Happy Feet

May 4th, 2007 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

After conquering the box office during the Christmas 2006 period, the Australian-produced Happy Feet is — like its computer-animated progenitors — destined for an even bigger life on DVD.

Encompassing themes about loving people (and yourself) for their differences, love and family and an overarching environmental message, George Mad Max Miller and Sydney effects house Animal Logic skated the bleeding edge of motion capture and CG photorealism to bring us the most starkly realistic virtual world yet.

Fort those living under a rock since the marketing juggernaut began, infant penguin Mumble can’t sing and is therefore destined to never find a mate (which emperor penguins do by attracting with calls unique from every other member of their flock). One thing he can do is tap dance, so — ousted by prejudice — Mumble decides to go in search of the truth about why the fish stocks are disappearing.

The two-disc package is strongly geared to the target audience, the centrepiece being an interview where Dr George talks about the film with two of its toughest junior critics. Other featurettes showcase dancer Savion Glover talking about his craft, an overdone comic piece with four of the guys who joined Robin Williams as Hispanic penguins, a deleted scene with Steve Irwin as a seabird and an old Warner Bros cartoon.

Roadshow have aimed the release squarely at the under 15s, but if they ever decide on another release, one for the fans of filmmaking craft wouldn’t go astray. It’d be great to see the technical details behind an incredible project that marshalled several hundred computer technicians alone.


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