Movie review – Happy Feet Two
– by Julia Brown
If you are at all curious about what George Miller’s Happy Feet Two is like, you will be better off just watching the original Happy Feet movie. Not only because the original film is better in an objective sense, but because once you have seen one dancing penguin movie, you have pretty much seen ’em all.
Full disclosure: I am not the target market for Happy Feet Two. I am not under 10 years old myself, nor do I know any small humans I can use to enjoy the film via proxy. I realize that it is de rigueur these days to make kids’ movies that are also supposed to appeal to adults on a “higher” level; but let’s face it, that is a tricky task to accomplish, and really all such movies do is enable the adults who are forced to watch not want to poke their eyes out with sticks. In other words, the goal of movies like this is to make the viewing process slightly less mind-numbing versus making the film appealing in a stand-alone sort of way to an adult audience.
The ways in which Happy Feet Two attempts to make itself appealing to an adult audience include the same techniques as the original film: using pop music from the era that the parents in the theatre will recognize, inserting vague/joking references to more adult topics in the narrative, and touching on more “high-minded” themes that many adults are concerned with, such as environmentalism and social responsibility. Not to mention being able to play the amusing game of “spot that famous voice”.
As far as the kids in the audience are concerned, this is just another chance to re-visit a few of their favourite cute characters, plus meet a few new ones. So on that level the movie does what it is really meant to do: babysit for an hour and forty minutes, which every stressed-out modern parent knows is worth its weight in gold.
In a nutshell: if you are a parent of young children, you could do much worse than Happy Feet Two in terms of entertaining your kids for a 100 minutes. But don’t expect to be entertained yourself this time around.