Monday, 28 November 2011


2006 saw the release of an unusual film that took all who viewed it by surprise. Happy Feet was a strange mix of Moulin Rouge meets Glee via David Attenborough. Nearly six years later it's time to don your thermals because Mumble's back!

Musicals that rely on previously published material have a very hard task before them when they try to embed themselves into your heart. You see, despite there being thousands of songs to choose from, it's not always easy to get enough of them to blend together perfectly to help tell a story convincingly. The wrong tunes won't help move the plot along or worse, can make the story itself seem like it's been hashed out to try and fit the songs in. Moulin Rouge, Mamma Mia! and the original Happy Feet were able to pull this stunt off where it felt like the songs were actually written for the movie rather than chosen for it.

Sadly, the follow up does not achieve this, and not by a long shot. Which is strange when you think that writer/director Miller didn't do too bad with his Mad Max sequels. However, this second penguin helping is more in line with his disastrous Babe: Pig In The City follow up - the charm, beauty and originality of the first outings have been lost or ignored for what feels like a poorly conceived cash-in. If it were a straight-to-DVD affair or had been rushed out to maximise on the popularity of the first flick then you could understand and maybe even forgive a little the lack-lustre feel to the whole thing.

With a plot thinner than the ice our heroes have to traverse at one point in the film, Happy Feet Two feels like a mesh of non-fitting ideas that only barely cling together from the cuteness of the penguins and the choice of next song that they've banked on melting your heart or getting your toes tapping. And that's where the confidence is mis-placed -regretably in the song selection. This time round you'll only enjoy what's on offer if you listen strictly to chart R&B. Don't expect a typical family to all join in at any stage throughout its running time where the variation of the first outing guaranteed, even if all of them didn't like the song, they had at least all heard of it. They've gone too trendy for their own good rather than stick with mainstream classics to appeal to a wider audience.

What should have been a welcome return to the world of Mumble and his fellow flightless fellows instead has become a chore that no choir can redeem. March off to see something else if you can.

UK release date: 02.12.12
Certificate: U

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