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"HAPPY FEET"
(2006) (voices of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Minor Moderate *Heavy None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Heavy Moderate None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Computer-animated Dramedy: After being tossed out of his colony for expressing himself through tap dancing rather than song like everyone else, a young emperor penguin sets out to prove his worth by solving the mystery of what's happening to their food supply.
PLOT:
Among the emperor penguins, it's their songs that draw the males and females together, thus resulting in Memphis (voice of HUGH JACKMAN) and Norma Jean (voice of NICOLE KIDMAN) having an egg together. But their offspring, Mumble (voice of ELIJAH WOOD), is different from the other chicks such as Gloria (voice of BRITTANY MURPHY). That might be due to Memphis accidentally letting his egg role off into the icy cold winter, but whatever the case, Mumble can't sing with a darn. But he can tap dance like a pro, an activity that embarrasses his dad and makes the colony's leader, Noah the Elder (voice of HUGO WEAVING), blame the shortage of fish in their food supply on his odd behavior.

He gets the unexpected chance to get away from it all while fleeing from a leopard seal that results in him being far away from home and in the company of Ramon (voice of ROBIN WILLIAMS) and his fellow Adelie penguins. While much shorter than Mumble, they're a lively bunch who accept him for who and what he is, unlike most of fellow kind back home. While playing around with them and encountering an unmanned human tractor, and after hearing of aliens having abducted a predatory bird, Mumble wants to meet the penguin's mystical guru, Lovelace (voice of ROBIN WILLIAMS), for answers.

While still barely holding onto hope that he might impress Gloria enough that she'd become his mate, Mumble becomes preoccupied with discovering whether these so-called aliens have anything to do with the shortage of fish. From that point on, he sets out to do just that, with Lovelace, Ramon and the others unsure if he's doing the right thing, especially regarding the dangers they'll encounter as they accompany him on his quest.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet many younger ones most definitely will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some mild peril and rude humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
It's debatable whether kids view animated characters (particularly non-human ones) as role models, but here's a quick look at the characters' major characteristics:
  • MUMBLE is the young emperor penguin who can't sing, but can tap dance, thus meaning he doesn't fit in with the norms of his society. Befriended by Ramon and his pals, he regains his self-confidence and sets out to uncover the mystery behind the shortage in their food supply.
  • RAMON is the spunky Adelie penguin who befriends Mumble and teaches him, through humor, to be comfortable with the way he is. He also assists him on his quest.
  • LOVELACE is the spiritual guru and ladies man of the Adelie penguins who's full of hot air in terms of what he does and does not know, but gets his followers to pay him for answers with pebbles that he then uses to attract more female penguins.
  • GLORIA is Mumble's lifelong friend who hates it when he interrupts her singing, but eventually accepts him for who and what he is.
  • MEMPHIS is Mumble's dad who's embarrassed by his son's behavior, although much of that stems from guilt over believing he's the cause of it.
  • NORMA JEAN is his wife and Mumble's mom who loves him the way he is.
  • NOAH THE ELDER plays the crusty leader of the colony who blames their ills (specifically, the interruption in their food supply) on Mumble (saying his odd behavior has offended their god).
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this computer-animated dramedy that's rated PG. While no profanity is present, various colorful phrases are, and they and various bits of behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    Sexually related song lyrics are sung, while the purpose of the singing (in one group) and stone collecting (in another) is to attract a mate and there's some non-explicit dialogue about that.

    A few scenes contain moments of peril where animals try to eat other animals (a leopard seal with sharp teeth after a penguin, two killer whales after various penguins, some large birds after a penguin chick, etc.) that might be rather unsettling, suspenseful or downright scary to kids (the younger they are, the greater the likelihood). Other brief contact occurs and some slapstick style material is also present, as are a few instances of crude humor.

    Some tense family material occurs (a father being disappointed in his son, but also feeling guilty about how he turned out), while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • To feed young Mumble, Norma Jean regurgitates food into his mouth (kids might think she's vomiting, but this is heard and not directly seen).
  • When a teacher asks the young chicks if they know about an important lesson, Mumble chimes in, "Don't eat the yellow snow?"
  • With Lovelace having a hard time breathing (due to a plastic six-pack holder around his neck getting tight), he tries to act out what he wants to say, but the others don't get it. He then blows a raspberry at one, prompting him to guess, "You're passing gas?"
  • When one penguin asks, "What's that smell?" (after catching the odor of some elephant seals), another says, "It wasn't me" (a fart reference).
  • One elephant seal seems to sneeze or otherwise blow mucous from its nose.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Various animals try to attack and eat Mumble and other penguins, but this is taken as a natural order of things rather than just being mean.
  • Other chicks laugh at Mumble for his inability to sing.
  • Memphis is embarrassed about the way Mumble has turned out (although he feels responsible and guilty for having let his egg roll out into the cold before Mumble hatched, thus making him think that caused Mumble to be how he is).
  • Commenting on Mumble, Noah says, "That boy was always a bad egg."
  • It's possible some viewers could be offended by Ramon and his pals having Latino-sounding accents.
  • Using Ramon as his hidden voice, Mumble tries to fake singing to Gloria to try to impress her, but she doesn't fall for his ruse.
  • Not liking Mumble's upstart ways, Noah blames their fish shortage on Mumble offending their great spirit with his pagan display.
  • One colony elder smacks one of the small penguins.
  • Noah kicks Mumble out of the colony.
  • Needing to convince Gloria not to join them on their quest (so that she doesn't give up a regular life to be with him), Mumble acts like a jerk to her, eventually causing her to leave.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The following may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers, but probably less so the older the child.
  • Memphis accidentally lets his un-hatched egg roll off into the snow. He panics and scrambles to get it, scooping it back up on his feet and under his belly. Later, when all of the other chicks are hatching, Memphis is worried that his hasn't, and he and others think that it might contain a dead chick (but young Gloria starts tapping on it, resulting in Mumble finally hatching).
  • Young kids may worry when they hear that if Mumble can't find his song, he'll be alone forever (meaning no mate).
  • Some large birds surround young Mumble, with the obvious intent of eating him. The leader pins Mumble to the ground with his foot, but Mumble manages to distract him (by making the bird tell a story) and then back away. Mumble then falls backwards and lands in a hole or small cave, just out of the reach of the birds' sharp beaks that they thrust down into the hole at him. They then fly off.
  • Mumble fights with several birds that have grabbed the fish he had caught for Gloria. They end up flying him high into the sky, where he eventually breaks free and falls a long distance to the hard, snowy ground below. He's motionless and kids may worry he's dead, but he's just dazed and later is okay.
  • Mumble ends up on a tiny chunk of ice that moves from beneath, and then does so again. We then see an underwater view where a leopard seal swims by in the foreground, followed by it trying to catch and eat Mumble (with its open mouth and very sharp teeth coming right at him). A chase ensues underwater through an icy structure, with the seal getting Mumble by his tail feathers, but the smaller penguin manages to escape, popping up to the surface where he now has the mobility advantage over the lumbering seal. Nevertheless, the seal slowly comes at him, occasionally lunging, but Mumble (who's joined by Ramon and his pals) simply move out of the way while repeatedly taunting the seal.
  • While sliding down an icy slope, Mumble, Ramon and the others accidentally slam into each other, icy structures and such (all for fun), but they end up causing an avalanche of sorts that they must avoid after falling into a body of water. A large tractor sinks toward Mumble and he must avoid it, just like two large pieces of ice that slam together quite close to him.
  • Lovelace begins having troubles breathing due to the plastic six-pack beverage holder around his neck getting tighter.
  • Some huge elephant seals act somewhat menacingly toward Mumble, Ramon and the others, but nothing happens (although one tells them about their quest to find the "forbidden shores" that the annihilator will kill them and it's "Your funeral mate").
  • Thinking that Lovelace is dead (since he's gone), one penguin says that sometimes brave penguins will slip away to die (but he's later seen alive, although having a hard time breathing due to the plastic ring still around his neck).
  • Two killer whales come after Mumble, Ramon and the others who are now on a buoy on a small chunk of ice. One says they'll be okay if they don't get in the water, but the whale tip over the buoy, spilling all of them into the sea. Lovelace gets stuck on a heavy bell that then sinks and draws him down into the depths, with Mumble racing down to try to save him. But the whales get there first, and rather than eat them right away, they decide to play with them, thus tossing or flipping them back out of the water. One then swallows Lovelace, but spits him back out as they continue to "play" with them in a rough fashion. They continue doing that and chasing them, but then swim off when the penguins end up back on solid ice, only to have an ice breaker ship come right at them, tossing them about in the chunks of ice it creates.
  • Needing to follow a fishing ship to find out what's happening to their fish, Mumble dives off a very tall cliff, with the others thinking he's dead until they see him swim away.
  • As Mumble holds onto a closed fishing net pulling up a catch to its ship, a hook grabs and yanks Mumble off it, with him falling back into the sea where he barely avoids being pulled into the ship's huge propeller. Mumble then continues to pursue the ship, but we later see him washed up on a shore (kids may think he's dead, but he's just unconscious or sleeping).
  • Some kids may worry about Mumble after several months of being in a zoo enclosure where he seems to have lost his will to go on. He also sees a vision of his mom and Ramon, but they then drift away into nothingness.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Give a chick a chance," "Don't eat the yellow snow," "I could really get jiggy with that," "A funky little fellow," "Flipper boy," "Shut up," "Screwy" (or "screwing"), "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," "That boy was always a bad egg," "Take a flying leap," "Bring it on," "Kiss it" (said while showing one's rear to another character), "Blubber butt," "See you, fatty," "Gone loco," "You guys are soft in the head," "I hear people wanting something...me," "Ladies, avert your eyes, because I've been known to hypnotize," "Fool," "Chicas," "Have you lost your mind?" "Daffy old fools," "Pitiful loser," "Like some twitchy idiot," "You stubborn, hippity-hoppity fool," "What's that smell?" (followed by "It wasn't me"), "Your funeral mate," "Loco" and "A dancing fool."
  • Some kids may want to imitate Mumble and his tap dancing, or Ramon and his accent and jokes.
  • As the other new penguins are afraid to dive off a cliff into the water, Mumble accidentally slides past them and falls in, prompting the rest to jump in as well.
  • Ramon and his pals turn and shake their penguin butts at a leopard seal to taunt it (while saying, "Kiss it").
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A leopard seal suddenly lunges at Mumble.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • The song "Kiss" (that Norma Jean sings to Memphis) contains the lyrics, "You don't have to be beautiful, to turn me on" and "I just need your body baby, from dusk till dawn."
  • A song sung by a penguin has the lyric, "I'll make love to you, like you want me to."
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The song "Kiss" (that Norma Jean sings to Memphis) contains the lyrics, "You don't have to be beautiful, to turn me on" and "I just need your body baby, from dusk till dawn."
  • The narrator states that Norma Jean and Memphis's song became love which then became an egg.
  • While slipping and sliding along, Mumble accidentally lands on Gloria in what some may see as the rear-entry sex position, and then ends up in what some may view as the missionary position on top of her, with him being embarrassed and saying, "Sorry" (nothing else sexual occurs or is done on purpose on the part of the characters).
  • There's some talk among Ramon and his pals collecting love stones to entice the "chicas" and there's some comment about "boom-boom" (or something sounding like that). We also learn that Lovelace charges one pebble for one answer, thus meaning he's collecting the pebbles/stones to entice the ladies.
  • We hear Lovelace state, "Ladies, avert your eyes, because I've been known to hypnotize." He then says about another male character, "Tell him to go forth and multiply." He then says, "Come to think of it let's all go forth and multiply." We then hear someone comment on it being the mating season and we then see Lovelace go off with a number of female penguins.
  • A song sung by a penguin has the lyric, "I'll make love to you, like you want me to."
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Memphis accidentally lets his un-hatched egg roll off into the snow. He panics and scrambles to get it, scooping it back up on his feet and under his belly. Later, when all of the other chicks are hatching, Memphis is worried that his hasn't, and he and others fear that it might contain a dead chick (but young Gloria starts tapping on it, resulting in Mumble finally hatching).
  • Memphis is embarrassed about the way Mumble has turned out (although he feels responsible and guilty for having let his egg roll out into the cold before Mumble hatched, thus making him think that caused Mumble to be how he is).
  • Memphis isn't happy with the way Mumble is acting, but then confesses that he let his egg roll away by accident in the past. Norma Jean is then upset with Memphis.
  • Mumble's dad tells him that there's not one day "I done right by you," but Mumble forgives him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Penguins, and the different varieties of them.
  • Humans over-fishing the seas.
  • Animals in zoos.
  • Finding one's own voice and way of expressing him or herself.
  • Being different from others and/or not conforming to societal rules and expectations.
  • Young kids may worry when they hear that if Mumble can't find his song, he'll be alone forever (meaning no mate).
  • Lovelace thinking a plastic six-pack holder that's wrapped around his neck is his talisman.
  • Not liking Mumble's upstart ways, Noah blames their fish shortage on Mumble offending their great spirit with his pagan display.
  • Memphis tells Mumble that if the latter is devout, the fish (their food) will return.
  • Gloria telling Mumble that she doesn't need an egg (a baby) to be happy.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Young Mumble accidentally hits his dad in the crotch when crawling up on his feet and under his belly to get out of the cold.
  • Some large birds surround young Mumble, with the obvious intent of eating him. The leader pins Mumble to the ground with his foot, but Mumble manages to distract him (by making the bird tell a story) and then back away (with the leader whacking his minions with his wings). Mumble then falls backwards and lands in a hole or small cave, just out of the reach of the birds' sharp beaks that they thrust down into the hole at him. They then fly off.
  • A penguin accidentally slides into Mumble and Gloria.
  • Mumble fights with several birds that have grabbed the fish he had caught for Gloria. They end up flying him high into the sky, where he eventually breaks free and falls a long distance to the hard, snowy ground below. He's motionless and kids may worry he's dead, but he's just dazed and later is okay.
  • Mumble ends up on a tiny chunk of ice that moves from beneath, and then does so again. We then see an underwater view where a leopard seal swims by in the foreground, followed by it trying to catch and eat Mumble (with its open mouth and very sharp teeth coming right at him). A chase ensues underwater through an icy structure, with the seal getting Mumble by his tail feathers, but the smaller penguin manages to escape, popping up to the surface where he now has the mobility advantage over the lumbering seal. Nevertheless, the seal slowly comes at him, occasionally lunging, but Mumble (who's joined by Ramon and his pals) simply move out of the way while repeatedly taunting the seal.
  • While sliding down an icy slope, Mumble, Ramon and the others accidentally slam into each other, icy structures and such (all for fun).
  • One colony elder smacks one of the small penguins.
  • Mumble, Ramon and the others encounter strong winds that blow most of them over and/or backwards.
  • Rather than eat the penguins right away, two killer whales decide to play with them, thus tossing or flipping them back out of the water. One then swallows Lovelace, but spits him back out as they continue to "play" with them in a rough fashion. They continue doing that and chasing them, but then swim off when the penguins end up back on solid ice.
  • Unaware that he's now in a zoo, Mumble walks and then later swims into the clear glass wall that now encages him.



  • Reviewed November 11, 2006 / Posted November 17, 2006

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