Reviewed by: Brian C. Johnson
GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?
What does the Bible say about same sex marriages? Answer
|Featuring:||Elijah Wood … Mumble (voice)
Robin Williams … Ramon/Lovelace (voice)
Hank Azaria … The Mighty Sven (voice)
Pink … Gloria (singing voice)
Brad Pitt … Will the Krill (voice)
Matt Damon … Bill the Krill (voice)
Sofía Vergara … Carmen (voice)
Common … (voice)
Hugo Weaving … Noah (voice)
|Producer:||Kennedy Miller Mitchell
Dr D Studios
Village Roadshow Pictures
George Miller … producer
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“Every step counts.”
For too long, movie-goers have mistakenly believed that movies are primarily about entertainment; most people enter the theater and turn their brains off so they can “escape” the pressures of real life and enter the fantasy world of imagination. And that, my friends, is just where Hollywood gets us! When the brain is disengaged for a little bit of entertainment, we become ready receptacles for whatever message they want to dole out. So few us actually THINK about what we view, but if “Happy Feet Two” is any indication, viewers need to actively engage and turn the brains on.
In the original, Mumble, the young penguin, faces the ire of his entire village of emperor penguins. All of the other penguins love to sing, but not Mumble, he is a dancer. When he was kicked out of Emperor Land, Mumble set out on a journey to prove the importance of being true to yourself. In the sequel, a new generation of penguins is born, and this film follows Mumble’s son, Erik, who is struggling to find his special talent—it doesn’t seem to be singing or dancing. Erik and his friends take a long walk, but become trapped by an iceberg. Will Mumble be able to find his boy and save the day?
Let’s just be honest here—this film is full of teachable moments, but should Hollywood be doing the teaching? Don’t let the graphics and the animations lull you into thinking how “cute” this movie is! There is clearly an agenda—overt sexuality is rampant throughout the film (do the young female penguins need such sexy movements as they sing?). The songs appear to back up this agenda; for example, the penguins sing a version of “Sexy Back” made famous by Justin Timberlake. There is also a presentation of the controversial topic of homosexuality. as one male shrimp appears to be interested in building a life partnership with another male. While the interested male is rebuffed, he continually makes references to becoming roommates and adopting other krill together. This storyline is oddly reminiscent of the real-life story of the two male penguins in the Toronto Zoo who seem to have an affinity for one another, or the children’s book “And Tango Makes Three” which prompted much debate in elementary schools a couple of years ago.
In addition to the questionable presentations of sexuality in this “children’s film,” there also is an underlying current of promotion of evolutionary principles. This is coupled with some rather risqué comedy, including repeated toilet humor and an interesting use of substitute cuss words.
To be fair, “Happy Feet Two” does have some positive appeal, especially the message of the value of self-worth, which was continued from the first installment. Mumble, who fought against discrimination and exclusion in the original, certainly knows how to mentor his young son towards accepting himself and his own uniqueness in a world filled with pressures toward conformity.
Regrettably, our educational systems tend not to emphasize critical thinking skills until high school and college, and still few recognize the necessity of giving students the skills to analyze the media surrounding them. Movies, after all, are just “harmless” entertainment, right? If the hairs on the back of your neck stood up as you read this, then you already answered that question.
In the end, parents, you may want to watch this one yourself before you take the kiddos to watch it.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None
Review of the prequel to this movie: Happy Feet (2006)
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.