Rating: PG (for some rude humor and mild peril)
Genre: Animation, Family, Sequel
Run Time: 100 min.
Director: George Miller
Voices by: Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, Pink, Sofia Vergara, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Common, Hugo Weaving, Ava Acres, Hank Azaria
As downright adorable as penguins are, especially itty bitty penguins like Mumble’s down-covered son Erik (Ava Acres, TV’s Harry’s Law ), there’s just something stale about Happy Feet Two that suggests it probably should’ve been sent straight to DVD.
Sure, the same characters are basically in place from the 2006 surprise Oscar winner Happy Feet, but save for a couple of shrimp-like krill who surprisingly steal every scene they’re in, thanks to excellent, bottom-of-the-food-chain banter from Brad Pitt (Moneyball) and Matt Damon (Contagion), Happy Feet Two simply lacks a lightness of step.
Unlike its predecessor that made surprisingly fun use of pop songs everybody knows–and loves–for those colorful dance sequences, the music may be familiar in Happy Feet Two, but that joyful, toe-tapping sensibility that made its predecessor such a delight is long, long gone. In fact, parents forced to sit through this dreck with their kiddos will probably wish they were practically anywhere but the local multiplex.
Like so many movies these days, the story inevitably plays second fiddle to the film’s overall aesthetic quality. While the imagery is just as beautifully rendered as before, and even pops significantly in the 3D format, it’s the story that’s nothing to write home about.
The plot, if you can call it that, not only moves at a veritable snail’s pace, but there’s just nothing all that special or urgent about any of it. If anything, it feels like a cheap money grab because, you know, dancing penguins are such a universal crowd-pleaser.