Customer Review

26 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New-age Rudolph Re-done: 75% Fuzzy, 25% family safe, November 26, 2006
Well, I know the film will be far more popular than this review, but I try to call them as they are. The film starts out with narration, but does not end with narration - which makes you wonder how well thought out the story was and how much went on the cutting room floor - so to speak. Memphis has the golden throat of Elvis and his wife Norma Jean has the buxom penguin chest of Marilyn Monroe, replete with "mole" marking on her shoulder.

The couple breaks into song, frequently professing their love for one another. Unlike other 3D animation hits like "Toy Story" and "Shrek," this story does not have original songs written for the story - instead they re-do popular hits... and the lyrics are frankly not appropriate for children. Here are some snippets:

Kiss:

You don't have to be beautiful,

to turn me on.

I just need your body, baby,

from dusk 'til dawn.

You don't need experience,

to turn me on.

You just leave it all up to me

Tell Me Something Good:

Problem is you ain't been loved like you should

What i got will sure 'nuff do you good

It'll do you good

Is this what you want your kids singing to all day long? What happened to Chim-Chimery Charoo? What happened to even nonsensical, but at least innocent lyrics for innocent ears? Why are we in such a rush to sex up our kids in this society?

The penguins pray to their "Great Gwynne" (I think that's what they were saying - but I don't read beaks well and there was no closed captioning on the big screen) - a diety in the sky that is the likeness of a giant penguin that they summon with their heart song. I was sitting there in the theater with my gaping maw hanging open. "What am I looking at?" I kept asking myself. While all the females have waddled out to the ocean to fish, the men stay back with their eggs tucked warmly between their legs. While everyone else is praying to their penguin diety, Memphis is doing his own mantra, summoning what appears to be an image of his wife, Norma Jean. I don't think parents realize what they're taking their kids to go see, quite frankly - this stuff is just weird.

All the penguins look basically the same (except for blue-eyed Mumbles, mole-bespeckled Norma Jean and a theological patriarch that has a hunched neck like a vulture), so their big moment of individuality is their heart song. Mumbles practically dances his way out of his egg, but this society where everyone wears the same tuxedo is intolerant of differences, even with a baby. He is shunned by not only classmates, but by adults as well. Even Mumbles' father is unsettled by his son's talent and lack of singing ability.

In almost sociopathic fashion, Mumbles entertains himself when he's alone - dancing to a song that is apparently in his head. While charming, it's also kinda weird. Children have an innate desire to belong - yet he'd rather be alone with his own music - and is content to be this way as he dances with fervor.

There is some violence as gulls attempt to eat Mumbles alive and he is then persued, bitten and permanently maimed by one of the most vicious renderings of a seal I have ever seen. The folks that club baby seals to death will want this vicious-looking seal as their poster child to advocate further clubbing. The noises this critter makes are akin to the T-Rex in "Jurassic Park."

As Mumbles escapes death, he encounters another breed of penguis - that all speak Spanish. Kids are just going to be confused - this is Antartica, but everyone here is multilingual. The accents are adorable, but the Spanish flavor is simply not explained... it's not like he travelled to another continent. Another violent scene in which killer whales attempt to eat a group of penguins and nearly drown then choke a penguin to death are painfully uncomfortable to watch - the violence is over the top.

Too many movies aimed at children include violence against beloved characters to get emotional involvement, then pepper the movie with cute animals, songs and merriment - so the child is very involved emotionally, but doesn't even realize why. The violence is just too much for the little kids that are going to want to see this movie the most.

Mumbles appears to also be a late-bloomer. He's not only a dancer, not a singer - but he is the only penguin that has a child-like lack of development into adolescence. When the other animals have clearly gone through a normal development cycle with the seasons, Mumbles retains his downy coat way beyond a normal period - yet goes swimming. If a real penguin that still had the down on it were to get into the icy Antarctic waters, it would quickly freeze to death or drown. He's also got blue eyes which no one seems to notice or comment on - but he's clearly the only blue-eyed penguin on the entire continent. Mumbles almost has this Michael Jackson-esque quality about him. He's child-like, optimistic, hangs out with much shorter male penguins, and is a great choreographer. Hmm.

A-la Rudolph, this misfit ends up being the salvation of the penguins. They are all quickly singing the penguin's praises after shunning him since he was practically an egg... and join him in a string of dance moves that is reminiscent of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.

Penguins are adorable, so kids are going to flock to this movie in droves - but it's not all about being cute and fuzzy. The movie is violent and over-sexed for kids. Not only would I not take my own kids to see this video, this is one I don't care to see again. I love kids' films and am partial to the well-done 3D animation, but without a good story line, the best animation in the world does not a good movie make.

This film had lots of good potential, but it was not edited properly. Narration opens the film, but then is not heard from again. The songs are not original, but 'sexy' songs redone for a kids' film. As an adult, I enjoyed the film and laughed in spots, but was not won over. It lacks the innocence it purports to embrace.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 29, 2006 1:49:05 AM PST
ugh.

ok the narrator DOES reappear at least 5 times. including at the end.

of course the songs are not new thats why its a *JUKEBOX musical film*. look ok you are not a very smart person we get it. but thats no reason to give the movie a bad rating.

ok YOU are the ignorant type that this movie was NOT made for. YOU are and shun those who are a little different (heck you even have a problem with the fact that his eyes are blue). YOU dont know anything about the natural world (guess what nature does not, thank god, make hunting and killing soft and fluffy for you).

also the Latin Shorties speak ENGLISH you *&%^, sure they have an accent but English is English. ok you have NO knowledge of the natural world, the Adelie penguins spend part of the year on the Antartic mainland the other part at sea. its really well within reason that they spend some time off the south american waters and thus the accents.

as for this being a "kids" film, i suggest you find out what a "PG" rating means.

seriously, people like you piss me off. fine you have never read a book or seen a half hour documentary or know that the movie is a Jukebox musical. fine. thats great for you. but thats no reason to give the movie a bad rating.

"none of the songs are new" talk about stupid.

Posted on Dec 15, 2006 8:03:36 PM PST
What do you mean ''children have an innate desire to belong?!?''

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2007 5:05:04 PM PST
Nanciejeanne says:
I liked the review. I thought it WAS supposed to be a cute and fuzzy movie before I read this...that is how they marketed it, after all. Was that misleading? I haven't seen it and am now doubting that I will take my children. The White Seal is a movie with eco "bad human" message...and yes, it does bug me...sorry. I don't like scaring my kids into having sympathy for a character. Do they ever mention that penguins eat fish? Is this ok? Humans can't eat them, but penquins can? Seals are "mean" because they eat other animals, but penquins aren't? Just wondering.

And to Jiggypufffirst reviewer...chill dude! What is up with the name calling and crap, talk about not accepting those that are different?

You don't really think this was NOT made as a kids movie, do you? It is promoted ALL the time on children's channels, they have children's books and toys for the movie, etc. Are those little stuffed animals for the adults?!? come on.

I realize that it is rated PG, but many children's movies are (e.g., Robots, Madagascar, Shrek, etc.) These are indeed children's movies, you would have to agree. Check out the "family" genre here on amazon if you don't believe me. Maybe the MPAA needs to "find out what a PG rating means". Until then, parents often have to depend on what other viewers say to aid us in our decision making.

Thank you to the original reviewer who simply gave his opinion and told about possible inappropriate content, upon which I can base my own decision. We are going to see Charlotte's Web instead. (Maybe *I* can get yelled at now!)

Posted on Feb 3, 2007 10:40:55 PM PST
My 6 year old daughter LOVES this movie!!! We've seen it 5 times, and she's always enthralled, where as with "Open Season" she was bored! I've never heard any child in the theater complain, unlike "Curious George" where one kid said half way through the movie, "Is it over yet?" It was uplifting and empowering, because the humans save the penguins (once the humans realize that here is a problem)....making the humans, along with Mumble, the heroes!!!! The music is fantastic!...and it doesn't treat kids like they're stupid. It teaches kids to think about the possible consequences to their actions, like carelessly dumping those plastic 6 pack rings and to be tolarate of the differences others, because not everyone has the same talents or skills (e.g. singing, dancing, etc.)...as the parent of a special needs child, I found that very heart warming! BEST KIDS' MOVIE SINCE "BROTHER BEAR" in 2003!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2007 5:19:28 PM PST
Hate to tell you this, but Happy Feet originally WAS rated G. In fact, there were a few newspapers that had the same rating (so I thought it was G as well). Go onto a few movie websites and some of them say that it is rated G. They changed it as soon as parents started to complain.

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 7:02:22 PM PST
angie says:
Dude.... its a movie.... Chillax.....
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Shelley Gammon "Geek"
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Kaufman, Texas USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 651