Happy Feet Two
Happy Feet Two is a 2011 computer-animated family musical comedy film directed, produced and co-written by George Miller. It is the sequel to the 2006 film Happy Feet and features an ensemble voice cast that includes Ava Acres, Elijah Wood, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams, Sofia Vergara, Alecia Moore (P!nk), Meibh Campbell, Lil' P-Nut, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Common, Hugo Weaving, Richard Carter, Magda Szubanski, and Anthony LaPaglia. In this movie, Erik, the son of Mumble and Gloria, must stop the Apocalypse of Antarctica. The film premiered in North American theaters on November 18 with a Looney Tunes short called I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat starring Sylvester and Tweety.
Happy Feet Two returns audiences to the magnificent landscape of Antarctica. Mumble, The Master of Tap, has a problem because his tiny son, Erik, is choreo-phobic. Reluctant to dance, Erik runs away and encounters The Mighty Sven-a penguin who can fly! Mumble has no hope of competing with this charismatic new role model. But things get worse when the world is shaken by powerful forces. Erik learns of his father's guts and grit as Mumble brings together the penguin nations and all manner of fabulous creatures-from tiny Krill to giant Elephant Seals-to put things right.
- The plot is absolutely confusing and seems to get lost, find its path again and lose its way again multiple times: the film starts off as a rehash of the first film (Erik is unable to dance, making him very different from the rest of Emperor-Land), then the film focuses on Ramón's search for Somebody to Love (get the joke?), then the story switches to a a krill swarm plot about Will wanting to leave the swarm, which is pointless (see four), then Sven is thrown in, then a global warning message is inserted.
- On that topic, the film doesn't know what moral it is trying to deliver; it either wants to deliver the same moral from the first movie, the "believe in yourself" moral, or an environmental message.
- Some important characters from the first film, like Memphis and Norma Jean, are barely seen or even mentioned.
- They do, however, appear in the background at some point.
- The subplot about Will and Bill is pointless and serves no purpose to the story. The only time it comes into true relation to the plot is in the end.
- While Dr. D Studios' animation is amazing to look at, it's doesn't feel that real anymore, which is one of the qualities that gave charm to Animal Logic's animation in the first film.
- The reveal that Sven is a puffin is not only cliched, but is also pointless as the audience can already tell he's a puffin.
- Barely any aspect of the Doomberg makes any form of sense whatsoever.
- If the Doomberg broke off the antarctic, it would've either drifted slowly out towards the open ocean or sit still off the coast.
- The speed of the Doomberg is not very realistic, especially when it's approaching Emperor-Land.
- On that topic, it should've been slowed down or even stopped by the sheet of ice.
- It is so abnormal that some sources even imply that this Doomberg is a character.
- Like the first film, the story can get boring a lot of times.
- The film's logic is even more confusing than the first film.
- Like the mentioned first film, the penguins sing songs created by humans about things only humans should know about.
- Sven says the word "trademark", which is just weird.
- Will sings "We are the Champions" by Queen and Bill sings "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley, as if penguins knowing about these songs wasn't weird enough.
- The plot features multiple cliches; the "main character is different from everyone else" cliche, the "believe in yourself" cliche, the "liar revealed" cliche (see six), the "father scolds main character for screwing up" cliche, the "environmental message" cliche, etc.
- P!nk's performance as Gloria, while decent, sounds barely anything like the late Brittany Murphy.
- In the opening, Erik briefly peed after falling over, which wasn't only unfunny, but also chipped any emotion of the scene.
- During Sven's song while he's walking on the ship with Lovelace, he looks through a window full of cooked chickens in a G rated film, not to mention, they also gave humans a worse name unlike the first film.
- The film's failure killed any potential for George Miller's Dr. D Studios, including an animated Mad Max film (which eventually became Mad Max: Fury Road, Miller's return to live action.)
- The animation is still spectacular and the detailing, while not as real as the first film, is impressive.
- John Powell's score is still amazing, alongside the songs used in the film including The Mighty Sven, Bridge of Light, Erik's Opera, Lovelace Preshow, and Under Pressure/Rhythm Nation.
- Speaking of Under Pressure, the scene where the penguins and the elephant seals work together to free the emperor penguins is one of most intense and epic scenes in 21st century animation, complete with the Happy Feet Two Chorus's cover of Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie.
- The voice acting is still good.
- The characters are still likable.
- Mumble is a caring father.
- Erik, while a copy of Mumble from the first film, is adorable.
- Gloria is also as likable as she was in the first film. And her singing voice is still amazing.
- Ramón is somehow even more hilarious than he was in the first film. He even gets a good side story involving him getting close to his crush, Carmen.
- Will and Bill, while pointless, are sometimes funny.
- Sven's advice to Erik is one of the best qualities of his character.
- A lot of funny jokes here and there.
- At least the story attempts to make sense, even if it is a rehash of the first movie.
- The environmental message is at least well intended and subtle.
The film grossed $64 million in the United States along with $86 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $150.4 million. Produced on a budget of $135 million, the film ended up losing the studio around $40 million. Following the film's financially unsuccessful release and the long delay of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Dr. D Studios closed down in 2013.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the film's animation, but criticized it's narrative. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 45% of critics gave positive reviews, based on 120 reviews, with a general consensus being that "the animation is as eye-popping as ever, but Happy Feet Two's narrative is too noisily incoherent to recapture the Oscar-winning charm of its predecessor.
British newspaper The Telegraph named Happy Feet Two one of the ten worst films of 2011, saying "Happy Feet Two is an appalling 3D animated sequel about a colony of all‑singin', all-dancin', all-infuriatin' penguins."
- Brittany Murphy, who originally voiced Mumble's love interest Gloria, was set to reprise her role and scheduled to begin recording some time in 2010, but died from pneumonia and anemia on December 20, 2009.
- Pink had already contributed a song "Tell Me Something Good" to the soundtrack of the first film.
- While an animated film, Happy Feet Two not only features motion-capture for the penguins, but also live-action "aliens" (humans) via green screen like the first film.
- In an interview with Collider.com, when Miller was asked if he had any plans for a third film, he answered "if you put a gun to my head and said, 'You have to come up with a story for Happy Feet 3,' I’d say shoot me.", because he has no ideas for it and wants himself and the studio to produce the idea that would be better than original two movies. As of now, there has been no further news regarding a third film, but it's presumed that it was cancelled due to the critical and commercial failure of the second film.
- This film was the last animated feature Robin Williams starred in before his suicide in 2014.