Happy Feet Two

  • Review Date: November 18, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Penguin sequel has fun musical numbers, a few mild scares.
  • Review Date: November 18, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids are likely to pick up on the movie's environmental message about the dangers of global warming, as well as the importance of finding your own voice and encouraging your family and friends.

Positive messages

Like the original, the sequel features a strong environmental message and also encourages parents to let their children believe in possibilities and follow their passions. Kids will also learn the importance of helping others and how every individual can make a huge impact.

Positive role models

Mumble and Gloria are kind, encouraging parents who want Eric to live up to his potential. Eric himself is sweet and believes in others, even though he's not confident at first about his own abilities. A mama penguin thinks of obstacles as challenges to overcome, so her daughter is a fearless young penguin. Bill and Will each go on their own journeys of self discovery that eventually lead them both "home."

Violence & scariness

An iceberg traps the penguins in a snow valley that they can't climb out of, and a couple of times the situation looks dire for them. The krill are eaten by whales and other fish, so Will and Bill realize that they're at the bottom of the food chain. A huge elephant seal looks poised to harm Mumble, Eric, and their pals but then falls off a cliff and requires assistance. Two male seals battle for dominance. The predatory skuas try to peck at the penguin chicks.

Sexy stuff

Penguin mates Mumble and Gloria embrace. Ramon is smitten with the beautiful Adelie penguin Carmen and calls out to her "You, me, egg, now!" in a suggestive way. They flirt throughout the movie.

Language

Insults/language like "loser," "idiots," "sucks," and "bottom feeders."

Consumerism

Nothing in the actual movie, but merchandise tie-ins are available in stores.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sequel to 2006's Academy Award-winning animated adventure Happy Feet features many of the same environmental and family lessons for audiences. Global warming's impact on the penguin characters is again addressed; the peril that comes with natural disasters may frighten the youngest of viewers -- as could some scenes with large/menacing elephant seals and predatory skua birds. There are also a few mild innuendos from the penguin voiced by Robin Williams, and some viewers may interpret the relationship between two male krill as having gay undertones, particularly when Bill suggests they start a swarm of their own. But ultimately this is a tale of family, friendship, and what it means to find your individual voice -- your own special gift.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In this follow-up to 2006's Happy Feet, Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) and Gloria (now Pink, since Brittany Murphy died in 2009) are the parents to penguin chick Eric (Ava Acres), who can neither find his "happy" dancing feet nor his singing voice -- a rite of passage for all penguins. After Ramon (Robin Williams) decides to leave the Emperor penguins and return to Adelie land, Eric and two young friends follow, so Mumble must go retrieve the young 'uns. Meanwhile, a melting iceberg hits the Emperor penguins' natural habitat and traps them in a snowy valley they can't climb out of -- leaving Mumble the only adult to brainstorm a rescue. Mumble enlists the Adelies -- who have a mysterious flying penguin visitor named Sven (Hank Azaria) -- to come catch fish for the stranded Emperors. And just when it seems like all might be lost, help could come in a very unexpected form.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Animation wise, HAPPY FEET TWO is a stunning achievement. The underwater sequences and the iceberg disaster are particularly impressive, but all of the animation is top notch. Director George Miller has also mastered the art of the elaborately choreographed animated musical number: The sequel seems to feature even more show-stopper performances (usually led by Pink) that the original, each of which was planned by a team of famous choreographers, including tap dancer Savion Glover (who's responsible for all of Mumble's moves thanks to motion-capture technology). 

Story wise, however, the movie is a bit cluttered with extra characters. Although it's a hoot to hear Brad Pitt and Matt Damon voice Will and Bill the krills -- who are separated from their swarm and wind up having existential crises about their purpose in the world -- there are just too many secondary characters detracting from the central storyline between Mumble and Eric. In particular, the flirtatious banter between Ramon and Carmen (Sofia Vergara) is forced and forgettable, and the audience doesn't have a chance to fully connect with Eric's young pals. Overall, the musical numbers and the 3-D animation are fantastic, but the actual story isn't as cohesive as the original's coming-of-age tale.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about independence and environmental awareness. How do Will the Krill and little Eric struggle with the same sort of issues? How do they each achieve their goal of uniqueness?

  • Why do some people think that everyone should conform and "fit in"? Has there ever been a time when you didn't feel like you fit in? How did that make you feel?

  • How does the sequel compare to the original? What are some similarities between Mumble's journey and Eric's? Which movie do you prefer?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 18, 2011
DVD release date:March 13, 2012
Cast:Elijah Wood, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams
Director:George Miller
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Arts and dance, Music and sing-along, Ocean creatures, Wild animals
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some rude humor and mild peril

This review of Happy Feet Two was written by

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.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

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

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Adult Written byDr3w November 18, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

"Fluffed Up"

Just wanted to protest the film-maker's decision to insert a completely unnecessary homosexual character into a children's animated film. Bill apparently harbors a same-sex affection for his best friend, Will. After leaving the millions-strong swarm, Bill, who the Boston Phoenix calls a "latently gay krill," talks about his longing for children. Then he suggests that he and Will could "start a little swarm of our own." Will immediately counters, "We're both males!" Bill then suggests adopting. As the conversation continues, Bill pleads for Will to "have me as a partner. I'm a heck of a wingman!" Cue Bill singing Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." Will eventually tells Bill that he can stay with him. "But no hanky panky," he warns. The arrangement doesn't last long. When the pair is startled by something, Bill jumps on Will's back. Will says it's time for them to part ways. I'll probably be considered a homophobic religious wack job for this, but I really don't want my kids being exposed to this kind of nonsense. It makes them laugh at something that isn't funny. Plus, too much adult humor. Characters use "fluff" as a substitute curse word and some innuendo makes it into the dialogue. Bottom line: Skip this mediocre flick and watch a Pixar movie over again instead.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 9, 10, 14, and 14 year old Written bynew guy02 November 18, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

note to parents

i would just like to remind parents of smaller children before going to the theater this weekend that this movie is rated pg and some content may not be sutible for all ages ps. i have heard some qustionable coments made alredy in the trailer if that info helps you decide.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written bySnappy Mom November 18, 2011
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

HAPPY FEET IS SWEET BUT WATCH OUT FOR SYLVESTER AND TWEETY

I took my 3 year old daughter to see her first movie today. There's really nothing else in the theatre besides Happy Feet Two so that's what we chose. I really wanted to bring her to a movie rather than watching a DVD at home so she could have the overall experience of going to the movies. Having worked in the film business and being a great lover of movies, it really warmed my heart to share one of my very favorite pastimes with her. That said, I felt the quality of the film was lacking. She did not find it scary - thank goodness. I distracted her a bit during the scene with the predatory skua birds, though that may not have been necessary. She enjoyed the music, the dancing penguins and the brightness of the characters. However sweet the film was, I was disappointed by the dumbed-down dialoge and character development. This movie just doesn't value the intelligence of children. While I understand that a movie might not play to adults, this film felt stripped of narrative and character even for little ones. All children are astute and perceptive. They are sensitive and don't need emotions whittled down to nothing. The characters in this film barely emote. This is particularly a problem for the main character of Erik, a baby penguin who little ones would identify with the most. All of his emotional responses to what is going on around him feel watered down. The animation doesn't register the fear, disappointment, courage, and love this little fuzzy penguin is feeling. I only know he felt those emotions because the (badly written) dialogue told me so. Children are so sensitive and aware of the emotions around them, even if they don't understand them all. If the characters were more expressive, we would have had more to talk about after the film. But on another note, and to be fair, I thought the Bill and Will storyline was thoughtful for older children. Now for my biggest concern - PARENTS BE FOREWARNED - the antiquated violence of the Looney Tunes short that proceeds Happy Feet Two. It's a Sylvester/Tweety Bird cartoon in the classic style where Sylvester tries to capture and kill Tweety at all cost. And by "classic style" I mean there are lots of antics like slamming windows on fingers, chasing with a baseball bat, being thrown out a window, etc. I was surprised and dumbfounded with how to explain this to my daughter. Perhaps if I had done more research I would have known this short film was playing before the feature film and could have arrived later. Even though I grew up on Tom and Jerry and turned out fine, I would never want my daughter watching it and certainly not at this age. But back to Happy Feet Two. I thought it was a sweet film, just not the smartest, most elevated version of children's fare. My daughter said she liked every part of the movie, that none of it scared her and that she wanted to go to the movies again tomorrow.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing

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