Sunday, November 26, 2006

"Happy Feet" makes me Happy

Today my mother and I took all three kids to their first full-length feature film. This is actually their third movie; the first "Over the Hedge" only lasted 30 minutes. Lainy Ann was tired and wanted to go home and nap. Their second movie "Cars" was cut up into parts. Lainy Ann and Connor got so squirmy that they kept leaving with Grandma Margaret to go play, use the potty, whatever. They can sit through full movies at home, but the 20 minutes of previews makes the theater going experience too long. But this movie they sat through in its entirety. I think the popcorn helped keep them busy.

What a fantastic film! Now I should preface this with the fact that the last movie I saw was "Cars", I think. Oh, and I watch movies on HBO. But my movie viewing choices are usually limited to children's films or fluff pieces. I also need to preface this review with the fact that I adore musicals. "Sound of Music" and "Wizard of Oz" are all time favorites of mine.

But this film is fantastic. I would have headed to the store to buy the DVD and music CD if it hadn't been naptime. It has all your favorite songs updated with a good beat and appropriate words interjected like 'ocean' and 'penguin'. The tap dance sequences were phenomenal. Yes, I understand that the characters are computer generated and that no rehearsal time with a cast of thousands took place. But I enjoyed it all nonetheless.

And the film quality was fantastic. When the aliens (people) finally come on screen it took me a while to figure out if they were human or computer generated. Now that the film is over and a few hours have passed I don't remember which it was. The underwater scenes were magical.

There was one scary scene. My daughter who is 3 1/2 handled it just fine. But my 2 year old son was afraid. But grandma covered his eyes and all was well. Quite frankly, it was a bit scary. A sea lion was trying to catch and eat the main character. They did a good job of villainising the animal. There were big teeth and lots of roaring. It was quite scary, although when I see sea lions at Sea World I am not scared at all.

If you are an enviornmentalist or are willing to accept the message in the movie then all the better. But I could see a few cynics being annoyed about the overt message to stop fishing in the Antarctic. I personally didn't care. I felt sad for the main character when he was far from home, trying to understand the zoo, and explain to people that they were taking all the fish.

I will be buying the movie when it comes out on DVD for no other reason than to watch my kids and their happy feet tap dance around the room.

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