Happy Feet (2006)
Interviews-Cast-Interview with George Miller
Deleted Scenes-Mumble Meets a Blue Whale
Additional Footage-A Happy Feet Moment
Featurette-Making Of-Dance Like a Penguin
Music Video-3 Music Videos
Featurette-Making Of-Creating the Tap
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Behind the Scenes of Happy Feet
Short Film-I Love to Singa
|Year Of Production||2006|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||George Miller|
Warner Home Video
Johnny A. Sanchez
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Unknown||
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, Dance sequences during closing credits|
Happy Feet, for those few in Australia that haven't heard about it (!), is basically the story of a baby penguin, Mumble, who doesn't have a 'heart song' (an individual song used to seek out a mate). Instead, Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood), is blessed with the ability to tap dance, something which the community of penguins doesn't appreciate.
The story, and there is one, follows Mumble's adventures, and misadventures, as he grows up in the wild Antarctic environment. He eventually leaves his parents, Memphis (voiced by Hugh Jackman) and Norma Jean (voiced by Norma Jean), and Gloria (voiced by Brittany Murphy), the female he has a crush on, in search of the Aliens that he feels are responsible for the diminishing supply of fish in the ocean.
His adventures include his joining up with a gang of Fairy Penguins, called the Adelie Amigos, who for some reason unclear to me, are all Spanish. With them, and a Rockhopper Penguin called Lovelace, he goes in search of the Aliens with the intent to stop them over-fishing in their area.
The animation in this film is top notch, and on many occasions I felt I was watching a real-life documentary, apart from the occasionally annoying music! It's so easy to immerse yourself in the story...almost believing that penguins can talk, in a variety of international accents no less, and sing with the best!
The penguins, especially the baby ones, look simply adorable, and the detailed animation makes them so life-like that you want to reach into the screen and give them a big cuddle.
I felt that there was a little too much music, and of the R&B style (which I'm not a fan of). I occasionally almost drifted off during some of the lengthier song sequences.
Overall it's a fun filled family film, with plenty of adventure, humour and of course, lashings of foot-tapping songs. There's also a strong environmental message conveyed throughout the story.
The main feature is presented in the ratio of 2.40:1, which is its original theatrical ratio. It is of course 16x9 enhanced.
The picture is sharp at all times, doing justice to the detailed animation.
Shadow detail is clear, and there is of course, no visible grain or any low-level noise.
There were no visible film artefacts at all.
Colour is true to the original theatrically screened version, meaning it is rich, but with no oversaturation or colour bleed.
Subtitles are provided in English and are well synced to the on-screen dialog.
The layer change point is imperceptible.
The soundtrack on this disk is provided in Dolby Digital 5.1. There is also an 'Audio Descriptive Service' provide in Dolby Digital 2.0. The latter is basically the original soundtrack but with a narrator filling in the gaps, such as reading out the opening titles as they appear on screen. This would be useful for viewers who are visually impaired, as it would be akin to to a 'talking book'.
Dialogue is clear at all times, and in sync with the onscreen lip (beak?) movements of the characters, at least as much as they can be on an animated film.
The musical soundtrack, and boy is there a lot of music, is primarily loads of songs from many different genres including R&B, 60s rock and roll, and more modern rock. Some are originals, whilst most are covers.
The rear surround channels are used extensively. A good example of their use is at runtime 67:00.
The subwoofer is used well to support deep bass effects like the ice breaking off and falling into the ocean (6:42 and 40:00).
|Surround Channel Use|
This being a 2-disk release, is packed with extras, some of them worthwhile, others perhaps less so.
The main menu on disk 1 is animated with Mumble doing a tap dance.
The movie itself is preceded with the over-loud and annoying ad for Warner Brothers Movieworld. Thankfully you can skip this.
The Dolby Digital trailer (the 'train' one) kicks off the feature, as well as the first extra in disk 2.
Disk 1 extras:
Theatrical Trailer (runtime 1:11). Presented in 2.35:1 letterboxed.
Interview with Director/Producer George Miller, conducted by 2 young Aussie kids. (runtime 14:07)
Disk 2 extras:
Deleted Scenes - Mumble Meets a Blue Whale (3:20). Presented in 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced.
Shows a scene deleted from the final release that has Steve Irwin's voicing of a seagull. Nice, somewhat poignant inclusion, which concludes with an onscreen quote of Steve's as a tribute to him.
Additional Footage - A Happy Feet Moment (0:29).
A short funny piece. To say more would ruin its impact!
Featurette - Dance Like a Penguin (5:06)
Savion Glover talks about tap dancing and his role as the model for Mumble's tap dance sequences. He also teaches viewers the basics of tap dancing. There is a rather poorly incorporated CGI of Mumble at one point.
There are 3 music videos of songs from the film.
Hit Me Up, by Gia (3:23)
The Song of the Heart, by Prince (3:00)
Somebody to Love, by Brittany Murphy (4:14)
Featurette - Spanish Lesson (5:11)
The guys who played 4/5 of the Amigos talk about some of the Spanish equivalent words and phrases for certain words in the film. Interspersed with plenty of relevant scenes from the film.
Featurette - Creating the Tap (4:24)
Plenty of behind the scenes footage of the recording of Savion Glover's tap dances for the film. There are brief snippets of interviews with Kelly Abbey (choreographer), George Miller (director), and Savion Glover (the main tap dancer).
Featurette - Behind the Scenes of Happy Feet (13:05)
A longish item with brief interviews with many of the key cast, including Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, and with George Miller.
Short Film - I Love to Singa (7:54)
An oldish Warner Bros, Merrie Melodies cartoon. It's presented in its original ratio of 4:3 fullscreen and is noticeably 'flickery'.
Theatrical Trailer (1:18)
A different trailer, featuring the Amigos singing the Spanish version of "I did it my way".
There appear to be a number of versions available in R1, including:
- fullscreen version
- widescreen version
- combination HD DVD and Standard DVD
- Blu-Ray version
- Widescreen version packaged with Amazing Panda movie
in R4 there are the following versions:
- 2 disk Special Edition (as reviewed here)
- single disk edition
- Blu-Ray version
- HD DVD version
Unless you really need the fullscreen version, or want the Amazing Panda movie as well, just go for any of the R4 versions.
An enjoyable enough family entertainment, though you have to like the music or you'll soon tire of it.
The video and audio quality are superb. The extras, as you would expect in a double-disk edition, are numerous.
This film should do its bit to get kids streaming through the doors of tap dance schools all around the world!
Great to see it's Australian made, in the main, and even some of the key voice roles are played by Aussies! The Australian movie industry, and Aussies in general should be proud of this film that thoroughly deserved its Oscar and BAFTA wins.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output|
|Display||Sony KV-XA34M31 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Main: Mission 753; Centre: Mission m7c2; rear: Mission 77DS; Sub: JBL PB10|