If you were planning on taking your child to see Happy Feet - the movie about the penguin who dances - DON'T DO IT!
There was a lovely animated preview that made it look like a movie about a cute little penguin.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
First off, the violence is unreal for a PG-rated movie. There were moments when my daughter crawled into my lap, terrified. I looked around the packed theater, and saw other kids burying their faces in their parents laps, with the parents looking just as horrified as I felt. Kids were crying, people were walking out. Where do I start? First off, the "bad guy" seal has blood-red eyes and bloody teeth. In another scene, large ferocious looking birds try to kill the cute little penguin who is trembling in a hole in the ice, after pleading for his life. Toward the end, the little penguin wakes up in a glass zoo, and it's like a nightmare he can't get out of. The movie is terrifying, depressing, and despairing, all things I try to shield my daughter from.
Then the sexual overtones and the racial stereotypes were unreal. They were all penguins, but you could tell who was the short, horny Mexicans and who were the fat, horny black guys. The female penguins had chests. The penguins were singing songs about making love, "let's talk about sex baby, about you and me" and "I want your body."
And the story line? What story line? From an adult perspective, there was clearly a message here about right-wing religious fanatics not accepting gays. (The respected "elder" of the penguin pack pledges, and I quote, "devout following of tradition" by NOT accepting this "different" dancing penguin....hmmm.....) There is even a scene of black and white closeups of politicians screaming at each other about whether to stop fishing in Antartica - do we save the penguins or not? As a liberal person, I'm all for these statements ... just not in my daughter's entertainment.
Our daughter was really upset. I felt bad, but how were we to know? I had read the reviews, mostly goood! But looking back and reading those reviews again, the adults writing the reviews were more praising the LOOK of the movie (it is visually stunning) and the MESSAGES about global pollution ... all good stuff .... for ADULTS.
This isn't a child's movie. This movie was really over-the-top and not in a good way.
If your kids are dying to see this movie, find a way to put it off until its on DVD and you can screen it. Even better, take them to go see that other animated movie, Flushed Away. I know it's about toilet humor, but it's probably more tasteful than Happy Feet!!!