An animated movie about saving the ecosystem? We haven't seen thatbefore. . .
Actually we have, but "Happy Feet" puts a new spin on the ecologymessage: It adds a huge measure of angst to animation.
That may sound harsh, but the filmmakers have loaded this moviewith so much message that it leaves little room for pureentertainment.
"Happy Feet" tells the story of Mumble (voice by Elijah Wood), anEmperor Penguin born with a handicap. In a flock that prizes voices(that's how you woo a mate), Mumble can't sing, much to the shame ofhis parents. His compensating talent? He can dance, much to thechagrin of the flock's elders.
Determined to find his place in the world, Mumble heads across theice to find out where the fish have gone. He's determined to learn whyhis fellow birds are starving (the area is overrun with fishingtrawlers) and to put an end to it.
"Happy Feet" wants to be all things to all audiences: A cartoonfor kids, a message movie for adults, and a soundtrack force forWarner Brothers, which must have made up with the artist formerly knowas its employee. There are several Prince songs (including Kiss) woveninto the plot.
Despite some impressive digital animation - the ocean chase scenesare amazing - "Happy Feet" never wins you over. It's often soearnest that even the kids will be asleep before it's done.
Extras: Two deleted scenes, including a tribute to the late SteveIrwin, a dance tutorial with tap master Savion Glover and two musicvideos.
"Happy Feet" is available on DVD, Blu-ray and HD-DVD from Warner. 109 minutes. RatedPG. $29.98/$39.98. Grade: C+