What’s Happy Feet?
Happy Feet is a 2006 is a computer-animated musical family film, directed, produced and co-written by George Miller. It was produced at Animal Logic, located in Sydney Australia, for Warner Brothers, Village Roadshow Pictures and Kingdom Feature Productions. The completed film was released in North American theaters on November 17, 2006. It is the first animated film produced by Kennedy Miller in association with visual effects/design company Animal Logic.
Though primarily an animated film, Happy Feet does incorporate motion capture of live action humans in certain scenes.
Happy Feet won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film, and was nominated for the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and the Saturn Award for Best Animated Film.
The film was dedicated in memory of Nick Enright, Michael Jonson, Robby McNeilly Green, and Steve Irwin. A sequel, Happy Feet Two, was released into theatres November 18, 2011.
What’s the Plot?
Every Emperor Penguin sings a unique song called a “heartsong” to attract a mate. If the male penguin’s heartsong matches the female’s song, the two penguins mate. Norma Jean, a female penguin, falls for Memphis, a male penguin and they become mates. They lay an egg, which is left in Memphis’ care, while Norma Jean leaves with the other females to fish. While the males struggle through the harsh winter, Memphis briefly drops the egg. The resulting chick, Mumble, has no vocal talent, but can tap dance. Nevertheless, he is enamored with Gloria, a female penguin who is regarded as the most talented of his age.
Once grown up, Mumble becomes an outcast from his tribe of Emperor Penguins. After being shunned during the graduates’ song, his is attacked by a Leopard Seal. After escaping, he befriends a group on Adelie penguins who call themselves the Amigos. After admiring Mumble’s dance moves, they welcome Mumble into their group. Mumble and the Amigos have many daring adventures, helping their friend Lovelace, a Rockhopper penguin, escape from entanglement in plastic soda pop rings.
Mumbles friend Ramon attempts to help Mumble court Gloria, with negative results initially. But Mumble eventually wins her over by dancing to the beat of her “heartsong”. Unfortunately, Mumble’s dancing becomes the scapegoat of the tribes lean fishing season. When Mumble refuses the tribal elders orders to stop dancing, he moves from mere outcast to banishment.
Mumble and the Amigos visited the forbidden shore where they find a fishing boat. Mumble pursues it solo to the brink of exhaustion. He is eventually washed up on the shore of Australia, where he is rescued and kept at Marine World with Magellanic Penguins. After a long and secluded confinement he nearly succumbs to madness. When a girl attempts to interact with Mumble by tapping the glass, he starts dancing, which attracts a large crowd. He is released back into the wild, with a tracking device attached to his back. He returns to his colony and challenges the will of the elders and reconciles with them
The research team follows Mumble’s tracking device and finds his colony. They take film footage of their expedition footage back to their governments. The governments realize they are overfishing, leading to the banning of all Antarctic fishing. At this, the Emperor Penguins and the Amigos celebrate. In the final scene, a baby penguin is seen dancing next to Mumble and Gloria, revealed to be their son Erik in Happy Feet Two.
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Elijah Wood as Mumble
Robin Williams as Ramón and Lovelace
Brittany Murphy as Gloria
Hugh Jackman as Memphis
Nicole Kidman as Norma Jean
Hugo Weaving as Noah the Elder
Carlos Alazraqui as Nestor
Steve Irwin as Trev
Lombardo Boyar as Raul
Jeffrey Garcia as Rinaldo
Johnny Sanchez as Lombardo
Miriam Margoyles as Mrs. Astrakhan
Fat Joe as Seymour
Anthony LaPaglia as Skua Boss
Roger Rose as Leopard Seal
Elizabeth Daily as baby Mumble
Alyssa Shafer as baby Gloria
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