Happy Feet

The nominations:

  • Animated Feature

The Black-and-White:
(Review by GKS): This is a tough one, Oscar-wise. Is the best Animated Feature Oscar intended for the best animation, or the best film that happens to be animated? If the former, this movie has a legitimate shot. But if the latter, the steaming pile of poo that comprises the so-called plot of this film precludes this from serious consideration.

Here is th IMDB synopsis (verbatim):

“In the cold land of Antarctica, the Emperor Penguins each express their true love with a special heartsong of their own that expresses their very being. However, the misfit Mumble cannot sing, but instead has an extraordinary talent to tap dance with almost magical energy and expression. Nevertheless, the deeply conformist leadership of the colony fearfully blames the young penguin’s unorthodox ways for the lean fishing that threatens them all. Defiant in the face of unjust rejection, Mumble and his true friends set out to find the true cause of the famine. Through the motley crew’s trials and perils, Mumble learns many things about his frozen world, not the least of which being that his toe tapping talent may be what he needs to save his people.”

Let’s all join hands together, and scream in one voice: you gotta be fucking kidding me.

I really don’t know where to start. Perhaps with some kudos and … shock for attempting to superficially include almost every societal issue facing America today: outsider (midget), dancing, penguin gangs, who sound remarkably Latino; singing Emperor penguin gangs, who speak with an uncanny African-American intonation; a lost-boy, exiled, crazy-assed dancing penguin, who just wants to be loved (by his Mom, his Dad, his girl, and his people, who sing like … birds, but think dancing is for lower classed … penguins); evil aliens (the rest of the world) destroying the penguin-world by, wait for it, overfishing. Oh yeah, there are some damn scary seals thrown in for no other plot reason that I can discern except the animated version of a random “car” chase.

I really can’t even begin, nor feel like attempting, to capture how silly the plot of this movie is. Ohmigod, it cries for some serious tightening of the story.

Don’t you think that a movie should at least try to have a voice? If you want to include race-themes, love and loss, global warming, over-fishing, and generational discord, don’t you think you’d have something to say about at least one of these issues?

Not in this movie. The main character succeeds by complete random chance — some people in a zoo think his dancing is cute, so he is released to find his people. And reunited with his homies, he somehow gets them all dancing, and the people/aliens who continue to spy on him, seem to find that amusing as well. And then … the movie, mercifully, ends.

What did I learn from this movie? Uh … hmmmm.

I can go watch some dancing penguins, and amuse myself?

Best movie that was animated? No damn way.

Best animation in a movie? Maybe — those birds really shook their cans.

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One Response to Happy Feet

  1. K says:

    You forgot about the old ruling emperor penguins with the Scottish accents (why on earth would there be more than one accent within a group of animals who were raised in the same place?). Oy. The animation was really interesting, but the story and execution were offensive. I think my vote has to go to Cars.

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