together surprisingly well, and overall the film manages to deliver a lot of laughs, some good genuinely emotional moments, and quite a few clever twists (the way in which Mumble's unique form of communication allows him to ultimately connect with people helps bring the ending back in line with the rest of the movie, and is one of the better instances of that "outsider's unique talent comes in useful after all" trope you see so much in movies of this sort).

This, though? Well...let's just say I'll wait until we see the full trailer, rather than just the teaser, because the teaser seems to have wholeheartedly embraced the stuff I personally found annoying about the first film with no particular sign of the stuff I liked anywhere to be found. Still, if it's any comfort to you, Bob, that penguin at the end may LOOK like young Mumble, but he sure doesn't SOUND like young Mumble, so I'm guessing the "in-between-quel" thing isn't the direction we're going in.

Popcorn Dave said...

I tried to watch the original. I watched it for about 45 minutes, patiently waiting for the plot to start, then gave up. It was only a hit because apparently people still think it's totally hilarious for cute animals to sing raunchy pop songs. I'll pass on the sequel.

Arturo said...

I miss Don Lafontaine...

Still, those penguins cut a mean rug.

Chris Cesarano said...

Now that I could watch the trailer, considering they're all doing tap-dancing in addition to singing I'd say it is unlikely for this to be a in-between-quel. They've learned to not only sing, but dance.

Isn't dancing what was made illegal before? Or something to that effect?

Arturo said...

If I remember correctly, Mumble was the one with the little "bowtie", so if this is any indication, I'm afraid it's an in-between-quel

secretkeepersouth said...

I've been watching news for this movie since they started work on it. According to an interview given by Elijah Wood (who voices Mumble) it's supposed to be about Mumble's son.

So, that would be the little blue-eyed penguin at the end there.

Kyle said...

I saw this in theaters with my wife and 3-year-old daughter. My kid paid attention through the whole movie. We all liked it, but

out of the blue I was like, "There's Ewan McGregor?" It kinda threw me.

:P

CraftyAndy said...

I really liked the first one. Not because of the going green message thrown in at the last minute, but everything else made up for it. The society blaming problems on the odd member, claiming dogmatic higher power. You know like every fucking leader of every country it seems.
I don't know what they could do for a sequel... this trailer is really surreal by the way...I mean I can just see this going way in the wrong direction and making a plot around singing. I wanna see them go to war against fishing ships, that'd be hilarious and I'm not even against mass fishing... just overfishing, cause no fish means no fish for ME to eat.

FigmentJedi said...

They wanted to do even stranger stuff in the first ones with the alien angle actually involving real ones in addition to more of the penguin gods. Supposedly, they're working in some of that material into this sequel.