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From The Director of ROAD WARRIOR Comes HAPPY FEET!! Yellowguy Says It‘s Plain Ol' Great!! Penguin Rockage Continues!!

Merrick here...
Yellowguy sent in this look at HAPPY FEET – the film to which George Miller defaulted after complications with logistics and financing thwarted MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. You know…because the natural fall back for balls-to-the-wall, NOS injected, post-apocalyptic carnage is…cute penguins. In all seriousness, Miller’s great with this kind of material (the BABE movies – particularly the subversively dark PIG IN THE CITY). And penguins? Well, even though that penguin house at Sea World smelled like a granny’s unwashed crotch (not that I’d know), I walked away from MARCH OF THE PENGUINS feeling these little fellows have more chutzpah and more integrity than many humans I know. See? I’m anthropomorphizing them already…thus providing a natural segue into Yellowguy’s review…
What up, ppls? First time reviewer, so please be gentle, kind Talkbackers. Earlier, I attended a screening of Happy Feet at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences w/ my girlfriend, who was VERY excited to be seeing the movie. She kinda has a thing for penguins. It worries me.... Anyhoo, the theater was packed with mostly adults, so I didn't feel so silly being there. After a few minutes, the lights were dimmed and the showed the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix trailer, which kicks ass, BTW. Lots of ppl applauded the trailer, including me. Sorry, I just had to mention that. Soon after, the movie began and I braced myself for another animated waste of time... But, doods, it was a great movie. Seriously. I really liked it. I think it's on par with Monster House. Happy Feet is definitely worth watching. If your thinking about seeing this flick, read no more. It's best if you don't know about the plot, as I was pleasantly surprised. Moving along... Mumble(Elijah Wood) is born without the ability to sing, which really sucks for him cause all of the Emperor penguins need to know their "Heart song" in order to find a mate. What he can do is dance, he hatched dancing, literally. Which brings shame to his pops, Memphis(Hugh Jackman), who thinks it might be his fault his son is "special." Of course, his mother, Norma Jean(Nicole Kidman), loves him anyway, and hopes that school will help him learn to sing. But he doesn't ever learn, as much as he tries. The other chicks tease him, except for Gloria(Brittany Murphy), who defends him but seems embarrassed by his antics as well. Graduation day comes and Mumble watches all of his peers march off to their very first trip to the ocean. Although he did not graduate, he decide to tag along. And it is here that his journey really begins. And what a cool journey it is. There are some really sweet scenes in the movie, like when Mumble and the Amigos fall off the ice, and go into this really long slide down the side of the ice. It funny, fast and kinda suspenseful. It ends with them splashing down into the ocean, when suddenly this huge machine come crashing down with them out of the ice. When you see the machine, it genuinely surprises you, cause you just spent the last 40 minutes only looking at ice and penguins. It's one of a few cool, little twists that made me like the movie. Also, when Mumble, Lovelace, and the Amigos trek though the blizzard, with the sun behind them, very cool little scene. For those of you wondering whether your going to see "Turtle Butt," fret not. The movie takes itself seriously, and is funny without all of those stupid puns and tongue-in-cheek jokes. Bleh. Happy Feet is in it's own little world, thankfully. The plot is pretty well rounded, and by the time the movie ends, you'll really feel like Mumble went on this epic journey. Really! Don't give me that look! I guess it's kind of like the Lion King, where the kid goes off on his own, only to come back to show his worth. The voice acting is pretty damn good, too. I really hate when I go see a new animated movie, cause I always end up sitting there trying to figure out who is doing what voice. Not so much here. Everyone does a good job. Robin Williams is really funny as Ramon, part of the Amigos. I think it is his best voice work, cause now he actually acting, instead of ranting like a maniac. Hell, I didn't even know Hugo Weaving was in the movie until I saw him in the credits. I guess I liked the fact that the voice actors didn't get in the way of their characters, it makes them more believable. All in all, the movie is just plain ol' great, man. The plot is there. The laughs are there. And it has heart. Its theme of individuality and its view on how tradition rejects change is relevant, and kinda caught me off guard. It's fun and you won't regret seeing it, I promise. After the movie ended, they held a Q & A, which I didn't stay for cause I had to go to work, which sucks. Well, until next time. If you use this, call me Yellowguy. THANKS!!!!
The Penguins take on James Bond November 17.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 7, 2006, 10:55 a.m. CST

    babe 2 was great

    by reckni

    Miller rules, I'll go see this.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 10:55 a.m. CST

    First! Can't wait!

    by Stollentroll

    Penguins rule.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 10:59 a.m. CST

    My fiance...

    by Jaffa8

    really wants to see this movie. Should be good. THIRD???

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Forty fifth!!!

    by nemesisdarkside

    or maybe forty-sixth?

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 10:59 a.m. CST

    I so want to see this!!!!

    by Gilkuliehe

    Three words for the naysayers: George Fucking Miller. And no, NEVERENDING STORY II was done by another guy, you idiots.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see the new Harry Potter trailer

    by Bean_

    Hopefully it shows up on the internet on the same day.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 11:11 a.m. CST

    The trailer does not do this movie any favors.

    by rbatty024

    I'm curious because I thought Babe 2 was given the short end of the stick, but the preview does not give you much to anticipate except for dancing and singing Penguins, which is not exactly my cup of tea.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Well, you don't see that every week.

    by Catnip_Thieves

    Cute CGI critter movies, that is. What a treat!

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Penguins have but only two purposes in life

    by georges garvaren

    One, is to make baby penguins, and the other is to be cute. I think this movie just might be for children and not geeks. Dopes, I’m sure are more then welcome, so some of us had better go get in line now.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Anyone catch "March of the Penguin" on...

    by Childe Roland

    ...Robot Chicken a while back? Pretty freaking hilarious. After that, I may just have my quota of penguin-related humor for the next couople of years. Sorry, George. Now get on Fury Road, pronto.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 11:52 a.m. CST


    by jimmy_009

    Here's an idea, let's make an animated movie where all the characters look alike! Audiences will love trying to figure out who's who. And then we can make a bunch of penguins dance around and not give any hint of what the story's about in the trailer, if there even is one. And can we get Robin Williams to do one of his 4 character's that he's been running into the ground for two decades? We can! Anyhoo, anyone that's seen this trailer knows that the movie is garbage. This guy couldn't sound more like an ad guy trying to sound in with geekboys if he tried. "But, doods, it was a great movie." "and by the time the movie ends, you'll really feel like Mumble went on this epic journey." "I think it is his best voice work, cause now he actually acting, instead of ranting like a maniac." Um... appearently, when they show him ranting like maniac in the trailer, he's actually not. So disregard that.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Jimmy 009

    by Gilkuliehe

    Say whatever you want. These three words still win the argument: George Fucking Miller. Thank you and don't give up, I'm here all week.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 12:19 p.m. CST


    by jimmy_009

    Uh, right. Because George Miller is a titan among movie directors, right? He produced Babe right? The most overrated movie of the 90's. They might as well have called it Charlotte's Web 2. Witches of Eastwick. Next. Lorenzo's Oil. Next. Aside from the Mad Max movies he's only done average to good movies. Nothing great. Certainly nothing to warrant "George Fucking Miller" as a valid counterpoint to the abortion that is the Happy Feet trailer.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 12:33 p.m. CST


    by cyberskunk

    Was that a Disgaea allusion to the penguin-like prinnies who keep saying that?

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 12:36 p.m. CST


    by TheyCallHimFlane

    I still think the best penguin-related film is Exploding Penguins 3: Total Annihilation (from the makers of Exploding Penguins and Exploding Penguins 2: The Sequel)

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 12:35 p.m. CST


    by Gilkuliehe

    Hum... let's see. The most overrated movie of the 90's is BRAVEHEART. That is common lore. You pass on WITCHES and LORENZO'S and don't acknowledge the brilliance of BABE 2 or the fourth segment of TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE? I'm sorry to say this since you're one of God's creatures and all, but you're an idiot and you should cease to exist. And in case you forgot: George Fucking Miller. (I win)

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Penguins are responsible for all the wars in the world.

    by Det. John Kimble

    Two men enter, one man leaves.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST


    by Kentucky Colonel

    Remember, kiddos, that BABE was nominated for best picture. I still get all goose-bumpy when I watch it and still get that damned lump in my throat when Farmer Hogget says "That'll do, Pig" at the end. I have got to be the world's biggest pussy, but so what?

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST

    I smell bacon

    by georges garvaren

    Fry the Pig! Benji is the greatest animal to come across the screen ever. That dog spoke French and could undo handcuffs while being suspended upside-down in a tank of ginger ale. Fucking incredible, people.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Screw the penguins...

    by critch

    Tell us more about the Harry Potter V trailer!

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 1:30 p.m. CST


    by jimmy_009

    Wow you've got some serious issues to sort through. If you think sitting through an hour and half of this crap makes you 'win', by all means. I know how being right vs. some guy on the internet is important, so I don't want to take that away from you. Witches of Eastwick, Babe 2, and Lorenzo's Oil are the finest pieces of cinema any man has ever created, and no doubt 'Happy Feet' (could there be a more spine tingling title?) will only add to the director's pantheon of glory. Happy?

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 1:31 p.m. CST


    by El Scorcho

    Sometimes it's just too easy to tell.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Actually Witches of Eastwick...

    by Childe Roland pretty darned good. Never saw Babe all the way through, so I can't really comment on that, but all of the Mad Max films leave me a very happy cinematic camper. Even Thunderdome. So George can keep the "Fucking" as his middle name, regardless of whatever penguin movie he makes that I won't see, just so long as I know Fury Road is coming.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 2:32 p.m. CST

    hopefully it's better than Farce of the Pengiuns....

    by Jarek

    .....had to shut that one off after 10 minutes. All that comedic talent gone to waste on what was shaping up to be the most puerile and inane script ever.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST


    by caltsoudas


  • Nov. 7, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Yellowguy, if you're out

    by caltsoudas

    Yellowguy, if you're out there.... please tell us everything it showed.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Fuck Robin Williams

    by arrangedletters

    Seriously his shit was old in Aladdin. The only way I will ever see this movie is if it comes with a foreign language track on DVD

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Mel needs to do Fury Road

    by Neo Zeed

    to restore his popularity

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Babe 2 is a great film

    by Bazka Berzerker

    People tore that film a new asshole back in the day mainly for one reason: It was too dark and violent for kids. And yeah, it was, at least for kids under 6 years. But I saw it as an adult and fucking loved it. Great story, great characters, great execution, great bold messages for anyone who is old enough to take the darkness and violence. It's one of the best kiddie movies ever, althought I think it suits better kids on the 7-10 year old group, as opposed to younger ones. But if you simply ignore it's a kiddie film and watch it as a dark fairy tale for adults, it works on all levels. I think it's a masterpiece, and I would recommend it to anyone who just wants to a see a great film and doesn't pigeonhole movies because of their genre.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 9:40 p.m. CST


    by caltsoudas

    Please post in here and tell us what they showed in the Harry Potter 5 trailer... something... anything... and if you can't post publically at least email ME and tell me...

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 10:30 p.m. CST

    "The Babe movies"

    by Doc_McCoy

    Too bad the good BABE movie isn't the one that Miller directed.

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 10:32 p.m. CST

    And next summer...Surf's Up!

    by Osmosis Jones

    Yeah, now we need duelling CGI penguin movies to go with the duelling CGI insect movies and duelling CGI rat movies and duelling animated Incan movies, and...

  • Nov. 7, 2006, 11:01 p.m. CST

    'Babe 2 is a great film'

    by half vader

    Maybe people were also harsh because just like beyond Thunderdome you had a lead character who was previously the protagonist and them turned them into a recipient where things happened to them rather than because of them (which more in Babe's situation was character regression). Been a while since I saw it but that was the overwhelming reaction I had. ___________________As for Doc_McCoy, the general consensus is that Miller ostensibly directed that one too. I guess it's a bit of a Poltergeist situation. ___________________Jimmy_009 - "where all the characters look alike". Boy it would be embarrassing to realise how completely you missed the point, if you were remotely self aware in the first place. "Lorenzo's oil - next." WhatEVER, dude. I don't think you even saw it. You're probably too young, or at least I hope so.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Half Vader - About Babe 2

    by Bazka Berzerker

    I have to disagree strongly. Babe 1 was a movie about Babe liberating himself. Babe 2 is about Babe liberating an entire tribe of animals. The animals are without hope, Babe gives them hope. He becomes their leader and leads them to a better life. Babe 1 one was about how Babe became what he is. In the sequel he is a Messiah character who guides others – Parallels to Jesus are obvious. It should be noted that I’m not a Christian, but I value many teaching of Jesus, and this is a very Christian movie thematically. Anyway, Babe is the reason and protagonist for everything that happens – Without him the animals of the city would be doomed the a life without hope. In the end Babe 2 is a movie about hope, and about compassion. One of the most poignant and tear-jerking scenes I have ever seen in film is the much maligned Pitbull-dying-on-a-bridge scene. The Pitbull is at first painted as a one-dimensional villain, as an evil killer, in a typical kiddie movie fashion. But when he is about to die, and all the animals are letting him die, Babe risks his own life, runs to the dog and saves him – A dog which just a moment ago was trying to kill Babe - in an act of extreme love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness. And this first experience of compassion the pitbull has ever experienced in his life makes the dog understand that he is in fact not a killer at heart – It was just something humans made him to be. He was trained to be a killer to and extent that he himself believed it, along with everyone else. This is remarkable powerful and poignant filmmaking. Another outstanding, tear-jerking, this time very spiritual scene, is the one in which the crippled dog is hit by the car and he momentarily dies, and we see him in the in the dog afterlife joyously chasing butterflies, no longer crippled. Words can’t describe the poetic beauty of that scene, and the glimmer of hope it offers in the darkest of moments. Like I said I’m not religious myself, I’m an agnostic, and I don’t really believe much in heaven. But the way I saw it, heaven was a symbol for hope. And Babe 2 is a movie about hope, even in the lives of the most desperate and sad souls. Like when the dog on the back ally talks about committing a suicide. Or when the children of the chimpanzee are taken away from her. Or when the little dog tells how as a puppy he was closed into a sack and thrown into the river. And like Ferdinand The Duck says: "What can you possibly do? What can anyone do? Why even try?". But the story shows through Babe that the triumph of (human) spirit can overcome even the darkest moments, when you live by the principles of truth, love and compassion, and never give up the hope. What an awesome movie this is.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 1:43 a.m. CST

    It's my first review...

    by Yellowguy21

    ..., give me a break, fools. I'm honored to be already given the title of Plant. Thanx fellas! Anyhoo, yes, Dood is a reference to Disgaea. The penguins love saying it. Though I could never figure out why they ended up in hell... I figured I'd be called a plant, cause I couldn't really figure out what to say, so ended up sounding like a chump. That's okay. I'm not that hurt. Besides, I wrote the dang thing @ like 2am while at work. Well, about the Potter trailer, I'm gonna start writing something up and I'll send it to Merrick to post. I will say this: D.A. FLYING THROUGH LONDON ON BROOMSTICKS. Yup, no threstals. Bummer.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 1:44 a.m. CST


    by Yellowguy21

    I really do sound like as ass.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Hey Bazka

    by half vader

    Like I said it's been a while since I saw it (when it first came out) but I remember later in the film where Babe sort of took a backseat to Magda Szubanski flying around in a clown suit or something and I felt like Babe was no longer driving the thing. Remember I did qualify my initial comments with maybe, indicating it was a subjective opinion. I might actually have another look. I will say though that people like Jimmy are morons with their "all the penguins looking the same " and "Babe is the most overrated movie of the 90s" posturing. If only someone had shown George Lucas and Rick McCallum Babe 1 they might have known how to make Episode 1 accessable to kids without 'dumbing it down' and how to make things simple without being simplistic. I'm happy you disagree about Babe 2 though, don't get me wrong. You did it by pointing out why it was good rather than attacking or dumping on something else. More class than me!

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Babe and Penguins

    by Abhimanyu

    Interesting to see all the Babe comments - a friend of mine had commented when Babe 2 came out: "Time will be far kinder than critics today". I really saw Babe 1 and 2 like Alien and Aliens - both great movies working in different genres almost (though that's tough to say with talking pig movies)with very different execution(s?). In any case, I happen to be one of those people who really enjoyed Babe - there was something perfectly done that defied the limitations of that kind of(aforementioned talking pig)movie. As for the inanne Charlotte's Web comments - the farty, soapy trailer for the CW movie makes me think that Babe wins hands down already. Even as a "sequel" to a "book" - sorry, I have no idea what that talkbacker was trying to say. Since I have only seen the TRAILER for Happy Feet I can only say that I was not excited about that - a bunch of penguins dancing, Robin Williams mugging, singing....blah. But it might be good. I'll register the opinion of a movie given by someone who has seen it. L.A Confidential had a crappy trailer from what I remember...

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 5:57 a.m. CST

    The trailers and tv spots

    by Yellowguy21

    suck for Happy Feet. It makes it look like any other kids movie these days. But, it just has more to it. The depth of the story (yes, it has some meat to it, like the Lion King) surprised me the most. So, if anything, going into the movie not knowing what to expect, except for a bunch of dancing, kinda helps Happy Feet. You'll see. The director deffinitely knew what he was doing. As for HP OOTP, I already sent a synopsis to Merrick. Get cracking!!

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 8:10 a.m. CST

    As for the Thestrals

    by caltsoudas

    Sources have in fact confirmed that the kids do take the thestrals to London so maybe you just saw quick glimpses of the advance guard instead. But wow, that's so cool. I wanna see how they did that. They've never really focused on London that much in the movies so far.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 8:32 a.m. CST


    by lionbiu

    why don't you just send the synopsis of the OOTP trailer to a HP fansite or post it on here in the talkback?

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 8:39 a.m. CST

    i don't normally cry "plant"...

    by es4

    but I've had trouble with this movie and plants in other forums (lookin at you, IMDB). no one's ever really given any legit reasoning so far as to why this movie's good. are you a plant? i dunno, if you are I thank you for not saying stupid crap like "me and my family downloaded the trailer just so we can dance to it! it's soooooo good!", if not, I'd like to hear some better logic as to what makes this movie so damn enjoyable.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 9:24 a.m. CST


    by lionbiu

    I am glad some people out there like Babe 2, it was far more darker and (just like Batman Returns) suffered for's a great children's movie that never get's its kudos

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 9:32 a.m. CST

    prinnes in hell

    by cyberskunk

    The penguin-like prinnies were 'bad' souls in a transitory state. When they leave the netherworld because they've paid their dues, they shed the appearance like a mascot costume.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Yellowguy was kind enough to write a synospis for me...

    by Bean_

    Sorry for site whoring but you can see it at

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Like the animated Rudolph?

    by Moa Kaka

    Where the cute animated baby Rudolph is made fun of by the other kids. And embarasses his father in front of Santa. Only the cute girl reindeer "Clarice" stands up for him. But he runs away anyway to not shame his family. Only to find inner strangth and come back during the snow storm to prove his worth to Santa. And saves the day and wins the girl. Kinda sounds like that.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Telegram for Mongo!

    by Pipple

    I just felt like saying that. Some penguin movie thing review, eh? Ok... whatever.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 3:45 p.m. CST


    by Flux_brown

    you're handle sounds...oddly enough...indonesian. <p>anyhoo, george miller is a great director....babe is one of my most favorite movies...i remember a tear falling down my cheek (and it still does) during that scene at the very end of the sheep dog competition, when the crowd suddenly erupted in cheers and applause after several moments of an akward silence...pure magic. when i heard that miller was making a cgi movie...i was excited. hopefully i'll be lucky enough to feel the same way as yellowguy did...

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 3:58 p.m. CST

    It was a "Candygram" for Mongo.

    by ripper t. jones

    Just felt like correcting ya.

  • Nov. 8, 2006, 8:11 p.m. CST

    On being a plant

    by Yellowguy21

    Well, I gues it doesn't really matter, but I'm not a plant. The flick just took me by surprise, that's all. I guess I suck at writng reviews. I'm sure fans of George Miller will enjoy it as much as I did. It is a little strange how he kind of just throws you into the movie without explaining why the penguins are all singing. But the way you find things out eventually, and how the penguins "seem" to be in their own world, it's just cool. Anyway, I'm ranting. Go to for the OOTP synopsis.

  • Nov. 9, 2006, 3:05 a.m. CST


    by Abhimanyu

    Flux_Brown - close, it's Indian (dots, not feathers). Did Miller direct Babe? I thought it was someone called Noonan. I could IMDB it, but where's the fun in that? I really can't get over how crappy the Charlotte's Web trailer is. Babe was great, Babe 2 was also great. And I've said it before and I'll say it again - the best animal movie is Ballard's The Black Stallion. Hands down.

  • Nov. 9, 2006, 3:50 a.m. CST

    Yeah like Rudolph, & Flik, & Skellington, & Nacho, &

    by half vader

    Kimba/Simba, Kong & Ann, & Mulder & Sculley (eventually), Neo and Morpheus, & Frodo & Sam (Sam and Morpheus count as "the girl" really), & Woody & Slinky dog, The Fly, Dumbo, American Werewolf, Iron Giant/E.T., Robots & a heap of other 'misfit undertakes the hero's journey when only his girl/friend understands' examples I can't even recall. Just a variation on the hero quest thingie. Been done a million times, and it'll be done a million more. Just as long as it's done well, I guess. Don't just narrow it down to Rudolph. I haven't watched those Rankin Bass things for aeons but I think even they repeated the same exact template with the hero whose girl turns on the bad guys/popular opinion even though she's one of them storyline. Can't remember which for the life of me though. Some Halloween monster type thing? Anyway the point was not to be nasty - I was just trying to have some fun thinking of the other versions of this tried and true template while having fun and not being quite so literal-minded. No offence taken I hope. I'm sure you were being facetious.

  • Nov. 9, 2006, 5:51 a.m. CST

    Chris Noonan, Abhimanyu

    by half vader

    Babe was his last film, and there are many arguments about how much of the film he actually directed. Guess we'll never know, just like Poltergeist. Not like Nightmare Before Christmas though. At least people who want to know realise how much Selick did and that trading on Burton's name was a canny marketing more, however unfair.