HAPPY TWO FEET (director/writer: George Miller; screenwriters: Gary Eck/Warren Coleman/Paul Livingston; animation director, Rob Coleman; editor: Christian Gazal; music: John Powell; WITH THE VOICES OF: Elijah Wood (Mumble), Robin Williams (Ramon/Lovelace), Hank Azaria (the Mighty Sven), Ava Acres (Erik), Alecia Moore (Gloria), Brad Pitt (Will the Krill), Matt Damon (Bill the Krill), Sofia Vergara (Carmen), Richard Carter (Bryan the Beachmaster), Ava Acres (Erik), Benjamin Lil P-Nut Flores Jr. (Atticus), Anthony LaPaglia (the Alpha Skua), Meibh Campbell (Bo), Common (Seymour); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Doug Mitchell/George Miller/Bill Miller; Warner Brothers Pictures; 2011)

"The visuals are nice to look at."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
George Miller ("Babe. Pig in the City"/"Lorenzo's Oil"/"Mad Max") directs this moderately entertaining 3D animation sequel, arguably not as good as the 2006 original. It's filled with dancing, singing and wisecracking emperor penguins in the Antarctic. Writers Miller, Gary Eck, Warren Coleman and Paul Livingston take it down a number of subplots, as Erik, the reluctant to dance tiny shy young son of Mumble, The Master of Tap, and his loving singing mother Gloria, runs away after laughed at for not dancing right and in his escape encounters The Mighty Sven-a charismatic flying penguin. Soon there's a world crisis. Mumble gathers together Penguin nation and with the additional help from the tiny orange Krill to the giant Elephant Seals, they save their part of the world from an encroaching ice shelf.

The story skates on thin ice, with too many overlong set pieces sinking in the freezing water; but the visuals are nice to look at, the music is bearable (blending together a number of underwhelming pop hits with an aria from Tosca) and there's a good life lesson about communities sticking together for the common good--like there's strength in numbers (perhaps offering a note of encouragement to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators). The target audience kiddies will probably like all the cheesy physical comedy better than their parents, who, on the other hand, might be taken more with how complex the story gets for a kiddie pic.

REVIEWED ON 12/4/2011       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"