Happy Feet is a 2006 Australian-American computer-animated musical family comedy film directed, produced, and co-written by George Miller. It stars Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving, and E.G. Daily.
Though primarily an animated film, the film does incorporate motion capture of live action humans in certain scenes. The film was simultaneously released in both conventional theatres and in IMAX 2D format. The studio had hinted that a future IMAX 3D release was a possibility. However, Warner Bros., the film's production company, was on too tight a budget to release Happy Feet in IMAX digital 3D.
Happy Feet received generally positive reviews from critics, and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, a first for Warner Bros. It received a sequel in 2011 entitled Happy Feet Two.
Mumble, a young emperor penguin, lives in Antarctica. Like others of his kind, he needs to be able to sing to attract a mate, but he has a terrible voice. Instead, Mumble must express himself, and lure a female through his amazing talent for tap-dancing.
Why It Rocks
- It has incredible background visuals and breathtaking animation.
- The idea of a tap-dancing penguin is very interesting and original.
- Great score by John Powell, as always.
- It has an impressive arrangement of songs like Kiss/Heartbreak Hotel, Somebody To Love, and Boogie Wonderland.
- It has some pretty funny characters, like Ramon and Lovelace.
- It tackles the topic of social discrimination since Mumble is a tap-dancing penguin who can't sing, he's an outcast and eventually gets exiled from Emperor Land.
- It has some interestingly top-notch vocal performances from Elijah Wood, the late Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, and Nicole Kidman.
- Strong and well-delivered messages. Such as a very important moral that you should respect people's talent/passion even if it won't appeal to you.
- Baby Mumble is so cute.
- This was Steve Irwin's first and last movie to star in.
- The story gets boring at times.
- Despite living in complete isolation from humans, the penguins sing songs created by humans about things only humans should know about.
- Somewhat misleading poster, as Mumble is a teen for most of the movie.
- The sequel wasn't very good.
- The Amigos can be annoying at times.
The film opened at #1 in the United States on its first weekend of release November 17th to 19th grossing $41.6 million and beating Casino Royale for the top spot.
Happy Feet received very positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 76% "Certified Fresh" score based on 161 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site's consensus was "Visually dazzling, with a thoughtful storyline and catchy musical numbers, Happy Feet marks a successful animated debut from the makers of Babe."
Awards & Nominations
Happy Feet won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Cars.