Get your flippers ready for a trip to the South Pole, because the best animated movie of the year has just come out. And it has happy feet.
“Happy Feet” is a CG animated movie with a 10 out of 10 for graphics, an exceptional soundtrack and a story that will pluck at your heartstrings like a harp.
“Happy Feet” follows the story of an emperor penguin named Mumble, whose name is appropriate due to his inability to sing—an essential trait to being a penguin.
As the movie opens, singing fills the theater; it is the emperor penguin mating season. The penguins find each other by singing to their mates, and there are a variety of tunes to be heard.
After the initial song, the female penguins lay their eggs and go off to eat at the coast, while the males stay behind to protect the eggs.
During the long, hard winter, there is one rule that must be obeyed above all else: never drop the egg. The penguins obey this above all else, and none ever let their precious eggs touch the frozen earth.
Except one. After a frantic rush to get his egg back, he waits prayerfully until the end of the winter, when he will discover whether or not his egg survived the freezing temperature of the ground.
As the winter came to an end, the eggs began to hatch, and with them came new life. However, the one dropped egg came out a bit wrong. Rather than being able to sing, the young penguin tap dances.
Unfortunately, it “just wasn’t penguin” to dance, and since he couldn’t sing, the young Mumble becomes a social outcast, forever different from the other penguins.
As the story goes on, Mumble finds himself unable to truly connect with other penguins because of his lack of ability to sing, and so he ends up spending most of his time alone. This gives him a chance to have adventures.
In one such adventure, Mumble meets five smaller penguins—not emperor penguins—who, rather than shun his lack of singing ability, praise his tap dancing. He joins their group, and the six go down into the territory of the smaller penguins, where the girls are impressed by dancing ability.
But short girls aren’t for Mumble, and he laments not being able to sing to the coveted Gloria, who loves his bravery but can’t give her heart away without a song. Or so it seems. So Mumble’s half-size friends take him to see Lovelace: the penguin guru and another penguin hilariously voiced by Robin Williams.
Upon seeing Lovelace, Mumble notices he has an “alien” object around his neck (a piece of plastic canned-drink packaging), and he remembers seeing something like it before, but Lovelace skirts the subject and sends Mumble away.
Mumble’s friends once again offer to help him with his problem, but that too fails, though the other penguins see how Mumble’s tap dancing isn’t all bad, and they start to join in.
At least they do until the penguin leader reminds them about the fish famine, and he tells them that Mumble’s freakish ways have angered “the Great Guin” and that Mumble must leave the penguins.
Mumble himself thinks that the “aliens” have something to do with the fish famine, and he resolves to find them and ask for their help. The “alien” object from what Lovelace calls the “mystical beings” begins to choke Lovelace. He comes along with the other shorter penguins. They must cross the foreign lands of snow and ice to get to where Lovelace found the thing around his neck. Predators, blinding snowstorms and other dangers await.
How does it turn out for Mumble? Capture? Imprisonment? Eaten by a sea lion before even meeting the “aliens?”
Go see “Happy Feet” to find out!

Grade: A