Tuesday, 17 January 2012

163, Happy Feet 2

It only took 5 years but nevertheless, 2011 saw a return to the big screen of Mumble the penguin, played again by Elijah Wood with regular names as Pink & Robin Williams also sliding back into their feathered roles with absolute ease.  A little but older and a little bit wiser its Mumble and Gloria now playing the part of the penguin parents with their own little offspring Erik who is also finding it hard to get along in the icy wonderland and when disaster strikes the Emperor penguins home its Erik and his team of slightly random buddies who have to set off across the icy landscape and initiate the help of a heroic "flying" penguin to save the ones he loves.

So that's the plot and story, very "cutesy" and the opening 15 minutes is a show tunes epic with Pink and a selection of lady penguins bashing out hits that will all be known to your own little cherubs and before you know it you too will be toe tapping in your seat.  But it does not end there - there is a second story line and one that for the older audience will far outshine the sickeningly adorable fluff balls skipping around on glaciers and that's the story of Bill & Will the Krill.

What the film makers have managed to do here is take the planets most insignificant life form, Krill and make a funny, adventurous and laugh out loud sub plot and whats even more impressive have ropes in ocean double act Brad Pitt and Matt Damon to voice them. 

Imagine the scenario - "Krill" on mass have no concept of the big wide world outside of their own swarm and one specific member (Pitt) decides enough is enough and wants to leave the safety of his swarm and face what is sure to be certain death.  What develops however is quite different and with friend in tow (Damon) they manage to break free of the swarm only to discover that on reflection they are merely food for Whales which distresses our minuscule mites beyond compare! 

They set off on a voyage of self discovery to take on the big wide world which involves trying to take down a Seal for food, attempt to survive on dry land and finally results in assisting the lovely penguins with their own issues so even though it takes the whole movie to get there - there's a great link, no matter how insignificant.

Pitt and Damon are the funniest I've seen in a while with Damon being the scared follower to Pitts Gun-ho leadership qualities and to take something so small and overlooked and make what could easily have been their own movie from it is sheer class.

Forget the penguin's - its all about the Krill!