Happy Feet Two Blu-Ray Review
Mumble (Elijah Wood), The Master of Tap, has a problem because his tiny son, Erik, is choreo-phobic. Reluctant to dance, Erik (Ava Acres) runs away and encounters The Mighty Sven (Hank Azaria), 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
Having not seen the original, I was looking forward to delving into this world that director George Miller had created and seeing what wonders awaited me. What i got was a pretty basic story which echoes parts of the original that I’ve heard of, and brings nothing new or interesting to the table.
The songs are generic reinterpretations of existing ones except for the Pink tune which is enchanting and uplifting but instantly forgettable. The film looks stunning, almost real looking, but it’s a shame that there wasn’t a better story or journey here. This is aim squarely at the under 10 age group of kids which will lap it up.
The only real redeeming feature for me was the double act of Brad Pitt and Matt Damon as two Krill, who are coming to terms with their lot in life. Everyone else seems to be phoning it which is a shame as the acting talent here is great. One for the kids only!
Everything in ‘Happy Feet Two’ looks realistic and highly detailed, that is, except for the animated animals. The opening sequence shows droplets of water falling onto the surface of the glass-like ocean. From the falling drops the ripples that shoot out and disrupt the peacefully mirror-like surface, it looks as real as a nature documentary. The scenery always looks this sharp; it’s just a shame that you can’t say the same for the characters. Featuring furry penguin central characters, you’d expect their grey fluffy pre-feather fuzz to feature a plush and lifelike texture, but it doesn’t. All colours are rich and alive, featuring bold and strong saturation levels. Blacks are inky and deep but the black & white human’s looks eerie, almost like they’re covered in silver make-up or paint. I’m sure this was a directorial decision to make the colours of the animals pop more, but it sure doesn’t look very good. The image is void of banding, but aliasing is a problem that arises from time to time in dense feathers and fur and in tight patterns, like that of a screen covering a guitar amplifier. Luckily, aliasing is the only real flaw with the video quality.
Since music is one of the most common strong uses of audio, you can be sure that this 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track isn’t lacking in that area. The music is definitely the strongest aspect of this mix. It’s well spread throughout the channels and extremely dynamic. If only there wasn’t a monotonous “Stomp” sound to 95 per cent of it. It’s no wonder why there were only two nominees for Best Original Song at the Oscars, ‘Happy Feet Two’ sure didn’t warrant a nomination. The effects are also strongly mixed, but not as frequent as they could/should be. Some instances offer seamless examples of imaging, like seals chasing schools of fish and swarms of krill, but there aren’t enough non-music example of sounds emitting from the surround and rear channels. The music is the only sound consistently present in all channels. However, the effects make strong use of bass and low frequency sounds. The audio mix is good, but feels at times like it was mixed by a couple amateurs.
Helping Penguins and Pals – Lil’ P-Nut, an infant kid who voiced a supporting role, teaches you about Antarctica, penguins, elephant seals, whales, krill and global warming. With more than enough hip-hop dancing, this featurette is made solely for kids.
How to Draw a Penguin – Storyboard and sketch artist Tim McEwan teaches you how to draw a baby penguin. Also made for kids, this featurette would be better had he shown us how to do it on paper instead of some expensive touch screen computer that none of us will ever own.
Running with Boadicea – Watch people talk about the free running yodelling baby penguin, followed by an early unfinished deleted scene of her parkouring her way down an ice pillar.
‘I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat’ – Another great Looney Toons short, this time a musical starring Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat.
P¡nk’s New Song – Pop music star P¡nk (aka Alecia Moore) talks about writing her song “Bridge of Light” for the movie and voicing her character.
“The Mighty Sven” Sing-Along – Watch the clip of the movie featuring this song with karaoke-esque subtitles flowing across the bottom of the screen next to a dancing penguin.
“Bridge of Light” Sing-Along – Watch the clip of the movie featuring this song with karaoke-esque subtitles flowing across the bottom of the screen next to a dancing penguin.
“Papa Oom Mow Mow” Sing-Along – Watch the clip of the movie featuring this song with karaoke-esque subtitles flowing across the bottom of the screen next to a dancing penguin.
This is a decent animated film which will keep the younger kids happy for 90 minutes but other than that there’s not much else the film has to offer.
‘Happy Feet Two’ is out to rent or buy on DVD and Blu-Ray now.