Happy Feet’ finds success as humorous holiday pick

Bridget Nordquist

Bridget Nordquist

Remember last year, when the documentary “March of the Penguins” took the world by storm? Yes, I, too, was one of the many Americans hoping and praying that the mommy penguins would make it back to their fuzzy babies on time. And even if you didn’t cry when the little egg froze and wouldn’t hatch, you still can’t deny that the penguin craze took the world by storm. A year after the “March,” enter “Happy Feet,” a movie that could basically be a prequel to the documentary. “Happy Feet” may simply be riding the icy wave of success following “March of the Penguins,” but that doesn’t stop it from being lots of fun and worth seeing.

“Happy Feet” is the tale of Mumble, an emperor penguin. Mumble has a major problem as far as penguins are concerned. Sadly, he is not a good singer. In Mumble’s penguin community, this is a huge handicap for the fuzzy little fellow. However, Mumble does discover he has another talent: He is a damn fine tap dancer.

Unfortunately, his talent is misunderstood and unappreciated in a world where a good singer means a good mate. Consequently, Mumble embarks on a journey to prove himself to his family and his community.

While the story behind “Happy Feet” is amusing, the highlights of the film are definitely the funny characters and the actors who voice them. Elijah Wood is the voice of Mumble, basically going on a hobbit-like journey once again. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman are Mumble’s parents. As the voices of good penguins, both actors sing throughout the film and do a fantastic job. (Imagine Wolverine from “X-Men,” also played by Jackman, singing Elvis songs.) Additionally, although he seems commonplace in animated movies, Robin Williams brilliantly voices various penguins of different ethnic backgrounds.

“Happy Feet” had me either smiling or laughing throughout the whole film. I especially enjoyed that the movie was subtly sprinkled with grown-up humor while still being fun and carefree. The movie was also entertaining because it is a musical jukebox, with well-known songs adapted to fit the plot (like “Moulin Rouge”). Overall, the only issue I had with “Happy Feet” was the questionable slant it took toward the end that I won’t give away.

However, I would recommend this film for anyone who enjoys light-hearted humor and simply a good time.