Happy Feet 2 – Review by Susan Granger

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With Thanksgiving vacation coming up, this fresh, funny, family-friendly, animated fantasy is something to be very thankful for!

“Everything in this world – no matter how big or how small – is connected in ways that we never expected” – so, as the story opens in Antarctica’s Emperor community, tap-dancing Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) and singing Gloria (voiced by Alecia Moore a.k.a Pink) are trying to help Erik (voiced by Ava Acres), their fluffy fledgling, through a difficult adolescence. Filled with self-doubt because he’s unable to dance, mocked, misunderstood Erik runs away, accompanied by two little pals, and winds up with “uncle” Ramon (voiced by Robin Williams) in the Adelie penguin community, where he’s befriended by the guru Rockhopper penguin Lovelace (also voiced by Robin Williams) and The Mighty Sven (voiced by Hank Azaria), an exotic, flying penguin with a massive red beak and tufts of yellow hair on the back of his head. When worried Mumbles finds Erik and his friends and tries to take them home across a precarious ice-bridge, their way is blocked by a stubborn elephant seal, Bryan the Beachmaster (voiced by Richard Carter), who winds up in a deep crevasse as powerful forces driven by Mother Nature unleash a ferocious storm.

Meanwhile, deep below in the sea, two tiny krill, delusional Will and terrified Bill (voiced by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon), decide to swim away from their swarm to try to evolve higher up on the food chain – and their story somewhat parallels Erik’s.

Writer/director/producer George Miller and his cohorts Gary Eck and David Peers once again appeal to “the adult in the child and the child in the adult,” illustrating life- lessons about being brave while being true to yourself. This timeless tale of family and friendship is a visual delight with its spectacular motion-capture/computer technology inspired by dancer Savion Glover and choreographers Wade Robson and Kate Wormald.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Happy Feet Two” is a nimble, stompin’ 9. It’s a charming, cheerful crowd-pleaser and the 3-D is terrific.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.