The adorable singing and dancing penguins from the animated adventure Happy Feet return, this time with the film partly focusing on fluffy Mumble’s (Wood) cute son Erik (Acres), who wanders off after embarrassing himself during one of the penguins’ big dance numbers. Unfortunately, while Mumble’s off getting his boy back, lots of other sub-plots turn it all into a bit of a muddle as a flying ‘penguin’ named Sven (Hank Azaria) makes all the other flightless birds swoon, and two teeny krill (voiced by Matt Damon and Brad Pitt) strike off from their swarm to discover the meaning of life, the universe and everything.
During the second half things get more serious as climate change threatens the entire colony, and this is where Happy Feet Two comes completely adrift. While all the vocalisations are cute – and the comedy duo of Pitt and Damon is a scream, especially during a rendition of ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ – there are so many elements that no particular one is fully realised. It has funny moments, but isn’t a really funny movie, it has a bit of adventure but it’s resolved in a flash. Meanwhile fans of the singing and dancing numbers from the first movie will be dismayed that there’s only one truly memorable musical number here (a penguin and elephant seal version of Bowie/Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’).
Of course, it’s not a bad movie, but after the high bar set by Happy Feet, it’s still a disappointing one.
Is Happy Feet Two suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Younger (under 8 years) children may be frightened when Erik runs away.
The elephant seal is a little frightening for very young viewers when he first appears.
The bird attack on the penguin colony may scare younger viewers.
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