Happy Feet is an upbeat adventurous musical journey on screen of the cutest blue-eyed Emperor Penguin known as Mumble. Directed by three time Academy Award nominee, the Australian George Miller, and distinguished by the great cast of voices, the movie is engaging from the start with beautifully choreographed dances and diverse musical numbers.
Mumble (Elijah Wood) is driven by an internal rhythm, tap dancing like no penguin ever did. But, in deep Antarctica's Emperor Penguin nation, it is singing one's "Heart Song" that marks one's individuality and ability in finding true love. Not belonging, Mumble leaves his parents, Norma Jean (Nicole Kidman) and Memphis (Hugh Jackman), and his community.
While wandering the wilds of Antarctica, Mumble meets the cheerful and united Adelie Amigos; five Latino penguin brothers led by Ramon (Robin Williams), and include Nestor (Carlos Alazraqui), Raul (Lombardo Boyar), Rinaldo (Jeff Garcia), and Lombardo (Johnny Sanchez III). With friendship and support the Adelie brothers accept Mumble as one of their own and are determined to help Mumble sing 'to impress' his best friend Gloria (Brittany Murphy).
Robin Williams is electrifying in his double voice characterizations. As the voice of the exciting and charismatic Ramon he woos the ladies with his flirtatious ways, and marvelously sings in Spanish giving out his heart and soul. Williams is also the voice of the eccentric Lovelace, the Guru of Adelie Land who bestows wisdom for the price of a pebble.
Differentiating the characters are the unique voices and songs, including Latin, pop, gospel, and rock. Dance sequences of riverdancing, flamenco and tango are included.
This CGI animation pushes Happy Feet to its technological limit with motion capture technology. The complex environment displayed is digitally based on photo-real location references. The feature places great attention to detail such as footprints in the snow when the penguins are walking and kicking up powder while dancing. Long shot and close-up camera movements, as well as the realistic looking snow, help give a more movie like feel to this animation feature.
In the second half, a more serious tone addresses a message on wildlife and environmental protection. The diminishing fish resources are threatening the survival of the penguins, and Mumble becomes instrumental in finding a resolution.
Happy Feet communicates the important message that everyone is gifted in some way; and even if one is different from others, success and greatness can still be achieved.