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HAPPY FEET

NOTE:
Another nice spoiler sent in by the
Matt R who says... "This movie is S-A-D SAD! Bambi SAD! but luckily the sad parts will go over most kid's heads....a real eye opener for us adults though...it does end on a high note thankfully...Great flick - everyone will love it!"


HAPPY FEET - Preview
HAPPY FEET opens with a 'spanning the universe' shot (and the Beatle's Golden Slumbers playing...'Once there was a way...') eventually settling on our planet Earth - Antarctica to be exact. We hear the sounds of voices singing in harmony and the camera settles on the mating grounds of the Emperor penguins. (Robin Williams is narrating here and there throughout)

All the penguins are singing great versions of many different pop songs in an effort to connect with a mate. All the boys want 'Norma Jean' who is doing Prince's Kiss, but she's blown away when 'Memphis' hits the ice doing an Elvis classic. They mate and we go into 'March of the Penguins' mode. We see a gathering of the tribe complete with elder's giving orders on how things will progress after mating season. The female's go off to fish during the sunless months while the males protect the eggs. Just like in 'March...' the males endure terrible weather, huddling together against the cold winds, each one taking a turn on the outside edges of the pack. Memphis commits the ultimate mistake while on the outer edge...he drops his egg! He soon retrieves it and returns to the tribe but worries if his offspring survived the brush with the cold. Hatching season comes next (very cute) and we see that Memphis' egg is the last to hatch. He can't hear any movement and is dismayed when another hatchling asks "Is it empty?" (and is quickly shushed) Luckily with a bit of prodding we hear some rustling and two feet pop out...eventually 'Mumble' completely hatches and jumps into a wild dance. He's immediately asked why he's doing that (all the other penguins waddle)...and he replies "cuz my feet are happy!" (thus the title). Memphis instructs him to stop immediately and get between his feet to gather warmth (he thinks his feet are just cold). Now the penguins all gather to wait for the mothers' return. Mumble is told to stay still! When the moms come back Memphis loses Mumble in the crowd as he dances off to find Mom. Memphis and Norma Jean reunite and she's immediately afraid for the worse when her baby isn't there...but finally we hear "momma?" and the family is back together. Norma Jean says "I have something for you" "BLLRRRRCCHHHHH" She regurgitates and feeds Mumble his first meal. 

Now we see the tribe together as the sun returns and Mumble is in school. Singing school, it is important for each Emperor to find the song in their heart so that they will be able to attract their mate when they grow up. 'Seymour' steps up and belts out "Dont push me cuz I'm close to the edge!", 'Gloria' tries second and sings a few lines to a familiar tune (Midnight creeps so slowly into hearts of men, who need more than they get, Daylight deals a bad man to a woman,who had laid too many bets.)...when Mumble gives it a go we get horrible croaking and shrieking...he is immediately chastised and told he has no sense of 'tune'...He's told to just express himself from the heart, which he does in the form of slick tap-like dance...the other penguins are like "What in the world is that?!!?!?! Penguins don't do that!!!" Gloria defends him, but in general he is made to be an outcast - the elders calling him an abomination to the race. Mumble goes off on his own occasionally to 'express' himself and is one day cornered by some birds who want to eat him...one has a band around his leg that he says is from "ALIEN ABDUCTORS!!!!". Mumble tries talking himself out of getting eaten even appealing to the banded bird that he is treated as an outcast as well...but to no avail...luckily Mumble falls into a small crevasse and can't be reached, he is saved for now - during this whole exchange we learn that the birds are eating baby penguins cuz they can't find fish anymore...perhaps the 'Aliens' are taking them all????

We see the other penguins learning to sing in wonderful harmonies, more great songs, and eventually Graduation day comes (everyones grown up...Elijah Wood's voice enters the picture as Mumble). Seemingly Mumble is not being allowed to graduate but his parents say they will have their own ceremony for him and he should join his friends as they go off to fish for the first time. The graduating class goes to the ice edge and Mumble runs to follow slipping and sliding on his belly. As they reach the shore nobody wants to take the leap, then Mumble comes crashing through the crowd and splashes into the sea. A few moments pass as the others ask "is he dead?" when Mumble comes flying up out of the water screaming "WHAT ARE YOU ALL WAITING FOR?!?!?!" Great animation follows of all the penguins swimming in different formations...but very few fish are out there to catch. Mumble catches one and offers it to Gloria who refuses. Then one of the birds from earlier swoops down and grabs the fish from Mumble's mouth - he holds on tight. After being dropped onto an ice sheet he is knocked unconcious. Gloria rushes up and wakes him up, he says "Take The Fish!" so she happily eats what's left of the trophy and true love is born (well kind of)

Mating season comes and we get a beautiful Queen's "Somebody to Love" medley which Mumble 'ruins' when he tries to join in and squawks terribly. Everybody stops and Gloria says "ya know Mumble, it'd be better if you just listened". The mating goes on and Mumble is shunned...being left on an ice floe to be separated from the group. All of a sudden a Leopard Seal starts chasing him...he gets out of the water far from his mating grounds and the seal chases him right onto the ice. At this point though penguins have the advantage as the seal cannot move fast on ice...Mumble finds a small group of smaller penguins who are teasing the seal (purposely running in slow motion as they scream for their lives to get away from the seal...very funny) They proceed to befriend Mumble while still hopping small steps at a time escaping the seal's lunges. The seal talks big as if he's gonna eat them with Ketchup and such but as Robin William's hispanic voiced penguin notes "you can never...catch-up!"...and the seal gives up. Mumble follows RW and his chicano-themed gang back to their nesting grounds. Mumble thinks these penguins eat rocks but soon finds out they are building nests to attract mates. He explains that his kind sing to find a mate but he can't sing...he shows them that he can dance and they tell him he is uber-cool! They can't believe he's not a total ladies man with moves like that. They say if singing is all he needs then they will help him out. On the way back to the emperor's domain they get caught in an avalanche and see an old rusty crane emerge from the ice - the vehicle is alien to them and they narrowly escape being crushed.

Back at the mating ceremony we see many penguins courting Gloria then...MARIACHI HORNS BLARE! Mumble and his friend come over the edge belting out a sexy latin tune that blows the other penguins away. We can tell, and Gloria quickly figures out that it's not Mumble singing but RW standing right behind him as he mimes the words. Mumble then does his dance hoping to attract her, Gloria realizes her song fits his tapping rhythm, within seconds that familiar tune turns into a full fledged 'Boogie Wonderland' (Earth Wind & Fire)...and the other young penguins think it's pretty cool. So they dance too. but the elders tell everyone to stop immediately. The fish are disappearing and it's clearly this dancing thats driving them away. Mumble shoots back that he thinks aliens are making the fish disappear, and is laughed at...The tribe tells him to get lost as he is obviously the cause of all their problems. He reconnects with his parents, and they are ashamed of him, Memphis confesses that he dropped the egg and perhaps thats what screwed Mumble up. Mumble sulks off with his little friends...he needs to find out why the fish are gone, and the little penguins say if you want answers you go to Lovelace!

So they go back to the lil penguins nesting grounds to see Lovelace (you gotta bring a pebble though). Gloria follows cuz she obviously has feelings for Mumble but he acts like he's over her and she goes back while they go to look for Lovelace. We see a fat little rock-hopper penguin on a huge pile of rocks with a large harem. A very Barry White-ish Lovelace is voiced by Robin Williams...Lovelace was touched by mysterious beings and has the scar to prove it - a six pack ring lodged around his neck - his talisman...you can ask one question of hime..one rock one question (some funny questions precede Mumble's turn). So when Mumble's turn comes he asks if Lovelace knows the aliens, he replies 'I am in touch with the mysterious beings' but will not answer any more questions...he goes off with his harem. 

Committed to finding out what's going on, and not satisfied that his question was answered, Mumble seeks out Lovelace again - and the group finds him breathless and unable to speak...he has been abandoned by his followers. They soon figure out that the 'talisman' is choking him...through sign language Mumble gets answers to the fact that Lovelace never met the mysterious beings and that he just accidentally swam into the six pack ring one day while exploring the 'aliens' domain. Mumble says you must take us to the 'aliens' land so they can remove the talisman and so we can explain to them that they're killing the penguins by taking all their fish. The journey starts...hilarious high winds scene with penguins blown all over the place...an encounter with Elephant seals who are basically harmless...and a night's rest in an ice valley. When they wake up in the valley Lovelace is gone...they find his footprints and follow them to an old abandoned dilapidated research station...they find Lovelace slumped over a tiny pond full of rubbish and six pack rings and such (as we knew all along the aliens are us - and we're not so politely destroying this virgin landscape). Before they have time to think, two killer whales break through the ice and proceed to hunt the penguins. Scary close calls follow as they are stuck on a small ice floe with a man-made buoy...The killer whales flip the ice and Lovelace's talisman gets stuck on a heavy bell which breaks free from the buoy dragging him to the bottom of the sea. Mumble jumps in after him and the two are beat about by the killer whales narrowly missing being eaten - eventually from the pushing and pulling Lovelace's six pack ring is torn and he is free...the group of penguins jump back up onto a stable ice sheet and Lovelace's voice rings loud again as he curses and goads the killer whales who now cannot reach the group. They leave. But suddenly....breaking and crashing through the ice comes a HUGE steamer ship - the group hurries to safety on a nearby ledge. From here they can see the entire alien fleet...tons of ships netting even more tons of fish...the penguins realize that "They don't even notice we're here! They don't seem to care that we exist!" Beaten, and way outnumbered Lovelace declares that all they can do is retreat and go home. They are about to leave and Mumble stops...realizing his ultimate mission he asks the others to tell his family what they've found and to tell them that he tried to do something about it, he intends to talk to the aliens and tell them that they're perhaps unknowingly destroying their feeding grounds...before they can dissuade him, Mumble jumps from the steep ledge to pursue the ships.

Mumble catches up to a ship and jumps up and grabs onto one of the huge fishing nets as it is being hauled in...long handled hooks from unseen hands constantly knock him off the net until he cannot hold on any longer (they obviously treat him as just another bird looking for a free meal)...before he can jump onto another net the ships move quickly out of sight...he follows and follows the trail, going where no other penguin has been before, and one night on a tropic beach we see a jeep roll by a seemingly dead penguin carcass, they immediately stop - what in the world is a penguin doing here?!?!?!?!?

After a screen fade we see Mumble back on the ice shelf with lots of other breeds of penguin around...he confronts a blank-staring penguin and asks him where he is...the reply...Heaven. 

Mumble runs immediately onto the vast ice shelf but runs BAM right into an invisible barrier...the other penguin tells him to try out the water, its great! - so he dives in and swims hard BAM right into another invisible barrier. Panning back a bit we realize he's in an artificial environment, the ice shelf is just painted on the wall. Up at the glass Mumble finally sees them...the aliens. Just as the birds from early on described them...tall featherless bodies with fat beakless faces. Mumble seizes the opportunity, he hops onto the highest rock and yells to the people. "I don't know if you realize but you are killing us by taking all of our food" of course it just sounds like squawking and the narrator tells us that he does this at the top of his lungs for three days until he loses his voice and within three months he loses his mind...enduring his sorry existence in the invisible box and being fed by unseen hands at regular intervals. (if you are not seriously choked up here you have no soul)

Mumble is mentally gone...he's even hallucinating...seeing his family and friends in visions telling him that he's failed - but he's brought out of his funk by some rhythmic tapping. Shaking it off, he sees a little girl beyond the glass tapping to get his attention...so Mumbles taps his feet in unison, slowly regaining those happy feet and delighting the little girl....she runs off though. BUT! Immediately returns with her mother...Mumble repeats his tap dance act once again and the mother is floored, within seconds hundreds of people are pressed against the glass to watch the dancing penguin (The people are all done in live action...seamlessly melding with the animation) Cell phones are going crazy, flash bulbs popping everywhere, and the news spreading across the globe. It seems that the 'anthropomorphisized' antics of this penguin alerts people that they may have a certain kind of intelligence. A montage of global concern/govermental intervention and such shows us that people soon realize that they are destroying the penguin's environment and they need to stop overfishing the Antarctic ocean.

Flash forward we see Mumble crossing an ice shelf again and finding the emperor's homeland...they are astonished to see him as they thought he was dead. Gloria and Seymour come up first with a brood of little ones, Mumble asks "which one is yours" All of them! is the answer...as Seymour asks "Something wrong here baby?" (In classic gangster rap voice) Mumble is about to congratulate the two, when Gloria explains that they are all their students...Gloria and Seymour teach music now, she never found another penguin with her song in his heart - and has no mate. Mumble reunites with Mom and asks where Dad is...he is led to an ice cave where Dad sulks, he says he failed Mumble...but Mumble tells him that it all will work out as he claims that he's contacted the aliens and believes they intend to help them. The elders immediately claim that the troublemaker is back and say that he's obviously still cursing their fish supply by being alive since they haven't found food in days. They say his story about aliens is preposterous! Gloria notices an antennae coming from Mumble's back and turns him around to find a blinking box. Mumbles says he thinks that's what they aliens use to find him and repeats that he believes they intend to help. The elders say "The aliens have marked him!!!" to which Gloria says "you just said aliens don't exist!". The young penguins ask Mumbles what they should do, he's not sure but he thinks the dancing helped...so he teaches them to dance again. Another huge dance scene starts, Mom and Dad included, as the elder penguins insist that singing is the only penguin way and try to sing over the sound of the penguin chorus line tapping. Dancing and Singing grow louder and louder as we see Mumble's tracking device grow more active and then...everyone stops...as several large helicopters descend over the crowd. (The elders are floored)

One lands and four humans get out...observing the crowd of penguins; Mumble begins the dance again...everyone joins in. The humans are delighted and join in the dance as well.

We see the fishing steamers retreat...we see Penguins swimming dancing singing...we see Mumble and Gloria obviously becoming a mating pair..and then we see, returning in hordes...the fish

Lovelace finishes our final song of the night, as we began, the fittingly beatlesque

And in the end...the love you make...is equal to the love...you take

Big musical ending...Pan out...universe

Roll Credits (over the new Prince song...which pales in comparison to all the music we just saw)

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