In Happy Feet 2, Mumble the emperor penguin from Happy Feet has a chick of his own, whose name is Erik. But Erik just can’t get the right rhythm in dancing. At the same time global warming has caused a huge iceberg to seal off all the entrances to Emperor Land. Mumble must find a way to help get the emperor penguins out safely and at the same time dealing with his parental issues. Also, the film incorporates several new characters, such as elephant seals like Bryan the Beachmaster, new chicks, a puffin named Sven, and Will and Bill, the two krill.
I give this film 3.5 starfish. I enjoyed the story and I liked the messages about global warming and “thinking outside the swarm.” I especially liked Will and Bill’s story because it shows how Will wants to understand and explore the world and take risks in the pursuit of adventure. Bill is very cautious and is more of a voice of reason to Will’s actions.
I found quite a few flaws in this film, although they are mostly on the scientific side. First of all, male elephant seals do not stay with and care for their young. Also, puffins, which live in the Arctic, cannot fly the great distance to Antarctica (which is about 22,000 miles away). Puffins are not built for flying long distances and are better adapted for swimming. Although this is not a flaw, I did not like the singing as much as the first Happy Feet. In one scene in the film I could easily tell that Erik’s singing was that of an adult sped up, because his voice sounded really squeaky.
I would recommend this film to children ages 7+, because there is some mild rude humor and some action scenes. But overall, this film would be a good film for the family.
Copyright 2011 by Perry S. Chen
Perry S. Chen is an award-winning child film critic, artist, and animator, currently in 6th grade from San Diego. He started reviewing movies at age 8 in 3rd grade using a kid-friendly starfish rating system, and has been featured in CBS, NBC, CNN, NPR, Variety, The Guardian, The China Press, etc. He has been writing movie reviews for Animation World Network, San Diego Union Tribune, Amazing Kids! Magazine, and his own Perry’s Previews blog. (www.perryspreviews.com ) He won an “Excellence in Journalism Award” from San Diego Press Club in 2010 and 2011. His animation short “Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest” is touring film festivals around the world and won a “Special Jury Award” at the Flyway Film Festival in Oct 2011.
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