Happy Feet DS

Common Sense Media says

Mumble taps his little webbed feet in DS game.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Mumble sticks up for what he believes, and eventually saves the penguin colony.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Based on the Happy Feet movie license.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is nothing offensive in this game. It tracks the storyline of the popular animated movie and stresses the importance of individuality. While this title is fun, parents should know that it only includes two types of games, dancing, and racing downhill on a penguin's belly. In all versions kids control Mumble, but the Nintendo DS version being reviewed here offers the most innovative dance mechanics.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

In the video game HAPPY FEET, kids control Mumble, the emperor penguin star of the Happy Feet movie, and relive the story -- but the Nintendo DS version offers the most innovative dance mechanics, so we are reviewing that version. Unlike his fellow penguins who have a "heart song" to woo a mate, Mumble can't sing; instead, he expresses himself through his tapping "happy feet." The elders of his colony can't accept that, and conclude that his dancing is responsible for their dwindling fish supply. Mumble leaves on a quest to find out what is destroying the food supply.

The 23 missions take two formats: dancing or belly-sliding. In dancing missions, kids help Mumble tap dance by hitting colored dots that appear on the lower touch-sensitive screen, corresponding to the beat of a funky song. As Mumble belly-slides down mountains of snow and ice, the player controls his navigation with the stylus or by using the multi-directional keypad.

Is it any good?


The 23 missions are engaging and fun if you like downhill racing and rhythm challenges. The dancing missions are particularly appealing, and use similar timing mechanics as those found in the highly rated Elite Beat Agents. All the missions can be replayed for a better score, or played with a friend in multi-player mode if both own a copy of the game. If racing and rhythm aren't your child's passion or you're looking for a more comprehensive game, rent or pass on this one.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about which type of game they prefer -- the dancing or the belly-sliding? Why? Did you mind that there were only two types of games? They might also want to discuss whether it is more important to be an individual or to conform to the opinion of a group. How do you think Mumble felt when he was asked to leave the colony because he danced? Were the elders being fair?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Available online?Not available online
Release date:November 14, 2006
Genre:Music and Dance
ESRB rating:E for (Nintendo DS)

This review of Happy Feet DS was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byKazuo Kiriyama April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Teen, 15 years old Written bybella marie swa... February 17, 2011

Perfect for everybody

i love it so do my kids
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

I Laughed



Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools