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Massawyrm Cuts Off George Miller's HAPPY FEET And Tries To Feed Them To Him!!

Hola all. Massawyrm here. Oh God, I don’t even know where to start. Really, I don’t. I don’t want to review this. I don’t want to deal with it. I mean, I do. I can’t stop thinking about it and thus I have to put something down on paper in hopes of excising it from my skull. But I don’t want to deal with all the bullshit. You see, a while ago I reviewed a little film called “The Ant Bully” and man did that create a shit storm. Right wing blogs linked to it. Talkbackers (who hadn’t even seen it) cried foul and called me McCarthywyrm. I received e-mails, lots of e-mail, going both ways (even from people who made the film.) It was not a pleasant experience. But for those that remember that debacle – especially those with selective memory – I simply thought the film was bizarre and somewhat subversive. But never dangerous. Never offensive. Because those are words I reserve for very special films that really, truly, shatter the barrier of what is appropriate in a kids film. Those are words I reserve for films like Happy Feet. And I don’t want to review it. So let’s just talk. Let’s have a conversation about children’s films and why, just why, a film like Happy Feet is something you need to really consider whether or not to show to your kids. Now before you even get fucking started laying into me for using words like "Dangerous" and "offensive", lets get one thing straight. I KNOW you think it’s a kids film about a penguin who dances in a society that sings. I get that. The trailers have done their job convincing you of this, and the immense cross-promotion advertising a dozen different products and companies has ensured that each and every one of your children absolutely MUST SEE IT this weekend. Or they’ll cry. Warner Bros. is counting on this. All of the cross-promoted products are counting on this. A lot of money and time has gone into selling this as a dancing penguin movie. And yes, half of it is. That part I’m fine with. It gets old really quick and is poorly conceived, but there’s nothing wrong with the 45 or so mindless minutes of singing penguins. It’s the parts they’re not showing you, the other 45 minutes, that disturbs me. In fact, give me a copy of this film and version of Final Cut Pro and I will cut you a two-minute trailer that will make you shit your pants and give your kids nightmares for a week. Because. This. Movie. Is. Fucked. Up. I do not say that lightly. It is fucked right the hell up. Look, I’m sick as shit of the “kids are stupid” argument. People who make that argument either A) Don’t have kids or B) never worked with them. Kids are not stupid. Rather, they’re little sponges that absorb every little piece of information that their rapidly forming brains can get a hold of. When they don’t understand something, they simply make up an explanation. Pure and simple. But kids will watch anything! Especially if it’s animated! Sure they will. We did too. Hell, I remember boring Sunday mornings when I’d watch Hello Kitty in Spanish because it was the only animated show on. I mean, why watch the news when you’ve got Hola Gato! En Espanol? But just because I didn’t speak the language didn’t mean I couldn’t figure out what was going on. And stories have always, first and foremost, been great metaphors. Hell most of the ancient written word we have, and certainly everything of it we’ve been taught, is metaphor. The works of Aesop, the allegories of Plato, even the lessons of Christ, Buddha and Lao-Tsu are all lessons wrapped in simple stories. And these lessons become so steeped in our culture that they become part of our vernacular. You don’t say “Boy that guy is so bitter that he didn’t get what he wanted that he’s bad mouthing it.” You say It’s sour grapes. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Now think back. When was the last time you heard the story of The Fox and the Grapes? Second? Maybe third grade? But it sure left an impression, didn’t it? Well what if I were to tell you that the overall metaphor, that the overall themes of Happy Feet are that of A) there is nothing wrong with individuality, that society can actually benefit from it, B) the ecological devastation unknowingly caused by man on the environment and the need to stop it, C) the evils of keeping animals in captivity, D) it being okay to defy your elders for the sake of “the truth” and, oh yeah, E) The evils of religion. Wait, what? Back up a second. Did I read that right? The…evils…of religion? Okay, here’s the part where you tell me I’m crazy. Here’s the part you think I’m reading too much into a fucking kids movie. Here’s the part where I politely tell you to fuck right the hell off. Because I’ve actually seen it and that is EXACTLY what this movie is about. Happy Feet is a film about the dangers and evils of religion in the face of open-minded liberal thought. Okay, okay. Wait a minute. Let me take that back. I don’t want to say Liberal thought. Because I know a lot of liberals. I have many great friends who are liberal, who hold very well thought out, respectable beliefs. Calling this Liberal is like those people that call Pat Robertson a conservative. Real conservatives cringe at that statement. No, he is an ultra right wing Christian neo conservative who teaches the word of Christ out of one side of his mouth and then calls openly for the public assassination of the democratically elected leader of a sovereign nation out of the other. No. Real conservatives stand as far away from that scary goon as humanly possible. Happy Feet is the Liberal Pat Robertson. Happy feet is liberal like that unwashed hippie wearing the Look to the skies T-shirt that climbs and handcuffs himself to a tree to prevent someone from knocking down a forest on their own land. It’s the kind of liberal Ann Coulter paints every liberal as. That’s closer to the kind of liberal who wrote this half-baked, poorly constructed piece of ultra-hippie, atheist, eco-extremist garbage. Yeah. I fucking said it. Now here’s the thing. I have no qualms about any theme whatsoever in mature films. Art is art. I might think a particular theme is wrong, but I certainly won’t say it doesn’t belong in film. And I don’t object to any of the above themes being introduced to children. If a parent believes that their child should grow up someone free of the constraints of religion, believing that any and all spiritual individuals are dogmatic, controlling fools – then God bless ‘em. That’s America. If that’s what you want to teach your child, you are more than free to do so. And I’ll back up your right to do so 100%. However, and here’s the big however, I do not, do not, DO NOT, agree that it is in any way a good idea to discuss such radical ideas in an animated film and then sell that film simply as a harmless, singing and dancing Penguin extravaganza. It’s like March of the Penguins only animated, right? Go ahead kids, it’s only Kool-Aid. No. No it’s not. Now, if the film was very much presenting itself as what it is, without any form of deception, I wouldn’t have problem one with it. Except that it’s pretty boring. That’s a problem. And if I were to review this film, I would tell you just how mind numbingly boring it is and that after about 10 minutes of old top 40 songs sung by penguins, you’ve pretty much gotten over it. Wow, an animated Moulin Rouge that’s not nearly as entertaining. Wonderful. So let me take a poll. Raise your hand if you know that this film is about a dancing penguin. Okay, all of you. Now keep it raised if you know that said dancing penguin gets kicked out of his community for dancing rather than singing. Okay, slightly less than before. Good, good. Not too many spoilers in the trailer. Now keep your hand raised if you know that said penguin is kicked out of the community by the town elder for Heresy against the Great Penguin in the Sky. Huh? None of you? Really? You didn’t know that they ask him to recant his belief in aliens and his belief that it’s okay to dance despite being against the ways taught to the people by the Great Penguin in the Sky? What? You think I’m making that up? Think again. They never use the word Heresy and I believe the word they used was “Renounce” not “Recant.” But the context is about as plain as day. You see, the penguins are starving. Almost to death. After talking to a predator sea bird that tries to eat him, our hero, Mumble, hears that there are aliens that abduct birds, probe them, then leave bright yellow tags on their legs to remind them of their abduction. Mumble believes every word of it and realizes that this must be what’s happening to all the fish. When the town elder accuses Mumble of being the reason the fish have gone away (because they are obviously being punished by the Great Penguin in the Sky for Mumble’s sacrilegious dancing) Mumble reveals his belief that aliens are taking away all the fish. This causes a hysterical screaming fit in which the town elder demands that Mumble renounce what he has just said or he will be banished, lest the town suffer the wrath of the Great Penguin in the Sky. When his father begs him to renounce what he’s said, Mumble refuses and is banished from Penguin society. Still not making up a single word. So Mumble decides he is going to find the Aliens, ask them to stop taking the fish and prove to all the Penguins back home that their religion is wrong and his beliefs are correct. So he goes to enlist the help of a charlatan mystic with a sacred necklace (a set of plastic 6-pack rings.) The one thing I found clever in this film was this character – a character who spends half the film choking. Named Lovelace. Cute. A porn reference in a kids film. Nice touch. Well hidden and the kids DEFINITELY won’t get it. Hell, most adults won’t. Now, of course since Lovelace can’t get the “necklace” off, Mumble has to take him along to ask the Aliens for help. But don’t worry kids, this is just the tip of the ecological Iceberg. There’s plenty more eco-commentary to be had. But for the sake of speeding along a far too lengthy commentary already, let me just hit the highlights of relative insanity. - Mumble discovers an abandoned fishing town loaded with pollution. - Mumble tries to stop a giant fishing ship from taking thousands of fish and is forcefully removed from the net with a hook. - Mumble chases said ships to tell them to stop - Mumble ends up in sea world where he slowly begins to go crazy and hallucinate in one of the single most disturbing, depressing series of events I’ve seen in a kids film since the bullet to the back of the head in Old Yeller. He loses his mind, his personality and is trapped with a bunch of spaced out, mindless penguins, while he stares blankly at his own reflection. - Mumble begins to dance, catching the attention of all of Sea World. - Mumble appears back home with a homing beacon attached to his back. He begins to frantically tell the people that the aliens are coming and the only way to get them to stop taking the fish is if they all dance together. - A revolution breaks out as the elders scream about heresy against the Great Penguin in the Sky while the youth begin to dance and sing, awaiting the Alien arrival. - The Aliens arrive. The penguins dance. The Aliens film it. - The footage of the dancing penguins goes global, appearing on the news and on the internet. People all delight in watching the penguins dance. That’s when things get really batshit crazy in a bizarre live action black and white montage as evil business proclaims “Why should we stop fishing for some flightless birds at the bottom of the world?” BOOOOOOO! HIIIIIIISSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! and others cry out (at the U.N.) “We must save the Penguins and stop fishing!” Hurray! - We stop fishing and the penguins rejoice as they greedily devour all the fish they can eat in the repopulated seas. YAY! Mumble saved the day! He communicated with the Aliens…by dancing…and got them to…stop fishing? Not over fishing, not pollution harming the fish. Fucking fishing. What the fuck? Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously? I thought this movie was all about Mumble trying to find his place in the world and fall in love with a girl who appreciated his dancing. Ummm…oh yeah. That’s about 10 minutes of the movie and the entirety of the advertisements. Apparently Warners couldn’t squeeze in the part about God not really existing and the aliens and the losing your fucking mind at Sea World. So you thought this was just some film about dancing singing penguins? Suckers. You almost took your kids to an extremist film denouncing religion, obeying your parents and…giggle…fishing. And you know what? I know there’s a whole mess of people out there that can’t wait to see this absolutely bugfuck insane piece of crap now. Because it sounds so crazy it must be seen to be believed. And more power to you. And if you want to take your kids, I fully, 100% support that. You see, I respect anyone who takes the time to educate their children in what they believe the ways of the world are. But this film wasn’t designed, nor advertised, to have parents make that decision for themselves. Because the film plays out like this: Awww, cute. Singing penguins. Awww, cute. Animated March of the penguins sequences. Great Penguin in the Sky? I guess it’s a Lord of the Rings type thing. Awww, cute, baby penguins trying to sing. Awww, cute, dancing misfit. Ooooh, exciting, predator seabirds trying to attack our baby penguin! Oh, no, it’s funny! The seabird was abducted by aliens. That’s us! Aww, more singing. Awww, more dancing. Aww, they don’t appreciate the dancing. Wait, is this religious? What the hell am I watching? Wait a second… …this is propaganda. And you won’t know it until about, oh, twenty, maybe thirty minutes into it. By then it’s too late. The damage is done. The plot has crept up on you and the only solutions are to drag your kids, most likely screaming, out of the theatre – or suffer through every last bit of what I described above. This isn’t irresponsible. That would belie a sense that these folks were haphazard in the construction of this. No, this is deliberate. This has purpose. In fact, the only part of this film that shows any sort of real thought is the plot I listed above. Everything else feels like filler. The Penguins don’t dance, they just waddle, while singing songs that came and went from the radio long before the audience that wants to see this was born. The romance feels tacked on and superfluous. And the characters never get defined any further than their, occasionally insensitive (ironically), accents. Every last bit of thought about this film went into the execution of the themes and message. This isn’t accidental or well hidden. It’s blatant. So my advice to those of you who are taking your kids anyway, prepare yourself for some questions. Be ready to explain the difference between faith and dogma when your kid asks why the parents wouldn’t believe Mumble about the aliens and why God said Mumble was bad for dancing. Prepare yourself to answer why it’s bad for all the big dumb predators to try and eat the penguins, but good for the penguins to chase down and kill schools of fish (I can help you with this one. The answer is: because the fish can’t speak, sing or dance – and human nature prevents us from killing or eating anything we consider to be adorable. It’s called Leary’s Law.) And finally, try to come up with an answer as to why it’s okay for the penguins to eat all the fish, but not for us to. Good luck with that one. Try Googling PETA and “Fish Are People Too.” I’m sure they have plenty of great material on the topic. But aside from the thematic content, I cannot really review this movie. I found it impossible to get past the insanity of it to even determine whether it was well done or not. And the audience reaction was the strangest I’d ever seen at a kids film. The kids were not just quiet, but silent. They didn’t laugh, they didn’t know any of the words to sing along. But they clearly weren’t bored either. There was no idle chatter or kids running in the aisles. I’ve seen that. This was different. This was insane. I’m certain this movie would probably kick all sorts of ass with a couple of friends and a pile of psilocybin mushrooms. But as a film for the family? Well, you really need to know what you’re getting yourself into. And frankly, I’m getting the feeling that Warner Brothers would prefer you didn’t. Because last I checked, there ain’t a lot of money in films about the evils of religion. Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Massawyrm
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Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Oh no

    by Shan

    George Miller still making waves is he?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:17 p.m. CST

    could it be..

    by nolan bautista

    im foist

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:19 p.m. CST

    oh no is right!!

    by nolan bautista

    but he never claimed it!! so im first (and second and third)

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:28 p.m. CST


    by alienindisguise

    Miller should've just gone all Road Warrior with it and have the penguins blowing each other away. But it is sad when a director, writer or producer has to inject their idiocy into a film pushed as a smiling dancing family extravaganza. I guess the Athiest plot is finally taking shape!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:30 p.m. CST

    actually, I rather like the message of this film

    by beamish13

    To paraphrase Peter Greenaway, it takes "ten thousand times more creativity to be an atheist than a believer in god". I think, nay, KNOW that children can handle themes like this in a film. I'm glad that not all "kiddie" entertainment panders to the lowest common denominator children, the kind that grow up smashing beer cans on their foreheads and become type-two diabetics while working as slaves in an office. As for this film's "disturbing" content, I suppose "Watership Down" warped the minds of every prepubescent that saw it 28 years ago, huh? We need subversive entertainment that is ostensibly aimed at children. Give kids today "Danger Mouse" or "You Can't Do That on Television" to see and "Chocolate War" or "Phantom Tollbooth" to read. Keep challenging children and we will all be better for it.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Why's it wrong for a film to denounce a STUPID religion

    by Batutta

    You sound a little defensive. It's not like it came out and said Christianity is stupid, just this particular religion the penguins had was dumb. Doesn't the bible say be wary of false prophets? To me that sounds like more of what the film is saying.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:35 p.m. CST

    You know what, I wasn't going to see this film...

    by Mr_ant

    But now I think I will. Sounds much more interesting than I expected it to be. At least it has a fucking point.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:34 p.m. CST

    All you had to do was watch the trailer...

    by jimmy_009 know this was garbage. The fact that they didn't tell you ANYTHING about the story in the trailer spoke volumes. The story as described above sounds like something a five year old wrote and Al Gore got his hands on. Really, is this what passes for movies?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:35 p.m. CST



    Not that Im a screaming liberal, but I am WAY antireligious. If we can start making childrens films to convince them that god is a silly outdated antihumanist concept and that there doesn't need to be an external reason or threat of damnation in order to be a good person, IM DOWN WITH IT. LETS MAKE THEM FILMS. Shit, I'll even sit through some crappy 80s rehash pop to do it. And Penguins? FUCKIN A. All the better. I really don't think there's anything wrong with making films that subvert religion. Now if the film is right crappy, thats one thing. AND if the film is misrepresented, which it appears is the reason for Massawyrms indignance, that's a problem too. But I think its cool and the gang that we're starting to loosen up in society enough to kick god RIGHT THE FUCK OUT of childrens minds. Lets just make sure to replace god (and the blind adherence that it engenders) with a healthy dose of self respect and love for others. Whens the live action Bloom County movie coming out? YOu know...the one with arnold schwarzenegger as Opus and Gene Hackman as Bill the Cat?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Tht has to be the best Non-review ever

    by Phategod2

    man that was some wild $h!t thanks for the heads up I almost got tricked into the propaganda.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:38 p.m. CST

    oh noes!

    by zombieslayer

    it encourages kids to think for themselves? you're right! must be propaganda!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:41 p.m. CST

    re: Berkeley Breathed/Opus movie

    by beamish13

    whatever happened to that project? Miramax was planning to make it with John Musker and Ron Clements directing. It was going to be a re-do of "A Wish for Wings That Work". Breathed even directed a short film at Disney for "Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big" that has never seen the light of day for some bizarre reason.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:45 p.m. CST

    What. In the. Fuck?

    by Fatboy Roberts

    The previous review on The Ant Bully was an amusing bit of reading, but this is just every bit as frenetically bizarre and ridiculous as the movie he's trying to describe is. I can't even really opine on it after reading it because I couldn't get past the fevered insanity of it to figure whether the points were well made or not. <br> <br> Seriously, wow. It's like that Ant Bully film flicked a switch in the dude. I'm gonna be curious to see what his next kids film review will read like. And watch out if he's assigned "his Dark Materials."

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Peter Greenaway quotes?

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Is this the same guy that made the cinematic shitfest "The Pillow Book"? Anybody who can make sex with beautiful boys and girls into the most dick-deadening experience outside of Cammryn Mannheim and Kathy Bates twat gobbling has nothing worthwhile to say.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:46 p.m. CST


    by c4andmore

    that was awesome

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Unforgiveable Sin of Children's Films

    by Larry of Arabia

    Props, Bemish, for name checking "The Chocolate War" and "Phantom Tollbooth." Those stories, however, were aimed at pre-teens. This is aimed at children. Massy let his feelings on religion get in the way of the film and overwhelm his review. First, he said that he didn't like that the movie was marketed. Some may be upset at the more out-there themes that were not even hinted at in the trailer, but kinds handle disturbing well. At our library Coraline by Neil Gaiman gives the kids nightmares, but it's the most popular book. Kids stories need danger and disturbing elements. Roald Dahl wrote some pretty damn disturbing books that parents went nuts over (THE WITCHES, for example, *SPOILER* left the child trapped as a mouse forever at the end */SPOILER*) and they are modern classics. Massy's major argument against the film, which got lost in all the moral posturing, was that the film was BORING. Subversive themes, in my opinion, are great in children's literature because children need to learn to question. There is no faith stronger than that of the man who questions his. Dullness, however, is unfrogiveable.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:53 p.m. CST


    by MattCG

    It's not like I was going to see a movie about a bunch of fucking animated penguins, because I hate that shit. I also hate penguins. Fuck penguins in their stupid asses.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:54 p.m. CST

    I can't proofread

    by Larry of Arabia

    My bad.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 7:53 p.m. CST

    much ado about nothing

    by andenu

    seriously, until i see the movie i can't say definitively but from this review sounds like it's making a mountain out of a not-even molehill. most of what was described seemed pretty run-of-the-mill, except for the crazy way it was described by the reviewer. i mean, nothing could be as creepy and weird as the dream sequence in 'dumbo' anyway.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8 p.m. CST

    Did they address stem cells?

    by Ayii

    I was really hoping for a dancing/singing penguin movie with undertones of the ethical dilemma we face regarding stem cells. "Only one thing could save Flippy..."

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Didn't even know there was a plot

    by Firebird

    I just figured it was + MOTP.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:01 p.m. CST

    wiseblood-god help your children

    by Macktheknife01

    Yeah mislabled cartoons should be the standard we should make beauty and the beast become bestial/ cookery group sex movie, oh and the my little ponies can rage about the dangers of capitalist exploitation, hell why not have a long running cartoon like the smurfs die a horrible agonizing death due to mommy and daddys car. Fact of the matter is massa is right it is one thing to include subversive elements in big people film and another to include it for little sponges. i bet the same down with religion, lets make kids confused and aimless hipsters would be freakig out about companies selling unhealthy food to kids on Sat. morning. oh and by the way wiseblood somebody already created a humanist society try looking for "soviet union" on wikipedia.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:09 p.m. CST

    the big problems with kids and penguins..

    by jig98

    they are both very unappealing at times and they cause huge messes everywhere and it all relates to empty calories and nobody can do a thing about. as for happy feet and almost every other movie recently, i am sick and fucking tired of giving a few movies a shot because of it being the latest fad and it ends up being fucked in the ass by a bunch of stupid shit. i work at a movie theater and i can always tell a mile away, who does what, who does when and thensome. dancing penguins, idiot pakistan journalists and a bunch of claymated rats along with deadly quality kill traps with pop tunes for soundtracks make our jobs and lives harder and more fucking tiresome than they already are. so, you gotta go out there and need to be all you can be. you need to go out there and give it all you fucking got before they take it away and do something stupid with it and when that happens you gotta grab it by the balls and you gotta go out again and you GOTTA TAKE IT!...sorry, i was in the moment. i may take my mom to see this movie.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm you need to chill the fuck out.

    by Rollo Tomasi666

    I could really care less about this movie, but this review seemed a bit off. No subversive plots or themes in animated "kids" films? "Animal Farm" or "Watership Down" anyone? God forbid we start getting kids to think and perhaps question authority or who is in power. Nope. We'll have none of that. Don't want the people to start to think...Just keep them watching NASCAR and American Idol. I guess we won't get the attention of the American people unless we take away their right to go real fast in an oval. Okay. But can we have a review of the film now please?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Are you pissed off at the marketing?

    by TELF

    Ad campaigns are often misleading. But, outside of that, review the film, don't judge it. I find the morals and subtext of The Lion King abhorrent but it doesn't bother me that my nephew watches it. There is still much to admire about the film and it is a good platform to talk about issues like fascism, destiny and responsibility. One of the best kid's films of all time, Watership Down, has all kinds of subversive stuff in it. I just don't see, outside of a vague promotional strategy, what your problem with the film is. Putting aside quality (I haven't seen it yet), you seem to be judging the film negatively for being a bit different. Why should we be afraid of having to talk about faith and dogma to our children. This is exactly what we should talk to them about.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:16 p.m. CST


    by Zombie Carnifex

    Pro-religion crap has been aimed at kids for years (and it still is.) About time some bias for the alternative is released. And don't cry it's a kid film, so are the pro-religion films. You can have all the faith you want, but you'll never KNOW until you die.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Not that I've seen it....

    by Monkey Butler

    But is there a possibility that Massa is mistaking simple morality for suversive atheism? I mean, increasingly often kids' movies are tackling fairly deep topics, but with a lighter touch. Parents might notice them, but for kids its all about the fun. Look at it this way - a prince wants to just muck around and have fun with his friend. One day, he goes too far and gets himself in trouble, but The King saves the day. But one day, the King's brother, jealous that he will never claim the throne, assassinates the king, and tries to assassinate the prince, although he escapes. The prince is befriended by a pair of slacker, no-hoper outcasts, and learns the joy of living without responsibility. But when he gets older, his friend (no grown into a hot chick) comes back, has sex with him, and convinces him that living a care-free life is bad, so he violently reclaims the throne and retakes his responsibility. Some pretty heavy shit there, right? And some stuff that if presented wrongly, I wouldn't be down with showing my kids. I wouldn't want my kids a) thinking that they could never have fun and forget their responsibilities once in a while, and b) that all it takes for a girl to get a guy to do something is to root him. But you know what? After I saw the Lion King I didn't think either of those things. All I cared about was that it looked great, the songs were good, and I wanted to be a lion. I'm not too sure that a film about penguins is going to invoke questions about the nature of religion out of an 8 year old.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:28 p.m. CST


    by TELF


  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:34 p.m. CST

    "couple of friends and a pile of psilocybin mushrooms"

    by The Dum Guy

    Honestly Massa, what film wouldn't be better with those things. Maybe this is like some prequel to Mad Max that explains what caused the Apocalypse, penquins. Mankind starts obeying penguins, then *BLAM* end of the world.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:36 p.m. CST


    by Gilkuliehe

    I stopped reading. Your review lead me to think there was actually a POINT at the end of every paragraph but it never got there. Still, I think you could also say BABE 2 was FUCKED UP and that was a fucking masterpiece. What is this shit of leaving important big themes out of kids flicks anyway? THat's bullshit. Kid movies are stories too, and themes and stories usually tend to go together. If an artist such as GEORGE FUCKING MILLER gets to put a little brain into mainstream "harmless" films I say GIVE THE GUY A FUCKING MEDAL. That's what art is.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:44 p.m. CST

    Ha Ha... Leary's Law.

    by El Fuego

    I was thinking the same thing. Still probably going to see it.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 8:52 p.m. CST

    That wasn't a review, it was a rant.

    by C Legion

    And an embarrassing one at that.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 9:05 p.m. CST

    So it begins...

    by Tin Snoman


  • Nov. 14, 2006, 9:11 p.m. CST

    now this is beginning to sound like a george miller ...

    by Flux_brown, the guy behind babe: pig in the city...wait a is!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 9:18 p.m. CST

    What are you? An Otter. And what do you do?

    by chrth

    I swim around on my back and do cute little human things with my hands! <p> You're free to go.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Masa what the f***?!?!?!

    by enemakid

    Dude! BREEAATHEE!!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Wooldoor: Please don't kill me, I don't want to die!

    by chrth

    Bob the Cucumber: Don't be scared, Wooldoor. I saved them all from going to Hell, and now I will save your soul too.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Poll Time! What review style do you prefer?

    by chrth

    1) A breathless rant from Massawyrm<p> 2) A slow, caressing sexual allusion from Harry<p> 3) A profanity-laden digressive from Vern<p> 4) An unfinished symphony from Moriarity<p>

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Poll Answer:

    by Larry of Arabia

    A profanity-laden digressive from Vern. That son of a bitch can write.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 9:59 p.m. CST

    You the man, Massawyrm

    by theBigE

    I'll answer the poll 1), for the Massa! Best reviewer on this site. Just ahead of Mori, 'cause the Massa gets to the point quicker.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10 p.m. CST

    Ummm, guys

    by Massawyrm 1

    Watership Down and Animal Farm aren't subversive. They have points and intelligant themes. They never oversimplify radical viewpoints. I have no problems with that. Out of curiosity, which one of you who think you know that I am overreacting...have actually seen the film? Really? None of you? Funny.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:12 p.m. CST

    footloose meets watership down. aicn meets fox news.

    by JacksonsPole

    it's about time kids movies got f*cked up again. you can't homogenize everything. this movie looked really lame to me, but after that ridiculous rant i kinda want to see it. i mean, honestly, what's so crazy about the plot of this movie. humans probably do seem like aliens, or something, to penguins. they're f*cking penguins. they don't travel to the city much. especially all the tagging. that happens. and it probably seems f*cked up to penguins. what do they know about scientific research? and certain modern day religions do imbue their followers with a sort of mob mentality. and this movie sounds more like footloose than some atheist movie. jesus, what a screwball. calm down dude. i watched easy rider when i was eight, and i didn't run out and take acid in a cemetery. if you're really so concerned about what your kids watch; talk it through with them. kids aren't stupid. i find that my kids respond best when i talk open and honestly with them.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:23 p.m. CST

    I really don't think anyone has the right to question

    by Poacher

    Massa's review, until they've actually seen the movie. Massa isn't some unreasonable person.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:28 p.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Man, I'm in total agreement with the last part of your statement. Problem is, we're always defending the rights of artists to have themes like that of Easy Rider by saying "It's up to the parents to educate their children and protect them from content they feel is inappropriate." However, it's when dipshit Hollywood types try to make a buch and offer something as insidious like this without letting the parents know what their film is about that the hammer comes down on everyone else.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:29 p.m. CST

    This movie IS subversive!

    by chrth

    Wait until REAL penguins see it, and think that dancing will solve all their problems. Then when it doesn't--when the fishing continues--all their dreams will have been shattered.<p> How do the filmmakers sleep at night?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:35 p.m. CST

    I'm also concerned about the fact that ...

    by chrth

    In the real world, the fish that are being caught near the Penguins' ecosystem are bigger than the penguins and exist in deep water, and thus aren't eaten by the penguins. In fact, overfishing would probably make more of the little fishies available for penguins to eat.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:45 p.m. CST

    not having seen it

    by andenu

    i didn't see it but there are principles referenced in the review that can be argued, or at least set off an alarm or two. i already said it, but many points made about the film *as described in the review* don't sit very well. there's gotta be something fishy if i am getting all my information about the movie from this review and i still find myself feeling very skeptical about the basic thrust of the review. part of it is most of the things that i guess are supposed to be subversive, don't sound that subversive.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Subversive and radical?????

    by Rollo Tomasi666

    Since when is individuality, environmental awareness and questioning of religious dogma subversive or radical? That's right..."Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition." As someone who lurks out here from time to time to see what the geek world (and I mean that in the best way possible - not a slam at all - hell I'm a geek) is excited about etc. this is a really troubling "review". I'm with JacksonPole - I had no real interest in this film at all, but after this review, sounds kinda cool (as cool as a dancing penguin kids movie can be). You got a problem with its "liberal" politics? Really? Maybe you would have preferred the plot to be about the penguins attacking and invading the harbor seal community because the Head Penguin said that the harbor seals were responsible for the "attack" on New Penguin City - even though they all knew it was really the sea lions but the Head Penguin is secretly in business with the sea lions so he had to attack someone to keep his Head Penguin job. Plus the Harbor Seals just happen to live on the richest fishing grounds so that would be and added bonus, plus the Head Harbor Seal had insulted the Head Penguin's Dad once. Seems like a good All-American movie to me! Here is exactly the problem with America today. If you don't follow the line that "everyone" agrees on, then you are unpatriotic and dangerous. Are you fucking kidding me with being this upset by a goddamn Penguin Film? What the fuck is going on out here Aitn't It Cool? I mean seriously?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:50 p.m. CST

    worst review ever

    by reckni


  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:54 p.m. CST

    You are serious calling "Happy Feet" insidious?????

    by Rollo Tomasi666


  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Massa spelled "intelligent" wrong in his Talkback

    by Amazing Inframan

    No wonder they won't give you a new avatar.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:54 p.m. CST

    54 minutes.

    by Massawyrm 1

    It took 54 minutes for someone to catch that. I just lost a bet with Merrick. Fuckers.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Perhaps you sould read a bit about the Southern Oceans

    by Antz

    ...and the fishery problems down here. It would make a bit more sense why the "All fising is bad" message there, as it does apply in Antarctica, but certainly not the whole world.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Wow. Some of you guys are just as bad...

    by Massawyrm 1 your Neocon counterparts. Jesus. Mention the word liberal and you come running to defend them! Forget that I called this the liberal version of Pat Robertson. NOOOOO! I've got to be the BIG SCARY REPUBLICAN smashing the values of thinking for yourself. I LOVE films that tell kids to think for themselves. This isn't one of them. This is a film with a very specific viewpoint that it repeatedly hammers in time and again. There's no "I wonder what they think" moments. It is clear as day. They don't want kids to think for themselves. They want them to believe this point of view.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Dude! Chill Out!

    by JohnnyRicoHatesBugs

    It's a movie about talking penguins. I am sure the execs and director say around a table trying to decide how to make an "insidious" animated film to warn our children about the evils of religion. I think you are giving them way too much credit. Don't read so much into things.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Is this the insidious part? Maybe I missed something..

    by Rollo Tomasi666

    From the review..."A) there is nothing wrong with individuality, that society can actually benefit from it, B) the ecological devastation unknowingly caused by man on the environment and the need to stop it, C) the evils of keeping animals in captivity, D) it being okay to defy your elders for the sake of “the truth” and, oh yeah, E) The evils of religion. " ---And what exactly is the problem with any of that? What part of the above is bad? Those are all EXTREMELY IMPORTANT IDEAS AND LESSIONS. If anything we need to be teaching all of this to each and every kid on the planet.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:04 p.m. CST

    And I can't believe...

    by Rollo Tomasi666

    that I've spent this much time and effort on a animated Penguin movie...Here endith the lesson.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Hey Chickychow

    by Massawyrm 1

    Next time read the whole fucking review before you insult it. I actually mention that towards the end.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:05 p.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    which point of view would that be?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:08 p.m. CST


    by The Dum Guy

    So, Massa, are you angry with the film or the way in which it's been presented by marketing. You say it's "insidious", but then you jest. Is the film or your expectations of it, the letdown. (I for one have seen how "cartoons" are used to indoctrinate children. Just look at Pocahontas, hot Native-American chick telling kids that rocks have souls.)

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Anyone else think Massa might be misreading it?

    by chrth

    Perhaps Mumble represents Christ, and his purpose isn't to overthrow religion entirely, but to transform it from the blind worship of a cold unfeeling Singing God with the love of a Dancing God (I am the Lord of the Dance said He) who rewards his followers with more fish (miracle of the loaves and fishes, anyone?) Sea World can be representative of Christ's 40 days in the desert.<p> This is why I love teaching elementary school, Edna. Children will believe anything you tell them.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:11 p.m. CST

    BTW, that last post was approved by Mel Gibson

    by chrth


  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:14 p.m. CST


    by El Scorcho

    Thank you so much for this Massawyrm. I'd been hearing rumblings about this film's content. This marketing has been so deceptive and phony... Shame on you Warner Brothers. These talkbackers are letting their hippie freak flags fly. True colors, indeed. It is not the job of an animated musical targeted at kids to denounce religion. That's up to the parents. There is a huge difference between delivering a message and brainwashing, and this sounds like the latter. I will be sure to steer my cousins away from this one, and once again, thanks Mass.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Wyrm you give Americans a bad name

    by Mrs Danvers

    What century were you born in man? Jesus

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:22 p.m. CST


    by Kromag

    That was a mind numbingly pointless 'review' Deceptive advertising is nothing new, and your paranoia about liberals is scarier than the movie could ever be. OH NO people questioning organized religion! Their parents! FISHING! On the plus side, if this movie destroys civilization as we know it: Rapture time! See, the religious folks cant lose... Now I'm off to find a real review.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:22 p.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Don't put "review" in quotes. I admit it's not a review. And while you say no one cares, I've got two dozen thank you mails in my inbox that tells me different. Parents read AICN too. It's the whole reason I posted the non-review. But thanks for playing.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:27 p.m. CST


    by Zombie Carnifex

    You say "They don't want kids to think for themselves. They want them to believe this point of view." but I respectively disagree. If the point of the film is to instill a lack of faith in organized religion then the children will most likely have to question and think more for themselves. Without a preperscribed dogma to follow children would have to seek their purpose on Earth without the pat answer of God. If the child can't find answers there I believe the possibility of finding faith on their own becomes feasible. I'm simply tired of the brainwashing that occurs so heavily in our society (U.S.). I have to see this (2 and 4 year old kids) and your review will make the film much more enjoyable for me. Looking for ulterior motive is much more enjoyable than f'ing dancing penguins. Still this would make a great double with Jesus Camp.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:29 p.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Then you'll have a lot of fun. Although, there's not much 'hidden' subtext to be found. But you've got the right idea with that double feature. Nothing will drive someone right to the middle like seeing the freaks from both sides of the aisle. =D

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Now come on, the rest of you knee jerk talkbackers...

    by Massawyrm 1

    Just a few more talkbacks and I hit #1 on the talkback chart...and win my double or nothing bet with Merrick. really. I thought one of you guys would have caught the "Intelligant" misspelling inside of half an hour. You grammar nazis are slacking.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:31 p.m. CST

    I find it very odd

    by chrth

    That the only negative review on Rotten Tomatoes so far is from the Village Voice.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Massa: For shame! Trolling for posts like that!

    by chrth

    Have you no shame?!? <p> Besides, if you really wanted to get a lot of posts, you should've compared Mumble's expulsion to puberty, and how the Sea World sequence is an analogy for masturbation.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:36 p.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    I will not steal Harry's thunder. I will however completely refuse to take talkbackers seriously. I've been hyping this shitstorm up on my myspace for like...three days now. And these guys ain't lettin' me down. =P

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Bringingsexyback -

    by Massawyrm 1

    I'm not really sure. Thinking about that, the spiritual connection element isn't really there...although the damaged birth element is. I really didn't have to think too hard about the themes here. Once people begin seeing it, they'll understand just how heavy handed this thing is. Honestly, I feel it's just a knee jerk polar opposite crazy response to the rampant psudo-neo-christianity movement we experienced here in the states over the last 6 years.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Massa: You're missing the boat on the talkback

    by chrth

    There's a New World Order when it comes to Talkbacks. We have Order und Efficiency.<p> Talkbacks are a microcosm of democratic thinking, and as such, should be nourished. Refusing to take Talkbackers seriously reveals your Hamiltonian leanings. The king does not rule the masses, the masses create the king. <p> Besides, MySpace is for 14-yr girls (say Hi to Herc for me)

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:45 p.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Your damn right that Myspace is for 14 year old girls. Why else does anyone use it?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:45 p.m. CST

    I don't know what I'm more discouraged by

    by chrth

    The fact that Miller et al. didn't learn the lesson from Futurama that Penguin overexpansion leads to them dying (a situation now likely since they have all the newly endangered fish to eat) ... <p> or that it took 90 posts for someone to reference Futurama.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:46 p.m. CST

    But Chicky...

    by Massawyrm 1

    How can I maintain my status as "Worst AICN Contributor ever" in your mind...if I succumb to your wishes. Really man. being the worst in your mind is a complete honor.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Massa: Why else? Weird Al Yankovic videos and songs

    by chrth

    Better quality than YouTube.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:48 p.m. CST

    It suddenly occurs to me ...

    by chrth

    We need a Neil Cumpston review of this film.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:54 p.m. CST

    You know, sexy back

    by Massawyrm 1

    I actually found it interesting that the Director of Mad Max apparently hates religion...while Mad Max himself...***and thanks guys. Top spot by midnight. You guys rule!

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:54 p.m. CST

    Should Your Kids Watch "Oz"? Besides HBO's, I mean.

    by bobbyjoe

    Parents should strongly consider whether they want their kids to see this kind of movie. I kid you not. "The Wizard of Oz" is an atheistic liberal's wet-dream. No, really, "The Wizard of Oz" suggests that middle-America is boring and filled with intolerant pinch-nosed spinsters and that our leaders are fradulent "humbugs" IN A KID'S MOVIE!!! What kind of kooky liberal (and I don't think all liberals are bad, some of my best friends are liberal) cooked up a world where Kansas is black-and-white and trust in beloved leaders turns out to be a let-down? This is exactly the kind of liberal mindset that Ann Coulter criticizes, and, as you know, if we don't react to Ann Coulter's every pronouncement, we'll have utterly failed as a society. Or, worse, maybe the "Great and Powerful" Oz is meant to represent God, and--of course in crazed liberal Hollywood-- he's revealed to be merely a manipulative human! The film leaves no room for discussion. Why can't we at least have the possibility that leaders are sincere or that giant mystical talking heads are really real so we have a metaphor implying God exists? I know Liberals will be as quick to call my reading of the film crackpot as Jerry Falwell is to say gay people are actually evil aliens from the planet Neptune or radical Islamic terrorist are to blow up a bus. Stupid, stupid, kneejerk liberals (you know, except for those who are my best friends). But obviously "The Wizard of Oz" is atheistic propaganda! No other message can be derived than: Is God a "humbug"?!!! Not to mention the film's virtual United Nations multiculturalism rammed down our throats; I mean a scarecrow, a tin-man, a lion, etc.-- could there be more obvious metaphors? Look, I usually like kid's movies, but enough is enough. I mean why can't there be a film where, instead of Dorothy standing in a barnyard singing about a magical place over the rainbow, she's instead down on her knees in that barnyard praying to holy God that she doesn't suffer the fires of eternal hell for her sins and transgressions? Seriously, why is it that we only get one side in Hollywood films?

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Nah, yack

    by Massawyrm 1

    He's just Regular ole animated Robin Williams. But he voices three different main characters, so if you hated him're gonna hate him three times as much now.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Massa: Your own posts shouldn't count, so you still

    by chrth

    need 13 more.<p> Well, 12 now I guess.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Cute bobbyjoe

    by Massawyrm 1

    I dare you to throw down your $8 this weekend, then write me a letter and tell me how off the mark I was.

  • Nov. 14, 2006, 11:58 p.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Oh but they do. They do. Just look at that beautifully, beloved, covetted top spot. It's mine! ALL MINE!!!!!!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:03 a.m. CST

    The problem here isn't pollution

    by Lobanhaki

    It's overfishing. It's stupid whether you consider it right or not right to eat other animals (I have no problem with it, given my specialized teeth, acidic stomach, and relatively short intestinal tract) What's going on is that you have these trawlers hauling in big catches, but not waiting long enough for the populations to regenerate. So what happens? Well, if you look at The Perfect Storm, you see exactly what happens: the population crashes. That's why they don't catch shit in the first parts of the film: it's been played out. Now, as a Catholic Liberal, I might have a problem with the idea that its religion that's responsible for all this. Truth is, it's people who don't have their head straight about dealing with a natural resource, whether they worship Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Various Shinto Spirits, or the green graven images of Dead Presidents.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:05 a.m. CST

    Actually, the Wizard of Oz does have a subtext that

    by chrth

    is ignored to everyone's detriment.<p> The Wizard is the central persona of Oz. In fact, he's such a central persona of Oz that he's called 'Oz'. Obviously we could be content to equate him to a monarch, but I think his association with the land goes deeper than that.<p> The Wizard of Oz is God. <p> And here's the odd thing. God leaves. He gets in his balloon and goes. Poof. Gone.<p> How does Oz recover from that? God has abandoned Oz! The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has basically said "Screw you guys, I'm going home."<p> How does everybody react? Does the economy collapse? Is Glinda installed as a proxy? When the Munchkins find out the next day, do they still celebrate Dorothy for killing the Wicked Witch of the East, or do they condemn her for instigating the Wizard's departure?<p> No one ever answers these questions.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Blah, Blah, Blah........

    by Jimmy Jazz

    I think the real point is that non-pixar CGI movies suck. I don't care WHO directed it. IT's got all the hallmarks of a sub-Shrek money grab: stunt voice casting, chintzy looking animation and cringe inducing "pop culture" references. The trailer made me want to vomit and that didn't even include the heavy handed socio-political numb-skullery. I have no kids, nor do I have any other reason to go to this thing. THis weekend is reserved strictly for Bond.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Three points to whomever can link BSB's last post to

    by chrth

    my last post.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:15 a.m. CST

    damn hippies

    by Sir Loin

    lol wow. You non-showering, hemp-woven Birkenstock types (yes, I'm stereotyping in full, naked glee) sure come rushing in when somebody opposes your point of view. Meanwhile, you've got another Firefox tab open to DailyKos and contributing to a Chimpy McHitlerburton thread. HAHAHA. I love freedom of speech, even if the Iraqis and Afghanis didn't have it before we intervened. LOL thanks for laughs. Al Gore and his carbon-neutrality will save the planet!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:19 a.m. CST

    as for Robin Williams

    by Sir Loin

    He needs to stick to films like ONE HOUR PHOTO. He was totally creepy in that movie, much better than his 25-year-old manic comic routine. Imagine if he were to leaf through BSB's photos...

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Yackbacker: Ooh, good answer

    by chrth

    But that wasn't the answer we were looking for. Sorry. We do have some lovely parting gifts for you, though!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Ugh, why am I still up?

    by chrth

    Lousy insomnia. Good night (morning in Europe, AST, EST, and CST) everyone.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:32 a.m. CST

    chrth, you don't really think...

    by filmicdrummer17

    that the wizard of oz is about religion, do you? Come on, we all learned in history class that the original book was about the evils of the gold standard. Oh, and Massa, I was planning on taking my girlfriend to this for her birthday..she loves penguins. I would say that "now I'm not so sure," but...I mean, it's penguins. Who dance. If there really is an insidious subtext, I'll just ignore it. It wouldn't be the first time I laughed something off like that.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:35 a.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Dude, if she loves penguins, she may in fact enjoy this. I never said no one should see it - just that it's an insidious thing to sell to children like this. Unless you got your girlfriend off of myspace, I don't think you have to worry about her being subverted ;)

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Oh My

    by kridge200

    Massawyrm seems to have delusions of his own self-importance. Can somebody help him?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Kridge? Seems?

    by Massawyrm 1

    My sense of self-importance is legendary.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:43 a.m. CST

    George Miller also directed "Babe", of course...

    by Zeke25:17

    ...and "Babe" was a damn fine movie in every respect: good story for the little ones, but more than a little subtext for us grown-up types as well. Also, the main theme (I believe the title is "If I Had Words") is one of the prettiest songs I've ever heard; and when Farmer Hoggett says "That'll do, pig" at the very end of the movie, I can't help it: I tear up like a little girl. Having said all that, "Happy Feet" sounds like a damn train wreck; and Massa's essay has convinced me that I'd be making a mistake seeing it.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:43 a.m. CST

    The Grammar Nazis

    by Dreadpirate

    should have also picked up that either A) or B) in the "kids are sudpid" paragraph doesn't work - should be both A) and B). Not that I care, I am just glad to contribute to the post-count.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Why Religion Exists

    by chrth

    It absolutely bugs me that Atheists, who are supposed to be about Science and Evolution, haven't figured this out.<p> In the beginning (well, ok, about 4.5 billion years after the beginning), mankind lived in small groups huddled around a fire struggling to survive. Between predators, ice ages, alien abductions, and sleestax, it was tough to survive. There were certain intrinsic rules, then, that if followed helped the group to survive. Survival was the only societal pressure necessary to gain obeisance. Those that ignored the rules tended to be run off, killed, or caused the entire group to collapse.<p> Fast forward several tens of thousands of years. Agriculture is invented. Groups become tribes, tribes become communities. Survival becomes easier. However, the community is still at risk and part of the reason is because survival is no longer priority number one. Therefore, certain rules that were definitely necessary for survival that were also necessary for communal thriving--but less obviously--started being ignored. Communities that had people wise enough to realize what was happening began to codify the rules that were previously understood. <p>Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt honor they mother and father. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife or goods.<p> These are the rules of a society that will survive in uncertain times. Now the rules have a flaw: who died and made you boss? Well, that's where it helps to have a deity in the local mindset. Thus these rules get tied to the religion in order to validate them further. <p> (I'll also point out there's evidence that monogamy is pro-evolutionary because it fosters a more stable social structure. You can find research articles on google about this. Those who think Marriage is purely a Religious union have flawed thinking.) <p> Now, that's not to say that all religious regulations are based on survival. The problem with bureaucracy is that it expands to meet the needs of the bureaucracy. And once religion is tied into a political structure for a long period of time it tends to become as bureaucratic as the government does. That's how the Ten Commandements turns into the Book of Leviticus. <p> So whenever you get the idea in your head that religion is trying to suppress you in some way, try to think about it from a survivalist standpoint. There's more science to religion than you might realize. <p> PS: My apologies for sticking to Judeo-Christianity in my mini-essay, but frankly I don't know enough about non-Western religions to attempt to speak intelligently about them in this context.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:45 a.m. CST


    by Dreadpirate

    It seems that I am also sudpid.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:49 a.m. CST

    filmicdrummer17: no, I don't think that WoOz is about

    by chrth

    religion per se. And I know Frank L. Baum wrote Wizard of Oz allegory-free. What I'm saying is, there is an idea there of the centrality of the Wizard that lends itself to ruminations outside of what the author intended. Accidental, surely, but present nonetheless. <p> Also, apologies about misspelling 'commandment'

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Oh, one more thing:

    by Zeke25:17

    I see that two of the voice performers in Happy Feet also appeared in Babe: Hugo Weaving (Rex) and Magda Szubanski (Mrs. Hoggett). I also noticed that George Miller has his name listed as one of four screenwriters (I don't recognize the other three); on Babe it was he and Chris Noonan, from a novel by Dick King-Smith. So, maybe it was the source material--maybe Babe was foolproof, though I doubt it: I know more than a few folks who found THAT film to be more than a little pushy on the subject of food ("The bosses only eat stupid animals like pigs and ducks and chickens"). For my part, much as I loved the film, I continue to enjoy my pork chops, sausage and maple-flavored moderation, of course!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:53 a.m. CST

    mmm...maple-flavored bacon...

    by chrth

    Dagnabbit, I'm supposed to be going to bed.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:59 a.m. CST

    I'm definitely taking my kid to this now!!!

    by The Drude

    I'm actually RELIEVED that this movie is anti-religion (if that's the truth!). I'm tired of every kids film being preachy. I will take my kid - and all of his friends - and I will then sit down and discuss the evils of religion with him. About time, I say! Oh yeah, is this the longest 'review' in all of history? Did anyone else read right to the end, or did you, like me, get fucking bored about halfway through...? Calm down, dude, there are actually quite a few (some would say a majority) who have no use for religion and are, in fact, opposed to it, and we should be represented at the box office too!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1 a.m. CST

    Leave it up to MassaTool...

    by 9SilentNine9

    to use a fanatical excuse for a review pertaining to an animated feature about penguins to knock liberals. Pathetic.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Chrth, enjoyed your thoughts...

    by Zeke25:17

    Here's something I always liked from the great and underappreciated novelist Tom Robbins: "Religion is nothing but institutionalized mysticism. The catch is, mysticism does not lend itself to institutionalization....not only is religion divisive and oppressive, it is also a denial of all that is divine in people; it is a suffocation of the soul." That comes NOT from a kids' film, but from a novel called "Skinny Legs and All", which I recommend anyone with an above-average I.Q. check out this very minute. My own belief is that your feelings about God, whoever S/He is, is between you and Him/Her; and while I certainly recognize the insidiousness of brainwashing anyone, kid or adult, into blindly accepting religious beliefs...I'm never gonna be ready to join the atheistic side of things either.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm, please don't

    by Mechasheeva

    conflate interest in an organized religion with being a spiritual person. I'm anti-organized religion because I think it's always been a hypocritical institution, but that doesn't mean I don't hold my own personal spiritual beliefs.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:12 a.m. CST


    by The Dum Guy

    ...just for the hell of it.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:12 a.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    The point is not simply 'what' it has to say, but just how preachy it is about it. You hate kids films being preachy? Boy are you in for a treat. And no, this isn't the longest review in history. My review for 'Venom' is.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:15 a.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Believe it or not, I'm right there with you. Despite people attempting to insuate the above is about being offended because I'm a Christian - I would have been equally offended had the movie turned out to involve Christ coming back and the penguins only being able to be saved by their faith in him. believe me, if there's anyone who believes in spirituality without the need to belong to a church, it's me.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Eeeeh, What's Up Doc With Massawyrm's Sore Ass?

    by Grinning White Skull

    What a pounding Massawyrm's ass must have gotten from the recent elections to write such drivel. No wonder he sees threats everywhere with a kid's film that takes a point of view outside of his own. So let's see. Many in the religious right actually woke up to the fact that this administration has been USING and EXPLOITING them while secretly calling them nuts (as reported in a book by a former White House counsel on religion) and proved it with how they voted. Hmm, gee, too bad a children's film makes a point to question authority and religion, huh? And that ol' rat, I mean, right-winger Pat Robertson has woken up about Global Warming and the need to question how we treat the environment. Sheesh! How subversive to ask kids to consider the same. Gee, what's next? Presenting stories where girls wait for princes to come and marry them and make them wives instead of going out and having adventures and finding the person of their hearts on their own? Yeah, that's the kind of story kids should be force-fed. Sheesh! While I believe Massawyrm is sincere about his sore ass, that animated icon of kids and subversiveness eternal, Bugs Bunny, said it best, "What a moroooon!"

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:22 a.m. CST

    You had to mention Hello Kitty...

    by wandererrr

    ... and remind me that I still need to see if I can find old VHS copies on eBay of a couple movies about a character that same company made called Unico. One movie they had with him had a plotline where people were being kidnapped and turned into wooden zombies to build a fortress out of their new wooden bodies. It was so dark and awesome, and I loved the heck out of it as a kid. You want to talk about some good kids movies - go look those things up. And wouldn't "Hello Kitty" be "Hola Gatita" in spanish? Since Kitty was a girl and all, and a kitty, not a cat?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Grinning White Skull...are you kidding?

    by Massawyrm 1

    Seriously? Pounding? Dude I was dancing. My party was in such a need of an ass kicking. I voted against all incumbants in '04 and '06 - which in Texas means I voted almost entirely in the (D) column. Just because you've heard I'm a republican doesn't mean you know what the fuck you're talking about. You knee jerk liberals are just as bad as the knee jerk neocons, you know that? Defend away.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Oh, and, the "save the iceshelves" theme

    by wandererrr

    seems a bit derivitive from the old "save the rainforest" theme of Ferngully. And it seems that the fear is trying to be pounded into the kids brains as bad. Poor kids - they have to fear the terrorists trying to take over america if they listen to the righties and the forests, oceans and ice disappearing in their lifetime from the lefties. Someday, there may be a third party, and who knows, it may be Bill Hicks' own "People Who Hate People" party. I'd join.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Ole Gravy Leg

    by Massawyrm 1

    That...or I just love getting a rise out of TBers sometimes ;)

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:44 a.m. CST

    This is new?

    by dantewyrmfoe

    You mean those leftist pigs are marketing their propoganda as children's entertainment? Well I never! Remind me to retrieve my copies of The Point, The Lorax, The Butter Battle book, The Sneetches, Yertle the Turtle, The Giving Tree and PomPoko from my 3 year old niece.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:49 a.m. CST

    What a Bunch of Tools...

    by spiderinside

    Seriously, the way you guys are f*cking arguing over a lame-ass dancing penguin movie is hilarious. Of course, I was dumb enough to be entertained by all of this jagoff TB bullsh*t, so I guess I'm almost as bad. Kudos to Massa for stirring up one hell of a sh*tstorm. I'm smoking an entire bowl of 'em right now in his honor.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:55 a.m. CST

    I Don't Know How You Vote...

    by Grinning White Skull

    (really, I don't follow AICN so much now days but I can guess you make a big thing in your later posts out of your conservative creds like some kind of AICN Rush Limpballs) ...but this piece you wrote on this "kids film" and a certified bad ass film maker like George Miller says volumes about how your ass is sore over some poking you took somewhere recently while "liberals" laughed from the sidelines. You're radioactive with the bile. Go to sleep, M, instead of waiting up all night to fight with everyone that disagrees with you. You might live longer and be a better Christian in the process (and maybe a better father for spending more time with your kids if you have them).

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:03 a.m. CST

    "then God bless ‘em."

    by Toxic Frog

    HEE HAWWW! That was a funny sentence. I'll repeat it here because it cracks me up (and I can't fit it all in the subject line): "If a parent believes that their child should grow up someone free of the constraints of religion, believing that any and all spiritual individuals are dogmatic, controlling fools – then God bless ‘em." HAR HAR!!! Good one Massa

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Grinning White Skull

    by Massawyrm 1

    I did take a serious pounding. For almost two hours. It was called "Happy Feet." Perhaps you've heard of it. I wrote a piece about it here on the site and everything.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:42 a.m. CST

    My kids won't see this...

    by sith-vol

    Not because its propagnda, but because it looks like shit. You know, Cars did the same thing. It spent half the movie preaching about small towns and how wrong it is to build interstates that bypass even had a fucking James Taylor solo in the middle. Every film tries to preach some dumbass message to kids. This one just sounds fucked up and shitty to me.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:01 a.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Of course, I'm up working. Got a couple reviews in the pipe. And Myspace? Are you kidding. It's the easiest way on the planet to score underage poon. haven't you heard that NBC's "To Catch A predator" totally has all the chatrooms staked out now. ;)

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:12 a.m. CST

    Stick to the "Hola Gato" next time

    by graycove

    that won't make you think about anything.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Fuck Happy feet

    by random dude

    Fuck everyone who liked it.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Holy cow

    by Yellowguy21

    Massawyrm is right about how WB is marketing this. They probably don't wnat you to know what the themes of the movie are. Although I was surprised by it's messages and theme, I didn't think it was anything to write home about, which is why I didn't. I honestly don't think my son will walk away from the movie with this bad impression about religion and fishing routes. Sheesh. Happy Feet is propaganda? I don't know, dood. Regardless, it's still a good movie, just like he said. Still worth watching.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Um massywrm..?

    by Lemming

    So What? I personally plan to teach my children that religion is bad. Free thought and philosophy for the win. How about the fact it is *evil* to indoctronate beliefs on the young for the exact same reason you seem to have a problem with? Thanks to this review, I'd be tempted to pull kids off the street to this movie now and hope it has a n impact. Get your religion-loving arse out of here!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:38 a.m. CST

    Never write a review when you're angry

    by Vicenzo

    The review will come off as inconsiderate, unbalanced and insane.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:46 a.m. CST

    Hey Lemming

    by Massawyrm 1

    I think you might want to read the entire review next time before posting. I do believe I answer those questions in there.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:54 a.m. CST

    "knee jerk polar opposite crazy response"

    by UltimaRex

    So it's Bush's fault. I'm not surprised.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 4:01 a.m. CST


    by UltimaRex

    As these things go this is pretty tame. I mean the right-wingers had the nazis as their "knee jerk polar opposite crazy response". Allow the lefties their Happy Feet. At least it dosn't involve gas chambers...

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 4:05 a.m. CST

    Plus plus...

    by UltimaRex

    It DOES NOT involve gas chambers, does it?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 4:24 a.m. CST

    My problem with Massawyrn's arguments is...

    by Bazka Berzerker

    I don't really understand why Massa opposes the environmental messages of the film. I mean, these ARE actual, real issues. At least in his review I didn't find anything that the film would plain lie about. Is it bad to let kids understand that animals can suffer because of the actions of people, and people should be responsible about environment? I don't think it's even a political issue, it's just a common sense issue. The religious bias in the film sounds more tricky, but again I have to ask: Does the film condemn religion, or does it condemn dogmatic, ignorant, intolerant forms of religion? Because according to Massa's review, the latter sounds true. I think most christians don't have much of a problem with a film which has a negative view on the more intolerant and ignorant sects of religion - Because most christians share the exact same views about religious extremism.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 4:50 a.m. CST

    Fair Play

    by Langerlad

    I tought this was a pretty dam good review..the dude hit the nail on the head and besides that dubious bullshit trailer had to be the worst one yet this year!!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 4:57 a.m. CST

    Come on...

    by gobofraggleuk

    It's true that childrens' brains absorb the ideas presented to them. Stop taking them to church, I'll take you seriously when you criticise a film which any anti-religion subtext. I mean, seriously, either you should want the kids to be protected from any influence so that they can make their own choices as adults - that kind of a blank-slate were even possible to maintain - or you let them have a range of influences. You'd stop them watching Superman because of the Christ-like comparisons? I doubt it. Shit... What do you think the Toy Story films were about? The Aliens in the grabber machine, worshipping the claw? The Toy Museum? A life-denying cult promising Woody an ascetic immortality at the expense of enjoying life and accepting a final death?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 5:26 a.m. CST

    National Geographic

    by WestieBestie

    Massa, did you check out the current national geographic? Great picture of a penguin getting its shit absolutely ruined by a sea lion. Just pretend its happy feet in the picture and it'll make you feel better! Great review by the way. Raises a lot of interesting points about hollywood and its attitudes, as well as the power of advertising.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 5:33 a.m. CST

    You say atheism like it's a bad thing.

    by S_Jenkis

    The sooner kids stop believing that religion bullshit, the sooner we can get on with making the World better. Plus, to Zeke, George Miller didn't direct Babe. He directed Babe 2 ie. the weird one.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 5:34 a.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Had the film been about Christ showing up and the penguins only being able to be saved through the power of their Christian faith...and it had been sold the exact same way as this...I would have been just as offended. You said "either you should want the kids to be protected from any influence so that they can make their own choices as adults - that kind of a blank-slate were even possible to maintain - or you let them have a range of influences." You forgot the tird option - the one I talk about above. I believe it is the parents choice and obligation to raise their children and I believe that those parents should be given the tools they need to make the choices about what their children watch. It's the whole reason I wrote the review in the first place. I could care less which kids see it and which don't. Because they're not my kids and it's not my decision. I just despise the idea of propaganda being marketed to kids as something Harmless.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:02 a.m. CST

    So true, Flux_brown

    by tucson

    This sounds SO farkin' Miller/Babe/Babe Pig in the City that I have some severe happy feet goin' on right now. Check out the Filthy Critic's review of BPinC -- kids should have their minds messed with, they should have nightmares (in a good way) may not necessarily be bad, but it is skewed, changeable, and we have to learn to deal with the twists and turns.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Hmmm - see his points but.......

    by sithswimmer

    OK - I saw this last night. I can see his points about the trailer not letting you in on the rest of the plot. However, not once does Mumble say he rejects his "religion" at all. He has seen proof that there is something else out there that might be causing the issues that the colony faces. So he investigates, oooh scandalous... The human montage at the end does not say that they must stop fishing, just moving out of the area, as it were. While it is a bit stretched, it does show that one person can make a difference. Not once during this review was the quality of the animation mentioned. Spectacular would be putting it mildly. This movie is far from subversive and dangerous, unless free thought and indivuality are deemed dangerous. Oh wait.... they are ... at least for a few more months.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Sales of Fishsticks down next week

    by Mace Tofu

    Supermarkets better cut their Fish orders next week as millions of children refuse to eat the poor penguins food their evil parent s are forcing on them. Are there any Fish Food tie-ins with Happy Feet? That would be funny.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:13 a.m. CST

    What a Concept!

    by tucson

    A trailer that makes you want to see a film WITHOUT revealing the entire freaking plot! Why should I pay $8 when I know Tom Cruise is going to blow up (don't I wish), that Kate Hudson is going to get the guy, that Jennifer Aniston is...oh, hell, I wouldn't go to an Aniston movie if it were free.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:17 a.m. CST


    by gobofraggleuk

    So any meaningful subtext is 'propaganda'? And you insist that subtext be included in the marketing? That isn't how 'subtext' works. That isn't what propaganda is.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:19 a.m. CST

    We need more of this

    by krodnoc

    Im really tired of kids flicks that play it safe. Originally I wasn't going to see this, but now I'm rethinking that decision. No matter if Massa is right or wrong, at least it's an attempt to do seomthing that is not pandering to the lowest common denominator (I'm looking at you Cars!!).

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Fair enough on the film, but

    by raw_bean

    "half-baked, poorly constructed piece of ultra-hippie, atheist, eco-extremist garbage" - nice use of 'atheist' as a derogatery word there, Massa. >:(

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:23 a.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    we're not talking about "subtext." Moriarty said "Subtext" and Moriarty is wrong. The film is about as subtle as a brick to the back of the head. I could actually begin to read into the more subtle "subtext" but it's the blatant Propaganda out int the open in the film (but not the advertising) that bugs me.***Look, I have no real problem with propaganda. I've enjoyed some of it in the past. But most Propaganda, Like Michael Moore's films or the crappy Conservative attacks on his films, tends to at least be upfront about it. They're pretty blatant about what kind of film they are. This isn't. Hell, look at the trailers...look at the Lovelace character. Note how they've ACTUALLY REMOVED the six pack rings from his neck in every shot in every trailer. They're not even hinting at the films actual content. That's all I'm saying.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Raw Bean

    by Massawyrm 1

    Sure, when it's radical aethism like this - when the film only portrays religion in a negative light, as a harmful thing - yeah, sure I'll use it as a derogatory word.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:31 a.m. CST

    one more thing

    by sithswimmer

    as soon as I got out of the movi, I knew the republican(t)s were going to have a real problem with it. thanks for not disappointing!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:35 a.m. CST

    Now I wanna see it..

    by BDT

    Now I have to see it. Reviews never influence me like that althought they may flavor my preconceived thoughts before I see a movie I've already decided to see. But how could I NOT be curious after reading this???? I was going to see it anyway before I read this, but now I find it almost imperative.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:49 a.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    Actually, you've confused republicans with Religious folk - who reside on both sides of the aisle. I don't think a single party will have a problem with this. I think people of faith, be it any of the JCI, may take issues with this. I believe that the fundies will REALLY take issue with this. I don't think that republicans per se will - but those already irate with 'liberal hollywood' that scream about bias in the media - well they're gonna be downright pissed.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:53 a.m. CST

    I just like it when

    by beastie

    Massawyrm and Moriarty disagree so completely. They are my two favorite reviewers, not only on this site, but on the internet. So, to get two completely opposite reviews of the same flick is almost as entertaining as a movie itself. Great Review Mass. Mori's is great too.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Derogatory and...

    by TELF

    incorrectly spelled? Or was that another amusing wee bet? I kid. Look, you are of course entitled to your opinion on the film. We, having not yet seen the film, are entitled to our opinion on your review. That's kind of the point. When you are personally offended by a movie, and make that reaction the main thrust of your review (eschewing most other areas of critique), you can't then be surprised that people may consider your writing overly subjective and judgmental. It just seems that you are more pissed at WB marketing dept for being evasive or dissembling, rather than Miller for making a mediocre (regardless of heavy-handed) film.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:59 a.m. CST


    by sithswimmer

    The current outspoken religious right republicans that have taken over the republican party. I still dont understand how it can be deemed dangerous, if it encourages parents to talk to kids about faith, ecology, the place of humans in the world. Better than mindless fart jokes and product placement that is seen in far too many "kids flicks". I can not wait to take my nephews and niece to see it. they are at an age where they can begin to seek out their own faith and understand their place in the world.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:04 a.m. CST


    by ziondragon

    someone is pissssssed for loosing the mid term elections, awwwww

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:08 a.m. CST


    by Massawyrm 1

    I can't help but wonder how I'd feel about this film had I known the actual type of film it is upfront. You talk about the Religious right like they don't deserve to know what they're taking their kids to this Friday. And I definately see the difference between 'encouraging' a dialog with your kids and forcing one upon you with a bait and switch. I never say don't see it - I never say don't take your kids. In fact, I've gone to great lengths to acknowledge that people might be very open to presenting these themes to their kids. But I don't think that I'm mistaken in the notion that there are others who don't.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:19 a.m. CST

    Kids need to be scared.

    by Nice Marmot

    99% of the fanboys at this site grew up on "fucked up" stuff. We turned out OK, right? I really want to see this because of Mass's review. Is there any leopard seal action? I grew up fascinated with leopard seals eating penguins.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:19 a.m. CST

    Sure, but...

    by TELF

    that is surely a disclaimer or caveat to include in your review, not the main focus of the bulk of the piece. Again, your issue seems to be more with this notion of the film being an atheist Trojan Horse, an effect created by marketing not storytelling. Maybe this works better as a counter-point to Mori's (which I haven't read yet).

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:25 a.m. CST

    But how was the new Prince song Massa?

    by Ricky Henderson

    I think I read somewhere that Prince liked this movie so much he wrote a song for it. Now excuse me while I don my emperor penguin slippers.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Goes back to......

    by sithswimmer

    I am not trying to have the last word, not my style. Just pointing out that my first posting said that I can see your point about being misled by the trailer.I know I did not expect anything more than what the trailer showed. Regardless if a film is animated or not any parent, uncle , caregiver, whomever it may be , should read a review of a movie before blindly taking kids to movies. All the reviews I read today over at rotten tomatoes included that the film is more than just dancing penguins. Also, the film is rated PG which should send up a red flag to parents that they might want read up on it. Just a thought................

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:31 a.m. CST

    Massa gets it ... Moriarty just doesn't

    by realfilmsforrealaliens

    There is nothing wrong with being subversive. Many great films have created paradigm shifts in thinking by being subversive. However, Massawyrm hits the point perfectly, though with quite a bit of extra venting than necessary. Kids are smart. I have 3 and I know how like sponges they truly are. But not just with information, but with emotion, character, ethics, everything. Kids can have a feel for the content of a scene and not understand the topic, dialogue, or even the setting, but they can pick up on the emotion of the moment. Feeling the emotion of a scene with very adult undercurrents and not understanding the context can really confuse and upset a child. I have seen this film and I believe Massa had it just about right. Interesting film for adults and older kids, very young children will be upset by much in it. Sorry, Moriarty, but you are wrong.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Seriously though...

    by Ricky Henderson

    ...we must regulate the overfishing of the Antarctic oceans. And only a children's movie can create change.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Animal Farm...

    by Boba Fat

    was part funded by the CIA and the ending changed to act as a piece of anti communist propaganda. I'd call that pretty subversive

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:50 a.m. CST

    One question...

    by MemBirdman

    Is the theme about being against religion or against faith?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:54 a.m. CST

    And by faith...

    by MemBirdman

    I mean belief in God.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:53 a.m. CST


    by sithswimmer

    I did not find it anti faith or anti religious, more along the lines that faith can exist with free thought.An individual should not be traped trapped by established societal norms. Never does mumble say that he denounces his religion, nor his faith. It kind of reminded of simpsons episode where Lisa discovered buddhism.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm - I've got this figured out

    by antonphd

    I've got this figured out now. You are just sick and tired of being asked to review animated movies. Admit it. This is a ploy to get pulled off of reviewing animated movie! - By the way, I was raised a christian and I was a very intelligent kid at an early age. I was reading the Bible on my own at 7 years old and punching holes... I mean asking questions and getting asked to not come to church anymore. I know about kids and religion at an early age. Seriously... this movie isn't going to do the littlest dent to the beliefs of any kid who's parents are teaching them about religion. And if they aren't being taught? It won't make any sense. We are talking about little children here. I think you are kinda missing the fact that religious people don't get scared of their kids being taught anti-religious stuff because the kids won't believe... it's because it makes the parents think twice and they are afraid that if they think about it, they won't believe. And THAT is the truth. I'm far from being anti-religious. I am not biased. I just know the truth about people who are afraid of challenges to their religious beliefs. It's just a fact of life. Like the fact that Daniel Craig will own this Friday.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Thank you, Mr Wyrm

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    I am a big fan of finding inappropriate or unexpected subtext in Hollywood films (see my belief that the Star Wars prequels are George Lucas's plea to be freed from the Star Wars prison he has created for himself), so I enjoyed your review very much. I'd like to see this penguin film to find out if I agree with you, but - jeez - it's about dancing fucking penguins, so there's no way that's happening. Thanks again, though.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Massa, did you have the same problem...

    by Childe Roland

    ...with Footloose? Because, in all honesty, that movie was probably more overt in its criticism of Christianity than the movie you're describing here (the people who forbade dancing in that town didn't worship a great penguin in the sky). I really do think you're projecting a lot of your own issues into the film, which is exactly what art's supposed to get you to do, but it's hardly the first moral fable with a "don't buy completely into any old religion" message that tried to sell itself as a happy dancing movie. Step back. Breathe. Think about it and I'm pretty sure you'll come to the conclusion that you're all worked up over nothing.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:12 a.m. CST

    What is the problem?

    by lionbiu

    So a film asks people to be aware of the environment, question authority, seek out the truth and be aware of mindless doctrine (it says nothing about christianity or any other religion)....what's the big deal? Is this not the things we should be doing. I can't understand some Americans who still think question authority and looing after the environment is only what bleeding herat liberals do....*shakes head*

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:16 a.m. CST

    It's amazing to me...

    by MemBirdman see how many people have responded with something like, "Oh, silly shouldn't think that about this film. You should think...THIS!!" "Think about it and I'm pretty sure you'll come to the conclusion that you're all worked up over nothing," indeed. Like his opinion or don't, whatever. Tell him he's thinking wrong and you're doing exactly what he's ripping in his review.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:28 a.m. CST


    by Phimseto

    There were a South Park episode about you types a couple of weeks back. Massawyrm, seriously...thanks for your review. Because I am a George Miller fan, I was thinking about taking my daughter to see this. I cannot believe the same guy that made Babe made this. Ugh.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST

    i bet if i go see this movie high

    by funnyhat

    it will be awesome. pass the blunt man, quit taking everything so siriusly.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:34 a.m. CST

    So let me get this straight, MemBirdman...

    by Childe Roland telling Massa I think he should think about his initial, highly emotional and negative reaction from a slightly different perspective and decide whether or not it's worth getting all worked up over, I'm doing something wrong? Gee. Far be it for me to advocate reasoned criticism over passionate lashing out. Before you know it, folks won't lynch folks anymore based on a kneejerk reactions to something those folks did or said or the way they look or what they believe. And I guess that would be the fault of folks like me? If so, I'll own it. Indeed.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:38 a.m. CST

    I'm outraged

    by Harold The Great

    I've spent years and a lot of energy on raising my children according to christian values, so they can follow the teachings of Christ. And now with one fell swoop, the pinguins destroyed all my hard work, and made my kids atheists. Just like that! Damn you pinguins!!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Miss the point much?

    by someday_buddha

    Some people just don't understand how predictable they are. It was obvious Massa saw this flair up occuring days ahead of time. To reiterate, his problem is not neccessarily with the movie. It's with the fact that the trailers make you think one thing, while the movie is actually quite different. Here's an example: You're at home, watching TV. A trailer comes on. Motercycles speed by. Dust! Action! Excitment! Que narrator: "In the world of motorcycle racing, one man would stand above them all! This summer, see the most action packed, breast-a-licious movie of them all - Vinnie Gallo's Brown Bunny!" W. T. F. Hope you didn't gear up and hit the theatre with your off-roading friends for that one. And pray it wasn't your suggestion. All Massa's asking for is some truth in advertising, especially when we're dealing with kids, who are impressionably and whom we all want to instill certain values. Not really that controversial, at all.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:50 a.m. CST

    No, Childe...

    by MemBirdman

    I'm telling you that I'm tired of reading how Massa must have been emotional and delusional and slightly touched when he wrote his review. I'm tired of hearing from the Cavalry, being all Dudley Do-Right and saying, "No worries, good citizen! I shall show you the error of your ways so you may change what you said. Here...let me tell you what you should have done." Sorry for calling yours out was the closes one to my post...but after posting it AND defending his post for a number of hours, I'm pretty convinced that he's committed to what he said. That you can't accept that shows a weakness on your part, not his.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:56 a.m. CST


    by caltsoudas

    Thanks for this review Massawyrm. You're right. I think that if a kids movie is going to tackle issues liek this, they should at least make it SOMEwhat obvious throught their promotion or the voice actors' PR and interviews if not directly through the trailers. I have no doubt that all the people here giving you hell either have no kids or very little expreience with them. This is the kind of "surprise" that the average parent (conservative OR liberal) does not nejoy being put into and having to asnwer the questions that it will obviously raise in their children always makes for VERY awkward moments during the drive back home ((continued over dinner). I can't stand it when morals and preachings of ANY kind are shoved down our throats and kids' throats. A more abiguous undertone of morals would probably have been a more appropriate directorial approach. I wonder what concequences this will have on the all star cast members when this movie finally comes out. Only time will tell whether Massawyrm is actually crazy or if this fucked up movie flops big time. Personally, I'm watching Bond instead. I can wait for the Harry Potter trailer when it comes out on the web.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Re: People who dont like emotional criticism

    by someday_buddha

    I don't understand people who want reviewers like Massa to "settle down." Sure, I don't always agree with him, but if I wanted level, metered film criticism I would watch Roper and Ebert. I would read Yahoo! Entertainment's movie section. Why would AintItCool want to duplicate a method of criticism that the media is already rife with? Also, this site is for fanatics and geeks. And geeks, from years of sitting in their mom's basements eating doritos and mainlining mountain dew, will get EXCITED about certain things. Do you think people give a shit about X-men movies in the real world? Five years from now, no one will even remember who Toad was. But you guys will. I will. The reviewers here will. But some of you still cry to the heavens, "Why, god? Why do they make such a big deal about Wolverine being a crybaby in X-3? Why do they make fun of Goblin X-treme!" And yet, you still come here. Because deep down, you're all masochists (see X-3's box office pull) and you all want to have a voice. Well, this is the price you pay. Vive America! (Not being sarcastic, at all)

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:59 a.m. CST


    by andenu

    you whipped everyone up into a frenzy by writing a "controversial" review. congrats on winning your bets i guess, but it's not much of an accomplishment otherwise. and including purposeful spelling or grammar mistakes to "test" people is pretty silly. come on now.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:59 a.m. CST


    by caltsoudas

    Once again, I manage to forget proof reading ymy atrocious typos and grammar mistakes. *sigh*

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9 a.m. CST

    How many times has Massa...

    by Boba Fat

    mentioned the attention his Ant Bully piece attracted from sites and media outside AICN? Twice that I've read. I think he's trying to do the same thing again which is a pity because I come here for movie news and well written reviews

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Massa, did you see Harry Potter trailer?

    by random dude

    Please, answer!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:02 a.m. CST

    It's OK Massa ... these fools missed your point

    by realfilmsforrealaliens

    Movies as art really have no boundaries. One person’s outrage is another’s insight. But when you market a film for kids, to kids, that contains enough adult, emotional, psychological subtext that most adults (in America) fail to catch it, then you are misguided to say the least and more likely being deceitful intentionally. Animation can be made for adults that children should not see until they are mature enough to handle it. Most all Manga would fall in this category, and Happy Feet approaches that in tone.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Thank you, Massawyrm

    by Mr Incredible

    I read your review first, then I read Moriarity's, then I read your review again. You're right. Happy Feet is shit, and I'll be watching Casino Royale this weekend. Not that I had any palns to see Happy Feet anyway, but the cattle will rush to take their offspring to see that crap leaving me with peace and quiet to see Mr. Bond. Perfect.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Random Dude

    by Massawyrm 1

    I sure did see it. But it was quite short, mostly dialog and not having read the book it's based on, didn't give me any huge cues that I "MUST SEE THIS NOW!" I already know I'm gonna see it and it didn't make the wait unbearable. I likened it yesterday (to a buddy) that it's like seeing a nipple slip of the girl on stage at a strip club. It's really nothing special compared to what's coming up. Cool to see, but nothing to get worked up over. ;)

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Massa don't see it!!

    by Boba Fat

    I saw the last Harry Potter film and immediatley left my job to find Hogwarts and become a wizard in training. I now live under a bridge

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:28 a.m. CST


    by Bill Brasky

    Dude, I have had my differences with you in the past, but I have to admit; this is the best piece EVER put on this site. I believe that you may be the only fucker out there that can actually put aside your political agenda(s) and write an opinion that lacks neither courage nor conviction. Despite what the majority of TalkBackers write *(complain, insult, flame, etc,) I am impressed.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Okay, MemBirdman, so now reason is weakness?

    by Childe Roland

    Truly your logic is baffling. I can very much accept that Massa feels very strongly about the film and what he wrote about it. In fact, if you go back and read my advice to him with comprehension, you'll see that I appealed to him to go back and revisit the film through his memory of what it was actually saying (not what he imagined it was implying) and with the perspective gained by other films with similar messages (this one hardly breaks new ground...even Children of the Corn was an anti-religion film) and similarly non-disclosing marketing (Footloose was hardly sold as a morality play) and see if he still felt as strongly about Happy Feet. I am rather sure that, being a somewhat reasonable individual, he'll come to the conclusion that his initial reaction might be over the top. It takes more strength to reign in initial surges of emotion than it does to indulge them. It's also easy to bash something you don't fully understand, as both you and Massa have demonstrated (you in this talkback and he in his "review").

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Childe Roland

    by Massawyrm 1

    Of course, the problem with your argument is that neither Footloose, nor Children of the Corn, were marketed to 5 year old kids. Sure Footloose was rated PG - in 1984, back when PG meant something totally different. I spent 3 days examining whether or not I should post that review, and it was only after talking to parents who saw and were troubled by the movie, my editor (who had heard the same things as I talked about in my review) and read many online reviews - none of which even hinted at the strong themes in the film. You're seeing what you want to see, as evidenced by your responses to Mori - agreeing with him because his view of the film is closer to the one you PICTURE IN YOUR HEAD - despite the few people who have popped in to say "Yeah, that's what the film is about." I guess it is easy to bash something you don't understand.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Actually, Massa, if you read my response to Mori...

    by Childe Roland know that I formed that picture in my head based on reading your review and, essentially, sorting your editorial hyperbole away from the few facts you actually gave about the plot and characters. The movie you describe (when you're actually bothering to describe it and not focusing entirely on what you believe was hidden behind what it was actually saying) is clearly not the movie you think you saw. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you never described a scene from the movie where the characters sit around, happy and wiser at the end of the film, and actually say: "Well, I thiknk we all learned that religion is a bad thing today, and that's good." Or did that scene actually appear and you were just so worked up that you forgot to include what would be the only logical lynchpin in your entire argument against the picture? If anything, the movie is criticizing the worship of a great penguin in the sky who, according to the oldest penguin in the community, hates dancing. You know what? That does sound like a stupid religion. Smarter than some I've studied, but stupid nonetheless. But you're right, obviously, because you've actually seen the film and I only based my opinion on what you told me about it. Clearly I'm the one seeing what he wants to see, though. I can understand how that would make you more comfortable woith your irrational fear and hatred of an animated movie that is still, essentially, about a dancing penguin in a community of singing penguins.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Ride Like Hell

    by BigSugar

    Not for nothing, and this is niether here nor there, but hitting back at detractors because you got to get and advanced screening and they didn't is a bit of a cop-out. We can't discuss the film because we haven't seen it? fair enough. But we (for the most part) read the review, so that we can discuss that, right?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST


    by v1cious

    you managed to get all that out of a kid's film. intense

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 10:40 a.m. CST

    I was neevr going to see this...

    by lionbiu

    ....but now I must (when it gets to the UK). Its amazing..this is the only bad review I have read of this film, not to say this opinion is not valid..but maybe Massa should take a second look and actually review the movie based on the story and characters etc...all through this review you hardly mention the plot/music/animation/characters just the subtext.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 10:43 a.m. CST

    So, it's..

    by Gislef_crow

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull aimed at a younger market, with penguins?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Everytime someone address Massawyrm as...

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    ... "Massa", it cracks me up. After reading some the post-subject headings, you'd swear we were on a plantation.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 10:51 a.m. CST


    by Ricky Henderson

    Thats the funniest thing I've heard in a while... I think I just sprayed coffee all over my keyboard. Massa!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Sorry about that, Ricky Henderson!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    I hope I didn't cause any property damage!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 11:04 a.m. CST

    I was going to pass on this...

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Now I've got to see this. Damn, I love a subversive movie? Fuck the little kiddies...Bambi made them cry and this time of year the roads are littered with reindeer-roadkill. Explain that to little Johnny. I've got to take in the talkback and see what y'all are saying...

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Same here. Now I HAVE to see this

    by Pipple

    It looked like another retarded talking animal movie but now it's got some controversy to it- should be interesting.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Well I'm outraged at this deceptive marketing

    by Johnno

    Thanks Massa for informing me and others up front. The funny thing is that if I wasn't giving a damn about seeing another 3D american animal cartoon, I'm now very curious to see this for myself... We need to start making some animated films targeted at adults, it's a comparatively cheaper medium and allows for more creative risks while at the same time being badass and stylish in either 3D or 2D... Ah well, there's always Japanese Anime...

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 11:35 a.m. CST

    The Great Penguin in the Sky is DEAD!!!

    by TheBaxter

    long live the Flying Spaghetti Monster!!!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 11:45 a.m. CST


    by Freefinger

    Am I.. seriously... Am I the forst to post this??? WOO HOO

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Massa, you rock, dude.

    by vich1

    Everyone who's telling you that you are off your nut can drop dead because you're absolutely right. I was always suspicious about this movie due EXACTLY to the fact that the trailers were so fracking ambiguous and told you NOTHING about the story. Now I know why.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Wait, so let me get this straight...

    by Tommy the Cat

    Who gives a shit? ...Oh yeh, you fuckers.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:04 p.m. CST

    PlEASE READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by PwnedByStallone

    Religion is evil and the sooner all of you realize that the better off the world will be. There's no such thing as religous moderatism, only religous extremism and religous hypocrisy, and they both suck. Religous moderatism only enables religous extremism by accepting any part of it as the will of God. You can't selectively take the parts of the Bible or the Koran or whatever other toilet paper you say is the word of God and choose the ones that are good for you. As long as people worship a 2000 year old book that has anti-social themes, someone is going to take to heart the parts that say stone to death nonbelievers, especially if moderates are saying parts of the book are the word of God.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:06 p.m. CST


    by ripper t. jones

    What total crap!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Hey, DUMBASSES...

    by uberman

    Read a friggin credible scientific report on the real crises of overfishing on our seas. Its not a red/blue issue, you jaggoffs.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:27 p.m. CST

    But it's ok to brainwash kids into BELIEVING religion?

    by Moa Kaka

    If kids are too young to be exposed to movies denouncing religion, then they are too young to be exposed to movies extolling religion. But you'll never hear religious nuts admit that. No, they believe that you have to indoctrinate religion into children's minds while they are still too young to think for themselves. So much for free will and choosing to love Jesus. It would mean more if they accepted Jesus willing and not be brainwashed into it.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:29 p.m. CST


    by BigTuna

    Seriously, I haven't seen the film but I appreciate your passion for hating it and seem to have good reasons too.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Fishing vs. Surviving (Or: Why is Massawyrm Giggling?)

    by topaz4206

    How is human fish consumption different from penguin fish consumption? Penguins eat fish to SURVIVE. Human beings developed the ability to consume meat as a means of survival. Now that we have the technology to nourish ourselves for a lifetime without harming sentient lifeforms, we can choose through free will to live our lives this way. It's not something to snicker at as you have done ("fishing? giggle"), but something to be admired. I have no comment about your opinion of the film, I just find it distasteful that you criticize people that willfully choose to live a more humane lifestyle.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 12:48 p.m. CST

    AK-47 and others missed last week's South Park

    by chrth

    Religion is an excuse, not a reason, for aggressive behavior. Always has been, always will be. A world of Atheism would not be less violent, it'd just be violent for different excuses. <p> Damn Sea Otters!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:12 p.m. CST

    I am, YackBacker. Wyrm, nice job on the firestorm, but

    by GreatWhiteNoise

    riddle me this... from everything I've read above (and I read it all), the problem isn't with the film at all, but with the studio. As you've said, movies like Animal Farm and Watership Down aren't bad films or even subversive, but there's no denying they contain powerful religious and political themes (and I wouldn't call either of them particularly subtle). The difference, as you say, is that you know what you're gonna get from the outset with those. In that sense, I would draw from your comments that the film is what it is in terms of its themes, and that's OK as long as you're prepared for it, but that the marketing campaign behind it thus far has been completely misleading. I mean, let's face it -- a George Miller film devoid of political or religious subtext? I just watched The Road Warrior again on the weekend, which only reinforces my total non-surprise that Happy Feet walks some of the same path. I don't know if Warner Bros. simply forgot that when they were getting a Miller movie, or whether they ordered something completely different, but it seems relatively clear to me (again, not having had the benefit of seeing the movie, but having seen the trailers and accepting at face value what you've said about the film) that Warner Bros. has tried to package this up on a totally different and superficial level. Now, the reasons for that shouldn't be too opaque either -- Warner's job here (as far as they're concerned, anyway) is not to edify or enrich theopolitical debate. It's to SELL MOVIE TICKETS. That gets done with the lowest common denominator -- i.e. packaging it up as a 2-hour Shrek Karaoke Dance Party with voice by Aladdin's Genie. Let the film say what it wants to say, but only after you've got their money. So shame on Warner Bros. for not having the stones to come out and present this film for what it really is -- had they done so, I bet they could have fostered some very interesting press about it. I mean, I see where they get scared about that -- animated films that make you think too much can bomb at the box office (Hulk, anyone?), but then again, films that create some controversial buzz ahead of them (i.e. The Passion Of The Christ) can also pack 'em in. But this is just Warner Bros. taking the easy way out, which is unfortunate and wasteful. That aside, however, sounds like Happy Feet could genuinely be a thought-provoking (if not particularly subtly themed) film. (And sure, there may be some factual liberties about fishing and ecology, but some of that is permissible in the interest of storytelling -- after all, I always wondered where the Feral Kid managed to find that boomerang, not to mention how he kept it razor-sharp...) Anyway, my two cents. A pleasure as always. Cheers.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:14 p.m. CST

    is this the same Massawyrm...

    by TheBaxter

    who claimed in his Narnia review ( that "describing this as a Christian work of fantasy is way off base"? if a lion sacrifices himself and is then resurrected, no way is that an allegory for Christ, but somehow going against the law of the Great Penguin in the Sky is anti-religious propaganda? maybe massawyrm just doesn't want to admit that having PRO-religious subtext in a family film is perfectly OK, but having ANTI-religous subtext is insidious, evil and DANGEROUS!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Just like a Conservative to disregard the artist

    by Krinkle

    What is it with you backwards relgious morons and you fear of glorifying (or damning) the individual? You didn't even MENTION George Miller in this review. That inconscionable! That turns this from a review into a Drudge-style rant.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:15 p.m. CST


    by PwnedByStallone

    Of course it's true that religion is often used as an excuse for bad behavior (i.e. Islamic fundamentalism and terror) but you are absolutely wrong if you think religion is not also a REASON for violence. Parts of the Bible and Koran explicitely state that believers should expel non-believers. There was that whole Spanish Inquisition thing where non-believers were rounded up, tortured, and burned at the stake for no other reason that they were not Catholic or that somone had told that they weren't Catholic. Violence has and always will be part of religion according to its tenants. It's true that a world of atheism today would be just as violent as it is now with it, but until we come out of the wilderness and stop supressing scientific advancement (e.g. evolutionary theory and stem cell research which are both opposed by religous zealotry) than we will never be able to improve the world to a point of one of non- or very little violence.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:19 p.m. CST



    Standard issue dipshit kneejerk reaction. Read my post again. Whereas I stand behind what I said about removing religion from the cultural landscape, I agreed with Massawyrm that the film should be represented accurately so that parents can make informed decisions about what they want to show their children. And as for the soviet union being a humanist society, it is not. It is a communist society. You shouldn't need a wikipedia entry to point that out to you.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:24 p.m. CST



    Hey homie, I thought your review (or rant) was very well done. Even if I dont necessarilly agree with all of it (especially having not seen the film its hard for me to comment in that regard) but you are, in fact, the best reviewer on this site.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Christianty and Conservatism are both dying

    by Krinkle

    It has to happen. If we're ever going to grow as a civilization, if we're ever going to learn to love each other and this planet, we have to dump this nostalgia for the medieval. Christianity is a totally bastardized, unrecognizable, white-guy's version of a Jew's liberal, humanistic 2000 year-old version of Judaism, and Conservatism is an understandable but wrong-headed attempt to fend off the future by glorifying the past. They've gotta go, folks. And by the way, I also regularly go to media pre-screenings for review, I write a column with about as much pull as Massawyrm's (maybe not quite as much), and I load my reviews with as much POV as possible. So I can't fault Massawyrm for that. But I've seen HAPPY FEET: It's not as good as Miller's last film, but it is an interesting piece of work that will surely please a lot of people. Also, what is all this shit about "protecting kids"? Fuck 'em! If we're not filling their too-young-to-process-it ears with medieval lies about religion, we're either sexually or commercially molesting them.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:29 p.m. CST

    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree...

    by Novaman5000

    It is never, EVER a bad thing to tell children to think for themselves. Even when it comes to religion. Most 5 year olds are smart and aware, fine, but will they equate the Great Penguin in the Sky with the Christian God? Will the come out of the movie as atheists? Probably not. And besides, shunning those who are different sounds like an extremist organized religion to me... Why is it bad that mumbles goes against a relgion that not only excludes but actually banishes those who are different? That doesn't sound like a very good organization that our children should WANT to be a part of, does it? If this film paints such a religion in a negative light, you have to wonder... is it the filmmakers with a hidden, dishonest agenda, trying to undermine the good work of Christ with their lies and brainwashing? Or... is it the fact that religion, when you really take a step back and look at it, can be a very negative, divisive thing? I just can't help but feel like this is some of Massa's personal bias coming through in a review. I realize that everyone brings opinions and unique backgrounds to a critique, but I don't think he's being particularly objective here. This is not an attack, it's just how I feel.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:34 p.m. CST

    TheBaxter - That's a good call

    by Novaman5000

    The religious tones in Narnia were fine (although obvious, I might add, Adam, Eve, and Santa... You don't get more Christian than that), but the ones here are dangerous? Can't have it both ways and still claim to maintain a middle ground.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:38 p.m. CST

    I do agree that the marketing should have at least

    by Novaman5000

    given an idea to the true nature of the film, but to suggest that this film is bad or wrong for taking the road that you reported it did is ridiculous.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:39 p.m. CST

    I don't mean "bad" as in quality

    by Novaman5000

    I mean bad as in morally, culturally, what-have-you.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:41 p.m. CST

    AK-47: That's not what the spanish inquisition did

    by chrth

    I know, I know, I'm being nitpicky. But the origin of and main purpose of the inquisition was in rooting out Converts to Christianity who still practiced Judaism. This was necessary because the Jews had been kicked out of Spain that year. Granted, that wasn't a very nice thing to do in of itself, but the primary motive for that was greed, not religion.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:47 p.m. CST

    AK-47: As for religion suppressing science

    by chrth

    Yes, there are some factions that want to go back to the stone age. And yes, the Baptist Convention just outlawed gays in their churches just 15 miles from where I live. BUT<p> Not all religions can be painted with the same brush. The Catholic Church officially recognized the Big Bang Theory before most scientists did. And yes, the Pope told Stephen Hawking not to discuss the moment of creation itself (since the Catholic position is that the Big Bang is an act of God), but that's definitely progress compared to putting Galileo under house arrest in a swanky villa (contrary to people's notion that he went to Jail or something).<p> Not only that, heck, the Catholic Church TEACHES Evolution. I learned it from a Nun. The Catholic Church doesn't have a problem with it because it doesn't perceive God as this doddering Geppeto-like figure who can't get his creation right and has to use "Intelligent Design" to do so. <p> And remember, it was the Islamic population that helped keep the teaching of ancients alive during the middle ages, and also added to it. <p> So in short, it's not strictly religion that's at fault. It is certain religions with certain backwards attitudes that are at fault. Painting all religions with an anti-science brush not only makes it possible to have a reasonable discussion about the topic, but it's also ignoring factual evidence.<p> What could be more unscientific than that?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Should read "makes it impossible", not "possible"

    by chrth

    Wow, talk about getting the meaning of a sentence backwards!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:08 p.m. CST

    People bringing up the Inquisition forget to mention...

    by Johnno

    That the Inquisition followed the same procedures as civil authorities, in fact many preferred the inquisition rather than the civil courts, and burning was a severe penalty for those that committed treason, otherwise it was mostly jailtime (which often led to death over long periods of time in poor conditions as was the norm). Not to whitewash the issue, but let's put things into proper perspective...

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:12 p.m. CST


    by PwnedByStallone

    Spanish Inquisition: First off, you don't know that the primary purpose for the Inquisiiton was greed, although no doubt it was a factor. Historians differ dramatically as to the causes. But even if it was primarily for greed religion still provided the pre-text and justification (by it's own context) for violence against several differnet faiths, not just Judaism. Supressing Science: Painting all religions with the same brush makes doesn't make reasonable discussion impossible since all religions have basically the same purpose, which is the basic search for truth. Ignoring the hypocrisy of religion and those who follow it definitely DOES make reasonable discussion, and the scientific means for the search for truth impossible.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:18 p.m. CST


    by King_Midas

    Did you find “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” equally abhorrent and subversive for displaying overt Christian themes in a children’s movie? Is questioning religion really any worse than promoting it? There are valid issues on both sides and hopefully you are intelligent enough and involved enough as a parent to have a worthy discussion with your children about debatable issues rather than living in fear that an alternative point of view may be presented to them.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:20 p.m. CST

    "Getting the meaning of a sentence backwards!"

    by Childe Roland

    I love this quote in this talkback, because it's SO applicable to the way in which certain exclusivist sects of Christianity and other religions have chosen to interpret their holy texts (and, apparently, the way Massa chose to interpret this movie). Most of what is wrong with modern religions is that their initial purposes and meanings have been subverted to the will of the church leaders and their various agendas over the years. Religion was designed (by man) to be a unifying code of ethics adn guide for good conduct that would strengthen a community through common beliefs. The representative democracy pretty much scaled back religion's role to more of a personal thing...a conscience for those who haven't quite developed one on their own...and a philosophical way to justify getting out of bed in the morning (the idea that all the toil and suffering we endure in this lifetime is somehow paid off in the after). While I don't buy into that last bit personally (if you need someone or something else to tell you why you should want to get out of bed and live life to the fullest, you probably wouldn't be living life to the fullest anyway), I do believe religion can be an excellent control device for preventing bad behavior among the frighteningly large portion of the world's population that lacks the self-regulating capacity to not act like an animal. It's a useful tool in that way, but religion is also an adaptable tool that can be used to shape and mold behaviors and attitudes to certain desired political ends (see "Jesus Camp" or the last eight years of U.S. and Middle Eastern history for the most recent and relevant examples). The separation of church and state is probably the best idea in the history of post-Platonic thought. But, unfortunately, it remains an idea rather than a reality. Hence much of the warring that goes on in the world. If a movie like Happy Feet plays any part in getting people to step back, look at what they believe and ask themselves why they believe it (and, subsequently, why they might be doing the things they do), then it's a good thing.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:21 p.m. CST

    This just in from the Warren

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Fiver and Hazel are on the lam...General Woundwart is leading the chase!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:21 p.m. CST

    AK-47: What other faiths? also "basic search for truth"

    by chrth

    The inquisition was started when there WEREN'T any other faiths in Spain. Christianity was monolithic: everyone was Catholic. The Moors had just been kicked out of Spain by military means, the Jews had just been kicked out by political means. EVERYONE was Catholic. <p> Or supposed to be. The inquisition was created to find those who preached Catholicism but practiced Judaism.<p> I would also debate that religion's purpose is the "basic search for truth"; my perspective has always been that religion's purpose is to assist the individual in his search for purpose. Granted, that position is mine and quite possibly mine alone ... but I suspect that most turn to religion aren't looking for any real truth insomuch as their looking for direction.<p> And again, blanket statements like 'the hypocrisy of religion' shows that you're as big of a threat to scientific thinking as any foaming-at-the-mouth hellbrand preacher.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:24 p.m. CST

    AK-47: Also, I didn't say the primary motive for the

    by chrth

    Inquisition was Greed; I said the primary motive for the expulsion of the Jews was greed. And that is a known fact; the crowns' treasury was depleted by the war to get rid of the Moors. The Jews had money. Outlaw Judaism, grab their holdings, problem solved. Religion was an excuse.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:26 p.m. CST

    I wasn't even interested in this before...

    by DOGSOUP

    But now I have to see it. Penguin Heresy!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:30 p.m. CST

    The inquisition was also started by the Church...

    by Johnno

    Because idiots in the Civil courts were charging people for religious crimes of heresy etc. without any theological training and expertise on the matter so many people were falsely accused and got into trouble. So the Church decided to formally begin an office to investigate the claims for themselves, followed the procedures practiced widely at the time and had to hand over the accused to the civilian authorities to be put to death or whatever. It wasn't a perfect system however and a lot of shit went down...<br><br> As for religion being 'the search for truth' I'd argue against it from Christianity's point of view, being that the Christian religion isn't searching for the truth, but claims the truth personally came down and revealed itself to us since God spoke to Adam, Job, Abraham, Moses etc. all the way down to revealing Himself in Christ. Our religion only seeks to proclaim and maintain that truth. There is no searching as far as we're concerned...

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:36 p.m. CST

    You fools and your penguins

    by Ricky Henderson

    Can't we get back to discussing more serious issues, like for how many seconds Venom will be in Spiderman 3? (I'm guessing 20).

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Johnno! Good job! First person Ive ever seen

    by DOGSOUP

    who defended the Inquisition! Shit, even the last pope said he was sorry. "Oh it wasn't THE CHURCH who did all of those vile acts, it was the untrained citizen! The Church was trying to HELP with thier expertise!" Wow, seriously, use that doublethink to explain to us all how Hitler was a humanitarian...

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:47 p.m. CST

    DOGSOUP: I think you misconstrued Johnno's statement

    by chrth

    He was speaking specifically about the origin of the inquisition. No one is countering the fact that the inquisition did lousy things to people.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Ricky Henderson's right.

    by chrth

    Heck, I only just now figured out we weren't talking about the next Batman film... <p> Yeah, I'm watching too much Heroes.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Childe Roland

    by PwnedByStallone

    Here! Here!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Other religions

    by PwnedByStallone

    Manicheanism, Catharism, various forms of Protestanism, Moors, "Old Ohristians"

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:03 p.m. CST

    "various forms of Protestantism" really?

    by chrth

    Might want to recheck your chronology on that. As for the various heresies such as Manicheanism, those have always been targeted by the Catholic Church; that didn't need the inquisition for that.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Speaking of chronology, I need to correct my mistake

    by chrth

    The expulsion of the Jews and Moors happened after the initial formation of the Inquisition. Its purpose remained the same: exposing "Christians" who secretly practised Judaism and Islam. But Judaism itself had not been outlawed yet.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:11 p.m. CST

    My bad chrth

    by PwnedByStallone

    You're right. I did incorrectly state that you said the primary reason for the Inquisition was greed, although you implied it when you said the expulsion of the Jews was. And the term hypocrisy of religion is hardly a threat to scientific thought. It's merely a statement that points out one fact, that hypocrisy is abound in religous texts and its practice. Fact gathering is useful in scientific research.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Other childrens films Massawyrm hates

    by BrassMan68

    BAMBI: Anti-NRA FINDING NEMO: Pro-lesbian fish CHARLIE AND CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Pro-Michael Jackson. FANTASIA 2000: Blasphemous duck never mentioned in the Book of Genesis. IRON GIANT: So soft of giant robots it's pro-Communist.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Rotten Tomatoes

    by andenu

    MAYBE one or two of the reviews there even come close to referencing what this review saw as clear as day. (There are 11 in total right now.) Could it be conspiracy time, or is this reviewer way off base? I think it's the latter of course. Anybody with half a brain can stir shit up and I think that's Massawyrm wanted to do.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:26 p.m. CST

    And another fact is...

    by PwnedByStallone

    Because of the faith, religion will always be immune to scientific criticism, which is why it is so insanely dangerous.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Dear god.......

    by lionbiu

    ....please save me from your followers!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST

    BrassMan68: I can top you with the Choc. Factory

    by chrth

    In the Gene Wilder version, what does Wonka tell Charlie in the Glass Elevator?<p> "Who's going to watch over my factory and take care of the Oompa Loompas for me after I pass on? Not a grown-up. A grown-up would want to do things his own way. That's why I wanted a child. A kind and caring small boy. "<p> Or to put it a different way, a boy to brainwash to do my bidding.<p> Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Teaching You that Children Will Follow Your Every Command since 1971.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:35 p.m. CST

    "All of you of Earth are IDIOTS!"

    by Angry White baby

    I love this: neo-con, radical christian.. because it is SOOOO much radicaler man to wag a finger as opposed to hijack a plane or chop of a head or force a woman to walk around in black from nose to toes in the DESERT!!! You know.. the comfortable and breezy DESERT? And Massa: what is up with the "liberal Pat Robertson" and "he is psycho for saying he wants a democractically elected dictator killed"? What, you mean like how Christians wanted to assassinate (heh, heh, I said a$$ twice) another democratically elected leader in a sovereign country back in the 1940s? I'll give you a hint: he wasn't FDR. Last time I rememeber, Hugo Chavez wasn't exactly a nice guy and has made quite a chunk of population disappear (maybe not on Schicklegruber levels {that's Hitler's real Jewish last name}, but tyrant is tyrant). I mean we aren't talking about assassinating the leader of Sweden or Swaziland you know, not that assassination is Christian (that would be a good point)! Also, I don't recall Patty doing anything other than talk.. unlike say our Hollywood and liberal friends who actually do their best with taxes and screwing around with health care and a government controlled schooling system to force their beliefs on others. You know YackBacker and KingGeorgetheIII: TO FORCE THEIR BELIEFS ON OTHERS?! As in: I don't have a conservative or libertarian public school to send my kid to; I do not have a choice when it comes to signing a W2 form; and if good ole' mayor Jerry Abramson (D) in Louisville, KY decides to blight a poor neighborhood for airport expansion, HEY, NOT A PROBLEM! No impeachment, no jail time, no NOTHIN! Let's face it: the latest SOUTH PARK nailed on the nose cone: "-isms are fine with rational people, but become dangerous when irrational people get involved" If I recall, atheists, socialists and communists have proven themselves to be quite irrational despite the Darwinism and science that is always used to justify their own forms of actual oppression. Just compare the death rate of people in communist and socialist countries as compared to: the plague (AIDS or Black Death), Inquisition, death of Christians during Romans, even deaths during war: check it out: All you democrats, liberals, atheists and socialists: iff I refuse to pay taxes for say.. FUNDING THE IRAQ WAR.. I will go to jail because I did not give the government tribute for my freedom.. because it is not really free is it? When I made minimum wage I had 25% of my salary RAPED out of my paycheck before I even SAW it, not to mention the taxes on my TIPS AND GRATUITIES.. yet Teresa Heins Kerry lists herself as paying 10% in taxes on more than $1,000,000,000. How is it that one of "the poor" like myself pays 3 times more than a billionaress?!?! You think it may have anything to do with her husband being a senator? Do you REALLY think that when Warren Beatty opens his mouth as says "the rich need to pay their fair share!" he is talking about HIMSELF? What do you socialist kiddies think ole' Warren would do if the govermnet created a Warren Beatty tax? No one else; just him (and anyone else who opened their mouth and say the rich need to pay their fair share.. and are undeniably RICH)? Do you think he would smile and go along, or fight tooth and nail to keep HIS money? (pops meds) I think that all these talkbacks prove is that you don't need religion to justify being an a$$hole.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:38 p.m. CST

    religion will always be immune to scientific criticism

    by chrth

    Well, yeah, when the two intersect. But like I said earlier, the Catholic Church, for example, has made only one thing off-limits: the big bang itself. And frankly, I don't think science can 'solve' that problem. Sure they'll have some theories (brane intersection, for example), but even if brane intersection was proven, the Catholic Church could just revise its stance to the moment before any of the branes were created. <p> Let's be honest though: the only time religion and science conflict is when it involves a practical matter. The origin of the universe for all intents and purposes is really an academic exercise. Yes, creationism causes an intractable problem with evolution and thus scientific inquiry, but there aren't many creationists left. Even intelligent design--as much as I despise the idea--doesn't truly interfere with science, it justs seeks to put a lousy answer to the question of 'why?' ... scientists are still free to pursue the 'how?' of the matter.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Angry White Baby: < p > (remove the spaces)

    by chrth

    is your friend. Please use it. Thanks

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:42 p.m. CST

    "there aren't many creationists left" , whoa bad call

    by chrth

    on my part. I should've said that creationism appears to be dying and has been replaced in the evolution debate with intelligent design. Totally said that wrong.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:42 p.m. CST


    by fannypacoderus

    best review EVER... i still say OVER THE HEDGE is the best cg kids movie

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:42 p.m. CST

    anchorite, a REVIEW OF A FILM

    by Novaman5000

    Should be someone judging a film based on it's merits as a film, not based on how he feels as a catholic conservative. Of course, you have to bring personal views to a review, but when you let them cloud how you see a film, you're writing a rant, not a review. That's what Massa did here, and then he claimed to be equally biased against the far-right conservatives, yet a movie with ACTUAL REFERENCES TO CHRISTIANITY, he loved. Happy Feet, as far as I can tell, only alludes to it. "The Great Penguin"?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 3:45 p.m. CST

    And I saw over the hedge wanting to like it

    by Novaman5000

    I really, really didn't. So overrated in my opinion. Just really standard, uninspired stuff.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 5:26 p.m. CST


    by inevitability

    I wont take my little brother to see this thing.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 5:36 p.m. CST


    by Quin the Eskimo

    not really, pretty sure Jesus is getting sick of that guy.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 5:36 p.m. CST

    I will take my children and my children's children

    by quentintarantado

    I see Massawyrm's point, it ain't what it is, but knowing that, it's up to us to decide. I vote, take 'em! And buy the DVD and make 'em watch it daily! Anyway, what happened to your ending picture? I miss it. Or any of the new ones?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Can we have a real review

    by majortom25

    Why did he post this. this is a rant not a review. Besides the studios mis marketing how is the darn movie. Is that so hard to ask from a website that is supposed to review movies?

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 5:52 p.m. CST

    by "merits as a film"

    by Novaman5000

    I meant everything from technique to story, subtext, etc. I see that Massa is enraged by how this film is being marketed and to an extent I agree that the trailers should at least hinted at what the film was really about. On the other hand, I can't be angry about a film being deeper than it seemed at first, PLUS I'm not personally offended in any way by the message of "think for yourself" that this film seems to be putting forth. I personally can not understand why parents would not take their kids to this film based solely hearing that it had such ideas in it. Especially since Rotten Tomatoes has been so kind to this film thus far, it makes you wonder if Massa's way off base on this one. Hell, he insisted the Ant Bully was communist propaganda practically... I appears that he's looking to hard to find these themes in these films. You can see whatever you want to see, if you want it bad enough.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 6:36 p.m. CST


    by BannedOnTheRun

    I'm getting that tattooed on my ass tomorrow. This is a great review, but I suppose you wouldn't recognize that if you grew up watching Captain Fucking Planet.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:32 p.m. CST


    by Womb2dooM

    Seriously though, based entirely on what you've written (haven't seen the movie - I'll wait till I get some spongy kids), you really are quite insane. Everything you typed, all the points you (never) made, seemed to backage you took in with you. That was stir fuckin crazy. The non-sensical ravings of a mad-man. And thanks for not ramming your point down our throats with a "I'm not making this up!" at the end of every other paragraph. Tops. ... "Don't go near the shouty man, kids."

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Massawwyrm's right. We should only have films...

    by Hail

    ...that rejoice religion. That way everyone will be happy!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Give me another...

    by Hail

    ...Narnia already! Or, I got it, The Natvity Story 2: The Big Bang!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:12 p.m. CST


    by Hail

    ...Narnia isn't subversive in its pro-religious message. Nor was Disney insidious with it's marketing of that film.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 8:33 p.m. CST


    by stvnhthr

    Thanks for the warning. I will avoid this film like the plague.

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:30 p.m. CST

    Massawyrm was right!

    by captain_great

    I took my four year old kid to see this shit and after leaving the theater he started questioning the existence of that invisible man in the sky that we worship and worst of all started to believe in global warming! It took several hours of reading the worst bits in Leviticus and speaking in tongues to erase the harmful effects of all this fucked-up liberal dogma! And I agree Massawyrm, Robin Williams is insidious!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 9:55 p.m. CST


    by giger41

    Sounds like you have a severe case of the American / Christian don't you teach MY children anything negative about God ideology, that a lot of conservative types in the US have. You are normally the loudest talkers and most of your comments are along the lines of WE don't want to HEAR your opinions so keep them to yourself! It is a whole new world out there now and we don't all mindlessly follow the WORD OF GOD anymore, and to our benefit, and whether you believe it or not the environment IS in dire danger of being destroyed by selfish, self absorbed people who believe they are more important than anything else. THEY ARE OUTDATED BELIEFS. We are about to overpopulate the world to such a degree as humans that we will decimate MOST of the species of animals, habitat, air and water on the planet. This is not alarmist. Look at your city skyline and tell me the pollution that you can see is normal and healthy for us. TIME TO WAKE UP! GO HARD GEORGE!

  • Nov. 15, 2006, 10:25 p.m. CST

    "Look at your city skyline" -- Amen!

    by chrth

    This is my viewpoint on Global Warming. There's no way we have enough data to say for sure that humans are causing global warming or accelerating a natural warming cycle. However, we have plenty of evidence of the senses: look at the skyline. That's pollution. THAT CAN'T BE GOOD.

  • Nov. 16, 2006, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Other Reviews

    by Onlooker

    Just the summary of the Entertainment Weekly review has more to say than that whole diatribe above: "A moderately adorable, musically wacky, ecologically activist CG family comedy from George Miller." Rotten Tomatoes so far as 14 reviews of the film up, 12 of them fresh.

  • Nov. 16, 2006, 3:34 a.m. CST

    We need a Flying Spaghetti Monster Movie STAT!

    by DOGSOUP

    Ah Richard Dawkins, in trying to be cute you gave a face to your cause....and it's noodley...

  • Nov. 16, 2006, 11:42 a.m. CST

    A Massawyrm's review circa 1884

    by BrassMan68

    8 years ago, Mark Twain wrote an interesting children's book called "Adventures of Tom Sawyer." While it's treatment of adults was not to be admired, overall it was an okay book for kids. Now Mark Twain has come up with a followup book, called the "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Based on the title, you'd assume it would be more of the same carefree adventures. YOU WOULD BE WRONG! This book is nothing more than a thinly veiled anti-American attack on the decent moral values of keeping the races separated. All of the adult white characters are drunks, thieves, and bullies--the only decent adult character is a black man. What kind of liberal nonsense is this?!

  • Nov. 16, 2006, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Religion never supressed science...

    by Johnno

    From the time of Copernicus and Galileo, both devout Catholics, it has always been concensus and egos that fuck up the progress of science. As for origins science, no theory in existence is reliable as they all rely on unproven presuppositions, Creationism relies on the Book of Genesis, Macro-Evolution relies on naturalistic philosophy, Intelligent Design is some happy medium between the two... They're all pseudo-sciences, you take all available evidence that you can observe and dig up and you interpret it to fit your philosophical assumptions. Then each camp goes around preaching it like it was absolute truth. It's understandable on the Creationists part, they recognize that it's faith-based, but the majority of evolutionists are ignorant about how religious they themselves behave with a hypothesis that's just as miraculous, unexplainable and unproven as instantaneous creation. But none of it is real science, real science involves what you see now, what can be repeatedly tested and built upon. That's the shit that cures diseases, makes cars move, planes fly, and makes our movie watching and game playing experiences possible. Science cannot enter relms that are purely philosophical and based on the unobservable past, origins science is just a bunch of people going around trying to validate their own biased beliefs.

  • Nov. 16, 2006, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Narnia's marketing didn't mention it's religious

    by Novaman5000

    undertones, either, did it? I don't think so. How come we're not castrating that film for misrepresenting it's content? How are Jewish people supposed to feel when they take their kids to see what looks like a family-oriented fantasy film and get a thinly veiled christian allegory instead? The road goes both ways, you know.

  • Nov. 16, 2006, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Fuck the Kids

    by Saluki

    Blow there tiny minds right out the back of their heads with this shit for all I care. This has to be the most boneheaded review around here yet.

  • Nov. 17, 2006, 12:13 a.m. CST

    most of my points have been made already...

    by stickmangrit

    but to continue, fuck the asshole who called Dr Seuss a "leftist pig" and referred to "The Lorax" as leftist propaganda. that's one of the finest books by the best god damned children's writer who ever lived. fuck you in the neck motherfucker.

  • Nov. 18, 2006, 5:29 p.m. CST

    I didn't want to see HAPPY

    by Sleeperkid

    I didn't want to see HAPPY FEET till I read your review, man. If we get at least one kids movie that dares to challenge religion for every 500 that goes along with it, Im a happy guy. So far that's not the case, but I'll take what I can get.

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 4:15 a.m. CST


    by koikuri

    i actually registered just to comment that i thought this post, while not a standard movie review, was excellent, and i'm really depressed at the stupidity of the massive numbers of commenters who completely missed its point. good job /reading/, folks.

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 4:27 a.m. CST

    re: narnia, watership down, animal farm, lotr, etc.

    by koikuri

    all of those films were based on books that are well known to be subversive and/or moralistic; any parent who gave a damn about what their kids were seeing could have learned that in minutes regardless of the content of the advertising. what makes happy feet more insidious (i'm sorry; in little words, "sneaky") than any of those films is that there was /no/ way to know about its message, whether or not you like it, before the film opened in theaters. i will probably see happy feet, though i'd been completely uninterested before i read this review, because i enjoy propaganda when i know it's propaganda. i'll encourage my fifteen-year-old brother to do the same, and possibly even take him with me. i will also suggest to my parents that they NOT take my ten-year-old brother to see it, as i know they can find both better forms of innocent entertainment AND better vehicles for discussing the very real issues of environmentalism, individualism and religious tyrrany.

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 4:46 a.m. CST

    oh, why not...

    by koikuri

    i'll be absurd and post three in a row on an old thread. =) i agree 100% with the few commenters who recognized that this sort of theme (though perhaps not the rest of the movie) is characteristic of good ADULT animation and that there should be more of that underappreciated genre. come on, hollywood, give me a western hayao miyazaki and market the films as the adult masterpieces they are, and stop confusing "animation" with "kiddie film".

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Religion, for the most part, is crap anyway.

    by J Pride

    I joined to comment. Cause thi entire post is just ridiculous. Tell me anywhere in the 10 commandments where "God" states you have to choose a religion. And I'm NOT an athiest. Religion took a good idea and made it into an institution that is not only feared, but controls every aspect of your daily life. Granted, some people need religion. they are so conformed into being sheep, they need that simple answer. "Why is this here?" "that's right, 'God' put it here". I do not have children of my own, but I hve been around children my entire life. I've half raised many of my nephews. Children are smart. And they have fantastic imaginations. And it's a shame we have to tell them what they should believe in. I went to Catholic school for 10 YEARS. And it's the sole reason I'm no longer a practicing Catholic. Why? Because children are smart. And they KNOW bullshit when they hear it. I beat myself up for YEARS. I found out I had Endometriosis and the only thing I could do at my age to keep my symptoms to where I'm not crying in pain, and to keep the desease in check was by taking birth control. Luckily, my mom was able to look past that. How do YOU think your child would feel, knowing she was in extreme pain, and not being able to do shit about it because of some stupid rule in a religion? Crying in pain every month, begging for you to take her pain away? I grew up resenting religion. And I hope many others do to. you do NOT need religion to function. You do NOT need religion to be a good person. 'God' says to follow the Ten commandments and you shall go to Heaven. You believe in God, follow HIS rules. Not some man-made rules. And don't force your children to believe in what YOU believe in. A child only acts on what they understand. I didn't understand religion til I was 15. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 9:51 a.m. CST

    the difference between Narnia and Happy Feet is...

    by teddanson37

    one had trailers that said "look at me! i have an agenda" and the other had trailers that said "look at me! I'm so stinkin' cute." both had an agenda, one hid from it. i wonder how ticket sales would have gone if people would have known about the agenda of this film? how did Narnia do last year, i forget???

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Yeah so I saw the atrocity in question

    by peachiece

    and thoroughly enjoyed it. Granted, the story was utter garbage and Miller was trying to do waaaaay too much in one movie. But I thought the dialogue was hysterical and the dancing/singing was delightful. Now granted, this is because I saw a commercial for an animated musical and expected to see... an animated musical. The animation was suberb! The Arctic scenery caught in CG was breathtaking. My kids both being interested in dance thought the dancing was pretty darn good for a peguin. Is Massa correct in reporting a high incidence of unadvertised propaganda that ya don't get from the trailer? Yes. Did I have a problem with my 4 and 8 year old kids seeing it? Not at all. My kids know that a lot of people believe a lot of different things. And I was happy to tell them that the "mean" penguin was just trying to do what he thought was right for the rest of the community based on what he knew. They took that as good enough and went off pretending to tap dance away. Honestly, we went to be entertained and the movie did do that. The part about Mumble ending up in Sea World was depressing as shit but we kinda dismissed it when the singing and dancing started again. The majority of the movie is concerned with the light and easy antics of this off-colored bird. The eco/religion-propoganda was only about 20 minutes of the 2 1/2 hour piece and was so oddly juxtaposed with the rest of the flick most brains would just roll their eyes at the point and move along. Does Massa have some decent points hidden in his erratic tirade? I think so (can't be sure with all the randomness) Is Massa a little over the top with his ranting? Uh, yeah. Try a lot. Any parent who is actually not afraid to TALK TO THEIR KIDS (what a concept) should not have a problem going to see this movie. Newsflash to all Chicago/Moulin Rouge/Rent haters: stop seeing musicals and you'll stop complaining about being bored. **toodles**

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 9:59 a.m. CST

    and my opinion about HAPPY FEET

    by teddanson37

    i saw it this weekend, and as a christian i was slightly offended. but i thought it was a great movie. the "great 'guin" could be removed completely and it wouldn't be offensive. if they had just talked about their "traditions" that'd be fine with me, cuz i'm all about hatin' on needless tradition. HOWEVER i didn't feel that the film was saying "religion is for stupid people". the old-geezer penguin says that they need to repent because only the great 'guin can make the fish return, and mumble responds "but the great 'guin didn't make the fish disappear; the aliens did". which is more on a pro-environmental position than an anti-religion position. which i have all kinds of problems with tree-huggers but we won't go there. it was a good movie, i enjoyed it, despite the "great 'guin".

  • Nov. 20, 2006, 6:13 p.m. CST

    I love BABE: PIG IN THE CITY so I gave this a shot

    by Bryan

    then I read this review and laughed very hard. I'm sure there's been one before, but I can't remember reading a more insanely overreacting review on this site. And Massawyrm calls THE MOVIE extremist! <p> The religious aspects of the film amount to less than Footloose. The town elder thinks that dancing is wrong and this "backsliding" is responsible for the fish shortage. Of course, by the end he is dancing too, not because he is renouncing God but because he realizes dancing actually isn't sacreligious. I will be very surprised if Massawyrm can find a single person who is as shocked by this movie, and if he does I will be sure to not hang out with that person. <p> Subtextually I don't think the movie is even about religion at all, but yes it's about being open-minded and progressive in the face of traditionalism and conservatism. This might be reading too much into it (Massawyrm style) but most of the artists whose songs appear in the movie - Prince, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Beach Boys - were once denounced as a bad influence and a new low point for culture, but now are tame enough to put in a kid's movie about dancing penguins. (Not sure where Chaka Khan fits in, or the Brand New Heavies, or Melle Mel except as a representative of hip hop).<p> Speaking of Prince, he didn't want to let them use "Kiss" in the movie, but after they convinced him to watch it he was so impressed that he not only let them use it but on the spot began composing the end credits song and gave it to them for free. And Prince is a devout Jehovah's Witness who sings a little too much about religion for my tastes. The same movie that sent Massawyrm into a crazed fit of hyperbole and misinterpretation inspired Prince (who I'm betting is exponentially more religious than Massawyrm in his daily life) to create beautiful music. Weird. Which reaction is better? Hard to say.<p> Ironically, the marketing for the movie IS misleading, it hides that it's actually a pretty good movie. To me the weird and hard to take parts of the movie are the bits that Massawyrm was okay with - the greatest hits musical sequences, Robin Williams, etc. None of these turn out to be deal-breakers, but they are the parts you have to be patient with to get to a surprisingly epic story. I never would have thought this from the trailers, but visually it's amazing. You never could've done this movie in any other medium because so much of it involves crowds of thousands of penguins. And what they do with the ice, snow, clouds and lighting is all pretty spectacular. Too bad they weren't able to do it Imax 3-D as originally planned.<p> Does it live up to the Babe movies? Definitely not, but it came way closer than I thought it would. Like Pig in the City (or Mad Max for that matter) there are some thrilling chases and dramatic moments uncharacteristic of children's films (a good thing). The zoo scene that Massawyrm spoiled and complained about is, of course, one of the best scenes in the movie, a total classic that makes you feel like you really see the zoo from the animal's perspective. If your kids have marshmallows for brains and won't be allowed to see Bambi until they graduate from college then no, for God's sake, don't let them out of the cage to see this. Otherwise, they will probably love it and you won't be as bored as you were with most of the other CGI movies you brought them to.<p> My biggest complaint about the movie is Robin Williams. He's not that bad as his primary character Ramon, and the animators do such a great job on him that they kind of endeared the character to me. But I wish they'd chosen someone else for Lovelace, because it sucks to have a Barry-White-imitating Robin Williams narrating the movie. I think Rosco Lee Brown (who narrated the Babe movies) died, but they could've found someone else distinctive.<p>

  • Nov. 21, 2006, 3:27 a.m. CST

    ya' bigot

    by CornsilkSW

    honestly, saying "Because I know a lot of liberals. I have many great friends who are liberal..." is akin to a racist saying "i have a friend who is black" and that's just insulting.

  • Nov. 21, 2006, 7:57 a.m. CST

    They wanted Barry White, and 3d

    by half vader

    White was already very ill by the time they would have used him, and the 3d was already being done before Warners pulled it. As for the narration, remember Lovelace says he'll be telling Mumble's story. <p> I don't understand the criticism of the songs used though. How can you possibly make a story point using current music rather than standards? Even if little kids don't recognise it they'll understand the point the lyrics made, and the whole of the rest of the audience will get both. I think this betrayed Massa's general view that this film was aimed at kids rather than at everyone. The usual 'cartoonies are for kids' crap that lazy thinkers spout without even realising it. Pretty myopic. My problem with the music was that Mumble is ostracised for his music being rhythm not melody (ie: dancing not singing), yet we have 'normal' characters (even in the same school class) who rap, perform hip-hop and even his dad Elvis punctuates with rhythm. Oops. Also, if each species of penguin is a metaphor for different nationalities, why do the leader and the teachers have different accents even though they're Emperors? Why is he called Mumble? Why are we here? What does it all mean? Hey, that movie DOES make you question things!

  • Nov. 21, 2006, 10:30 a.m. CST

    His dark materials

    by half vader

    Man, If this is how Massawyrm reacts to Happy Feet I'm running for the hills when His Dark Materials comes around! And I'll probably hear him there!

  • Nov. 22, 2006, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Happy Feet - I LOVED IT!!

    by SpruceGoose64

    Massawyrm I don't know what your problem is - however MY family and I really loved this cute, funny and very informative film about these zany, flightless birds. Brillantly done with a couple of messages to boot, I found it a very positive experiance for my seven year old who laughed as well as clapped to the different tunes. We all found ourselves rooting for Mumbles and his friends as they trekked across the frozen lands and argued with the elders who were so closed minded to his individuailty. I was more frustrated by your reuse of the word "fuck" more than anything else. Couldn't YOU find a better way of expressing yourself without such profanity? You'd better take a long hard look in the mirror before passing judgement - because YOUR language skills could use some work themselves. I saw NO problem with this movie, I just personally think your mind is a bit confused and paranoid. SpruceGoose

  • Nov. 22, 2006, 7:58 p.m. CST

    I think you're dead wrong, Massa.

    by Lenny Nero

    The "religious" content of the film makes up maybe 20 minutes tops of the film (the first 45-50 minutes are all about the singing and the dancing and the introduction of the little penguins...I know, as I checked my watch) and aside from about two fleeting references to repenting, this is just as much about questioning tradition (which you in the film say is absolutely okay) than religion. I will give you mad props, though, for referencing Leary's Law. "What are you?" "I'm a cow."

  • Nov. 26, 2006, 11:47 p.m. CST

    It's official. Massa had a nervous breakdown

    by Grinning White Skull

    Finally saw the film tonight with a sell-out crowd (5:15 PM) at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. Everyone laughed and cheered throughout the film. Not one parent I spoke with afterwards thought there was anything "fucked up" about it and were planning to recommend it to other families. Their children loved it. The film is about questioning authority, marching (or dancing) to your own drum but ultimately it's about going the distance for your community, family and friends even in the face of the greatest adversity. Let us know when Massa gets out of the mental ward. The only thing "fucked up" was his review and the twisted sense of purpose exhibited in attacking this wonderful film which as gone on to beat Bond at the box office two weeks in a row.

  • Nov. 27, 2006, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Why do so many fail to get the point?

    by UncleSatan

    When Madman Massawyrm laments the propagandist and anti-religious nature of this film (which the video guide for parents in my local paper referred under "Good Lessons" as showing that "superstition" can lead to bad choices), he's not suggesting that these things are necessarily bad, even in a kid's film. He's pissed because nothing in the advertising suggests that these elements will be there. He's pissed because he knows that the only real consent is INFORMED consent. That means it's OK to have anything you want in your kids movie, so long as the parents or guardians are told ahead of time what they will be getting into. That way, if you aren't ready yet to explain to your children that there is no Santa Claus, you can avoid accidentally taking them to a film that tells them there is no Santa Claus. Anyway, the bigger question here is why Massawyrm failed to rip George Miller a new one for deciding that he only needed part of "Somebody to Love" in his penguin love fest. Because I'm fairly certain that if Freddy Mercury thought his song was a bit unweildy as is, he'd certainly have trimmed it down himself. Now you kids leave Massawyrm alone! He used to be my stunt double...

  • Dec. 3, 2006, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Third Straight Week As Number One At The Box Office

    by Grinning White Skull

    HAPPY FEET and its closeted agenda and advertising continue to outrage the American public. The "hidden" message in the film which was designed to destroy America, the world and the minds of children has caused a massive boycott set in motion by the astute Massa and his enlightened review of the film on AICN.

  • Nov. 25, 2008, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Ok so I reading this 2 years...

    by The Eskimo

    ...later (almost to the date) and the only question I have is what happened to the "Chiky" (or whatever) talkbacker that Massa kept responding to on the board. It seemed like it got a little heated, but no sign of his/her posts anywhere. I guest his comments were censored and deleted after the fact...which I find stangely ironic based on the overall theme of the discussion above.

  • Nov. 25, 2008, 1:41 p.m. CST

    And my above post...

    by The Eskimo

    ...should probably be censored and deleted for all the spelling fuck-ups. Two years later guys and still no edit function. Damn!

  • Nov. 26, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST


    by orcus

    If someone gets banned, ALL their posts are removed. Trust Orcus on this

  • Feb. 15, 2010, 7:31 a.m. CST

    No Cigarettes today?

    by orcus

  • April 17, 2011, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Propoganda is dangerous

    by dockealy

    But sunday school and bible stories telling kids that Jesus is real and he's your invisible buddy isn't. Just so you know. Propoganda is everywhere. People only get mad when it ain't THEIR propoganda getting played over the loudspeaker.

  • Oct. 7, 2011, 4:50 a.m. CST

    "Not a lot of money in a film about the evils of religion"?

    by Lampers

    I think a God Delusion film would probably do quite well, not Happy Feet numbers but An Inconvenient Truth numbers. Dawkins should get on it. Personally, a film that tells kids to be individuals, to be responsible consumers and to question facts taught by adults who don't necessarily know any better is a good thing. I DO think kids should respect their elders, but I also know the world is full of people with beliefs that are just plain wrong. I'd rather a film subtly preaching atheism than a whole SERIES of films (Narnia) preaching Christianity. I didn't see Massawyrm rip into those delightful little child-friendly gems, I may have missed it. Could we have that reposted too? Cheers. All that said, I thought Happy Feet was shit. But not for the reasons Massawyrm says.

  • Oct. 7, 2011, 6:57 a.m. CST

    I wasn't offended...

    by airbrushpower

    I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible Gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours

  • Oct. 7, 2011, 9:26 a.m. CST


    by airbrushpower

    I just lost a HUGE amount of respect for this site. My post, which was polite, professional and concise (it was about 4 lines) was just butchered by moderator/s for merely challenging what was written in this review. It even took away the quotation marks and credit to the quote I put on the end, but left the quote. In fact it ONLY left the quote. Did it disagree with what he wrote? yes. But it was TAME in its content compared to the review itself. Very surprised and VERY disappointed.

  • Oct. 7, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST

    airbrushpower- you weren't censored

    by glenn_the_frog

    there's a glitch in the site coding where things get all funky if you use quote marks. Sometimes it deletes entire posts. This has been a known problem for months, and it hasn't been fixed. So, rag on the site for being incompetant to fix a bug in their system, but don't levy censorship at them. They're too lazy to actually edit posts. Or allow anyone to edit their own, for that matter.