Happy Feet Two 3D

Out Now On-Demand

3D sequel to the 2006 Antarctic animated hit, featuring the voices of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt.

Mumble (Wood), The Master of Tap, has problems. His wee son, Erik, is "choreo-phobic". Reluctant to join the penguin's dance, Erik runs away (encountering The Mighty Sven along the way, a penguin who flys). Meanwhile, a rogue iceberg threatens the homeland. Mumble brings together the penguin nations and all of the continent's creatures - from tiny Krill to giant Elephant Seals to sort it out.

The first Happy Feet was quite a surprise. Its tale of a tone deaf penguin’s desire to dance could’ve been your standard family fluff. Instead, it was a competently made charmer, expressing the joys of music, rhythm, individuality and standing out. Happy Feet Two is the polar (ha!) opposite.

There’s a lot going on in the sequel: Mumble’s (the star of the first) parenthood problems, a false prophet, a massive Titanic-trumping iceberg, and two philosophical krill searching for a purpose in life (perhaps because they have no purpose in the plot). But none of it connects organically. It’s as if the filmmakers gathered all the failed conceptual subplots of the original and meshed them together like slithers of soap, forming an ugly wad of a story.

Despite the flat-out gorgeous CG and eye-soothing use of 3D, Happy Feet Twois simply a pretty-looking mess of ideas. The muddled, unfocused plot will disappoint adult fans of the original while kids are likely to lose interest after half an hour and start bugging their parents instead, as was the fate of the poor father sitting next to me.

A.V. Club (USA)

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In some ways, it's a more grown-up story than Happy Feet, with more complicated messages delivered in subtler ways.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

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For me, Happy Feet Two is pretty thin soup. The animation is bright and attractive, the music gives the characters something to do, but the movie has too much dialogue in the areas of philosophy and analysis.

Empire (UK)

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The odd stirring sing-song can't save this sugar-frosted animation from turning into an unholy mess. But will it be the last Emperor? Don't hold your breath.

Hollywood Reporter

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Even with the addition of new characters, such as the ones voiced by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, George Miller's animated sequel just isn't very funny.

Los Angeles Times

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Dazzling panoramas, no matter how impressive, are no substitute for the involving story Happy Feet Two has had to do without.

New York Times

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An amiable sequel with not much on its mind other than funny and creaky jokes, and waves of understated beauty.

Total Film (UK)

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This joyous, if garbled dance-a-thon barely pauses for breath, never mind plot exposition, but it’s exactly the kind of cinema-only experience that will have under-10s hooked on movies for life.

Variety (USA)

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Though it retains the buoyant musical stylings and splendid visuals that made its predecessor so distinctive, this chatterbox of a sequel loses its way with a raft of annoying side characters for which the slender narrative framework provides far too indulgent a showcase.