New York Magazine


Happy Feet
  Release Date: 11/17/06

Starring: Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Brittany Murphy

Director: George Miller

Rating: (PG)
  Animation, Family
  Running Time
  108 min
  Warner Bros. Pictures
Official Website
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The smash-hit animated penguin picture Happy Feet has been in the news lately because prominent conservative commentators have attacked its underlying message of, uh, conservation. Thanks to overfishing, the penguins in the movie are going hungry, and it falls to the hero, Mumble, to deliver a message to the world to respect the penguins’ ecosystem. This he does by dancing—probably the next target of social conservatives.

If you can stomach all that subversive pinko propaganda, you should see Happy Feet—not only because it’s stupendous, but also because it features the best dancing you’ll see on the screen this year. Mumble comes tap-tap-tapping out of his egg, and all I could think as I watched was that somewhere Ray Bolger was smiling. It’s not big, swinging, ecstatic Gene Kelly-Donald O’Connor tapping. Mumble uses tap to work out his frustrations, so sometimes it’s staccato and furious, and sometimes it’s a tap and a little wiggly soft-shoe slide along the ice. Happy Feet could kick-start a vogue for soft-shoe ice-skating. —Reviewed by David Edelstein, New York Magazine