(More complex sequel)
We loved everything about "Happy Feet:" the colorful characters, the music, the lessons and the simple, sweet story.
The colorful characters have been expanded in the sequel, along with the positive messages and music. The difference is the complexity of the story, which may overwhelm some of the younger folks.
Who doesn't love penguins? They dance around with their happy feet, love one another and are so cute and cuddly. In "Happy Feet Two" those feet have an important role in their survival.
And who doesn't love krill? The tiny crustaceans are on the bottom of the food chain, spending their lives in gigantic swarms, hoping they won't be swallowed up by the bigger ocean creatures.
And how about those elephant seals, the humongous creatures who live in their own packs and don't want anything to do with penguins?
"Happy Feet Two" brings them all together as they help each other survive in the face of climate change that traps a colony of emperor penguins.
The story centers around young Eric, the only penguin without rhythm. He runs away with a couple of friends, joined by Ramon (the wonderful voice of Robin Williams), only to meet another colony of penguins, including an odd-looking one who can fly.
The story moves to the adventures of Bill and Will Krill, (voices of Brad Pitt and Matt Damon), two tiny creatures who leave the swarm to see what's out in the great beyond, only to have adventures of their own. The penguins, krill and elephant seals end up working together, with the only enemies being a huge flock of rather ugly birds.
The cartoon figures are incredible, especially the detailed drawings of the krill. And the 3D is as good as it gets. Stay for the credits, when bubbles come right at you, causing the kids in the audience to reach out to grab them. (Why can't they use this 3D effect more?)
The introduction of live humans who try to help was a bit confusing to us. We wondered if the young folks caught everything that was going on. We both liked the movie, but not nearly as much as the original, which was a lot more simple and personal.
"Happy Feet Two" is a massive undertaking, covering so many characters and situations, which is both a good thing and a confusing thing. We still recommend it for people of all ages.
Rated PG, with nothing to worry about with the young ones.