Saturday, December 24, 2011

Movies with Penguins: Happy Feet Two

Happy Feet Two is the sequel to the 2006 Happy Feet movie.  This animated movie was released in US theaters on November 18, 2011 with 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D versions.  In this movie the main character of the first Happy Feet, Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood), now has a son named Erik (voiced by Ava Acres).

Happy Feet Two opens with the Emperor Penguins all dancing, except Erik.  Erik is afraid to dance and when he finally does try for the first time he horribly embarrasses himself.  Erik ends up leaving Emperor-land and following Ramon (one of the Adelie penguins from the first movie) to Adelie-land.  Erik is joined by his friends Boadicia and Atticus.

They arrive in Adelie-land as a strange penguin named Sven (voiced by Hank Azaria) that can fly is about to tell his story.  Sven talks about being the last of his kind and being rescued by a Russian vessel, which also ends up rescuing Lovelace the Macaroni penguin who also appeared in Happy Feet Two.  Sven and Lovelace escape the ship after Sven thinks they are going to eat them.  They end up in Antarctica where Sven becomes revered like a god because he reveals lichen when he first lands on the continent.  Ramon accuses Sven of being a false god, but begins to believe when he tries Sven think to find a mate (Carmen).

Mumble follows after his son and friends when it is discovered they have left Emperor-land.  Erik thinks Sven can teach him to fly and does not want to return to Emperor-land, but goes with his dad after Sven tells him to.  On the way back to Emperor-land they have an encounter with an elephant seal named Bryan, who does not want to let them cross the ice bridge.  Bryan ends up falling in the ice crevasse and Mumble gets a leopard seal to follow him to help break ice and save Bryan.  Bryan thanks Mumble and says he owes him.

Mumble, Erik, Boadicia, and Atticus notice the terrain is different as they are returning to Emperor-land and when they get there discover that Emperor-land has been blocked by a giant iceberg.  The iceberg has trapped all the other Emperor penguins and they try to bring fish to keep them from starving while they try to find a way out.  They soon realize it is hopeless on their own and Boadicia goes to Adelie-land to bring help.

While Boadicia is gone, Erik breaks down and skuas attack.  The trapped Emperor penguins fight back and the skuas are scared off when the help from Adelie-land arrives.  The penguins (Chinstraps as well as Adelie penguins) with Sven as their leader begin sending fish down to the trapped Emperors with a bucket brigade style of passing fish.

The Russian vessel that Sven and Lovelace were on appears and Sven hides.  Lovelace on the other hand goes and gets the Russians to come help the Emperor Penguins.  The Russians begin to make a path up the iceberg for the penguins to get out, but abandon the effort when bad weather moves in.   When the storm clears it is realized the ocean has frozen over and the humans cannot return to help and the Adelies cannot go that far to bring food for the Emperors.  Erik tries to get Sven to teach the Emperors to fly, but Sven cannot and finally admits he is actually a puffin and not a penguin.

With hope lost again, Mumble realizes that if they all tap dance they make chunks of ice fall of the iceberg.  Mumble injures himself when he saves Erik from falling along with a large ice chunk and many Adelie penguins.  Sven then returns and leads the penguins in dancing, but they need more power.

Mumble and Erik go to Elephant Seal beach to get Bryan to return the favor.  At first Bryan will not come help because he is in the middle of trying to maintain his dominance.  After Erik sings an opera, Bryan is convinced to help and the Elephant Seals come to dance on the iceberg with the penguins.
Throughout the movie there is also a sort of side plot with two krill named Bill and WIll.  Will wants to see what is beyond the swarm and Bill ends up going with him.  In the end, though, they end up back in the swarm under the iceberg blocking Emperor-land.  They dance on the bottom of the ice as the penguins and elephant seals dance on top.

Working together the Elephant Seals, penguins, and sort of the krill break the iceberg up enough to make a path for the Emperor Penguins to escape and families to be reunited.

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