Angie here. Special report from a presentation of 'Happy Feet,' the CGI penguin movie coming out this fall. That little guy in the picture is Checkers, and he's the publicist for the movie, i think. But don't quote me on that. Now, i went into this as skeptical as the next guy, thinking, "oh boy, i guess since 'March of the Penguins' was a hit, studios decided that now's the time to do a penguin movie." And this one is star-studded (Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, and so on, and so on), all the bells and whistles of a big studio push, so i was wary.
But i have to say that after the presentation, i am pretty close to won over. First off, the story -- Mumble (Wood) is outcast from his flock because he can't sing, and therefore can't find his "heartsong" -- makes me teary eyed just thinking of the inevitable resolution that he'll discover that his "heartsong" doesn't have to be a song at all (i admit it: i cry at the drop of a hat). And there's the matter of the music: Prince wrote an original song to add to an already impressive list of music sung by the cast (and after 'Faster Pussycat,' i actually like Brittany Murphy as a singer). And Savion Glover, who reminds me of when my kids watched 'Sesame Street,' i.e., of when they were adorable little tots, choreographs Mumble's tap-dance routines (did i mention that Mumble is a super dancer?). but i may have still been on the fence until i discovered the director is George Miller, who did two of my all-time favorite films, 'Babe' and 'Babe: Pig in the City' (i can't understand why my kids aren't as in love with those movies as much as i am ... sigh).
So i'm trusting implicitly the guy who brought me the two 'Babe' movies, and i'm going to predict that 'Happy Feet' will be this generation's 'Lion King,' except set in Antarctica instead of Africa and with penguins instead of lions and ... oh, you get it. Does that seem so wrong? (And your answer may be "yes," and i'm OK with that.)