Happy Feet Two
Happy Feet Two is a 2011 computer-animated musical disaster 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) (replacing Brittany Murphy), 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. It was produced by Village Roadshow Pictures, Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Dr. D Studios (the first and so far only) from Sydney, Australia. The film premiered in North American theaters on November 18 with a Looney Tunes short called I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat, based on the 1950 children's song of the same name, starring Sylvester and Tweety, with archival recordings by the legendary Mel Blanc.
Mumble (Elijah Wood) the penguin, now called the Master of Tap, has an unusual problem: Erik, his son, is reluctant to dance. Erik runs away from home and encounters the Mighty Sven (Hank Azaria) -- a penguin (actually an Atlantic Puffin) that can fly. Poor Mumble can't compete with Erik's unusual new role model. But, when the world is shaken by powerful forces, Erik must stop the Apocalypse of Antarctica and gets a chance to see his father's true colors as Mumble gathers all creatures great and small to set things right again.
- The plotline 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 that joke, seriously?), then the story switches to a a krill swarm plot about Will wanting to leave the swarm, then Sven is thrown in, then a global warning message is inserted.
- On that related of said topic, the film can't really decide what moral it is trying to deliver; it just either wants to deliver the same moral from the first movie, the "believe in yourself" moral, or an environmental message.
- Speaking of krill, the subplot involving between with Will and Bill (Matt Damon and Brad Pitt's character) is pointless and serves no purpose to the actual story. The only time it comes into true relation to the plot is in the third act.
- This movie focuses on Mumble & Erik too much and this can cause a lack of chemistry on any characters or just a lack of character development. An example is the emperor penguins trapped, the audience only know that they want to get out but it's unknown what else is going on when Mumble isn't around or what happened during the impact, judging from a voice acting from behind the scene, there's a unused line for Gloria where presumably the emperor penguins are losing faith in Mumble while Gloria tries to help everyone have faith in him.
- Despite Erik having a lot of screen time and the main protagonist as the characters, he barely sings which can be confusing since near the end, Erik convinces the elephant seals to help them but he never sings anything before that musical scene of "Erik's Opera".
- Other examples is Erik, Boadicea and Atticus as all of them barely talk to each other despite being friends, Ramon and Carman, while good side story, being together felt force with the lack of screen time.
- The scene where Mumble berated Erik for wanting the penguins to fly so badly is way too out of character for him, despite still being a caring father.
- Sven's mistrust of humans due to his discovery that they eat birds amounts to... absolutely nothing. He simply runs and hides when the humans come to the rescue, and returns when they leave, and never shares his discovery with anyone.
- Some important characters from the first film, like Memphis and Norma Jean, are rarely seen, hinted or even mentioned. Also some important or supporting characters like the Amigos barely do anything and are just background characters.
- Memphis and Norma Jean do, however, appeared as one-time cameo characters at some point.
- Erik, Boadicea, and Atticus, although adorable and they do have their own identities, are just rehash of the characters who were chicks of the first film;
- Erik - he's the shy chick who feels out of place because he is different from the others and gets shunned & laughed at which leads them to feel lonely, much like how Mumble was.
- Boadicea - she's the supportive female friend of the outcast who they have the opposite reputation within their classes, similar to how Gloria was.
- Atticus, despite being a bit different from his father, is the friend of the outcast's female friend which they both have the same reputation. He can also get annoying at times despite being a good comic relief.
- While the animation by Dr. D Studios is amazing to look at, it doesn't feel as real anymore, which is one of the qualities that gave charm to the animation by Animal Logic in the first movie.
- The reveal plot twist of that Sven (Hank Azaria's character) isn't actually a flying penguin, but rather a Atlantic Puffin is not only cliched, but is also pointless as the audience can already tell he's a puffin.
- There is no way that 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 its approaching Emperor-Land.
- On the topic of this, it should've been either slowed down or even stopped by the sheet of ice.
- It is so abnormal and obviously that some sources even imply that this Doomberg is a actual villain character for no reason.
- Like the first film, the story can get boring a lot of times.
- There's a major continuity error where Mumble still has his baby feathers despite losing them in the first film.
- 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 that have already been used several times before; such as the "main character is different from everyone else" cliche, the "believe in yourself" moral cliche, the "liar revealed" cliche, the "father scolds main character for screwing up" cliche, the "environmental message" cliche, etc.
- While the comedy is generally funny, Will and Bill only have one joke: krill puns. This gets old real fast.
- P!nk's voice performance as Gloria, while a decent recast, sounds nothing like the late Brittany Murphy.
- In the opening scene, Erik briefly peed after falling over from upside down where everyone laugh at him (except Boadicea & Atticus), which wasn't only very unfunny humor, but also chipped any emotion, becoming unnecessary and unsuitable for a PG-rated movie.
- During "The Mighty Sven" musical scene while he's walking on the ship with Lovelace, he looks through a window full of cooked chickens, making Sven and Lovelace to escape the ship, which is too dark for a PG movie.
- 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, which was extremely well-praised (even landing him a Best Director nomination at the Oscars), though it underperformed at the box office as well.)
- The animation is still amazing, while not as real as the first film by Dr. D Studios. The scenes with Will and Bill are a great example of this, taking them inside various landscapes and even machinery, allowing for a tremendous amount of detail.
- John Powell's score is still amazing and catchy, alongside the songs used in the film including "The Mighty Sven", "Bridge of Light", "Erik's Opera", "Lovelace Preshow", and "Under Pressure"/"Rhythm Nation" that did contribute decently well to the actual story.
- "The Mighty Sven" is a rap song designed to explore the backstories of Lovelace and Sven, who were rescued by the human and this explains why Lovelace wears the clothes he does in the movie.
- "Bridge of Light" is Gloria song that tries to keep Erik calmed down after an argument with Mumble. Atticus also helped Erik to calm him down.
- "Erik's Opera" is Erik's opera song, who sings it after Mumble gets rejected by Bryan saying that he won't help him free the trapped penguins in Emperor-Land.
- "Lovelace Preshow" is Lovelace's about to start a show about the Mighty Sven.
- "Under Pressure"/"Rhythm Nation" is about the penguins, the elephant seals, one atlantic puffin, and the krills under the underwater ice dancing on the Doomberg to save the emperor 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 best part comes when near the end, its Will the krill stomping his foot down that finally breaks the ice loose. Showing that it really doesn't matter if you're small; You still have the power to make a difference.
- The voice acting is still good, all thanks to having an incredible all-star cast, namely Ava Acres (Erik), Elijah Wood (Mumble), Robin Williams (Lovelace and Ramón) and Hank Azaria (Sven).
- The characters are still likable nonetheless and continues the charm of the first film.
- Mumble is still a likable character, even more so seeing as he was made into a caring father.
- Erik, Boadicea, and Atticus, despite them being copies of the kids from the first, are adorable and have their own identities. Atticus, in particular, serves as a good comic relief despite his tendencies to get annoying at times.
- Gloria is also as likable as she was in the first film. And her singing voice is still amazing, despite P!nk not really sounding like Brittany Murphy.
- 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.
- Seymour treating Mumble differently and with respect shows how much he has changed from the first film.
- Sven's advice to Erik is one of the best qualities of his character.
- A lot of funny jokes here and there nonetheless, particularly Atticus' line "Yo, dawg! You be apologizin', or I'm gonna tear you a new nostril!" and Ramón's unsuccessful attempts to win Carmen.
- 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.
- Decent directing from George Miller, who went on to direct Mad Max: Fury Road.
- Still, the cinematography is delightful and awesome.
- The opening of the movie is very great.
Happy Feet Two received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the film's animation, but criticized its narrative. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 45% based on 120 reviews, with an average rating of 5.48/10. The audiences score was 60% based on 50,000+ reviews, with an average rating of 3.6 out of 5. The website's consensus reads, "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.". On Metacritic the film has a score of 50 out of 100 based on reviews from 35 critics. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
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."
The film grossed $64 million in the United States along with $86 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $150.4 million (not including marketing costs). 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, which making this their first and only animated film.
- 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. The voice role was given to P!nk.
- P!nk 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.
- Another Looney Tunes short, Daffy's Rhapsody, starring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd, was supposed to premiere with the film, but was switched in production. That short instead premiered with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island in 2012.
- This was the last film to not produced by Warner Bros. Feature Animation, as The Lego Movie became the first film to produced by the new animation company of Warner Animation Group, despite the marketing promotion not to use the logo.
- Prior to the film's release on November 18, 2011, Happy Feet Two: Iceberg Surfer, a racing online game on Kids WB.com, Happy Feet Two: Penguin Tile Remix, a puzzle game based on the characters from Happy Feet Two and Happy Feet Two: DJ Dancing Penguins, a customise online game on Happy Feet Two website, was released. It was no longer available, while the tie-in game was released. It was developed by KMM Games for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii. WayForward Technologies also developed the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS versions. In the console versions, you can play as Mumble and Ramón. In the Nintendo DS and 3DS versions, you can only play as Mumble, but you get three helpers - Erik, Atticus, and Bo. There are racing games, adventures, and more.
|Village Roadshow Pictures|
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