Sunday, December 17, 2006

Stumbling Feet, More Like It!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Never one to get anywhere ahead of the pack, I just saw "Happy Feet" this evening as the entertainment portion of my monthly outing with my ex- and Miss M. his amazing grandmother and my beloved friend. As I mentioned once before, she's our cover for going to popular animation films. Although, I could also justify it by saying it's important research for my work with my constituency, the "Elementary" crowd--and truthfully I've been hooked on the medium since "Bambi"!

I would preface this review by saying, it's wonderful that a mere 12 years after the medium was declared dead; it's seen such a rise in popularity. With competition, and advances in technology, the scripts have improved, the range and quality of voice talent has grown, and generally things are really good. But with quantity there is also an inevitable rise in mediocrity. And "Happy Feet" certainly doesn't live up to the amazing quality of what I'm starting to describe as the holy trinity of pixaresque animation: "Shrek," "Monsters, Inc.," and "The Incredibles". I also enjoyed very much the first "Ice Age" (sequels in this medium have uniformly disappointed me), "Finding Nemo," and "Cars" (although I would have clicked a much heavier editing mouse on that one, it was too slow to start, and too enamored with it's own speed oriented special effects, a mon avis humblement)

But back to the "Happy" little flick in question. The story was tedious and the flow from premise to conclusion too riddled with gaps, diversions, and music! For a kids flick, some of the musical selections were inappropriate (NOTHING with SEX in it need even be considered--what where they thinking?!). The ethnic stereotypes were NOT amusing (or offensive actually, just BORING). And the obvious jabs at conservative religious fundimentalism seemed even in their blatancy confusing and weirdly sophisticated for a children's animated film. Conservative Christians have complained about the movie's supportive messages for homosexuality (as an expert in that field, with 45 years of first hand, on the ground, experience, they are once again using a non-issue to mask the real offense), when, in fact, it's far more anti religious absolutism than any stretched connection to GLBT ANYTHING.

Bottom line: 2 flippers down on "Happy Feet".

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