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Movie Review

Happy Feet

MPAA Rating: PG for some mild peril and rude humor

Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids, Family
Genre:
Animation Adventure Comedy Kids Family Musical
Length:
1 hr. 27 min.
Year of Release:
2006
USA Release:
November 17, 2006 (wide)
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Copyright, Warner Bros.
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros.

Penguin coloring page: Printable version

Environment

Should Christians be concerned about the environment? Answer

What is man’s responsibility to the environment? Answer

How might rain forest destruction affect our weather? Answer

Christianity

Hypocrisy in the Church—“I would never be a Christian; they’re a bunch of hypocrites.”

The importance of humility

About birds and other animals of the Bible

About dancing in the Bible

For Kids

click for Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.

Featuring: Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving, Robin Williams, Johnny A. Sanchez, Carlos Alazraqui, Lombardo Boyar, Jeff Garcia, Steve Irwin, Nicholas McKay, Tiriel Mora, Fat Joe, Magda Szubanski, Miriam Margolyes
Director: George Miller, Judy Morris, Warren Coleman
Producer: Bruce Berman, Graham Burke, Zareh Nalbandian
Distributor: Warner Bros.

Sequel: “Happy Feet Two” (2011)

If you paid attention while watching last year’s “The March Of The Penguins,” there is no escaping the parallels or the absolute brilliance of “Happy Feet”’s CGI animators’ attention to detail, especially in the sweeping longshots of the Antarctic vistas, making us wonder “is it real or is it CGI?”

“Happy Feet” is basically a musical with a rather strong environmental message. It is also the story of a quest to find a place in this world, of love and forgiveness, of friends who hold you up and try not to let you down, of sacrifice, courage and fun.

Narrator, Robin Williams (doing his best “Morgan Freeman” from “War of The Worlds”) takes us step-by-step (pun intended) from the penguin’s enraptured love dance of summer through the harsh cold of the Antarctic winter and on out into the human world of over-harvesting arctic fish for man’s consumption, noting just how that effects the population of animals who’s survival depends on this source of food, and back to the polar “summer of love” song (and dance). A grand scope, a little long in the middle, but “Happy Feet” provides loads of lush audio and visuals.

Vivacious penguin Norma Jean (the voice of Nicole Kidman, doing a breathy Marilyn Monroe), complete with Marilyn’s beauty mark, sings her way through the male population of Emperor penguins, sifting through each male song, searching for the mate of her dreams. Out of the crowd of beaus swaggers Memphis (Hugh Jackman sounding just a bit “Elvis”), singing her song in perfect harmony (and a little hippy hippy shake). The two are meant for each other, and, as our narrator explains, “…the song became love and love became The Egg.”

Through the frozen polar winter, it is the male’s job to protect the egg and nurture it under his warm fold, while the female goes off to fatten herself up to return to feed the newly hatched egg in the Spring. A secret that Memphis hides is that during the incubation process he accidentally lets the egg slip from under his protective skirt into the freezing cold. Although he recovers his charge, the threat of an abnormal egg, or worse (not hatching at all), haunts him.

All the other eggs hatched, it is Memphis and Norma Jean’s egg that cracks last. As they all wait in anticipation, out pops little Mumble (Elijah Wood later voices as the teenager), not beak first, but feet first! He immediately starts tap dancing across the icy snow—much to the shock of his father and all the penguin population. The high council of elders and his father command Mumble not to do that, because “it’s just not penguin.” Instead, Mumble is given voice lessons, in order to do what all true Emperor penguins do, and that is sing. Sing to find the “heart song” all penguins must have in order to find a mate. That is their sole purpose and must be done in order for their species to survive.

Through it all, it is Momma Norma Jean, who delights in her son’s dancing and nick names him “Happy Feet.” She believes it is good to be an individual, when all others deem him different. Momma Norma Jean always liked different. Mumble remains too unconventional to be included in a lot of penguin events, especially those that include song, as his voice is like the brash honk of a horn with a fist stuck down its throat! His feet are his expression of life and song.

As the time approaches and Mumble still hasn’t found his heart song, he laments to his parents, without a song, “…how will I know, Momma? How will I know my true love?” Memphis cheers his son on by telling him, “You’ll know her by a wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk.”

But, can a penguin without a heart song, ever belong? Although encouraged to be himself by Momma, and that he will eventually find his heart song through “try” and “umph!” by his Papa, Mumble is ridiculed and misunderstood by most of the penguin population, except by his childhood friend, Gloria (Brittany Murphy), who sticks up for him and waits for him to return from his adventures with a song in his heart for her.

Mostly excommunicated by the Emperor High Council, who blame his Happy Feet for the shortage of food for the Emperor tribe (fearing he has offended the mystic penguin god, “The Quin”), Mumble sets out to find the meaning for life and the real reason for the dwindling harvest of fish. In his rambling adventures, Mumble runs into a group of Latino penguins, the Adelie Amigos headed by Ramon (Robin Williams at his hilarious best), who convince him that his dancing is actually cool. They, in turn, back him and encourage him to seek the wise advice of the ultimate penguin guru, Lovelace (also the voice of Robin Williams, who sounds like a wild, ranting, hypocritical televangelist).

[ Q&A: Hypocrisy in the Church—“I would never be a Christian; they’re a bunch of hypocrites.” ]

So it goes that Mumble and his friends discover the secrets of the “aliens” (humans) who are responsible for the fish shortage, but also play a pivotal role in bringing the penguin population together once more.

It is at this point that things get a little heavy. “Happy Feet” tries to take on a lot in the final third of the story. Love, music, environmental issues, comedy, drama, spirituality, individualism, Robin Williams comedy—it’s all there folks. Although I was entertained the whole way through to the final credits, I believe some issues might have been dropped to move the story along, but thanks to the capable direction of George Miller and the lively pop songs (and the CGI mentioned before), few will be left yawning in their seats.

Although many may assume that this cuddly penguin film is designed for little kids, the pop music lyrics, dialog, and storyline are generally more appropriate (and more interesting) for junior highers, high schoolers and adults, than for little ones. There are some pretty scary scenes where the little penguins are chased unmercifully by large, raging seals with great big teeth. Some scenes include threats of death from huge killer whales and are menacing, which may scare a timid child. Some scenes have thunderous loud noises and scary other action, including a collapsing glacier and frightening gulls that want to eat baby Mumbles.

Another reason to avoid taking little ones to this film are the many sexual references and innuendos (keeping with the penguin’s sole purpose in life, which is to mate). The procreation theme is advanced by the choice of too adult-minded songs that include lyrics such as:

“You don’t have to be beautiful to turn me on, I just need your body, baby, from dusk till dawn.”

Or unbelievably, the un-kid-friendly Salt “n” Pepa’s inappropriate…

“Let’s talk about sex, baby.”

Many Christians are offended by the film’s in your face references to Christian fundamentalism. The vulture-like Elders of the High Council frequently intimidate the penguin masses by telling them that unless they believe in “The Quin” and heed all the rules (along with whatever the elders tell them), the penguin population is blasphemous and will never survive, as “The Quin” will not bless them. Also, the spiritual “guru” Lovelace’s (Robin Williams) performance mocks donation-seeking televangelists, and at the same time implies the f-word, then adds:

“I shall retire to my couch of perpetual indulgence. Okay ladies, who’s first?”

I felt uneasy for families in the theater. I wondered what a parent sitting next to a 7 year old would say when the child turned to them and asked, “What did he mean by that, Daddy?”

In contrast, Mumble has a kind and right heart, and he never gives up. He shows courage and love for his family. He demonstrates a humble spirit, never making himself higher than his parents or those in charge, even when they were wrong. He honors his parents—all Biblical qualities to point out to your children.

King David danced before The Lord. Although he danced because of his great joy, knowing that God was God, we can still relate to the truthful, unblemished abandon in his praise. Let us express delight in God. Laughter also allows us to express the joy that God has placed in our hearts.

Something some folks may not know: The late Director of The Australia Zoo and beloved Animal Activist Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter) played the voice of Kev. The film was also dedicated to him and others, as the film’s basic message was about animal preservation.

Even though the ad campaigns leading up to this movie pretty much saturated the market, and made me wonder if I was being set up for a let down, I was not disappointed by the film’s entertainment value and quality. “Happy Feet” is a tech marvel, and enjoyable for those who like pop music and dancing. However, “Happy Feet” is pushing the envelope on the anti-Christian involvement within our society, and it is right that parents have decided not to see it with small, impressionable children. It is also right that some families do not plan on buying the DVD, as kids do watch them over and over, embedding messages in their subconscious.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This was a great animated movie about a penguin who has a difficult time being accepted by others because he is different. Although the politically correct overtones were strong at times, the movie easily lends itself to be discussed with a biblical worldview perspective. For example, “According to God’s word, how should we treat those who are different?” I am glad that I took my six year old to view it—despite the slightly objectionable material (mild sexual humor and suggestive music and language and politically correct overtones about the environment/tolerance issues). Beware of the sea lion scene where he chases Mumble—it was a little disturbing for my child. Overall, it is a heart warming story about finding acceptance.
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Kim Staples, age 39

[ How important is it to be “Politically Correct?” Answer ]

Positive—For the most part, this movie boasts adorable characters and probably the widest range of popular song in a movie since “Moulin Rouge.” The music was used in such a cute way with the penguins, that I even liked the hip-hop songs. The only negative character for me was Lovelace (voiced by Robin Williams) because he seemed to be played up like a hypocritical televangelist (in one scene asking some female penguins to join him in “perpetual indulgence” as they followed him behind a snow bank). Fortunately, Lovelace is unable to speak for many of his scenes. The only other possible offense I noticed was a “painful crotch-kick” reference when baby Mumble ran too quickly back under the belly-fold of his father, Memphis. Those minor faults aside, I’d call it kid-safe. There must have been over 100 very young children in my theater and none cried except for one infant for about 10 seconds; they all seemed as happy as our loveable, flightless birds on the silver screen.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Edith Carter, age 46
Positive—I’ve seen “Happy Feet” twice now, and the things that stood out most to me was the portrayal of the Emperor penguins as being very traditional; almost to the point of being intolerant of anything that differed from their usual way of life (hence the “stop freakin” us with da' feet), whereas the other species (and the name of that species escapes me now) was much more accepting of the differences that all of us bring to the table.

As a man of color in the United States, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels to race and race relations in this country; especially when the accepting penguins had a definite latin accent to their speech. It was if the film was saying that minorities in this country are more tolerant of the differences in each of us. For example, if a white person likes rap and/or hip-hop music, many of their own, and blacks included, will say that person is “trying to be black,” instead of simply realizing that person likes music that may be different from what’s expected.

Mumbles wasn’t a singer, he was a dancer and, thus, treated as an outcast among his own. It wasn’t until he made the rest of his group realize that an outsider was responsible for the food shortage that he was welcomed and accepted back with his group. From what I remember, Jesus taught us to love one another regardless of our differences, whether those differences be skin/hair/eye color, nationality, sexual identity or, dare I say, musical preference. In light of this, I can only recommend “Happy Feet” as a film that celebrates the differences among all or us and teaches us that even though we may be different, we are all to be celebrated and loved.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Bill W., age 49
Positive—I want to warn parents that the scary parts were pretty scary. My daughter has a fear of birds, and three large aggressive birds confront the little penguin when he’s all alone. There is a sea lion with which the penguin has a VERY close call. I’ve always thought of sea lions as loving and adorable. This one has long, really big, discolored teeth which we get to see close up during a hair-raising chase of the little penguin. We did not stay for the second half of the movie.
My Ratings: Good / 5
—Kathy, age 56
Positive—I am astounded how many people find this film offensive. I don’t find it offensive to portray a televangelist exactly as they are—fake, in fact, in many situations this helps separate a true believer from a fake; I could see no connection between a penguin acting as a televangelist and a follower of Jesus Christ who acknowledges Jesus as the one and only Son of God and the savior of the world.

Although salvation will not be found through the film, there were many good moralistic messages of how we should treat people who may be different than ourselves (in this case the difference was because of a “birth defect”). When Jesus was questioned about the blind man about his “birth defect” the reply was that this was not because of sin but so glory could be brought on God. Perhaps the people with negative views of the film have not been bullied, or they were not born with birth defects, and therefore do not see the importance of discussing the issue, from the same perspective.

For anyone unhappy by the accurate portrait of a sea lion, for little children, I suggest they check what PG stands for—Parental Guidance (for mild peril)… “March of the Penguins” is a documentary on penguins which shows the real peril from sea lions (including blood); “Happy Feet” did not show blood because unlike real life, the penguins escaped. I would agree that for young children the scenes could be scary, but that doesn’t make them none christian, just unsuitable for young children, as is a documentary about real penguins.

The words from the Salt and Papa song “lets talk about Sex baby” was sung “Lets talk about EGG’s baby.” My understanding of penguins’ lives, based on National Geographic programs (viewed as not offensive) is that penguins lives are about having eggs. “Happy Feet” even promoted the concept of one Man for a life relationship with one Woman; God promoted the concept of marriage for one Man for a life relationship with one Woman; here is another opportunity to see good in the movie when so much today tries to corrupt what God intended.

My summary is if your kids are 6 or up and you decide not to see the movie, you are missing a good movie (although not a life changing event); and I suggest you go home and throw away your TV, DVD, you cut up every book that’s ever been written (except the Bible please!!!), disconnect your phone, disconnect your computer, get rid of all video games, don’t write letters to people, or phone people etc, since there could be offensiveness in those items (probably is in reality but are you going to get rid of them?). The last thing I am suggesting, though, is compromising what you see as God’s standards, if ever, I am encouraging us all to apply what we see as God’s standard to every aspect of our lives, not just to “Happy Feet.”

Fortunately, God loves each and every one of us, including me and those of different opinions, and so for those of you who disagree with me, God still loves us both, and died for us both, and this is just a movie and my opinion!!!
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Mart Goodall, age 41
Positive—I guess when I saw the movie I just watched it for what it was. Didn’t look for any underlying “agendas.” As a science teacher, I teach about Life Science, and so the penguins’ mating rituals is just that. A God-given ability to reproduce. I enjoyed the movie and would definitely buy it when it comes out on DVD.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Linda, age 47
Positive—…The environmental message was based on fact, as for the sex, well my daughter had to ask at the beginning how we could tell which was the boy penguins from the girls, and let’s face it most of the animal kingdom do have more then one partner and is something that a child would not even notice if not pointed out. This movie was funny, and pushed the point of taking care of the Earth our Father gave us, as well as taking care of each other, as brothers and sisters in Christ.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Toni, age 52
Positive—I saw this movie with my three year old son, my husband, my mom, and my brother and his friend; we all thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and we loved the dancing penguins! I will happily buy the DVD when it comes out for my son to watch, as I am sure he will do many many times. My son didn’t get scared by the seals or birds, but maybe that’s just him; he’s very much all boy. We asked him what his favorite part was—and he actually said—“the monsters!” (meaning the seals.) We really did love “Happy Feet;” I was looking forward to seeing it all year.

As for what some have deemed 'offensive'—the portrayal of the elders, I entirely disagree. Where there are hard-hearted unloving leaders, you will find faith trying to blossom elsewhere. Those elders were critical, self-righteous, had no faithful vision, and seemingly had no love. Aren’t these qualities of the Pharisees in the Bible? In Matthew 15:12, the disciples tell Jesus—“don’t you know the Pharisees were offended by your words?” (paraphrased). I believe Jesus saved his harshest words for the Teachers of the Law. The Bible teaches in James 3:1 that we who teach will be judged more strictly. “A new command I give you” Jesus taught: “Love one another.” Those elders remind me very much of those who were given the Seven Woes in Matthew 23.

Let’s not be so afraid of people having something negative to say about religious leaders that we don’t listen to the underlying message—unloving, hypocritical, self-righteous Christians damage people’s faith. Little Mumble overcame much unbelief to be able to use his hidden talents to save his “people.” Why should we be defensive about “Hollywood” having something bad to say about Pharisee-like religious people? Jesus had a lot of bad things to say about them! Again: Matthew 23.

How about we just choose to be real—being a Christian is not about following all the rules and never breaking them. Last Bible reference—paraphrasing the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The Pharisee said 'God, I thank you I’m not like other people—I follow all the rules.' The tax collector “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” It’s the tax collector—terrible sinners of the Jewish society—who went home justified by God. He had to be real and admit his sins and faults (thereby repenting of his sin), and God’s mercy (which we have through Jesus' sacrifice) saved him. Not his perfection. Being a prideful, self-righteous person myself when I am weak, I have a good eye for recognizing pride in others, and I think the movie hit it right on with those elder penguins. We all have sins and struggles, and I love it when spiritual church leaders are open and honest themselves, because they point us to Jesus.

Well, that’s my two cents, I hope more people can see this highly enjoyable movie that has great animation and music!

My Ratings: Good / 5
—Maritza, age 31
Positive—This movie was very fun. I went with fellow Christians, and none of them saw anything wrong with this movie. The only part I didn’t like was Lovelace saying he was going to “retire to my couch of perpetual indulgence. Ok, ladies, who’s first?” Other than that, it was great!! I saw it twice!
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Dana, age 21
Positive—“Happy Feet” was nothing short of stunning, visually. At times, I actually DID wonder whether some of the things in the scenes were real, such as the humans portrayed towards the end of the movie. “Happy Feet” seriously made me want to dance in the theatres. The music was well-chosen and dance-worthy, though admittedly questionable. When they opened the movie with Prince’s “Kiss,” the first thing I thought was, 'No, they didn’t. Prince?! In a kids' movie?' Also, songs like “I’ll Make Love To You” and “Let’s Talk About Sex” were very inappropriate to put in a children’s movie.

As a Christian, I really didn’t appreciate the overall negative portrayal of the elders in the colony. Personally, I am very sick of the “big bad Christian” messages that Hollywood loves to send out. Yes, there are mean, judgmental “Christians” out there but there are also true Christians who are not like that.

I didn’t get that much of an atheistic vibe, though, as I did more of an anti-church leader one. The supposed “leaders” of the church are mostly likely the ones who need to be sitting down and listening themselves. Noah and the elders were more like, as one reviewer said, the Pharisees. And Lovelace—I have to admit—CRACKED ME UP because he was very much modeled after some of these televangelists out here who are about as spiritual as my big toe. My mother, who was with me, is a Christian as well and she even laughed at him. Lovelace was almost right on the money, in my opinion.

Also, Mumble, in the end, NEVER summed up that their penguin god didn’t exist. He said: 'But the great Quinn didn’t put things out of whack; the aliens did.' This isn’t atheistic. If you ask me, it sounds more like: stop blaming God for everything that goes wrong on this planet and start taking responsibility for your own actions.

Overall, “Happy Feet” is a great movie for people maybe 10 and older. Younger kids can only pay attention to dancing penguins for so long before it gets boring. It is a little long and it tries too hard to be too much (comedy, political, environmental, dark, etc.). Even though I don’t appreciate how they portray the “religious” characters as always negative, it can be a little bit of a wake-up call to how the world sees the church these days.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Ji-Ji, age 20
Neutral
Neutral—This is certainly an entertaining film, with next to nothing that is morally objectionable that hits one “in the face” as it were. However, there are some very disturbing, and, in my opinion, deliberately and flagrantly anti-Christian elements in the film. The “elder” penguins (led by the chief elder “Noah”; get it?) are “uptight,” “bound by tradition,” and reject the “oddball” Mumbles, who doesn’t sing like everyone else, but instead dances. Other than the fact that there was no explicit mention of Christ, the scene where Mumbles is cast out seems to me intended to portray what the makers of the film see as traditional, “bigoted” Christians who fear anything that is not in their tradition, and see it as sinful.

The humans are, at first, seen through standard tree-hugger lenses as the bad guys, overfishing such that the penguins are starving. It seems significant to me that when Mumbles goes on his quest to find the humans and get them to stop taking all the fish, he comes across a set of buildings that are somewhat eerie and ominous to his view. The first building he sees is a church, complete with cross. The rest are industrial-looking. Coincidence? I think not. When the humans do finally decide to help the penguins, who is it who is portrayed in the most positive light? The UN. Go figure.

I strongly suspect that the makers of this film intended it to be an entertaining, but thinly-veiled, anti-Christian screed, in which authority is portrayed as wrongheaded and wicked, and being different is celebrated, with no regard as to the moral content of the “difference.”
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Jeremy Klein, M.D., age 51
Neutral—I think this movie had a good overall moral, but I was really disappointed with the sexual innuendos throughout the movie. There were songs not appropriate for children such as, “I’ll make love to you, like you want me to” as the male penguins were vying for a female penguin. There was also “booty dancing” among the penguins, along with many more comments and body gestures with rather obvious sexual connotations. I really would not recommend children seeing this. I mean, it was cute for what it was, but I think it def could have done without such an emphasis on the sex. Everyone knows that mating goes on, but it doesn’t need to be shoved in our faces as if the penguins were humans. Parents, there are a lot of clean children’s movies out there to see, this is not one of them. Definitely needs to be rated stricter than “G.”
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Katie, age 20
Neutral—I was essentially dragged along to see this movie, but I went with it since I didn’t have anything better to do. I noticed some subtle pro-evolution statements in it, and the dancing penguins on occasion acted a bit sensual. The choreography and animation is where it triumphs, but there is a large underdevelopment in plot. Overall, it was relatively entertaining, but I wouldn’t care to see it again.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Nick Gausling, age 19
Neutral—I took my 7-year-old and 9-year-old nieces to see this movie today. They enjoyed it, though the 7-year old was bored about halfway through and hoping that the movie would end soon! A lot of the sexual lyrics and innuendos, etc. pretty much went over their heads (they hear worse at home and school), but I certainly noticed them and they made me disappointed and a little uncomfortable. Thinking about this movie right now, it just hit me that it kind of has the same very subtle, and maybe unfortunate message as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer does—If you’re different from everyone else, you have to do something amazingly stupendous in order to be accepted—you’re not good enough to belong just as you are… although… just like in Rudolph, there are some friends and a love interest who accept the main character before the amazingly stupendous feat is accomplished. So anyway, I have mixed feelings about the movie. I don’t think I would really recommend it to anyone, though I did enjoy most of the film and the cool (no pun intended) CGI landscapes of Antarctica. Too much of a musical for me and I really didn’t like some of the sexual content. By the way, for every reviewer/commenter who keeps calling it a Sea Lion… IT IS NOT A SEA LION! IT IS A LEOPARD SEAL, a very vicious and aptly named marine mammal.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Lori Martin, age 44
Neutral—What I really want to say: Skip all the adult reviews and go down to what the teenagers said at the bottom of the page. They are extremely well written, and it is impressive the wisdom and discernment these young people have. …

My personal opinion on the film: I saw this film with my youth group, and although I was a bit shocked by all the sexual references, it isn’t any worse than what they discuss in school anyway. Remember, though, when making comments like these—the reason they discuss this stuff in school is partly because it is through the pop culture, the fact that they discuss it DOES NOT make pop culture references to sex okay! Not entirely appropriate for primary-age kids unless accompanied by parental guidance and discussion, but use your discretion. …
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Samuel Dennis, age 22
Negative
Negative—The animation was exceptional. The story was nothing new or original. The penguin “Elders” are obviously meant to appear as stuffy Christian traditionalists, and there are new age/anti-Christian themes throughout. This is not a children’s movie.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
—George and Leslie Demetrakos, age 52
Negative—It was cute, funny, and basically blamed all of man’s problems on the fact that they are polluting the Earth, not only with trash and toxins, but also with religion. And, of course, this refers to Christian people who go to church. Could a kids’ movie really be that serious? Yes, since the penguins’ mating rituals are definitely meant to appeal to the adults. Anyway, the unfavorable characters in this movie are the ones who are …stealing money from people in exchange for false words of wisdom, kicking the main character out of the community because he is “different,” and/or hooking up with multiple ladies (only one character is shown doing this, since penguins are usually monogamous and the women are actually called wives in the movie).

One of these “bad” characters is basically a spiritual leader who is a fraud, the other “bad” characters are referred to as “elders,” the leaders of the penguins. Both of those sound like church-related people to me. To top it all off, just in case these characters’ actions weren’t enough, there is actually a shot seen of a typical Christian church with a graveyard (this is in the middle of Antarctica, mind you), which just happens to be right next to the area where “aliens” (humans) are working and polluting the Earth and “taking all the fish” from the poor penguins.

The movie starts with the penguins praying to their penguin god for food, but later in the movie, the main character says there is no god and the real problem is that the aliens are taking their food. Therefore, if we could just get in touch with the aliens and talk to them, maybe they would help us instead of harming us.

This is basically the message of the movie which leads to a really weird over-the-top ending. Yes, I admit there are crooked people in the church and false preachers, but this movie only showed the negatives aspects of being in a church community, and I felt that was unfair. Just thought I’d let you know what this movie was about, because I had absolutely no idea before I watched it.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Tamara Betancourt, age 24
Negative—I assumed that this movie would be innocent because it was animated and about penguins. It’s true that there were many scenes that were humorous and entertaining. However, I was offended by the religious undertones that portrayed the church in a negative way. The senior penguins referred to the other penguins as “brethren” and excommunicated “Happy Feet” because he didn’t sing like the other penguins, but danced instead, thus causing the curse from the greater power. “LoveLace” was acting like a charismatic preacher and had more than one partner. “Happy Feet” went looking for help, and the cause of the lack of fish. He discovered the fishing plant, and right above that was a church.

This could imply that the enemy fisherman were churchgoers. Help was finally found among animal activists. Unfortunately, there are many churchgoers who aren’t Christ-like, but the movie didn’t portray any that were religious in a positive way.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Mary, age 47
Negative—I took my family to see this movie and was very displeased. Although my expectations for secular movies are not high, I draw the line when they try to undermine religion and highlight atheistic views. “Happy Feet” was based on this premise. Working from beginning to end, the movie destroyed the belief in God (the penguin version of God) and lifted up the “free to do as you please” world—loosed from consequence and sin.

The movie attempts to shape and mold our children’s minds into a belief that religion is narrow-minded and ineffectual, while strengthening a sense of scientific explanation and atheism. Before I give something my approval, I first ask myself if God would approve of it. In the case of “Happy Feet,” I believe God is greatly displeased. If something displeases God, then we also should be displeased.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3
—Gabriel Nix, age 26
Negative—“Happy Feet” centers around the misunderstood protagonist, a young penguin (“Mumble”) who seems doomed for rejection. He is different from the other penguins, both visually and socially. Mumble’s parents try to help him fit into the penguin norm, but his failures are disruptive, and after a tense breaking point with his parents, Mumble is banished from the tribe by the old-timer at its head. His “hippety-hop” and his self-reliant philosophy are at odds with the tribe’s unity and its unquestioning faith.

Mumble promises he will return when he finds out why the fish are disappearing. He does discover the cause—humans! His perseverance and fortitude serve him well until he is captured and wakes up in a zoo. After a briefly-depicted despondence, he realizes he can communicate through his dancing (the reason for his rejection from the tribe). The humans free him again, and he leads them to his tribe by means of a radio transmitter. He persuades the tribe to dance, and the humans, impressed by the spectacle, act to preserve the penguins. The fish are restored, and Mumble is a hero.

As a film, “Happy Feet” is very entertaining. Well-placed humor and engaging music combine well with mass CG choreography for a fun experience. Mumble displays courage and self-sacrifice frequently in the film. He places himself in danger to save his friends, and even turns down a mate to spare her the troubles he knows are ahead of him on his journey. (That can go two ways, actually. As a pair they could have been stronger.)

The film does have many elements which may subvert family values. Mumble’s confrontation with his parents could easily be interpreted by children as rebellion. Upon Mumble’s return, his father is apparently a wreck, suffering from guilt for rejecting his son. Mumble’s decision to return to the island, bringing the humans with him, may not have been wise, given his experiences to that point. In all cases the concerns and council of the tribal elders are ignored or shown as folly.
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Joshua Seigler, age 23
Negative—I viewed this film the day after it opened with my wife, 17 and 4 year-old daughters …we viewed the innocent-looking trailers and went to the theater, hopeful this would be a good choice.

Unfortunately, I was deceived and disappointed by Hollywood… again. I learned a lesson and will wait for the reviews to come in from like-minded Christians next time. We Christians are keenly aware of hypocrisy in the Church. After all, professing to be Christ-followers sets the stage for our failures and hypocrisy. Yet, we strive by God’s grace to follow Jesus’ model. We understand that our hypocrisy goes with the territory.

However, people who don’t know Jesus Christ are effectively pushed away from Truth by the blatant anti-Christian depictions in this movie. The concept of faith for those without a clue is confused by the rigid nature of the penguin colony leadership who show no grace, mercy or wisdom, by the guru “Lovelace” …who swings from mystic to cheesy tele-evangelist to sexual opportunist, by the lead character’s father who is weak in his family leadership and integrity, and by the obvious symbolism of the juxtaposition of an abandoned (obsolete) church building with decrepit industrial buildings.

My bottomline—I’m deeply disappointed in Hollywood’s gross lack of tolerance for all people, namely Christ-followers and how that plays, even in what should be a purely uplifting family story.

Yes, the graphics are lush, the music jammin’, and dialog often entertaining. And the lead character, Mumble, is a true-blue individual. I was thankful that Mumble’s gentle spirit (barely) balanced the rest of this film’s garbage. So, Hollywood, why not make “Happy Feet” truly great by dispensing with the put-downs of people of faith, politics, sexual innuendos, and heavy handedness? Unfortunately, you’ve squandered an opportunity for greatness and fallen way short. We definitely will not be seeing this again, recommending it, or buying the DVD.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
—Edwin, age 50-ish
Negative—My daughter and I were anxious to see this movie from all the previews we had seen. I’d have to say that I was SO disappointed that I wanted to walk out of it. I can sum up this movie in two words: liberal agenda. Almost every liberal agenda out there is in this two hour movie. I was offended in how they portrayed the “elder” penguins shunning out Mumble and using such words as “repent.” And, of course, we had to accept that Happy Feet (aka Mumble) was “different,” and that he couldn’t “change.” There were so many hidden agendas (too many to mention here) used as the main point of the film that it made it difficult to enjoy for it’s entertainment value.

The politics were so overwhelming that they even showed politicians in the “can’t we all just get along” (and too long) finale. I can say that as a Christian, we will not be watching this movie twice.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
—Dawn, age 34
Negative—…This is a seriously, politically-charged movie. This movie is about Naturalism over Christianity. If you think I’m an ultra conservative… whatever, go ahead, waste your money. Then come back here and write a review, I could use more help pointing out exactly what this movie is. The movie starts off with adult (penguins) AND children (penguins) singing sexually-charged songs.

This movie ridicules religion (I cannot think of another reason for the scene with the church in it). The religious leaders are made to look more like vultures than penguins. They are the “bad guys” who are intolerant of “different” people. One “religious” leader is mocked as being a fraud and having a harem. The penguin religion is made to be irrational and is verbally pointed out in the movie.

This is a 1 hour plus “progressive” agenda piece hitting large companies, zoos, and humans, along the way, as it targets religion, with Christianity in the center of the cross hairs. Hollywood morals, emphasizing belief in self over God, is nothing new. However, this “Children’s” film betrays none of its anti-Christian agenda in its previews.

SPOILER ALERT: The movie ends when the religious penguins recant their evil ways, accept the penguin for who he is, and get involved in his “ways.”…
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4½
—Chet, age 30
Negative—I am so glad to see that my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ think as I do on this film with all the negative comments. I thought I was being too harsh with this film, at first, and tried to look at it from my 10 year old son’s point of view, but, in doing so, I still was able to see the mocking of Christian beliefs and the negative view of Christian Preachers. I really believe this is another attempt for Satan to put something evil into a pretty package, aimed at seducing our children into anti-christ beliefs, that all Christians are fake or immoral.

If I put all the poor religious qualities in this movie aside, I would still have a negative reaction to this movie in the sexual explicit content of the songs such as “I want to have sex baby.” I was very offended that my son would be witness to such songs and all the sexual innuendos of this movie. I really wish I had been aware of what this movie was truly about, however, like many of the other reviewers I too was mislead into believing in the PG-rating and took a chance, I won’t do it again when my sons eyes will be watching.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Angela, age 36
Negative—I’m disappointed in myself for not getting up and leaving with my son and daughter when they first started ridiculing Christians and glorifying sex in what I thought was going to be a wonderful children’s show. …My children love penguins and were drawn to this movie from the first trailer. It was with great excitement we watched this movie on its second day out. I think this is why I didn’t get up with my children and leave when I should have.

As we left the theater and I felt God’s conviction setting in and I explained to the best of my ability to my six and eight year old that while “Happy Feet” may have appeared funny it made fun of people who believe in Christ and that it didn’t please God. I then informed them that we would not be seeing the movie again with Mom as we had planned and we would not be getting it when it came out on DVD. Next I called my wife who had been a great help in making it possible for a special afternoon for the kids with Dad. I told her what a disappointment the movie was. It was a real let down for all of us.

If your children are like mine, they love to watch shows when they come out on DVD over and over again as they memorize dialog, act out funny scenes, and sing along with the songs. As their father I refuse to look the other way as they write these ungodly messages into their hearts.

As Christ followers we are called to write God’s commandments into our hearts to guard us from temptation and sin. Lukewarm Christians be advised our children are writing Hollywood’s beliefs into their hearts when you as parents allow them to see movies like “Happy Feet” over and over again. If like me you have already screwed up and let your kids see this movie I encourage you to do as I and take a stand against it and use it to teach your children how to do likewise. I have not told my daughter to stop dancing like Mumble all day long. She is joyful at heart and for that I’m happy.

I did not go over all of the points in this movie that I found offense too or felt were clearly not appropriate for children as the reviews before me have done an excellent job of exposing this anti-Christian, pro-sexual immorality, and politically motivated movie. I find myself agreeing with most of the negative reviews which bring one point after another up about the relentless slam on Christians and the portrayal of sex through song and dialog. Not only is this movie inappropriate for children it is inappropriate for those who stand for Christ. If the makers of this film were truthful, it is Christians that they see as different and do not want to accept.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4½
—Robert Summers, age 38
Negative—I was very upset by all of the sexual innuendo and thankful that my 2 year old daughter won’t remember those parts. The movie had great potential and some good parts, but the negative far, FAR outweigh the positive. It is a shame that they would add these things to a children’s film. I guess I should not have expected it to be any better.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
—Angela, age 27
Negative—This is one of the strangest movies I have ever seen. The plot seems to jump from a love story to a “it’s okay to be different” story to an environmental, “save the penguins” story. The environmental aspect is exceptionally unsubtle: humans are polluting and overfishing. While the “amigo” penguins are very funny, and some of the chase scenes entertaining, one of the clear messages is that “it is okay to be different than my parents because I was born that way and everyone should learn to accept this and even participate.” While the animation is extremely well-done, I found the underlying messages to be quite overbearing.
My Ratings: Average / 2
—Woody, age 23
Negative—Went to see this with my daughter and friends and was disappointed with this movie. First, some of the songs lyrics were inappropriate for very young children. A lot of sexual innuendos and very strong religious overtones. We came out feeling confused with what the “message” was supposed to be. I wouldn’t recommend this movie and am surprised with the PG-rating. It should have been PG-13.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3½
—Johnny, age 37
Negative—I took my four year old granddaughter to Imax to view this movie. I was extremely disappointed as New Age themes, a “tele-evangelist” penguin informs a dancing penguin that he is demon possessed and needed to seek forgiveness, making puns toward fundamentalist Christians, songs full of sexual innuendos and lines that do the same.

Trailers for this movie make you believe that you are going to a fun, uplifting movie about a small penguin that learns to make his way in the world though different. While it goes around about it’s plot line, the in your face offensiveness of this movie made it anything but what trailers portray.

I felt conned. From the moment we walked into the theater there were cute popcorn buckets, plush toys and games. Everything would appear that you are in for a fun experience with your child. I found it anything but.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4½
—Penny Williams, age 52
Negative—…It was overtly sexual …and demeaning to Christians. If it had been people in it, instead of penguins, it would have been rated R. There were good technical aspects and Mumbles was great, but the rest of the movie was a worldly way of warping our young peoples minds with trash. A penguin singing about sex is a cute way of putting that idea into the innocent minds of our children. If you value your child and take care with what goes into their mind, this movie should be a pass.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Jane Izard, age 52
Negative—This movie was one of my least favorite of all the recent animated family movies. There were way too many messages on how humans were bad; there were too many violent scenes that scared not only my 4 year old son, but my wife also; the storyline was disconnected and drawn out; there were characters and scenes that were disrespectful to Christianity, in a subtle way; there were too many sexual messages for a family movie. I found myself wanting the movie to be over about 20 minutes into the show. I would NOT recommend this movie…
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
—Kent, age 48
Negative—…there was a “guru” disseminating “wisdom” attained from the spirit world. Songs played in the movie were blatantly sexual in nature. …Previews of “Harry Potter…” and another film resembling “Lord of the Rings” were completely inappropriate for my 3 and 6 year old little girls. …We left the film early.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3½
—Brian McCray, age 38
Negative—…First of all, my wife mentioned the story reminded her of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer;” and there were many similarities. As children, we both loved the story of Rudolph, and couldn’t wait to see the show during the Christmas season. For those of us that came along before videos, Christmas shows like “Frosty,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and “Charlie Brown Christmas” only came on once a year.

And, if you happened not be home the night your favorite came on, you had to wait another whole year to see it. Anyway, back to “Happy Feet,” there was a tried and true formula like the story of Rudolph, and the technological affects were top of the line. The music was extremely catchy (if you didn’t listen to the words), and the spoken lines written and delivered by leading Hollywood talent were top notch. HOWEVER… This will not be a movie that our family will add to its collection.

Actually, the crowd that sat through this movie with our family did not clap when the movie ended, and there seemed to be a sense of puzzlement in the atmosphere—like, did I enjoy that movie? There were parts I laughed at, but am I the only one that doesn’t know how to respond to the ending? It was strangely quiet, as several hundred people of all ages filed out of the movie. And even though the music was designed to appeal to parents, the words from the songs were not the type most Christian parents would sing in front of their children!

Personally, I believe the movie became very heavy-handed with ecological political correctness towards the end, and many children were left wondering… what was that all about? As for spiritual undertones, they definitely were not Biblical or Christian… unless one believes that another jab at Fundamentalism, particularly in a children’s story, is a good thing.

I believe children had fun with the movie about half the time, and didn’t know what to make of it the other half. In the end, my twins were very curious about what I thought of the movie; which means they were not sure if they liked it themselves. When they like a movie, the first thing they say is, “Let’s buy it”! As for the sixteen year old, she was totally aware of all the sexual innuendo, and didn’t say much. …This is how I would review: Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None / Innuendo: Highly Sexual / Music: Highly Sexual / World View: Amoral
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
—Marshall Norris, age 45
Negative—I have to agree with the rest of the negative comments posted about this movie, the sexual references and violence and hypocritical Christian characters and humanism, all of it made me very angry. But one thing that stood out to me and disturbed me the most was the ending where Mumble was captured by the “aliens,” and he was trying to get their attention by yelling and screaming, but that was not working, so he begins to dance instead.

Now this is my opinion, but I believe this is making reference to our current fight for freedom. Instead of fighting, perhaps we should “dance” for them to create peace. Sure, we may lose freedom, as Mumble did once he was tracked, but we’ll get the fish back and that’s what’s most important right? Don’t get me wrong, I’m for peace, but not at the cost of freedom. It was very disturbing to me, and I’m sickened with the subliminal messages in this movie.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Stacy, age 25
Negative—I have never reviewed a movie online before! I agree with most of the things that have been said, but I wanted to add one thought. The left wing agenda cannot be denied, but they contradict themselves. There were definite undertones of humanism and evolution in this movie. Maybe not all evolutionists believe in survival of the fittest (but I think we can assume most do). With that, because we humans have our big brains, opposable thumbs and giant nets, isn’t the penguin fish shortage simply a case of survival of the fittest?

It does not make sense that they get all upset about the penguins on the one hand (using the Judeo-Christian, biblically-based value of treating others the way we want to be treated). Where humans are the bad guys who tromp on the poor babies (who, if you note, were VERY sweet, sensitive and understanding, while he was trying to communicate at the zoo—this giving him human qualities which animals do not have). Then, on the other hand, have connotations of evolution which includes the survival of the fittest (when it is convenient). Talk about hypocritical!
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Stacey Hanrahan, age 37
Negative—All that needs to be said about this movie has pretty much been said by others here. I will echo the same however, please, if you value your own moral and spiritual dignity, do not go to see this movie. I have never seen a movie which (although not directly stated) attacks Christian values and specifically Christianity more blatantly.

The difference is, the knives of criticism and the poison of propaganda are cleverly hidden behind the cute feathery gloves of adorable creatures, and thus much more dangerous and ominous than a direct assault. …we presumed innocence based solely on the misleading appearance of previews and cute feathery creatures and let our guard down. We assumed, wrongly.

The barrage of sexual insinuations, crude flirtation, infidelity, rebellion against the traditional, mystical glorification and environmental worship was not isolated, but ran the whole course of the movie. Again let me say, please avoid this movie by all means and definitely do not take underage children to see it.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—George, age 46
Negative—How can a Christian give a positive slant to this story? How can a born-again believer accept this story after the way the creators of “Happy Feet” set out to make Christians into hypocrites? The elders, the people who are supposed to be wise in our churches today, had no love; but God is love! And most elderly people I know are loving. These had no wisdom, only judgment. Are we this desperate for entertainment?

Although I don’t know if he added this particular line, it is also sad to note that Robin Williams is very anti-Jesus, anti-Christian, and he is given the right to add to the script any time he wants at the loss of our children’s innocence-“OK, ladies…”.

My family almost NEVER goes to a theater, and even though we were at the matinee, we were disappointed that our money was wasted. Why didn’t we check several Christian movie Web-sites first? The commercials made it look so cute. Let’s continue to pray for more Christians to get into the entertainment business to bring out clean and fun stuff for the family. Thank you for this site.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3
—Judi Fleet, age 44
Negative—I was shocked by this film. I already have a list of companies I do not allow their films in my household, and WarnerBros is now on this list. While I understand that this film is PG, I found this movie very offensive. There is no need for the sexual walk of the female penguins, no reason for the men to be so sexually charged in their actions, comments and songs. One part that appears to not be mentioned is when Gloria walks by 4 male penguins, they sing “I’ll make love to you, if you want me to.”

There is no reason for such comments and songs to be included in a film that is being marketed towards kids as young as 4 and 5. I was also upset with the UN involvement in the story line. I feel this is conditioning children at a young age to embrace this organization. Conditioning them to view this organization as all friendly and with no drawbacks.

As an anti-UN supporter myself, I find there no reason to include the symbols of this organization in a film. I also find their description of the order of their clan as offensive. It reminded me of a cult, and it enraged me that this behavior was looked down on. It portrayed the organization as negative and having no positive barring. I feel I wasted much money and corrupted my kid. I’m offended by this movie and more upset that I live in a day and age where I have to keep a list of companies such as this.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Lynn Van Hoose, age 31
Negative—The sexual innuendos, at the very least, are desensitizing for children and adults alike. What happened to thinking only on things that are pure and holy? A good laugh, entertaining music and dancing, are at too high of a cost with this movie. I learned I must check reviews first!
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4½
—Janelle, age 27
Negative—This movie is well made and technically inspiring. The plot is interesting and the characters keep our interest. However, all of this is trashed by the film’s heavy-handed environmentalism and even heavier-handed Christian-bashing. The elder penguins and those that follow them are depicted as Christian by their vocabulary and the parallels of their concerns to Christian concerns. While their “god” isn’t the Christian God the parallels are more than sufficient to make it clear at whom the attacks are aimed.

It is clear that the intent of the film is to, not so subtly, militate against those that have values other than relativism. It is presented in such a way as to affect the thinking of youngsters watching the film and cause them to call into question Christian faith. This is the sort of very successful propaganda that has affected our society so drastically of the last few decades. Please keep your children away from this film.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4½
—Joe Martin, age 51
Negative—This movie was so offensive to me that I walked out on the last 20 minutes of it. My husband and I took our 3 children and a cousin to see what we expected to be a cute, entertaining children’s film. The whole point of creating this movie, in my opinion, was to convey a liberal political message, through our most vulnerable, impressionable audience—our children. Christians were attacked throughout this film, from portraying the penguin “elders” as condemning religious leaders who quoted Bible verses and a “televangelist”-like leader who blasphemed Scripture, speaking of “Going forth and multiplying,” then taking several female penguins out of sight to “have pleasure” on his couch, asking, “who will be first?”.

Mumble, the main character, decides to find out who the “aliens” are and ask them to stop taking the penguins' food supply, fish. The “aliens,” who are clearly defined as human beings, are portrayed as evil, uncaring, scary, pollutive and destructive. As Mumble crests a hill looking for signs of “alien” life, the first structure that is shown is a church. Sexual innuendo is all over this movie, as male penguins frequently try to “get laid” and sing offensive secular songs that I don’t let my children listen to, such as, Salt ’n Peppa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex Baby,” as well as Prince’s “Kiss” and others.

Mumble’s parents are basically Marilyn Monroe and Elvis personified, and very “sexual” in their speaking and body movements. Mumble’s penguin friends are very sexual when speaking about getting female penguins, at times thrusting their pelvis' when speaking about how “hot” and desirable they are.

There are two very scary and violent scenes, including one very graphic one where a very evil-looking leopard seal chases after and almost attacks Mumble and his friends, and another scene where they are chased by killer whales. My 5-year-old step-daughter covered her eyes in terror during both scenes. Zoos and animal aquariums, which are excellent family places for children to learn about animals, are shown as scary and prison-like, and are offensively compared to “Heaven” by Mumble.

If all of these elements don’t offend you, let me tell you that the movie as a whole was not very entertaining. I guess I’m spoiled by all the Disney/Pixar films, who write all their own music and lyrics. This film’s producers could not even take the time to do that, intent as they were to convey their negative environmental message. This film is deceptively packaged in excellent special effects, cute penguin dancing and star character voices (Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, among others), but is inappropriate for all children, and adults really shouldn’t waste their time on it either. Protect your children from it’s negative, Anti-Christian messages by not taking them, not buying the DVD, and telling other parents about this film!
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4½
—Jacie Brengman, age 27
Negative—I took my 10 year old and my 12 year old to see this movie, and I regret it. My 12 year old daughter has been struggling with her faith and with doubt lately, and I don’t think this movie helped any. “Happy Feet” is just another example of how “Hollywood” is pushing it’s agendas on our children. The environmental theme was way too strong (don’t get me wrong, I believe in being good stewards of the creation), and I definitely didn’t appreciate the way they made fundamental Christians appear. The “celebrate your diversity” theme was also very strong.

I was almost expecting Mumbles to come out of the “closet” at the end. God has given us all special gifts and talents, but not to misuse at the expense of our Biblical values. Some of the music was very inappropriate for children (even junior high schoolers). It was a well-made movie, but I don’t think it will ever become a classic animated film.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Sylvia Soules, age 47
Negative—Yes, the movie was made very well. However, is that what should “sell” us on a movie. How entertained were you? and forget about, or numb yourself to, the extremely objectionable right-in-your-face worldly messages? Not here, that’s for sure. My husband and I and our two 9 year olds and five year old all saw the movie together.

None of us liked it. I’m sure it’s because my children (even my 5 year old) have great discernment when it comes to worldly garbage trying to infiltrate the mind. I would not recommend this movie at all. There are plenty of other fun family movies out there. If you want a great christian family movie, rent or buy “Time Changer.” My children loved it and were very impacted (positively) by it. It was suspenseful and brought home the importance of having Christian values in society.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
—Renee, age 40
Negative—I found the film to be very offensive. It had very negative references that were obviously pointing to what they think true Christians are like—as bigoted, stuffy, rude, hypocritical, just for starters. This film had a huge social and cultural agenda aimed right at our kids.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Wade Stankich, age 36
Negative—Started out cute and cuddly, then sexual references and music lyrics entered the picture, moved along to mocking the church as educated nay sayers, and then it became clear that this was not a children’s film but a Hollywood liberal agenda being dished out under the cloak of a child’s film. I asked the two 10 year old girls and one 11 year old girl, that I brought to the film, what they thought the story was about. They answered, I don’t know. They only seemed to remember the cute fluffy penguins and one liners at the beginning of the moving as they talked on the way home, Thank God.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Kathy Rycek, age 45
Negative—I went on the advice of family and friends (one of them a devout catholic—go figure). I had only heard 1 negative from a friend of mine. I am always very cautious about bringing my 3-year old to any movie. Talking to other parents with kids they said it would be appropriate for a 3-year old. SO NOT THE CASE. It had gotten so bad that I had to walk out of the movie half way through.

I attended with my son, my Mom and my Step Dad. We were all offended. There is clearly an absence of any moral scruples in the film. Supposedly the underlying message is “be yourself.” But it was extremely dark and depressing. The story line went off in too many directions. If you want a nice film about being yourself see Rudolph. I had to debrief my son after the movie, because he was confused as to what was happening.

Even the scene where the penguins are praying to the penguin God is very dark and seemed demonic. Clear sexual and racial undertones in the movie. All the emperor penguins, you’d have to make the assumption are black, based upon the music (hip hop and rap) as well as the way they speak, then there are the Latino penguins which add some levity, but at that point we had had enough. After the ferocious Sea Lion came to devour Mumbles and my son jumped out of his pants. It was time to go.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Stacey Reichard, age 40
Negative—The movie is nothing like you think it will be from the commercials. Please don’t spend your money on this movie. No one should be getting rich off of poisoning our children’s minds! Even young children should not see this movie. We should be careful what we see. This movie will plant seeds in our children’s minds that you definitely don’t want to grow. The movie attacks Christians, and it is very perverted.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Tanya, age 29
Negative—I’m sorry to offend anyone who thought this movie was harmless and cute, but it was incredibly anti-fundamental Christianity. I mean, the bad people in the movie referred to each other as brothers, and the head penguin talked about sin, and even quoted the Bible changing the God with whatever the name of their penguin God was. Usually I don’t get into little nuances in films, but this was blatant. I was embarrassed while watching the movie.

Kids get values from movies. The lesson of this movie was that people are different and everyone should be accepted. Of course, we all want our kids to think that, but this was obviously grooming kids to except gay rights and marriage. The father penguin used the same kind of language you would imagine a middle class father saying to a son they found out was gay. It was so obvious, I brought it up to a few other people and they said, oh I ignored it because I thought I was being too sensitive.

I’m telling you, I’ve been in some of the most liberal campuses ever, and liberals and gay right activists in general hate Christians and their values. I read some people say that this film just shows the difference between real Christians and fake ones, but don’t be fooled. People used to just make fun of fake Christians. But people today hate the fundamental, real beliefs of true believers, and true Christians are being portrayed as worse and worse in the media.

So don’t let these slide thinking that your being too sensitive, because it’s gonna get way worse. Lots of people hate christian values (Hollywood) and many of them happen to be the loudest.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3
—Nicole Kindred, age 20
Negative—My husband and I took our 13 year old son and 6 year old daughter to see this movie and were quite bored throughout the movie. Of course, the graphical technology throughout the movie was exceptional, but that didn’t make up for the POOR story line. I didn’t pay to see an animated documentary—I had hoped (in the least) that it would be a “cutesy” movie that my kids could enjoy. I don’t need animal rights and environmental messages shoved down my throat—just like others who don’t want my beliefs shoved down their throat. I guess if Christians can make movies that promote our beliefs, then the mainstream Hollywood producers can produce these types of movies with their causes in mind, too. The trailers could at least give more information to lead viewers to get a glimpse of the underlying message of the movie before money is wasted for a ticket.
My Ratings: Offensive / 2½
—Tabitha Gallman, age 38
Negative—My children were bored. They had brought a friend along, and were more entertained by her, and the snack bar, than the movie.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Carol Malone, age 38
Negative—I took my 8 year old, and she was offended as I was; she begged to leave after 20 minutes. It was Blasphemous…
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 5
—Judith, age 54
Comments from young people
Neutral—The movie was entertaining, cute and the music was catchy. The graphics were well-done, though the humans bugged me. There were at least two scary scenes that I know would have disturbed my seven-year-old sister involving the penguins being chased by various predators. But what bothered me most was the way they took shots at Christianity. The high council is portrayed as one of the antagonists, stuck in their old ways and narrow-minded; I even heard them using some quotes from the Bible and calling the dancing penguins “pagans.” Also, some of the songs I blanched at; they seemed to be implying something less than clean. But on the positive side, the romance—overall—was innocent, it was very comical and well-done, though the ending was rather forced.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Rachael, age 14
Neutral—…my brother and I went to see “Happy Feet,” thinking the movie was cute, had good graphics, and we were hoping that after we’d seen it it would be good enough so that we could take our younger sisters to see it, too. The movie had its moments, but is somewhat offensive, crude, and the story falls apart halfway through. I would warn viewers that there are multiple crude sexual hints/comments/scenes, even though they aren’t too huge, there are a few that were pushing it. The main idea, through half of the movie, is… “every penguin has a heartsong” in which they find their true love.

I would like to warn viewers that there is strong one-world-ism in it, as well, even to the point of the U.N. symbol being flashed near the end (for a second or two, the movie draws your eyes to the middle of the screen through impressive filming, and finally flashes it), and even the credits song is singing “One World United.” The whole “all the penguins being one,” and all that, seemed to be a little on the edge.

I can’t give everything off because of spoilers, but there were quite a few jabs at religion… seemingly Christianity. Be wary about that. And, of course, as some nature films are, this one is saying that humans are evil, should stop fishing, and are ruining the penguins’ lives and such. I would like to point out that “Happy Feet” has very stunning graphics. The overall movie was made very well, a good concept, and good animation. Now, if they would only cut out all the crud and fix the story, it’d be perfect. Overall, I enjoyed the movie all the way till about halfway or three-fourths of the way through. Then the story started falling apart, more cutdowns on Christianity, and just utter nonsense on through that. So if you go to the movie, be prepared for what I’ve mentioned, a headache, and mixed feelings afterward.

We were going to this movie in hopes of a somewhat cute movie with adventure, mainly because it looked highly entertaining, and we were hoping there was a movie we could finally take younger members of the family to. So far my sisters have only been able to see “Hoodwinked” in theaters (which, by the way, is a very good movie, and I would recommend it. Extremely cute and very action packed for most of the movie!
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Stephan, age 15
Neutral—…I thought the movie was quite funny. I know it had some not quite so obvious vulgar references, but y’all have to get over that. It’s better for your children to watch such films with you and have things explained to them by their parents then to have their friends try to interpret what occurred, which can quite easily be explained all wrong.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Nicole, age 15
Positive—I saw “Happy Feet…” …PG means Parental Guidance Suggested. Therefore, be a good parent and see the film and decide if its good enough for your child. That being said, compared to most films these days it is a very good film. The good stuff: Okay, how can a viewer go wrong with many cute penguins and dancing and singing? How can a viewer go wrong with Robin Williams playing a Latino penguin? His role makes this movie worth going too see, he is absolutely hilarious. This film also shows how friendship can form between different races and also teaches people to accept others for who they really are. To add, the visual effects were pretty well done in almost every scene. Specifically, I enjoyed the moment we’re a few penguins trek through the darkness with the snow blowing them back as they continue forward. It was an amazing animation.

The bad: Okay, sexual stuff. I say this on account that parents are wise enough to tell their children that 1. sexuality is real and is okay inside of marriage. 2. they should also point out that since they’re animals they are not bound to the same sexual laws we as Christians have. Beyond that, not much is really that bad. There are some scary parts for little ones, such as the sea lions and killer whales. They’re not too long though, so most kids will be able to handle them. The other bad thing was they used REAL human beings in this movie, that screw up the ending pretty much. I, myself, just laughed when I saw real humans looking at animated penguins. Weird. Oh, and I would like to add… I don’t understand why people are making such a big deal about the U.N. thing; I mean, it doesn’t ruin the movie, and it’s not “bad.” Its just annoying, if anything. This movie is overall a really good one to watch.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3½
—Chris, age 16
Positive—Let me first begin by saying, I have read a comment stating that the penguin elders could be related to “stuffy christians” and honestly, I can totally see that. They ARE “stuffy” about anything different, such as Mumbles dancing, which scared them. But in the end, it is what saved them. …Moving on, the movie was exceptional. the songs were a little racy for younger children, but I think the PG-rating was perfect. If you don’t want your child listening to songs about “making love” and “you don’t got to be beautiful, I want you for your body,” then exercise that Parental Guidance, and don’t let them go see it. But for the older audiences (12+), I think it’s a good movie. I have to admit I laughed, a lot. It was extremely cute. The penguins were hilarious, and I loved Robin Williams' puns. All in all, it’s a great movie, and I think you’ll enjoy it.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 5
—Naomi L., age 17
Positive—…The main character (Mumble) does not deny the existence of God; he says that God is not responsible for the recent fish shortage. This is a reasonable statement: it is foolish to claim every evil is some sort of curse from God. We can continue to have faith while at the same time not ignoring empirical evidence showing us how to fix the problem (as Mumble did). The film is not, in fact, unfriendly to Christians. Lovelace, the corrupt spiritual leader, is described as a guru, and thus is hardly a direct knock on Christians.

Likewise, all the Elders seem more obsessed with their traditional worldview than with any genuinely religious creed. It is true that there is a scene where Mumble encounters a building that seems to be a church next to a dumping ground; I do not know why that was included. Still, there is nothing especially offensive about this (realistically, an Antarctic encampment might well have a church next to the refuse heap to conserve space).

Finally, the film is not overtly sexual. For goodness sake, the characters are penguins. There is no language in the film that cannot be encountered in any public school or street in the country. There are some adult themes, but that does not make the movie inappropriate for children.
My Ratings: Good / 4½
—S. Settle, age 15
Positive—As a 17 year old boy, I face many problems today, but I have maintained a steady relationship with our creator, our Lord, Our savior, God, the one who loves us all and strongly believe in him. This movie is great, and that’s saying something coming from a 17 year old who loves action and comedy. …its actually one of the better movies out there.

I don’t know what it’s like to have kids, but I take care of baby cousins, and they look up to me. This movie is aimed at teaching kids about the way we can mess up the environment for animals while teaching about outcasts such as nerds in school. It really does teach about a lot of things, and the kids in the theater with me were laughing the whole time. more »
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Trey, age 17
Negative—This movie was a disappointment. The plot was very underdeveloped and the underlying theme of finding a mate was offensive to me. The words in the songs were very suggestive. The mockery of preachers was also offensive to me. This is not worth spending money on in theaters.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4
—Molly, age 17
Neutral—ummm… it says “let’s talk about eggs baby,” not sex. They changed it to fit the penguins. I agree with all of the p.c. undertones of political correctness and environmental and religious implications were all solidly there.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
—Alyssa, age 16
Positive—I loved this film; I thought it was everything they said it would be. This movie shows that we must all be willing to see past differences and see that person (or in this case penguin) for who they truly are. …My friend and I loved the cute dances and songs for the move an just thought it was nothing but a BIG LAUGH. My only warning for this this film it you might walk out toe tapping.
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Katherine, age 16
Neutral—Okay, if you are a penguin lover and have studied penguins for the past six years of your life, well, then you can say that this movie was pretty good—for it’s animation. I could easily tell what breeds the penguins were, and that was like the first animated movie I could do that with. But, the plot wasn’t very good. I mean, penguins don’t sing!! And, the songs they did sing weren’t very good at all! The idea of Mumble (the main character), wasn’t very good either, because it showed that everybody is okay, no matter who they are. Sure, it’s okay to be different, but the way this movie wanted it to be presented, the difference Was Not okay. So, if you just mute it and watch the adorable penguins, it will be perfect!
My Ratings: Offensive / 3½
—Kristina Stockton, age 14
Negative—This film was cute, but it was a very seductive film, and it just made me cringe… It’s just not a good movie to take kids to see. There was a lot of sexual humor, and the way that they portrayed guys and hispanic people was not appropriate. I just wouldn’t take my kids to go see it.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Anna, age 16
Positive—I am commenting on the movie “Happy Feet” due to the content in other readers opinions on the film. With the exception of parents worried about the peril their young children will be seeing in the sea lion and other predator scenes the harsh views in the negative comment section shocked me. I viewed this movie with 3 other young people that I attend youth group with and we had a discussion after the movie in which we all discussed how much we liked the film.

I’m an individualistic person and in my search for faith felt very alienated from the traditional church because I attend art school and associated with my classmates who are different and very weird, they are very moral in an offbeat way, and so the portrayal of the penguin authority I thought not really to be accurate but to be a commentary on all the things that can go wrong within a church setting. That’s not to say that it happens in every church setting, I have found this out, and instead of worrying about never exposing yourself or anyone to hypocrisy, which like it or not you will eventually be exposed to or know exists, this movie should appall viewers that this sort of hypocrisy goes on and cause them to look inside themselves to rid any trace of it in their own actions. Which is what Christ promoted (see below).

Due to the opinions on the “sexual content,” sex is never specifically mentioned and any person thinking that this movie somehow promoted sexual activity is reading too far into the plot line. Sex was only in the movie if you looked for ways to see it in the movie. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3).
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Lexi, age 17
Positive—“Happy Feet” was an extremely cleverly made film with only a couple minor inuenndos. As a matter of fact, I had no idea what most of them were untill I read the review in Christian Spotlight. It did not offend me at all. My younger brothers both seemed to enjoy it and had no questions about the movie. Personally, I think this movie is a “Must Go!”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Emily, age 11 (USA)