Happy Feet (2006)

Director: George Miller, Judy Morris, Warren Coleman
Writer: George Miller, John Collee, Judy Morris, Warren Coleman

Cast: Elijah Wood (Mumble), Brittany Murphy (Gloria), Hugh Jackman (Memphis), Nicole Kidman (Norma Jean), Hugo Weaving (Noah the Elder), Robin Williams (Ramón / Lovelace), Carlos Alazraqui (Nestor), Steve Irwin (Trev), Lombardo Boyar (Raul), Jeffrey Garcia (Rinaldo), Johnny Sanchez (Lombardo), Miriam Margoyles (Mrs. Astrakhan), Fat Joe (Seymour)

Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Music, Romance
Released: November 17, 2006 (USA)
Running time: 108 minutes
MPAA: PG — mild peril, rude humor

Set deep inside the icy land of Antarctica, two emperor penguins have a baby named Mumble. Hatched upon his feet, he has an amazing skill for tap-dancing. However, penguins are not supposed to tap dance. Even worse, he cannot sing. All emperor penguins are supposed to have a heart song, and he has a try at it – with awful results. Torn apart from his mom, dad, and best friend, Gloria, as a teenager who still has his adolescent feathers, his ventures off into the icy landscape. He is rescued from a leopard seal from a group of Adelie penguins, whom which the leader is Ramon. They take Mumble to their home and discover that all of their fish is being taken from an unknown ‘alien’ source. They ask Lovelace, an unwise and cocky leader of the Adelies, to help them. Unfortunately, he proves no help. Leading on an incredible adventure, they try to discover the threat of their food source and survival. Using courage and bravery, Mumble begins to teach everyone begins to learn that uniqueness isn’t a burden, but is a gift to be treasured.

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» Trivia

• This film is dedicated, among others, to Steve Irwin, whose last film was this.

• Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Robin Williams and Nicole Kidman all do their own singing.

• The dancers for the dance sequences not only had to wear motion capture sensor suits for their movement, but also had to wear special headgear to simulate the penguins’ beaks to force them to accommodate the anatomical feature for their characters’ dancing.

• All of the dancers in the film had to go through “Penguin School” to capture the movements of penguins.

• First Best Animated Feature Oscar Winner to feature live-action, non-animated elements-as well as actual, telescopic imaging from space (the film must be at least 75% animated to reach Academy standards).

• During production, the code title used for this film was “Cat Don’t Dance”.

• Initially, Prince refused to allow the use of his song, “Kiss”, for the film. However, after seeing footage of the film, he not only changed his mind and allowed the song to be used, but also wrote an additional original song for the film to use in the closing credits.

• When Mumble is dancing you can see three black spots over his ankle area, this is in reference to the spats that used to be worn over shoes in early Fred Astaire dancing movies.

• Not only does Steve Irwin provide the voice for one of the elephant seals, but he was also originally cast to play an albatross that Mumble encounters as he crosses the ocean after the aliens. The albatross scene was cut from the final movie, but you can see it in the DVD extras. The scene was cut before animation was complete, so no actual animation existed until they were preparing the DVD for release. The director and the production crew felt that they needed to do something following Steve Irwin’s death, so they completed the scene and included in the DVD in remembrance of him.

• In order to tell the difference between the male and female emperor penguins, look at their beaks. If it has an orange spot, it’s a male. If the spot is pink, it’s a female. Also, the golden crest on the “breast” areas anthropomorphically correspond to gender differences.

• Mumble features a faded dark spot directly under his neck in the shape of a bow tie. This was added to make Mumble’s appearance more like a white tuxedo. This is both to emphasize the Fred Astaire reference (see above) and is also a play on “penguin suit”, a slang term for a black tuxedo.

• When Memphis is singing “Kiss”, he stops when the helicopter arrived. He tells his son Mumble “I think you better dance now”. This line is actually part of the song “Kiss” in the version by Tom Jones.

» Quotes

Ramón: Just a moment. I hear people wanting something… ME!

Baby Seymour: [singing] Don’t push me ’cause I am close to the edge. I’m trying not to lose my head.
Miss Viola: Yes, I like that one. I could really get jiggy with that. Lovely.

Gloria: [to Mumble] You stubborn, hippity-hoppity fool!

Memphis: Whatcha doin’ there, boy?
Baby Mumble: [tap dancing] I’m happy, Pa!
Memphis: Whatcha doin’ with your feet?
Baby Mumble: [looks down] They’re happy, too!

[Mumble has dived off a cliff to pursue the “alien” fishing boat]
Lovelace: I’m gonna be telling your story, Happy Feet, long after you’re dead and gone!

Memphis: You bet you will. The word triumph starts with “try” and ends with…?
Young Mumble: umph?
Memphis: That’s right, a great big UMPH!

Lovelace: <[narrating voice over] Ladies, please avert your eyes… ’cause I’ve been known to hypnotize.

Leopard Seal: Remember dumplings, I know where you live.
Raul: Yeah! It’s called LAND, lardface!

Mrs. Astrakhan: What are you doing?
Baby Mumble: I’m being spontan-you-us!

Raul: What you huggin me for?
Ramón: He told me to.
Raul: Get away.
Ramón: No, you like it!

Néstor: [watching Mumble as he slides down the cliff after falling] Man, this guy is so accidentally cool!
[all the Adélies jump after him]

Mumble: [about Lovelace] I’ll just appeal to his better nature.
Néstor: How you gonna do that?
Raul: Cruel and unusual punishment?
Rinaldo: Unimaginable torture?
Ramón: Imaginable torture?
Rinaldo: Your singing?
Ramón, Néstor, Raul, Lombardo: No!

Ramón: [standing on top of a cliff, trying to get ready to jump off]
Ramón: I can do this, I can do this… I have to trick myself.
[points at something behind him]
Ramón: Boy, look at that!
[looks at where he’s pointing]
Ramón: What?
[falls off the cliff]

Ramón: [after hearing Mumble singing] Yeah, I heard an animal once do that, but then they rolled him over and he was dead.

Lovelace: I must retire now to my couch of perpetual indulgence.

[Killer whales are menacing the Adélies and Mumble perched on a buoy]
Rinaldo: They’re making us appeteasers!
Ramón: They’re appe-teasing us! Ha, ha, ha! [pause] We’re gonna die.

Mumble: Excuse me. What is this place?
Zoo Penguin: You’re in heaven, Dave. Penguin heaven.
Mumble: Is it anywhere near Emperor Land?
Zoo Penguin: It’s wherever you want it to be. Try the water, Dave. It’s really real.

[on dancing]
Mumble: It’s just like… singing, with your body.

UN Delagate: I do not want to live in a world without Penguins!

Baby Mumble: I’m gonna be spontan-you-ous, dad!

Mumble: There are things out there; things we don’t understand.
Raul: Mysteries!
Lombardo: Mind-boggling mysteries!
Rinaldo: Mystic beings!

Néstor: Amigo, that is a good thing you do.
Ramón: She is going to be so much better off without you. She is going to find a good steady guy to comfort her…
[Raul attempts to slap Ramón, but misses]
Ramón: And love her up real good and raise a big family…
Rinaldo: Ramón. Ramón! He’s hurting. He’s hurting bad.

Lovelace: [narrating Memphis and Norma Jean] His Mom and Dad met in the usual way, the song became love, and love became the egg.

Ramón: Big guy. Let me tell something to you. Come close. Don’t be afraid. You want answers?
Mumble: Yeah.
Ramón: Thats all you need?
Mumble: Yeah.
Ramón: Nothing else?
Mumble: No.
Ramón: Then this is very easy. You go see Lovelace.
Raul, Lombardo, Néstor, Rinaldo: Yaaaah. Lovelace
Raul: Genius Ramon.
Ramón: Thank you
Raul: You are the man.
Ramón: I right now take a moment for myself. Bow down, bow down.
[All Amigos bow to him]
Raul: You the man, you the man.
Ramón: Thats enough. I feel your love.

Noah the Elder: So, you dare come back?
Seymour: He says he’s found aliens and they’re taking our fish.

Memphis: Remember stranger danger!
Mumble: Sure thing, pa!
Memphis: Watch out for leopard seals and them killer whales!

Ramón: Don’t be so snooty, booty!

Lovelace: [to Mumble] The voices are shriekin’ in my head, an’ they’re saying, “Lovelace, who is this foo’?”

Maurice: Memphis, is everything okay?
Memphis: I don’t know. I can’t hear anything.

Baby Gloria: Mumble, Mumble.
Memphis: You okay?
Baby Mumble: Freezing. Freezing.
Memphis: Oh, you’ll get used to it.

Miss Viola: Without our heart song, we can’t be truly penguin, can we?
Class: No.
Miss Viola: But, my dears, it’s not something I can actually teach you. Does anybody know why? Anyone? Anyone?
Baby Gloria: You can’t teach it to us, ma’am, because we have to find out heart songs all by ourselves.
Miss Viola: Well done, you.
Baby Gloria: It’s the voice you hear inside, who you truly are.
Miss Viola: Yes. Thank you, Gloria. Excellent, lovely, thank you.

Miss Viola: Well there is always Mrs. Astrakhan.
Memphis: Mrs. Astrakhan?
Miss Viola: If anyone can, Mrs. Astrakhan can.

Gloria: [singing] Where is my baby? Anybody find me, find me, find me somebody.

Ramón: Go see Lovelace.
Raul: He got the answer to everything.
Lombardo: Everything.
Mumble: Really?
Ramón: Ask him, he never wrong. But first, you’re gonna need a pebble.

Lovelace: Turn to the penguin next to you. Put your flippers up. Fluff him up a little bit. And give him a great big hug. Okay ladies. Oh, make that little noise again, girl.

Lombardo: How do you win the heart of the ladies?
Mumble: We sing.
Raul: You’re kidding right?

Mumble: [singing] Find me, find me
Raul: What’s he doing?
Lombardo: [singing] Somebody.
Lombardo: I think he’s singing.
Rinaldo: I know singing. That’s not singing.

Memphis: [to Mumble] I think you better dance now.

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» Related Links

Amazon · IMDb · Official Site