Happy Feet Two [Blu-Ray] George Miller

Happy Feet Two [Blu-Ray] George Miller
Happy Feet Two was a critical and commercial disappointment compared to its 2006 precursor, but it's possibly the more enjoyable of the two. The story revisits tap-dancing hero Mumble the penguin as he tries to help his small son, who feels alienated from the tribe of Emperor penguins because he can't dance, just as his father couldn't sing in the first film. Father and son set off on a quest for enlightenment, the stakes of which are raised considerably when the penguin nations once again have to deal with a potential environmental catastrophe, this time caused by global warming. Many of the original voice actors are back, including Elijah Wood, as Mumble, and Robin Williams, in dual roles as Ramon and the guru Lovelace. There are a number of additional characters as well, notably Hank Azaria, as the Scandinavian-accented puffin Sven, and Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, hilarious as a pair of Krill facing an existential crisis. With its multiplicity of gags and characters, the film is much more freewheeling than its precursor; it's also notably less heavy on the musical numbers and the self-empowerment theme than the first, which can only be a good thing. The animation still walks a fine line between Disneyesque cuteness and hyper-reality, with occasional live-action footage of human characters interpolated to near-surreal effect. The numerous extras consist of a number of featurettes on different aspects of the film, including footage of the celebrity voice actors at work (unusually all in the same sound studio at the same time). Best of all (and possibly for older viewers, the highlight of the package) is a brand-new Sylvester and Tweety cartoon, up-to-the-minute-digitally-animated, but utilizing the voices of Mel Blanc and June Foray from a vintage recording. Now that's entertainment! (Warner)