Happy Feet Two

Directed By: George Miller

Starring: Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Pink, Sofia Vergara, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Hugo Weaving, Anthony LaPaglia, Hank Azaria, Johnny A. Sanchez, Lombardo Boyar, Carlos Alazraqui, Michael Cornachia, Danny Mann, Meibh Campbell, Lil P-Nut, and Mark Klastorin

There is one theory about movies that almost never fails.  Sequels cannot outdo original films.  There are a few rare exceptions to this like The Empire Strikes Back, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and arguably The Godfather: Part Two.  However, 99.9% of the time, the theory holds true and it certainly does so with Happy Feet Two.  When the first Happy Feet film came out five years ago, it was a really novel concept.  Everybody loved the idea of penguins jamming to some classic tunes  like Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" and Prince's "Kiss".  This time around, George Miller's penguins were part of Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation".  Sadly though, Happy Feet Two is like the break dancer at a party that still thinks he's hot stuff even though the 80s are long gone.

Erik (Ava Acres), Mumble's (Elijah Wood) son, struggles like his father to find his place in the world of penguins.  Unsure if he has any talents or gifts at all, he finds himself at odds with his family, friends, and everyone else in the Emperor Penguin colony.  He clashes frequently with his father Mumble and even runs away from the colony.  Meanwhile, the colony faces serious troubles when an iceberg entraps everyone.  The only solution to this grave problem is uniting nations with the Adele Penguins led by the Finnish penguin Sven (Hank Azaria) in a collective effort to save the colony.

Though Happy Feet Two is a small reminder of Brittany Murphy's tragic and untimely passing two years ago, the casting of Pink in Murphy's former role as Gloria was a brilliant move.  She made the musical numbers for the film quite enjoyable.  Pink has the vocal chops to make people actually want to move to the groove during the film.  She should actually think about re-recording classic tunes like "Ain't Nobody" and "Rhythm Nation" and making them her own because they suit her voice very well.

The downside to Happy Feet Two is the fact that it offers more of the same.  There's nothing extraordinary about the film.  It's a sequel that doesn't break any new boundaries or do anything innovative.  Certainly, there's good music and a few good laughs, but more is expected from a movie with such an innovative and refreshing predecessor.  All the voice actors deliver decent performances but nothing more than that.  That's simply not enough.

Happy Feet Two is a decent film.  For an animated movie, that's tantamount to saying that it absolutely sucks because there are so many good animated flicks.  In the last few years alone, we've had great ones like Up, Wall-E, and Toy Story 3.  Even with an all-star cast including Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Robin Williams, that's just the luck of the draw.  Happy Feet Two gets a 0.06% rating.  Have a couple of glasses of Chardonnay with this one.