For anyone who thought the Oscar-winning documentary March of the Penguins
was the most marvelous cinematic moment for these nomads of the south, you haven't seen nothing yet. Here's an animated wonder about a penguin named Mumble who can't sing, but can dance up a storm. George Miller, the driving force behind the Babe
(and Mad Max
) movies, takes another creative step in family entertainment with this big, beautiful, music-fueled film that will have kids and their parents dancing in the streets. From his first moment alive, Mumble (voiced by Elijah Woods) feels the beat and can't stop dancing. Unfortunatly, emperor penguins are all about finding their own heart song, and dancing youngster--as cute as he is--is a misfit. Luckily, he bumps into little blue penguins, a Spanish-infused group (led by Robin Williams) and begins a series of adventures. Miller has an exceptional variety of entertainment, Busby Berkley musical numbers, amusement park thrills, exciting chase sequences (seals and orca lovers might like think otherwise), and even an environmental message that doesn't weigh you down. Best of all, you don't know where the movie is going in the last act, a rare occurrence these days in family entertainment. A fusion of rock songs, mashed up and otherwise are featured; this movie is as much a musical as a comedy. Mumble's solo dance to a new version of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" by Fantasia, Patti and Yolanda may be the most joyful moment on camera in 2006. --Doug Thomas
Animated comedy featuring the voices of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams and Brittany Murphy. Emperor penguins have lived for centuries with one simple goal in life: to find their soulmates through their own unique heart song. Mumble (Elijah Wood), son of Memphis (Hugh Jackman) and Norma Jean (Nicole Kidman), is the worst singer in the world but he is a brilliant tap dancer. Unfortunately in Antarctica his toe-tapping talent is deemed peculiar and poor Mumble is branded an outcast by the Emperor Elders and is even accused of causing the mysterious fish famine which is gripping the penguin community and threatening their way of life. Mumble decides to leave his family and goes on a journey to determine the real cause of the fish famine so he can prove his innocence. All adrift in a lonely hostile world, he meets The Amigos, a wise-cracking comedy crew of Latino Adelie penguins led by Ramon (Williams), who think Mumble's smooth dance moves are 'accidentally cool' and a great way to impress the chicas. The Amigos help him realise the importance of being true to oneself and that being unique is a good thing. Mumble uses courage, determination and, of course, his 'happy feet' to discover the truth, save Emperor Land and win the heart of his soulmate, Gloria (Murphy).