Top positive review
HAPPY FEET [2006 / 2007] [Blu-ray]
on 11 April 2017
HAPPY FEET [2006 / 2007] [Blu-ray] WARNING: May Cause Toe-Tapping! A Triumphant, Playful, and Deeply Spiritual Animation Classic!
Emperor penguins are born to sing. All except young Mumble [Elijah Wood], who was born to dance . . . tap dance. Such un-penguin-like behaviour eventually gets Mumble kicked out of the Emperor Land and into the big, cold world. Joined by his Adélie Amigos penguins and all-knowing Rockhopper penguin named Lovelace [Robin Williams]. Mumble embarks on an epic journey and ultimately proves that by being true to yourself, you can make all the difference in the world! A P-P-Perfect treat and you won’t just have Happy Feet; you’ll have a smile on your face and a warm fuzzy glow. Narrated by Robin Williams.
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: 2006 Golden Trailer Awards: Win: Best Music [Aspect Ratio]. 2006 New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Win: Best Animated Film. 2007 Academy Awards®: Win: Best Animated Feature Film of the Year for George Miller. 2007 Golden Globes®: Win: Best Original Song for a Motion Picture for Prince [Song: "The Song of the Heart"]. Nominated: Best Animated Film. 2007 BAFTA Awards®: Win: Best Animated Feature Film for George Miller. Nominated: Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music for John Powell. 2007 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Nominated: Best Animated Film. 2007 AFI Awards: Win: Movie of the Year. 2007 Annie Awards: Nominated: Best Animated Feature Film. Nominated: Best Writing in an Animated Feature Production for George Miller, John Collee, Judy Morris and Warren Coleman. 2008 Grammy Awards: Nominated: Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for John Powell. Nominated: Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for Prince [For the song "The Song of the Heart"].
Voice Cast: Carlos Alazraqui, Lombardo Boyar, Jeffrey Garcia, Johnny A. Sanchez, Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving, Elizabeth Daily, Magda Szubanski, Miriam Margolyes, Fat Joe, Alyssa Shafer, Cesar Flores, Anthony LaPaglia, Danny Mann, Mark Klastorin, Michael Cornacchia, Steve Irwin, Nicholas McKay, Tiriel Mora, Richard Carter, Lee Perry, Alan Shearman, Larry Moss, Peter Carroll, Giselle Loren, Michelle Arthur, Denise Blasor, Dee Bradley Baker, Roger Rose, Chrissie Hynde, J. Grant Albrecht, Logan Arens, Charles Bartlett, Shane Baumel, Taylor J. Beacom, Kwesi Boakye, A.J. Buckley, Erin Chambers, Rickey D'Shon Collins, Scott E. Cox, Django Craig, Nicholas DeLaurentis, Olivia DeLaurentis, Chris Edgerly, Efrain Figueroa, Jeff Fischer, Sonje Fortag, Spencer Lacey Ganus, Khamani Griffin, Khadijah, Aldis Hodge, Fisher Keene, Arif S. Kinchen, Michael Krepack, Libby Lynch, Diane Michelle, Ryan Munck, Christian Pikes, Steve Pinto, Zoë Raye, Noreen Reardon, Eliana Reyes, Nicole Richmond, Aimee Roldan, Kyndell Rose Crowell, Alyssa Smith, Mari Weiss, Billy 'Sly' Williams, Rachel York, Seishirô Katô, Craig Ricci Shaynak (uncredited) and Jean-Pierre Yerma (uncredited)
Directors: George Miller, Judy Morris (co-director) and Warren Coleman (co-director)
Producers: Bill Miller, Bruce Berman, Dana Goldberg, Doug Mitchell, Ed Jones, George Miller, Graham Burke, Hael Kobayashi, Judy Morris, Philip Hearnshaw, Matthew Ferro, Martin Wood, Michael Twigg and Warren Coleman
Screenplay: George Miller, John Collee, Judy Morris and Warren Coleman
Composer: John Powell
Cinematography: David Peers (Director of Photography)
Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Audio Descriptive Service, English: 5.1 LPCM Dolby Digital Surround, Dutch [Netherlands]: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround and Dutch [Vlaams]: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: English SDH English, Dutch [Netherlands] and Dutch [Vlaams]
Running Time: 108 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Warner Home Video / Village Roadshow Pictures
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘HAPPY FEET’ brings the world of Emperor Penguins to life on the big screen through breath-taking CGI computer animation like never seen before. In the great nation of Emperor Penguins in Antarctica, community is all important. You have to know how to huddle together against the cold, or march to the sea to catch fish for the family. During mating season, the male and female penguins are attracted to each other by their "Heart Songs." Every penguin has a song that is his or her distinctive identity. It's the "voice you hear inside" that makes you "who you truly are."
When Norma Jean [voiced by Nicole Kidman] and Memphis [voiced by Hugh Jackman] meet, he is attracted to her wiggle and her soulful singing. She loves his self-confidence and Elvis-like crooning. When Norma Jean heads off to the sea with the other females, Memphis, unfortunately, has a minor mishap with their egg. When it is time for their chick to be born, he takes longer than the others to crack out of his egg. Baby Gloria tries to help and is there to witness his strange behaviour. The baby penguin, named Mumble, can't seem to keep his feet still. He jumps all over on the icy ground. Instead of being proud of his new son, Memphis is bothered by his "happy feet." He says: "It just ain't penguin." Others see it too, and as the months pass, the whole community decides that Mumble [voiced by Elijah Wood] is an oddball. Worse still, he can't sing at all, and, as the saying goes, "a penguin without a “Heart song” is not a penguin at all."
Norma Jean and Memphis send him to a voice teacher, but all she can get out of him is an unappealing screech. Off by himself, where he can let his happy feet tap dance across the ice, Mumble meets Boss Skua [voiced by Anthony LaPaglia], head of a gang of menacing birds who want to make lunch of him. The penguin gets him to tell the story of being abducted by aliens who poked and probed him and then put a yellow thing around his leg. Mumble escapes from them but keeps this strange news to himself.
Soon it is time for the young penguins to go to the sea for their first catch. Mumble is actually the first one in the water, which turns out to harbour some dangerous creatures and too few fish. He demonstrates his love for Gloria by catching a fish for her and fighting off some greedy birds to keep it. That night, under the stars, she leads a concert and he tries to sing along, much to the consternation of all the others. Soon after, Mumble sets off alone.
Wandering the icy wastelands, Mumble meets the Adélie Amigos penguins, a group of five happy-go-lucky Latino penguins who find his moves "so accidentally cool." Ramon [voiced by Robin Williams], the most outspoken one, even calls Mumble charismatic. The Emperor Penguin at last has found friends who respect him and his dancing feet. They come up with a plan to help him win Gloria's heart. But back home, Noah [voiced by Hugo Weaving], one of the elders, condemns Mumble's dancing and blames him for the loss of fish in the sea. He bans the young penguin from the community. Mumble vows to find out the true reason for the fish scarcity.
The Adélie Amigos penguins tell Mumble about a guru penguin called Lovelace [Robin Williams] who answers all questions. He asks him about alien abductions, but his response about mystic beings on a forbidden shore doesn't make much sense. This quirky character has a plastic six-pack ring around his neck that is slowly strangling him. Deciding this strange thing may be a clue, Mumble, the Adélie Amigos penguins, and Lovelace set off to the place where he found it, a quest that will test their resilience and camaraderie.
George Miller, who co-wrote, produced and directed ‘HAPPY FEET,’ brings the same creativity, exuberance, and spiritual élan to this animated feature as he did to Babe. He has incorporated so many imaginative elements into the story that it boggles the mind. First, there is the exciting music, which includes rock, funk, opera, rap, liturgical, pop, gospel, and Latin. The music is composed by John Powell, and the soundtrack also includes songs performed by Prince, Yolanda Adams, Fantasia Barrino, Gia Farrell, Chrissie Hynde, Patti LaBelle, k.d. lang, Jason Mraz, and Pink. Second, there is the glorious dancing by the penguins. These scenes have been choreographed by Warren Coleman who brings together many styles including Zulu, gumboot, Navajo, and Samoa slap dancing.
The music and the dance bring out the yearning we have all had to move the body in sync with the rhythms of the earth. The grand finale of Mumble's quest brings him into an encounter with the world of humans and a connection that justifies all his struggles to remain faithful to his true self. The ecological crisis captured in the story of the disappearing fish is finally addressed with an inspiring message that couldn't be timelier: We have so much more in common with the whole Creation than we know, and our survival — and theirs — depends upon our celebrating that deep truth.
In a nutshell, ‘HAPPY FEET’ is about being oneself in spite of the criticisms against being different from the majority, and, in the process finding one’s place to belong while fulfilling a greater purpose of being a unique individual. While it is a movie with well-grounded ethical and environmental advocacies, ‘HAPPY FEET’ is a highly entertaining audio-visual experience for everyone. Its story was told in a way that the viewers would see the two sides of a conflict that revolve around the subject of utilization of natural resources and the consequences that come along, i.e. pollution of the environment.
As a result, viewers are not only educated on the life of penguins, which is heavily based on observable behaviours of the actual penguins. We are also able to self-insert into the characters and relate with the characters’ thoughts and dialogues. Overall, the animated film’s point outside all the amusement is clear. We should start caring and acting now than later. That is, if we still want to see singing and dancing penguins in the future instalments of ‘HAPPY FEET’ and, better yet, just want to let them sing and dance with secure food supply and glee in their own habitat to have a truly happy ending.
Nevertheless, as an example of an animated film that transcends its childlike origins and becomes a very thoughtful, well-crafted animated film that also appeals to intelligent adults, Hollywood rarely does better than ‘HAPPY FEET.’ Perhaps owing to its non-American origins, the great strength of the movie is ultimately its refusal to treat children as infinitely breakable beings who deserve nothing more than a reassuring pat on the head. While ‘HAPPY FEET’ provides all the adventure and humour you could possible ask for from an outstanding animated film, the animated film deserves not just our praise, but our thanks. In the end ‘HAPPY FEET’ will make your feet tap right up until the end of the animated film and will take you on a fantastic emotional journey, get the Kleenex tissues handy.
HAPPY FEET MUSIC TRACK LISTING
THE SONG OF THE HEART [Performed by Prince]
HIT ME UP [Performed by Gia Farrell]
TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD [Performed by P!nk]
SOMEBODY TO LOVE [Performed by Brittany Murphy]
I WISH [Performed by Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Patti LaBelle]
JUMP N’ MOVE [Performed by The Brand New Heavies featuring Jamal-Ski]
DO IT AGAIN [Performed by The Beach Boys]
MY WAY (A Mi Manera)” [Performed by Robin Williams]
KISS [Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman]
BOOGIE WONDERLAND [Performed by Brittany Murphy]
GOLDEN SLUBERS [Performed by k.d. lang]
I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU [Written by Al Dubin and Harry Warren]
WITH A SONG IN MY HEART [Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart]
ONLY YOU (AND ONLY YOU) [Written by Buck Ram and Ande Rand]
UNCHAINED MELODY [Written by Alex North and Hy Zaret]
WHERE IS THE LOVE [Written by Ralph MacDonald and William Salter]
VESTI LA GIUBBA (from Pagliacci) [Written by Ruggero Leoncavallo]
HELLO [Written by Lionel Richie]
BROKEN WINGS [Written by Richard Page, John Lang and Steve George]
LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX [Written by Hurby Luv Bug Azor "Fingerprints"]
GIMME ALL YOUR LOVIN’ [Written by Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard and Dusty Hill]
NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE [Written by Clifton Davis]
HEARTBREAK HOTEL [Performed by Hugh Jackman]
CHANTILLY LACE [Written by The Big Bopper]
THE MESSAGE [Performed by Fat Joe]
OTCHI TCHOR NI YA [Performed by Judy Morris]
IN MY ROOM [Performed by Elizabeth Daily and the Sydney Children's Choir]
CUI CUI [Written by Xavier Cugat and Foster Curbelo]
THAT’S THE WAY (I LIKE IT) [Written by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch]
LET’S ALL SING LIKE THE BIRDIES SING [Written by Tolchard Evans, Stanley Damerell and Robert Hargreaves]
CANDELA [Performed by Da Madd Dominikans]
I’LL MAKE LOVE TO YOU [Written by Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds]
NO SCRUBS [Performed by Lizette Carter]
SHAKE YOUR BON BON [Written by Robi Roso, Desmond Child and George R. Noriega]
ADELIE RAP/ADELIE BRIDGE [Written by Edgar Garcia p/k/a Poco, Germaine Franco, Daniel Lerner and John Powell]
IF YOU LEAVE ME [Written by Peter Cetera]
BABY GOT BACK [Written by Anthony L. Ray]
THE END [Performed by k.d. lang]
LEADER OF THE PACK [Performed by Dan Navarro] (uncredited)
I WISH [Performed by Stevie Wonder]
THE JOKER MASH-UP WITH EVERYTHING I OWN (uncredited) [Written by David Gates, Steve Miller, Eddie Curtis, and Ahmet Ertegun]
Blu-ray Video Quality – Warner Bros. Pictures brings you this ‘HAPPY FEET’ Blu-ray disc with stunning 1080p colourful images, and with an equally impressive 2.40:1 aspect ratio, so making a great combination. The actual transfer is excellent with the picture looking very sharp, having a great use of Technicolor and with beautiful-looking characters and there is not one blemish in the image resolution to slowly getting towards realism. With nearly continuous brightly lit snow-filled scenes demanding a wide range of intricate details. ‘HAPPY FEET’ manages to be both vibrant and eye-popping, while maintaining a solid black level foundation. Smooth and subtle graduations are presented without any artefacts from baby blue skies to slight shifts in the near-but-not-quite white used to depict ice and snow.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Warner Bros. Pictures brings you this ‘HAPPY FEET’ Blu-ray disc with a really excellent 5.1 Dolby Digital EX Surround sound experience. The music and dialogue really sound clear against the ambient soundtrack. One of the best effects is when there is a collapse of an ice shelf into the water and in the passing of the fishing boat, whilst both those scenes also demonstrate the use of the rear channels effortlessly. There is good separation between the right and left channels, particularly with the frequent use of songs when the soundtrack shifts to the front. It’s a very busy mix, with a complete and full soundstage that encompasses all channels, with particular attention focused on the rears. I heard absolutely no background noise, peaking, distortion or other disconcerting blips throughout the entire animated film.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: Behind the Story: HAPPY FEET: Creating the Tap  [480p] [1.37:1] [4:22] Here we get a personal insight of behind-the-scenes of the animated film ‘HAPPY FEET’ and how all those Penguins got such toe tapping Happy Feet via the CGI computer animation. Here we get to view the brilliant tap dancer going through his paces and especially his brilliant tap dancing routine while at the same time the sound engineer is capturing the sound of the tap dancing, and we also see the other dancers being put through their tap dancing routine while filmed via the capture-motion that eventually ends up as CGI animated penguins. Seeing everyone doing their tap dancing routine, makes you want to get up and do the same, it is that infectious. Contributors include George Miller [Director/Co-Writer/Producer], Savion Glover [Dancer/Co-Choreographer] and Kelley Abbey [Choreographer].
Special Feature: Behind the Scenes of HAPPY FEET: Tapping into ‘HAPPY FEET’  [480p] [1.37:1] [13:02] Here we get another insight of behind-the-scenes of Magic Moviemaking revealed. Here everyone talks about their penguin characters and what they wanted to bring to their personalities to the screen, as well as talking about how the songs connected to the characters in a special way, as music is really special in this animated film. It is also pointed out how the Mumble character was definitely the odd one out of all the penguins in a special way, which Mumble was initially rejected in a very big way, which gave him strength in so many ways and of course eventually Mumble brings everyone together in a very positive way. It is also pointed out that the animated film in a sense is angled towards the effects on the environment and its consequences in a big way. We also get a glimpse of the voice actors doing their recording session and throwing everything into their characters, especially the late great Robin Williams doing his usual over the top performance, which everyone loved. They all inform us they all had a brilliant time, and they also especially liked working with the director George Miller, as they saw how he threw himself into the project of the animated film in a very big way. All in all we are informed that the animated film is a great historic story. Contributors include George Miller [Director/Co-Writer/Producer], Hugh Jackman [Memphis], Brittany Murphy [Gloria], Elijah Wood [Mumble], Nicole Kidman [Norma Jean], Robin Williams [Ramon & Lovelace], Doug Mitchell [Producer], Savion Glover [Dancer/Co-Choreographer], Kelley Abbey [Choreographer] and Bill Miller [Producer].
Special Feature: Mumble Meets a Blue Whale  [1080p] [2.40:1] [3:21] Here we get a personal introduction from director George Miller, who explains who explains that it features the late Steve Irwin as an albatross in a scene that was ultimately supplanted by Steve Irwin's actual moments in the final film where he played an elephant seal. In this animated short that was originally a deleted scene from ‘HAPPY FEET.’ In this short, there are only just three characters in the scene. Mumble is trying to chase the aliens from taking the fish when suddenly; he encounters a gigantic blue whale. An albatross passes by and tells him that blue whales are friends of the penguins and also tells him that the aliens might kill the whales too and the blue whale leaves Mumble alone to get on with his journey of discovery. A note appears at the end of the animation by Steve Irwin who says "If there's one thing I would want to be remembered for, it's passion and enthusiasm. Conservation is my job, my life, my being." By the way, you can view this in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround.
Special Feature: A ‘HAPPY FEET’ Moment  [1080p] [2.40:1] [0:31] When Mumble is looking into his reflection, Memphis shows up and starts using Mumble for no apparent reason with his football skills like if Mumble was a football. Once Memphis has demonstrated his football skills with Mumble as the football, Memphis kicks him off into the sea to score a “goal” and says "Yea."
Special Feature: FUN + GAMES: Here we get a selection of three separate features and they are as follows:
01. I Love to Singa [Warner Bros. Cartoon Classic]  [480i] [1.33:1] [6:13] ‘I Love to Singa’ depicts the story of a very stern owl who teaches “voice, piano & violin, but no jazz!” and becomes a father of four. Very soon, three of his boys turn out to be musical talents in the classical repertoire. However, the fourth is not into classical music but into jazz. When he keeps singing jazz songs, the father decides that enough is too much and turns him into the street, much to the distress of the mother. While joyously walking and singing through the forest, the young son stumbles across a radio audition day and decides to try his luck. The short is one of the earliest Merrie Melodies produced in Technicolor's 3-strip process, is recognised as one of Tex Avery's early masterpieces. Voice Cast: Billy Bletcher, Tommy Bond, Johnnie Davis, Joe Dougherty, Bernice Hansen and Martha Wentworth. Producer: Leon Schlesinger. Composer: Norman Spencer.
02. Dance like a Penguin: Stomp to the Beat  [480p] [1.37:1] [5:21] Here we take a Private Dance Lesson with Savion Glover [Dancer/Co-Choreographer] and the man behind the moves of Mumble. Once again we see the tap dancer go through his free style routine and informing us when doing the tape dancing you have to express your emotions, your hands, your body and especially your feet. We also get an insight on how to interpret the tap dancing routine by balance, Toe, Heal and Shuffle. But most importantly we are told that Balance is the key to good tap dancing. But we finally get to see a proper tap routine with the animated Mumble beside the Savion Glover. This is quite a nice little feature if you are thinking of starting tap dancing lessons.
03. Spanish Lessons  [480p] [1.37:1] [5:09] Here we get to meet Carlos Alazraqui [Nestor], Lombardo Boyar [Raul], Jeffrey Garcia [Rinaldo] and Johnny A. Sanchez [Lombardo] who were the voices for the four smaller penguins that befriend Mumble. Here we are given some lessons in what the English words mean in Spanish and they are as follows: Happy Feet = Pies Felices; The Adelies = Los Adelias; Friends = Amigos!; Tall Boy = Grandulón; The Heartsong = Canción del Corazón; Hippity-Hopper = Torpe; Twinkle-Toes = Ligero de Pies; Love Stones = Piedras del Amor; Elephant Seal = Elefantes Marinos; Chicas = Chicas and Be Yourself = Sé tú Mismo.
Special Feature: Music Video: Here we get to view three separate music videos of the artists and they are as follows:
HIT ME UP [Performed by Gia Farrell]  [480p] [1.37:1] [3:21]
THE SONG OF THE HEART [Performed by Prince]  [480p] [1.37:1] [3:21]
SOMEBODY TO LOVE [Performed by Brittany Murphy]  [480p] [1.37:1] [4:11]
Theatrical Trailer  [1080p] [2.40:1] [1:21] This is the original Theatrical Trailer for the animated film ‘HAPPY FEET.’ This is a totally brilliant presentation and definitely a slightly different departure from a normal theatrical trailer and of course it features the brilliant comic genius of the late great Robin Williams.
Finally, ‘HAPPY FEET’  is a truly adorable lovely animated film. Despite the controversy surrounding the film's eco-friendly message, I found it to be a very inspirational story about individuality first and foremost, be yourself despite all obstacles put in your way. It also boasts outstanding animation and top voice talent and Warner Home Video has certainly delivered a Blu-ray disc release with a fantastic 1080p video quality that alone should make it a must-purchase for any fans of this animated film like me. I thoroughly enjoyed the animated film, and I cannot argue with the outstanding image reference quality video. From a technical perspective, this Blu-ray disc is one of the best efforts from Warner Home Video yet delivered. The picture quality is pristine and awesome, as is the audio sound track experience. Overall, this is a Blu-ray disc is definitely well worth adding to your collection if you want to enjoy a good animated film of the highest quality. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado
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