2011-11-18

Happy Feet Two – Inspiration And Hope In A Mediocre Movie

by Yo Snyder

Personally, I didn’t like the first Happy Feet, so I wasn’t
all that thrilled to see a sequel. It’s not that it was a bad movie, I
just hated the ending; the truly ridiculous, incredibly preachy, so
abrupt it hurt ending. It just ruined the movie for me. Plus, it didn’t
seem like there was all that much unresolved to require a sequel. Well,
that didn’t stop them from making one and the fact that there wasn’t
anything else really to tell certainly shows as this movie struggles to
fill its hundred minute running time. However, it’s not nearly as
bash-you-over-the-head-with-environmental-awareness preachy, and the
music is as toe-tappingly good as ever, and there are some enjoyable
moments, so…I don’t know, it’s no worse than the first movie but not
really all that much better either. Still, cute animals that sing is
bound to draw families to the theaters; just don’t waste your money on
the 3D (because it’s a stretch, with other solid family films releasing
in the next few days, to drop full-price on it anyway).

To be
honest, I can’t think of much to say about this movie because there
isn’t that much to say. Not a whole lot happens, perse, and a big chunk
of the movie follows a couple of krill on a mostly separate adventure
that has little to do with the goings-on of the penguins (which just
demonstrates to me that this story was on thin ice to begin with. Oh!
Pun!). Interestingly, though, scenes with those two krill are some of
the more entertaining moments of the film. Brad Pitt and Matt Damon do a
fantastic job of playing off each other with these roles and are a lot
of fun. All the other celebrities do fine in their respective roles, but
like this movie, they’re all just kind of there filling time. What
little plot there is gets drag out past a few too many false
resolutions, but that does play in to the overall theme of the movie, I
suppose. There are also some downright strange moments, like this
worship service to honor a fake penguin (a puffin, in fact) who can
apparently fly. It’s like a TV evangelism hour of the worst kind; fake,
driven on false emotion, full of meaningless mumbo-jumbo, and designed
to feed the ego of the one on center stage. Why this was included, I
don’t know. It just seemed weird to me.

However, there are some
nice moments in the film. I admit to actually feeling something when
Mumbles’ son Erik finally realizes that it isn’t the fake penguin who
can fly who’s the hero, but rather is dad. His dad is the one that truly
inspires him, helps him find his voice, and gives him something to hope
in. It’s a stirring moment that really resonated with me as a dad. Our
kids need heroes. They need someone to inspire them, set the example for
them, show them what it means to live a life of purpose, meaning,
kindness, generosity, courage and hope. There’s so much talk about the
lack of role models for today’s young people, but I like that this film
calls it out as it really is; you want role models for your kids? It
starts at home. It starts with you. I’ll be honest; that’s a scary,
daunting thought. Fortunately living up to that doesn’t depend entirely
on me; all I need to do is follow as best I can in the footsteps of the
only perfect parent, my Heavenly Father, and it’ll be just fine.

Happy Feet Two
also encourages us to never give up hope. No matter how bleak things
may appear, there is always hope. However, what we hope in matters a
great deal. We can hope in hope, but ultimately, what is that? Not a
whole lot, and it’s bound to disappoint. However, the Bible reminds us
of a hope that doesn’t disappoint; hope in God. Romans tells us that
“…hope does not disappoint because the love God has been poured out in
our hearts…” (Romans 5:5 NKJV). There’s a lot to unpack when it comes
to this issue, which there isn’t enough space to explore here, but
suffice it to say if you are looking for hope, look to the cross, look
to Jesus. In him, hope springs eternal.

In truth, Happy Feet Two
is the epitome of the pointless sequel. Did we need this movie? No.
Does it justify its existence? Not at all. If anything, it struggles to
come up with any sort of reason for being. Why anyone thought there was a
need for Happy Feet Two, I’ll never know. That being said, the
music is pretty good, there are some pretty impressive sequences in the
animation that are quite a sight to behold, and it’s not nearly as
ridiculous and contrived as parts of the first movie was. It does,
however, end rather abruptly; not unlike the first movie did. So despite
a few enjoyable moments and those truly fun to behold krill and their
wacky adventures, there just isn’t much here to justify the movies
existence or for you to pay to go see it in theaters. In fact, the best
part of the movie was the Sylvester and Tweety short at the beginning
which features the voice of Mel Blanc. Really, catch it on Netflix or
Blu-Ray sometime when you have nothing better to do. This coming holiday
weekend, there are better choices to entertain you and your family at
the movies.
Score: 4 of 7