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In Happy Feet 2, Mumble the emperor penguin from Happy Feet has a chick of his own, whose name is Erik. But Erik just can’t get the right rhythm in dancing. At the same time global warming has caused a huge iceberg to seal off all the entrances to Emperor Land. Mumble must find a way to help get the emperor penguins out safely and at the same time dealing with his parental issues. Also, the film incorporates several new characters, such as elephant seals like Bryan the Beachmaster, new chicks, a puffin named Sven, and Will and Bill, the two krill.
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I give this film 3.5 starfish. I enjoyed the story and I liked the messages about global warming and “thinking outside the swarm.” I especially liked Will and Bill’s story because it shows how Will wants to understand and explore the world and take risks in the pursuit of adventure. Bill is very cautious and is more of a voice of reason to Will’s actions.
I found quite a few flaws in this film, although they are mostly on the scientific side. First of all, male elephant seals do not stay with and care for their young. Also, puffins, which live in the Arctic, cannot fly the great distance to Antarctica (which is about 22,000 miles away). Puffins are not built for flying long distances and are better adapted for swimming. Although this is not a flaw, I did not like the singing as much as the first Happy Feet. In one scene in the film I could easily tell that Erik’s singing was that of an adult sped up, because his voice sounded really squeaky.
I would recommend this film to children ages 7+, because there is some mild rude humor and some action scenes. But overall, this film would be a good film for the family.
Perry Chen and Zhu Shen are Carmel Valley San Diego community residents and are a unique son-mother team of talent and aspirations. Perry Chen is the youngest award-winning film/ entertainment critic & animator, artist, speaker, and entertainment personality. He started writing movie reviews at 8 using a kid-friendly starfish rating system, under the guidance of his mom Dr. Zhu Shen and his 3rd grade teacher Ms. Harris. Perry’s debut on the CBS Evening News in 2009 made him a national sensation. He has been featured extensively on local, national, and international media, including NPR, Fox, CNN, NBC, The Guardian, The China Press, and many more. He has interviewed prominent filmmakers at film festivals, red carpet premieres, and press junkets. He won a prestigious “Excellence in Journalism Award” at the San Diego Press Club in 2010 as its youngest member. Perry currently writes movie reviews for the Animation World Network, San Diego Union Tribune, Amazing Kids! Magazine, and his own Perry’s Previews website with a combined readership of over 2 million worldwide.
Dr. Zhu Shen’s love for the movies started when she was a young girl, growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution where watching movies was the only entertainment available to the masses. Her journey to become a filmmaker took a convoluted path. She studied medicine at Peking Union Medical College before coming to the US and earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry from University of Colorado, and then an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson School. She is a producer of the upcoming documentary feature “Average Joe on the Raw,” about journey into raw food and health. Dr. Shen is also an award-winning biotech executive, author, speaker, China business expert featured on national and trade media including CBS, Fox, Business Week, Pharmaceutical Executive, and more. She has worked at IBM, Bayer, Chiron, Immusol, and is the CEO of BioForesight, consulting on cross-Pacific life science business. *Photos of Perry Chen and Zhu Shen by Brian Bostrom