Sunday, November 26, 2006

Movie Review: Happy Feet

Damn those movie hypes. I watch the trailers at least once a day, download desktop wallpapers and screensavers from the movie's websites, and bore my friends by dishing out trivia about the movie no matter how uninterested or indifferent they are with the films. Then I book the movie seats online, on the first few days of the movie's screening dates. I thought the disappointing "The Da Vinci Code" taught me a lesson already, but "Happy Feet" seems to be too enticing to resist, so I carried on with the hype nonetheless.

Compared to this year's flicks such as "Cars", "Madagascar", or "Ice Age 2", "Happy Feet" stands out. As a comedy, it is at par with "Shrek 2". Five Latino penguins (Robin Williams is one of them!) instead of one Hispanic cat, that'll really make you laugh hard man..:D

The CGI aspect of "Happy Feet" is really AMAZING. Hands down, much better than ILM, WETA Digital, and even Pixar. I suppose Animal Logic has become the new benchmark for CG animated films. Lots of kick-ass lighting and texturing, very dramatic and panoramic environments, superbly animated creatures, (there are moments when it is difficult to juxtapose the CG and the real thing) not to mention the kinetic camera movements.. The minimalist color palette of the film (limited tones of blue white black and occasional reds, yellows) added to its excellent rendering style. Reminiscent of why "The Incredibles" was, to me, more visually appealing than to the horror vacui that is "Toy Story". The CGI alone would definitely be one of the key reasons to best see "Happy Feet" on a widescreen.

The first hour and a half of the movie gave me the impression that this was going to be the greatest animated film I've ever seen.. Cool musical numbers, great choice of songs (check out the "Boogie Wonderland" segment).. When the Latino Adelie Penguins - the Amigos - arrived, the fun really began.. :D The film also effectively established Mumble's (Elijah Wood's) character and his struggle with his uniqueness (he can't sing, but he can tap dance real fierce).

But towards the last few moments of the film, Mumble's personal issues took a backseat in favor of environmental concerns. Ironically, this sort of plot usually leads to a movie classic: a unique individual finding a place in the world realizes his significance, changes the world, makes it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race heeee heeee sha-mooon.. but no, the film faltered.. It has somehow failed to resolve Mumble's personal conflict, and the environmental resolution was too remote, implausible.. It starts off spectacularly, with lots of music and fun, a good pacing, yet it ends too seriously, a pale musical number, and drastically. I still consider the totality of "Finding Nemo" better. I hope they release an extended DVD of "Happy Feet" where they would revise the last 30 minutes. Probably put more of Robin Williams and the Amigos there. :)

.. or I may REALLY just have been extremely overhyped - my expectations for the film skyrocketed.. it could've probably been a different movie experience..

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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