“Happy Feet” wasn’t a great movie, but it was tolerable because the 2006 release had strong musical performances and a sweet story about being an individual.
The sequel, “Happy Feet Two,” doesn’t measure up. It’s a jumble of unrelated characters, forgettable soundtrack and story that will leave you as cold as a penguin’s bottom. The only thing it has going for it is spectacular animation that makes the creatures look lifelike.
This time around, Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) is dealing with fatherhood. His son, Erik (Ava Acres), feels different because he can’t dance like all of the other penguins, so he runs away from home. While Mumble is trying to get Erik back, a massive iceberg blocks the entrance to the valley where the penguins live. Mumble must find a way to save the day and his best hope is a “flying penguin” named Sven (Hank Azaria).
Because this story is so simplistic, the group of writers — headed by director George Miller — have added a secondary story about two krill (Brad Pitt, Matt Damon) who go on a mission to move up the food chain. This storyline eventually connects, but it’s an interruption most of the time.
Granted, there’s not much to interrupt. The story is so thin that fun voice talents like Robin Williams, Sofia Vergara and Johnny Sanchez have little to do. The addition of Azaria is a plus. But Pink, as Gloria, and Common, as Seymour, just don’t sound like a proper fit. That’s particularly noticeable in a soulful musical number, “Bridge of Light,” by Pink that brings the movie to a dead stop.
The original film at least had some energy as thousands of penguins would stomp and clap to big pop numbers, such as Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” This time the music is an odd mixture of rap, TV themes and opera that is neither aimed at adults nor children.
There are so many problems with this film that it should have been called “Crappy Feet.”